What I Pack in a Day Trip Bag

Why Create a Packing List for Day Trips

There’s nothing worse than being out on a day trip in the full sun feeling parched and hungry.  The weather changes, there is a light drizzle and the wind has picked up.  You don’t have enough money to stop in a cafe to escape the elements as that chill has run deep into your bones.  Not to mention that sinking feeling as you have been unable to record all the great things you’d seen because you forgot to bring a camera.  It could all have been avoided if you’d only packed a few simple things into a day trip bag.

I’ve been taking a daypack with me on day trips since I first backpacked around Europe in the early 1990’s.  Today I still load up a day bag with some essentials when I head out exploring.  It doesn’t matter whether I’m taking a day trip in my hometown of Perth or on holiday at some far off destination, there are certain things that I want to be packed in my daypack.

A packing checklist for your day pack when taking a day trip on holiday or at home.

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My Packing List for a Day Trip Bag

Start with a lightweight and easy to carry bag.  Personally I like a small backpack style, whilst it’s not that glamorous it is comfortable.  One of these might be perfect for you.

   

Staying hydrated

It doesn’t matter where I go.  Visiting a museum, hiking about a national park or even sailing on a day cruise – I’ll get thirsty.  Water is the best source of hydration for me.  These days I use my own water bottle, filled with filtered water from home.  But if I am travelling overseas I buy a 1.5L (48fl oz) bottle of drinking water.  The recommended water intake to stay healthy is 2L (64fl oz) per day – for me, there’s no point buying that little 500ml (16fl oz) bottle.

Of course, you could go with the thought that you can buy water along the way, often you can, but sometimes you can’t.  Besides by the time your body is telling you that you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  So remember that Boy Scouts motto – be prepared.

TOP TRIP TIP: Take drinking water.

Need energy

Whilst in that “be prepared” frame of mind I also add a simple snack to my travel day trip bag.  There’s not much worse than a rumbling tummy or my sugar levels dropping so much that I start to get the shakes.

I like to choose something like a piece of fruit (apple) or a muesli bar that stays fresh and won’t go off during the day.  If I don’t eat the snack during my day trip it doesn’t matter.  I would just rather have a little bit of something healthy and filling than having to resort to fast food.

Top Trip Tip: Include snacks.

Record the fun

Throughout my day trip, I always see and experience new and interesting things.  I want to record my adventures to reflect on them another day or show off to family and friends.  So I add my point and shoot high-resolution camera.

You may prefer to pack a video camera, high-quality camera or just your smartphone to record all your action.

Top Trip Tip: Pack a camera.

Keep in touch

On some day trips, I don’t really need a special camera to record the action.  The camera in my smartphone is good quality for recording a lot of our family day trips.  So I always take my phone.

The other thing, smartphones offer so much more than just taking a quick snapshot or being contactable whilst you are out.  You can use GPS maps, access websites for location details, find somewhere nearby to eat and much more.  If you don’t have a data plan or you are overseas, look for WiFi hotspots – many cities and facilities (eg. McDonalds) offer free WiFi.

If you would like some more travel tips on staying in touch whilst you travel – click HERE.

Top Trip Tip: Don’t forget the smartphone.

Going to have to pay for something

At some point during the day trip, money will be required.  Whether it’s just to buy a ticket for public transport, entry fees into attractions, purchasing a souvenir, or splashing out on a nice meal.  I will need to pay for something.

I don’t like to carry too much cash on me when I am travelling overseas.  So I usually try to budget how much I will need for the day, add in a contingency amount and take a credit card for backup.

Top Trip Tip: You’ll need cash and a credit card stored in a safe travel wallet.

Stay sun safe

Making my way to public transport, to attractions and through outdoor attractions, I am out in the fresh air and in the sunshine.  Winter or summer the sun rays are damaging to our skin.

Prior to leaving on my day trip, I slather on sunscreen and slap a hat on my head.  Soft hats can be better as they will easily fold up into the day trip bag, firm hats won’t fold up and you’ll have to carry the hat.

Top Trip Tip:  Pack a hat and sunscreen.

It might get cold

The weather may turn cool throughout the day (unless it’s the middle of summer).  So I like to take a light jumper/sweater or at least a wrap/pashmina.

Top Trip Tip: You may need a light jumper/sweater.

There are dark clouds out there

However, I don’t generally pack for wet weather unless I know it’s forecast.  If I have to take something, I add a small fold up umbrella or rain poncho.  Small and light are what I want in my day pack.

Top Trip Tip: You may also need a small fold up umbrella.

What else is planned

Finally, before I leave for my day trip I take into account what I have planned for the day.

If I am overseas visiting religious sites, I may want a sarong to cover up – showing respect.  Off to a water park or the beach then I will need swimmers – I might also want to add a wet gear bag and towel.

Then again perhaps all I need is a good pair of walking shoes or sandals to get me through my day trip.

Top Trip Tip: Pack special activity gear.

  

Recapping What to Pack in a Day Pack Travel Bag

  • water
  • snacks
  • camera
  • phone
  • wallet
  • hat
  • light jumper/sweater
  • special activity gear

If you would like to know what to pack in your holiday travel bag then check out this Ultimate Travel Packing List.

Would you like your own packing list for day trips?

Get you copy of the Day Trip Packing List
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A packing checklist for your day pack when taking a day trip on holiday or at home.

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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you have a better holiday with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel tips and destination inspirations.

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