To avoid the nerve-wracking cycle of packing and unpacking that almost every trip away entails, it is helpful to be aware of the items that more experienced travelers consider are absolutely necessary for traveling. Ensure these items are at the top of your packing list.
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11 Essential Items for Every Traveler
As much as every trip is different, here are the items you should always bring with you:
1. Versatile Luggage
You will want to use luggage that is durable, lightweight and is large enough to carry all your essentials. Lugging around travel bags with broken handles or wheels is no picnic. Ensure you buy your luggage from trusted companies that provide warranties for their bags. Look at websites like Luggage Direct to have an idea of the many types of bags available and pick luggage that is versatile while meeting your particular needs.
2. Travel Documents
When it comes to traveling, you can forget to bring all else except your travel documents. You can buy a travel document organizer to help you carry these documents in one place. You can carry some extra money in most document organizers as they have slots for coins, cash bills, and credit cards. For seamless international travel you will need:
- Your Passport and Visas
- Travel Tickets
- Loyalty Program Cards
- Hotel Reservations
- Emergency Contacts
- Cash and Credit Cards
Before you leave, check expiration dates for your passport, visas and credit cards, and make copies of all these important documents in case the originals get lost. Many countries require that there be at least six months’ validity left on passports to permit entry.
3. Travel Health Kit
Carry a travel health kit that contains any prescription meds that you are on, plus pain and fever relievers. Take medical notes from your doctor if you have any special health conditions and the prescriptions for the medications you will be carrying. Many countries require that you show these prescriptions if you are selected for a customs inspection on arrival. Remember that most countries do not accept prescriptions from overseas, and many medications have different brand names in different countries, so it is best that you include all that you need in your travel kit for the period that you will be away.
4. A Day Pack
A small collapsible bag, which fits in your luggage, will come in handy for day trips once you are at your destination. You can use it to carry your gadgets, water bottles, guide books and folding umbrellas among other things you will need during an activity away from your hotel. It will also be useful for carrying any extras that you buy on your way back home.
A lightweight LED torch is a necessity especially if you plan to do some camping, or venture into caves, or if there happens to be an electricity outage at your hotel. Carry a flashlight that has durable and rechargeable batteries.
6. Universal Travel Adapter Plug
Until the world adopts a single AC power standard (which is probably unlikely), every traveler has to carry adapters to charge their devices. Get an all in one universal adapter or, if you are traveling to only one country, you can check what plug is used in the country you intend to travel to, and buy the cheaper single-type adapter for that country.
7. Plastic Storage Bags
Plastic bags will be useful when you want to protect any of your items against moisture. You can also use them to carry damp clothes or to separate dirty clothes from clean ones. Clear zip-lock bags will help you keep your suitcase organized especially if you will be changing accommodation often which will require packing and unpacking several times.
8. Ear Plugs
For sound sleep on your flight, quality ear plugs will help to drown out the aircraft sounds and any noisy passengers. You can purchase flight ear plugs that will help reduce the discomfort that comes with changes in air pressure during flights.
9. Bungee Cord
A mini bungee cord will be helpful in case you damage a suitcase or a zipper gets broken. You can use it to hold your luggage together in an emergency. It can also be a makeshift clothesline if you want to hang wet clothes in your hotel bathroom.
10. All-Weather Shoes
Instead of carrying multiple pairs of shoes that will only add to your luggage weight, find a pair that is multi-purpose, durable and waterproof. Keep in mind the activities you will undertake at your destination as you choose which ones to carry. If one pair won’t work, limit yourself to two.
11. Some Pens
Bring a couple of cheap pens with you for filling out arrival forms and customs declarations at the airport. You will get through faster when you don’t have to wait for fellow passengers to finish using the ones provided.
One of the top tips for traveling is always packing light, but the more important advice is packing smart. The tips above will help you avoid the stress of worrying that you might have forgotten something. Remember too that anything you forget to bring – aside from your travel documents – you can buy at your destination. And try to put as many of these essential items in your carry-on. That way, you will have most of your essentials with you in case something happens to your checked-in luggage.
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