freespirit Backpacking Essentials
There are a number of items that our freespiriters have suggested are essential for your trip. If you have anything to add, we'd love to hear from you. Just Contact Us
You need comfy straps, a large day pack, and plenty of little zippers and pockets to store your junk in. For example - Explore’s Torino 65L
a smartphone to call people and with the right apps downloaded is invaluable. Load your guidebooks & phrasebooks into your phone to save space. This will give you a GPS to guide you on your travels during the day. Take pictures of all the things that interest you (animals and local products for instance) and Google Goggles, will recognise them and Google up all the info you need on them.
UV water purifier
When travelling in developing countries avoid problems with your water by buying a sturdy metal bottle and a UV water purifier, which will purify your H20.
Pocket HD video camera
If you want HD footage that you can later edit down into a DVD of your trip, you’re best having a dedicated camcorder that fits in your pocket, as you will be much more likely to use it. It should also be water and alcohol proof. For example a JVC Picsio.
Not only is the sound quality of the music better, but they also block out the monotonous drone of aeroplane engines and screaming children. Even if you’re not listening to music, just flick the noise-cancelling switch and nod off.
Use one of the many travel cards that banks offer, or go with the 28 Degrees credit card – which offers no international transaction charges or currency conversion fees.
Me No Speak book
With Me No Speak books, just flip through the book for a picture of what you’re looking for or asking about, and jab your finger at it. The locals will now know what you’re on about.
There'll be many times you wish you could play some music”. Don't be caught short and be the life of the party.
An expensive Gore-Tex raincoat will be one of the best purchases you'll ever make. It can also work as a light jacket and it packs down to the size of a lunch box.
Small gifts for local kids
When travelling in developing countries, bearing in mind certain cultural differences and being selective - its nice to return a little bit of kindness with a present.
For example clip-on kangaroos or koalas.
your rights against unfair airline & car hire practices
A new law introduces a fairness test, which measures a condition imposed by an airline or a rental car company and judges whether it is “unfair” to the consumer. "A term is unfair if there is an imbalance in the parties' rights, it is unnecessary to protect the supplier and it would cause detriment to the customer if enforced,”
This will help even up the balance between airlines, rental car companies and consumers.
rental car companies are under fire for contract terms such as charging customers for the full value of any damage to cars despite them having fleet insurance.
The new law is expected to empower travellers. For example:
John Wass’s battled with Tiger Airways last year over a refund.He was forced to re-book his family on another carrier at an extra expense of $610 after his flight was rescheduled – 22 hours late.
Paul Douglas-Denton was billed by Europcar for towing his rental car approximately 300 kilometres after vandals smashed the vehicle overnight outside his hotel.
The company said the right to claim $8,000 was contained in the fine print of the contact, but were forced to back down by the Northern Territory’s consumer affairs commissioner.