We all know the pain of having to choose what items we should pack when travelling overseas so we have compiled this AWESOME list of 18 Travel Essentials you absolutely MUST have when travelling overseas
1. Phone Back-Up Battery Pack
Considering the humble mobile phone is now used as a camera, a GPS device, a computer and a music player, you’ll want to make sure that you have a back up power device on hand for your next trip. If your sense of location is anything like mine, you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency phone call for directions. Or perhaps rely on your music to drown out the dulcet tones of your travel buddy snoring away, in their blissful sleep.
2. Clear Zip Lock Bags
With airport security being what it is these days, having a spare clear zip lock bag on hand to throw your liquids into when passing through security gates, has become a travel essential. These handy little lunch bags can also be used to ensure you keep all your entrance passes clean and dry. You’ll be grateful to have a few of these on hand when your travel buddies water bottle inevitably springs a leak. Zip lock bags can also be handy for sorting out your currency when travelling between multiple countries.
3. Sleeping Sheet/insert (for those who prefer to stay in “budget accommodations”)
Regardless of whether you’re travelling on a budget or you’ve booked a nice hotel in the middle of the city, there’s every chance that the room (and the bed sheets) won’t be up to your personal standards. Having a silk sleep sheet packed at the bottom of your suitcase when you’re faced with questionable bed linen, will help you rest at ease!
4. Travel Neck Pillow
This is an absolute staple for any mode of transport! Long-haul flights, lengthy bus rides or even if you find yourself in a hostel room, without a complimentary pillow, having an inflatable neck pillow is a travel essential you will not want to be without.
5. Analog Entertainment (Food Cards)
So you’re in the middle of a 14 hour flight, you’ve just woken up from a restful and relaxing nap (thanks to your travel pillow), your TV screen stops working and the flight attendant informs you that the flight is full and there are no spare seats to move you to. THE HORROR!!! This actually happened to me flying to Paris via Abu Dhabi – safe to say I was less than impressed!!! It’s at about this point that you’ll want to have a novel, Sudoku book or a travel board game on hand to help pass the hours remaining until you’re back among the land of digital entertainment. Having a deck of cards with you is also a great way to make new friends easily. Enjoying a few relaxing drinks at the local pub??? Just bust the cards and soon enough everyone’s crowding around to show you their favorite card games. (Or challenge you to a card house construction competition.)
6. Reusable Water Bottle/Plastic Cutlery Set
These are a great eco-friendly travel staple. Not only will a refillable water bottle keep you hydrated, it will help reduce your environmental footprint. You would be surprised and shocked by how many plastic water bottles you’ll burn through on your travels. And the money you save on buying water could be redirected to more important purchases, like unique street art and souvenirs to remember your travels by in years to come. Having your own cutlery on hand will also be essential when grabbing lunch on the go or when faced with the daunting reality of being at a restaurant that only supplies chopsticks!! Trust me, you (or your hapless travel buddy) will use them more than you think.
7. Tissues/ Toilet Paper/ Hand Sanitizer
We’ve all experienced the pain of walking into a bathroom stall and seeing an empty TP holder, before and after we’ve sat down. Now imagine you’re in a country where it’s not standard practice to use it AT ALL! When you’re travelling though tiny villages in developing countries, you may want to have this little luxury in your back pocket, so to speak. It goes without saying that having hand sanitizer with you will also be a necessity. Even when you’re in big cities, transferable germs are everywhere, and when travelling you’ve no time to get sick!
8. Emergency Repair Kit/First Aid Kit - with Hydrolyte, Gastro-stop, Panadol (Ibuprohen), face wipes, safety pins
Speaking of getting sick, if and when you do fall ill, having a personal First Aid kit, with a supply of Ibuprofen, cold and flu tablets and hydrolyte, will be a Godsend! Having things on hand for when little accidents occur can reduce your chance of missing out on once in a lifetime experiences, because the handle/ strap on your bag just gave way and you have to find a store to purchase a replacement ASAP. (This one’s actually happened to me once… okay twice. I’m a compulsive over packer and tend to put too much faith in the cheap calico tote bag I picked up as a bargain at the local market)
9. A Pen. (Make sure there’s one in your travel wallet for filling out those hideous custom cards)
You will ALWAYS need a pen while travelling. Don’t be the one to rely on your travel buddies to have a spare one on hand, be the hero who has thought ahead! Having a pen tucked away in your travel wallet will mean avoiding the queues of people waiting to use the one faulty complimentary pen, secured to the customs desk. You can fill out your forms in line and save SO MUCH precious time getting in and out of customs!!
10. Travel Wallet
Speaking of which, make sure you invest in a decent travel wallet. The ability to keep all important flight information and hotel reservations in the one spot will be more important to your sanity after 23 hours of airplane travel. Being able to pull out the correct booking reservation may seem trivial now, but trust me, your jet lagged self will thank you later.
11. Multi-tool with bottle Opener/Corkscrew
So you’ve got to your hotel room and it’s time to hit the town, but drinks at bar prices are outside your budget or this tiny town fell asleep three hours before your arrival – OH NO!!! This isn’t a problem for the travellers who came prepared… with their own travellers! Unless you’ve thought ahead and made sure that your drinks are twist top only, having a bottle opener or corkscrew in your inventory will avoid the horrible and fun crushing disappointment of not being able to access your wine! (BONUS – you’ll feel like a modern day MacGyver and will automatically become the SAVIOR of your travel team!!!)
12. Collapsible Tote Bag
Another travel essential is a collapsible tote bag. One that you can fold up and store neatly when not in use, but that you can bust out mid way through your day, because the gift shops at the end of each tourist attraction are far too tempting to pass up. After all, everyone needs one or two (or 10) guidebooks, to properly remember the places they’ve seen.
13. Small LED Flashlight/Torch
These handy items are my favourite travel essential. Being able to safely navigate your way past your travel buddies exploded suitcase in the middle of the night, when you wake up needing the bathroom, is more important than you realize!!!! Coming home and having to explain you twisted your ankle, tripping on a bra strap that hooked onto your foot in the middle of the night, is not the travel story you want to be telling!
14. Small Containers/Poster Roll
Small plastic containers come in handy for jewellery, medications or trinkets you pick up along your way. (Ladies, you can thank me later, when you come home with all pairs of earrings and small items safe and in the one place.) Poster rolls can also be used to make sure that you don’t squish that one of a kind painting purchased beneath the Eiffel Tower, or the hand drawn sketch of Angkor Wat that you purchased from a civil war survivor you met.
15. Photocopies of Your Passport, Key Cards and Itinerary
Having photocopies of important documents stowed away in your luggage (or stored in your travel wallet in the hotel room’s safe) can give you amazing peace of mind when travelling. Hopefully you never have to use them, but having copies of your important documents can make the process of replacing them that much easier, if you happen to misplace your passport for example.
16. Travel umbrella/Poncho.
This ones pretty simple, in the event that the weather doesn’t turn out to be a mild 25 degrees and sunny each day, that was promised, you will want to be prepared! The sight of 100 or so motorcyclists stopping to put on their ponchos in Vietnam still makes me giggle when I think of it. So when it starts to rain on your parade, pop open your umbrella and do your best Fred Astaire impersonations. DANCING AND SINGING IN THE RAIN!!!!
17. Oversized Scarf or Light Sarong
A Light Sarong or an oversized scarf is essential not to forget. You may need it to cover your head and shoulders before entering many religious sites, you may want it on hand to pin up around your bunk bed to give you some privacy in your hostel room or you may find it useful as a picnic rug for an impromptu lunch in the park. SO MANY USES!!! It will be worth the small amount of space it takes in your luggage.
18. And NOW the Best for Last! A Trax2 Bilingual Map (printed or digital)
So don't be shy to download or order your "ticket to adventure" and you'll be ready your next travel adventure.