5 Necessities to Bring in Your EF Backpack


It’s bright and early and you’re ready to head out with your Program Director for a full day of walking the city streets of Barcelona during your Barcelona: the City Experience program, or up and down the cobblestone streets of downtown Munich on your Germany, Italy & Switzerland program. You grab your EF backpack and start tossing together everything you will need for a full day exploring such an amazing city. We know you don’t want to forget anything you’re going to need so we’ve outlined a list of some must-haves to ensure you have a great time exploring!   


1. Basic First Aid Kit, Hand Sanitizer, and Tissues

First things first, a small first aid kit is something you’re going to want on hand while you are in a foreign city. Nothing too complex just some Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment to quickly cover up any blisters you may get from walking all day. Alcohol-free cleansing wipes will come in handy if you can’t find a sink with soap and water nearby, a pair of tweezers in case somehow you get a splinter, and ibuprofen just in case. If you take any daily medication you may want to include that in your first aid kit as well. Hand sanitizer and a small pocket-size pack of tissues are also two important items you will want to keep in your backpack.

You’ve been waiting to explore your destination for too long to let an unfortunate situation ruin your experience, it’s better to be prepared just in case.

2. Snacks & Water

During your program you will be walking much more than you’re used to during an average day on-campus and your body may be looking for an extra boost of nourishment. Keeping a few snacks handy in your backpack is an easy way to ensure your stomach won’t be rumbling in between meals. Things such as crackers, granola bars, and nuts are great travel snacks that you can bring along with you and not worry about them spilling, leaking, or making a mess in your backpack.

Here are a few of our favorite snacks that are perfect to travel with: KIND Bars, Orchard Valley Harvest Snack Packs, Ritz Snack Packs.

Staying hydrated during your program is crucial. Long days walking in the sun, up and down city streets, or wherever your program may take you will leave you thirsty, so you’ll want to bring along a reusable water bottle that can fit in your backpack.

We have found the Nomader Collapsible Sport Water Bottle which is a great option!

Unsplash / @acarrillo46

3. Light Jacket and Extra Pair of Socks

Tossing a light jacket or an extra sweater into your backpack ensures that you won’t find yourself caught in a chilly situation! Once the sun sets it can often drop a few degrees and making sure you have another layer to toss on just in case will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

By packing an extra pair of socks in your backpack you’re prepared for any unexpected weather changes that may pop up, including a rain shower.

4. Rechargeable Portable Battery

The last thing you want to see is a “10% battery remaining” warning sign flash on your cell phone just as you are getting ready to snap those perfect shots as you’re gleaming up at the Eiffel Tower traveling through your Amsterdam & Paris program.

Packing a portable charger is a great way to ensure your phone will have extra battery power throughout your day trip into the city. When it comes to recharging this battery, make sure to bring along a travel adapter that allows you to plug into the various outlets you may encounter during your travels.

We have linked a travel adapter plug here.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

5. Sunglasses and Sunscreen

You will likely spend a lot of time walking around outside on your program, so you’ll want to make sure to pack a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful rays so you can soak up the radiating culture and beautiful environment. Bringing along sunscreen will also be important if you are traveling to a destination where you will be outside a lot exploring the environment such as Environment & Culture in Costa Rica and Biodiversity in Belize.

Make sure to toss these five things into your EF backpack as you head out the door for a full day of exploration and fun in a new city!

Interested in learning How to Pack and Travel as Green as Possible? Check out our article!

Find more “How To’s” and resources here.