You made your travel essentials list and checked it twice…or more but most of the time everyone usually forgets to bring something. While we all travel fairly differently and have different travel needs, these following items should be on your next packing list. Why? They are mobile, compact and essential to any traveler.
Having the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, travel size sunscreen, baby wipes and hygienic products—especially for a woman are the holy grail. This is good practice to always have these items on hand and are always great to have on long flights. There are bumps in the road that could happen with any vacation. Access to basic supplies may not always be possible when traveling to more remote locations.
Keep Dramamine, ibuprofen, antacid, and other prescription medication you might need. Illness is not discriminatory. Your body will need time to adjust to the different bacteria in the food of your host destination. If you are prone to overseas illnesses more easily, visit your doctor before your trip to see if he/she can prescribe you some antibiotics to take with you on your trip.
This might not seem like a big deal until you’ve experienced cabin pressure. Have you ever been on a plane with a screaming baby? Plus, no one likes being stuck next to a person for 8 hours on a plane with bad breath. Airplane food is expensive and not always the best for you as it’s filled with sodium. Make some travel-friendly snacks like trail mix, dried fruit or protein baked snack bars to help with those inflight cravings.
4. Extra Clothes
While it might seem like a no brainer, we tend to neglect carrying an extra set of clothes. While hope to never have our baggage delayed or lost, keeping an extra pair of underwear, comfortable top/pants, and shoes is always a good idea. A scarf is good to keep on hand as it keeps you warm and protects you from the sun and the cold. This can also double as a travel pillow or a blanket.
Protect your eyes and make sure you have a good pair with UV protection. They also make for a good “sleeping mask,” you can put them on when you are on a long flight and get some sleep.
You will want to keep a record of all the sights, smells, and tastes while abroad. If you ever go back and visit, you will have a general idea of the city! Plus you will more than likely have more local insight that you would never find in a travel book.
These are quite literally a life saver on long travel days/flights. Invest in a good pair or two. Music is cathartic and sometimes nothing seems to soothe the soul better.
8. Guide Book/ Phrase Book
This is especially important! It’s good courtesy to know the basic phrases in any language you will be visiting. Not everyone speaks English, and people are more willing to help you if they see you are putting in the effort.
- Hello/Goodbye/Thank you/Please
- Where is the nearest …/ Can you help me find….?
- I don’t understand
- What is your name? My name is…
Also, you want to make sure you have some sort of understanding of where the nearest bank, consulate/info. center, hospital, grocery store, transportation stop is located. It’s all fun and games till you find yourself lost and without any money.
9. Cash/Important Documents/Passport
This also might seem like common sense, but common sense is not so common. Make sure you make copies of all your important documents. Keep one for yourself and leave the other with your family or a close friend.
Make sure to call your bank ahead of time if you will be going abroad to make sure your credit/debit card will be authorized. Make sure to check the exchange rate, as a good rule of thumb, banks usually offer the best selling price. A good rule of thumb is to bring double the money. Will you be close to a bank or in more of a remote location? Remember there are still places that only accept cash. So it’s better to be prepared.
You will need to contact your friends and family via phone, Whatsapp, Skype and let them know you are alive and well. Be sure to check with your carrier on the fees for sending text messages and using data abroad. Carriers usually have an international call/data plan available. Another alternative is buying a SIM card while abroad and loading up on minutes and data there.