Travel Non Essentials: 5 Things A Backpacker Never Buys

I haven’t done a “Tuesday’s Travel Essentials” for ages on here, yet I’ve about 50 in the pipeline. But they take a lot of work as I’m a perfectionist on them and I’ve been busy on other projects recently so it’s time for one with a difference – Travel Non Essentials and not even on a Tuesday: 5 Things A Backpacker Never Buys. Yes these are things that we don’t have to worry about buying as backpackers that everyday people who own flats and houses might have to buy.

5 things a backpacker never buys

Travel Non Essentials – 5 things a backpacker never buys.

1. A Carpet.
Yes I have NEVER in my life bought a carpet. While a magic one would be nice and certainly save me googling flight tickets, the nearest I came to buying a carpet was browsing a carpet museum in Iran at the Imam Reza Shrine.

Carpets in Mashhad Iran

Carpets in Mashhad Iran

2. Paint
I don’t have a garage door, a wall or even a fence so the necessity for paint has long since passed me by. I decorate my fleece with iron on badges of countries I’ve been to so a tin of Crown doesn’t exactly tempt me. I rely on a pen instead for filling in forms and getting visas.

3. Hoover
You don’t see a backpacker turning up to a hostel only to get his hoover out and give the place a decent dusting and vacuum. I do believe in keeping myself clean, but as I don’t have a constant home, thankfully I ain’t done any hoovering since I worked on the ferries back in 2009!

I've hoovered in work but I've never bought my own.

I’ve hoovered in work but I’ve never bought my own.

4. A Bed
Yes, yes, yes we all need somewhere to sleep but backpackers just don’t buy beds. I’ve never owned or bought a bed, and I’m 34 now so that’s proof that you don’t really need one. I have found many alternatives over the years though, including paying $5 AUD for a mattress when I lived in Australia, sleeping in my car, sleeping on a camping mat in a tent, sleeping in airports and the usual lifestyle of staying in hostels.

My Mattress in Australia - I've never owned or bought a bed.

My Mattress in Australia – I’ve never owned or bought a bed.

5. Electric Toothbrush
It just uses up space in your backpack that is better not wasted. Plus I’ve never used an electric toothbrush. However I once met a dude in a hostel with one and was curious as to why he travelled with one, it turns out he used to work for a company and got a freebie, but if you can find out top electric toothbrush models on a backpacking budget you’re doing well. Personally I’ll stick to my small and compact toiletry bagmy free toothpaste and toothbrushes and my soap. I’ve got enough free toothbrushes to last a few years…

free toothbrushes and toothpaste

Enough free toothbrushes to last a few years…

So those are 5 things myself and backpackers generally never buy. Yes I am aware that people can change and maybe one day I’ll have all 5 of these. Upgrading to an electric toothbrush would be the first step. If you want to check out some of my real life Travel essentials, on selected Tuesdays I write about them here:

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4 thoughts on “Travel Non Essentials: 5 Things A Backpacker Never Buys

  • That would be awesome if you DID turn up at a hostel with a hoover and started cleaning out your dorm lol! Must say, I’ve never bought any of these items either, but that’s more down to the fact that I’m still living with my parents so don’t have to haha! Great article Jonny

  • It would be pretty funny to do that Paul, and many have done it to get a free stay at a hostel I’m sure! I don’t own any of these items, but now you mention it, I’m pretty sure my parents have them all, though I rarely visit them these days. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Nice funny read. I haven’t bought a carpet, an electric toothbrush or a Hoover yet, but that is because lately I have been broke as a church mouse heheee.

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