No doubt you’ve been on a trip whereby you’ve forgotten that one essential travel item so you have to buy another version at the airport. And then the next time you travel, you bring too many items that you don’t end up using.
Sound familiar? Yeah, we hear you.
Even after countless trips, we can still get it wrong. But over time, we’ve noticed the same useful travel accessories and the international travel must haves that we simply can’t travel without. Feel free to use this essential travel items list before you depart as one last check and to give your mother peace of mind.
THE ESSENTIAL THINGS TO PACK FOR TRAVELLING
Gone are the days where you needed to carry a different travel adaptor for each continent or country! Thankfully, it’s as easy as packing a universal travel adaptor which should be able to cover all your electronic charging needs.
We would recommend buying a travel adaptor that also has at least one (1) USB port too because let’s face it – it’s usually your smartphone that needs charging the most!
Until Jasmine met Bevan, she had never packed with packing cubes. She’d applied almost every other technique – rolling clothes, stuffing socks and undies in shoes – practically all the tricks under the sun. How naive.
Lesson learned and now she swears by them. It makes it easier to divide our clothes and access them rather seamlessly. Plus, different size cubes mean you can come up with your own categorisation system.
Look, we know that locks can be cut. Even if you have your zippers secured with a steel padlock, what’s to stop a thief from lifting your entire bag before cutting through the material anyway?
Because you never know when a lock could save your stuff. You’ll use it on hostel lockers, to secure your bag when you check it in for a flight – you might even attach the bag to a bed when you sleep at night.
You will need it at some point in your travels (we’d probably assess you as ignorant if you think otherwise) and even if you don’t use a padlock, it’s rather light anyway.
Filter Water Bottle
Mother Nature has shown us the destructive properties of single-use plastic on the environment and to the wellbeing of all that lives on Planet Earth. We cringe at the thought of how many plastic water bottles we used to buy when we travelled 5 – 7 years ago. As much as possible, we continue to work at reducing our single-use plastic consumption, particularly when we travel.
After considerable research, we’ve recently invested in a Grayl filter water bottle. We are planning to take it with us on our Latin America adventure (currently postponed) and will provide a user review at a later date. If you don’t have a filter water bottle, travelling with a reusable water bottle is a wonderful alternative.
Other highly reviewed filter water bottles include the LifeStraw and LifeSaver.
If you’ve met us or read our blog long enough, you’ll know by now that we are coffee fiends. It’s appalling just many coffee cups and lids end up in landfill but it’s positive to read and hear about many cafes working to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
Our KeepCups come with us on every trip and we use them for takeaway coffee (sometimes the cafes will offer a small discount as an incentive to customers) or overnight oats if we plan to make our own breakfast.
Again, we love to travel and we love to take photos so we always carry multiple memory cards with us. We tend to not carry a portable hard drive with us and we really do need to get into a better habit of backing photos up onto a Cloud account, but we prefer to carry several memory cards given their small size and light weight.
We recently purchased a wallet to store our memory cards which has been a game changer!
We love to travel and we love to take photos. Sometimes, it’s nice to have both of us in the photo so we use the tripod to hold the camera and set the timer. We’re now shooting more night photography too so having a tripod is a must to prevent shakiness.
Our Genesis tripod is the larger, sturdier frame however, we’ve recently invested in a Joby Gorilla pod as we’re attracted by the bendable legs. It’s also a bit smaller and lighter so hoping it will prove its worth on future travels.
Seeing as paper maps are no longer in vogue, it’s likely you’re using your smartphone as a navigational tool. Thank goodness for modern technology.
It’s worth investing in a reputable portable charger because we’re all too familiar with that sinking feeling when our smartphone battery dies! Make sure that the portable charger battery is fully charged before setting off for the day.
If you’re planning on partaking in any night activities, you’ll want to be able to see where you’re going AND keep your hands free. The last thing you want is to drop your smartphone in a puddle of water if you lose your footing.
We honestly believe that a headlamp is worth its weight in gold. If you’re camping and nature calls in the middle of the night, it’s simple enough to strap this to your head, flick the switch and the light will be on in your line of sight. Just don’t forget to insert batteries if you need them!
First Aid Kit
We often carry a first aid kit with us on our trips. You probably don’t need it for a city weekend getaway but we consider it imperative if we are participating in any outdoor activities. It pays to be prepared, even if you have the basics such as band-aids, a couple of bandages and alcohol wipes.
Some of us won’t let go of the golden days. And that’s completely fine because some of the best stories come from the pages of travel diaries. Journaling your thoughts or newly-created memories on a fresh piece of paper can be therapeutic and a souvenir to return to in the years to come.
Jasmine is the primary wordsmith of the two of us and tries to brain dump all her thoughts of what she’s done, seen, eaten, felt and experienced at the end of each day.
For all the bookworms, even though the scent of a brand new book is intoxicating or flicking through a dog-eared old favourite is nostalgic, it may be time to downsize to a Kindle. Other than being compact and light weight, you can store more than one book on here, it has a built in light for reading at night time and you can read anywhere offline.
Microfibre travel towels
If you’re travelling long-term, chances are you will stay in a variety of accommodation. Some places will provide the fluffy, white, robe-esque luxury kind whilst a few will provide flimsy, questionable-looking rags and some won’t provide a towel at all.
Plus, if you go swimming at the beach or get drenched in an unexpected downpour, it’s ideal if you have your own small microfibre travel towel with you.
The best thing about travel towels is that they’re compact and fast-drying – perfect for when you’re constantly on the go!
Eye Mask // Ear Plugs
We used to scoff at the idea and the look of ear plugs and eye masks but now on overhaul flights and/or the absence of light-blocking curtains, you’ll find us reaching for both of these items.
Invest in a pair of reusable silicone ear plugs. Firstly, it’s better for the environment than the single-use foam ones and secondly, there is now a range of ear plugs available. From noise-cancelling to air pressure ear plugs, you’re bound to find a pair suitable for you.
Eye masks are easy to stuff into a pocket of your backpack and they work. Soon, you won’t care what you look like to other people because you’re so happy to get some decent shut-eye!
Spare passport sized photos
In the unlikely event of an emergency, having colour photocopies of your passport and some spare passport sized photos could literally save your ass.
The old-school kiosk photo booths may not exist in the very country where you urgently need to apply for a last-minute visa so tuck a few of these away for that rainy day.
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