5 must-have items when hiking in a hostel: checklist, photos

  • I stayed in a hostel for the first time in the backpacker area of ​​Singapore.
  • I am a last minute packer and for this overnight trip I decided to bring only the essentials.
  • While I’m glad I brought my AirPods and a dental kit, I was sorely missing my flip flops.

Earlier this month, I booked a night in a capsule hostel in the heart of Singapore’s backpacker district.

As a first time backpacker, I had no idea what to bring with me. Most of the articles I read online were about long-term backpacking and had long lists of must-have items.

Although I’m usually a last-minute packer, it ended up working in my favor for this overnight trip: I packed light and only brought the essentials.

Things I’m glad I brought for my first hostel trip

From top left to right: Disinfecting wipes, dental kit, backpack, wired headphones, AirPods and portable charger.

From top left to right: Disinfecting wipes, dental kit, backpack, wired headphones, AirPods and portable charger.

Marielle Descalsota/Insider


  1. A dental kit: I thought that hostels wouldn’t have the same luxury as hotels, so I prepared a dental kit. The hostel I stayed at only provided dispensers full of shampoo and body wash, so it was a relief to bring my toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.
  2. laptop charger: I spent most of my time working in a cafe near the hostel, so I couldn’t always charge my phone or laptop. Having a portable charger was handy as I could work uninterrupted and not worry about my devices’ batteries running out.
  3. Listeners: One of the hostel rules was to be quiet at all times, so when I was watching YouTube videos or listening to music, I had to plug headphones into my phone. I brought my wired headphones and AirPods, just in case the latter had connection or battery issues.
  4. Disinfectant wipes: Antibacterial wipes are a must for hiking. When I first settled into my sleeping pod I found black dirt all over my bed and even the sides of the unit. Fortunately, the wipes are designed for easy cleaning. I thought about bringing a sanitizer gun, but was glad I didn’t, as there was little ventilation in the hostel.
  5. Sneakers: The most practical choice I made was to wear sneakers — and not pack another pair. I generally like to wear fancier shoes like boots or heels, but staying in a hostel required shoes designed for walking around town.

What did the inside of my backpack look like?

What did the inside of my backpack look like?

Marielle Descalsota/Insider


What I wish I had packed

  1. Flip flops: The biggest packing mistake I made was not bringing a pair of flip flops. I would have been more comfortable when using the bathroom, shower, or even on a late night run to the convenience store.
  2. portable fan: My sleeping pod’s AC barely worked, which I couldn’t have prepared for. I ended up keeping my door open for most of the night to relieve the choking. I would have appreciated more privacy if I had had a mini fan to cool the unit down a bit.

Overall, traveling light is the way to go when staying in a hostel. But a pair of


flip flops

and a portable fan wouldn’t have taken up much space and would have made my stay much more comfortable.

Linda G. Ibarra