Bringing a daypack on any kind of travels is almost as essential as breathing fresh air. The feeling of dropping off your suitcase, packing a bag, and starting a new day of exploration is quite thrilling. But, what exactly is necessary on a typical day of sightseeing? Besides packing the obvious items such as your phone and wallet, there are some quintessential necessities every traveler should pack in a day pack.

Here are 11 tips on how to pack a daypack for sightseeing on any trip, no matter where you’re traveling to!

Invest in a Durable, Waterproof Bag

Spending money on a proper, good quality bag will be the best investment in the long run. Relying on cheap bags a can be frustrating since they tend to break easily, but also risky since it can happen when you least expect. It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive bag, but try to find one that has plenty of compartments, zippers ,and storage space. You should also make sure it’s waterproof so your valuables aren’t destroyed as well. A good quality bag will also fit better on your shoulders even it’s weighed down with guidebooks and a DSLR camera.

Don’t Forget a Reusable Water Bottle

Keeping hydrated while sightseeing is not only important if your taking advantage of cheap flights in July to tropic climates, but for anyone going about their day in any other temperatures. Imagine finding yourself huffing and puffing after going up and down the hills of San Francisco in a mild climate, and you’re gasping for a quick quench. Refillable containers are not only convenient, but environmentally friendly. An extra perk is to purchase a container with a water filter, especially if you’re traveling to any destinations with unreliable tap water.

Keep Things Organized in Smaller ‘Compartment’ Bags

These bags may look like small makeup pouches, but they are an upgrade from zip lock bags that might tear and break. For the ladies, they are helpful to organize random accessories, such as hair clips, lip balm, nail files, or other small items you may not want to throw in your daypack. Guys can find this useful to store important items, such as tour passes, tickets, or keys that might get lost in your daypack. Bring along bigger compartment bags to store souvenirs you might purchase that may be fragile.

Create a Customized First Aid Kit

Your modern first aid kit will always have the essentials: Band-aids, alcohol pads, and gauze. But, why not create a kit that is customizable to your needs? Do you frequently get headaches on a hot days? Perhaps you drank too much the night before and could really use an Alka-Seltzer before starting a walking tour. Create a mini kit with items you may personally need. They don’t have to be medical necessities either; they can have random things such as your favorite gum, a toothbrush and toothpaste, or extra batteries for your camera.

No Matter the Weather, Have Packable Rain Gear

A packable rain jacket or other protective gear is essential when out sightseeing. By choosing a slim rain jacket, you won’t be burdened with carrying around something too bulky. Having a jacket in your day bag will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you prepared for inclement weather. Even packing something as easy as a poncho may save you from feeling wet and miserable. You can find disposable rain ponchos at an affordable price. These items are much easier to haul around than a bulky umbrella.

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Slip a Foldable Shopping Bag in There

You never know when you may find something that you cannot live without while out on your sightseeing adventure. A foldable shopping bag will tuck nicely into your daypack while providing you with a handy option in case you need something else to tote your purchases. These extra bags may also prove to be invaluable if you end up with wet clothes that you want to keep separate from the rest of your day trip essentials.

A Notebook & Pen Are Must-Pack Items


Don’t be caught unprepared to take notes or write down something important. Savvy travelers always keep a notebook and pen on them when out exploring their surroundings. You can use this to jot down tips from locals or to document your travels so that you have it later when you want to reflect on the experience. Be sure to choose a quality pen that will not leak ink all over your bag. A notebook with a protective cover is also a good idea so that the papers are not damaged on your travels.

Carry Some Snacks with You

You will save money and time while out and about if you bring along some snacks in your daypack. Be sure to pack snacks that are portable. Good choices include beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, and fruit like apples or oranges. Unlike most everything else here,  snacks for a daypack don’t have to be packed at home. You can pick some up as you head out at the start of your sightseeing day.

Always Include Extra Socks

There is nothing worse than being caught with wet socks when you are trying to squeeze as much as you can out of your day. Changing into a pair dry of socks will provide a great amount of comfort. This will allow you to continue with your sightseeing. Even if you don’t expect wet weather, having a pair of dry socks to change into in case you sweat through your socks will help to prevent blisters or other uncomfortable issues.

Definitely Have Your Phone Charger & Consider Getting a Portable Power Bank

The last thing that you want to happen when in an unfamiliar place is to lose your phone charge. Keeping you phone charger in your day bag will ensure that you can always power up if you lose the charge and need to use your phone. And although it is getting easier and easier to find places for plugging in your phone these days, you should think about getting a portable power bank. That way, you can not only charge your phone without asking someone if there’s an outlet you can use, but also do it while you’re on the go.

Bring Along a Non-Electronic Distraction

Now that your day pack is filled with the must-have items, why not have something to keep you entertained? Everyone encounters moments of boredom, usually waiting in line or killing time before an appointment. It’s especially true when you’re traveling. Sure, you’ll probably distract yourself with your phone or table, but it’s good to also have a non-electronic form of entertainment (that doesn’t have any batteries that’ll die) as a back up  It’s as simple as throwing in a light paperback book or a magazine to read during some down time. If you’re traveling in a group or with a family, think about always carrying playing cards; it’s lightweight and perfect to play any game at any place.

Have any other tips for how to pack a daypack for sightseeing to add to our list? Leave it in the comments below!

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