Most of the time, traveling begins with a list: a list of places you want to visit at your particular destination, or a list of things you want to do there. Then there’s the list of things you want to pack or bring with you. The essential items that will make your trip more comfortable, organized and, in some cases, safer. Below you will find my current list of traveling essentials. These are the things that make the long plane rides more enjoyable, the foreign bathroom experiences more bearable and my travel bag more organized.
1. Kindle This is one of my favorite devices. It can hold thousands of books, has a very long battery life, it’s light-weight, and you pretty much purchase and download books from anywhere in the world. I still read paperback books, but its so much easier to pack a Kindle when traveling than your favorite book series.
2. Camera There are three basic reasons why I carry a camera. One – I love taking photos. I consider it a great trip when I was able to take a ton of photos. Two – To capture the moments and details that might soon be forgotten down the road. Three – It helps others see where I was and what I was doing there.
3. Notebook When I say notebook, I mean a notebook with paper and not a laptop, which could also be useful. I use a notebook to take down details of the places I’m visiting so that I can refer to them later when I have to write a blog or title a picture. I have graduated (so to speak) from the actual paper notebook and now I use a note taking app, like Evernote to take down my travel details.
4. Ipad or iPod Touch These smart devices could essentially replace a lot of my other travel items down the road. I use them for watching movies on long plane rides, for checking my email, talking on Skype, saving hotel reservations and e-tickets, tracking my flight, researching nearby restaurants, reading books (including my Bible), etc…
5. Water-proof Carrying Pouch A few years back, my wife and I received one of these little pouches when we booked a group tour through a local travel agency. It has been with us on every trip since then. We keep our passports in there, boarding passes, email confirmations of tickets and reservations. This little pouch keeps things dry, safe and organized.
6. Pens Yes, pens…Even with how digital and paperless our world has become, those immigration cards and duty forms will remain on paper for the time being.
7. Hand Sanitizer If you do any traveling outside of your home country, you will realize that soap in a bathroom is not guaranteed. A little bottle of sanitizer will make sure your hands are clean after the bathroom and before eating.
8. Tissues This necessity is also bathroom related. The biggest surprise on a vacation is entering a stall, taking care of business and then realizing your little white-rolled friend is no where to be found. After this happens to you a few times, you make sure you have a pack of travel tissues on hand.
9. Universal Adapter Just like not all people are the same, not all electrical outlets are the same. They will vary from country to country. A handy universal adapter (or two) makes sure that my gadgets can be readily charged when needed.
10. Hat A day at the beach usually ends the same way for me with a nasty sunburn. The remedy for me has been to wear a hat. Plain and simple, its safe for my skin and takes away the future agony I would have at the end of a day.
I’m sure that this list will change over the years. As of right now, these are ten of the most important things for me to bring on a trip.
Which of these things are on your packing list? What are the most essential travel items for you to pack?