Even for those of us who like to pack light, there are some things that we just can’t travel without. This summer, I took a 5-week international backpack trip and every single one of things made it into my bag. For your next trip, be sure to pack these ten things to ensure the best stress-free trip possible! You won’t regret it.
A backpack is the top travel essential. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a backpack—it could be an over-the-shoulder back, a rolling carry-on, or a huge purse. But a backpack is the best way to go. The best kind of backpack is comfortable, balanced, and can hold virtually everything you need. Be sure to get one that’s not easily pick-pocketed and is somewhat weatherproof.
2 Reusable Water Bottle
I’m not going to lie, most of the time my “reusable” water bottle is just a regular ol’ plastic one that I refill over and over. This is a good option if you’re notorious for leaving your water bottle everywhere. Whatever you use, though, make sure you always carry and fill it at every opportunity. Staying hydrated during travel is the best way to make sure you’re healthy, illness-free, and alert.
3 Phone and Charger
The phone is obvious, but seriously—don’t leave that charger at home! You may want to pack two chargers, in case one decides to stay behind and chill at your hotel after you leave. Keeping you phone charged will head off a multitude of problems. It’s also a safety thing—phone booths are a thing of the past, so you need a cell phone in case of emergency.
I know I’m not the only one who’s been kept up until 3 AM because of the loud bar next door—and Heaven help us all if I don’t get good sleep at night! Make sure you can get good rest despite door slammers, passing trains, and that snoring guy sitting next to you on the plane. Earplugs may be tiny, but they are mighty. Don’t do you trip without them.
5 A Blanket
Taking a blanket on a plane is the only way to sleep in such a freezing environment. Sometimes they really crank up the AC on those things—I half expect an entourage of penguins to march into the cabin. Besides making your flight bearable, a blanket can be a lifesaver if you find yourself stranded in the cold, with a broken air conditioning unit, or a travel buddy who just can’t agree to keep the room warm. Here’s a free tip: try taking along a wraparound sarong as a light blanket. It takes up pretty much zero room and does the trick.
That Ibuprofen or Dramamine could be the difference between making great memories or a day curled up in misery. Even if you’re not prone to headaches or seasickness, take a little bottle just in case. But be sure to check the label; if it’s not intact, you could get suspected for drug smuggling!
7 Rainproof Bags
You might not be going snorkeling, but you never know when you might be caught in the rain or another wet situation. I always stash a few garbage bags in my backpack to keep the rain off my electronics. I also like to take along a waterproof phone bag designed for underwater photos. They’re pretty cheap, and they keep you phone protect from water up to fifteen feet or so. It’s a good price for a worry-free trip.
Whether you like to Skype or listen to music, headphones are a must-have. It’s easy to get really, really bored while waiting in lines, so taking a pair of earbuds can keep you in a good mood. Plus, it’s necessary for taking on the phone in loud places or for conducting work or school activities while you’re gone.
You won’t have constant access to a toothbrush, and gum is the next best thing. Nobody wants to walk around feeling like their breath would scare away a skunk. It’s also good for keeping your ears happy during plane rides.
You never know when you’ll actually get to eat a meal when you’re on the road. So pack a few of your favorite snacks (and candy bars—you’re a grown up. It’s allowed). Make sure you take some healthy ones along with your chocolate. Don’t get hangry and miss out of the joy of traveling!
There you have it: the top then things you can’t do without on your trip! What about you? Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!