If you are a traveler, you know that you don’t really need anything to travel other than something to carry a few clothes in and your passport. However if you are going on a trip, there are a still a lot of travel items that you can also take to make your trip a whole lot better and easier. Some things will just be a complete waste of space, time and money, but some are essential and will benefit you in ways you may not initially realise.
So here I have put a small list of just 10 travel items every traveler should take with them to make their travels run smoother so they can enjoy more of the time they have away.
If you haven’t got one, get one. I am sure just about every one of you reading this has one, as statistics tell me that 50% of you will be reading this from your smart phone anyway. Taking a smart phone on your travels makes everything so much easier, from using maps to apps that will help you locate restaurants, bars and things that are happening in a specific area. Not only is it useful for finding information as it is a portable computer the size of your hand, but you can easily communicate with anyone in the world, which you may not realize until you need to, but is an absolute blessing when it comes to those desperate times you are stuck. I say again if you don’t have one, get one, they are really cheap now and you can get an iPhone for less than $150.
2. Good shoes (hiking, runners, great support)
The more you travel the more you will realize that thongs/jandals/flip flops just do not cut it when checking out a city and it’s sites. I discovered this after pretty much walking around Europe in my thongs, which I too do love. But after each day I would be sore and much more tired than what I would be if I were to wear a good pair of shoes. Depending on where you are going I suggest getting a pair of running/hiking shoes that are lightweight and that dry quite quickly on the odd occasion they get wet. Wearing a decent pair of shoes is going to allow you to walk for longer and see more, not only that, but your body and its structure will thank you in the long run. Here is a pic of my hiking/running shoes that are incredibly light and very comfortable. Check out the reviews they are good quality, which is what you want for your feet.
Another thing that if you don’t have one, get one! If you have a smart phone then that will suffice, however, having a decent camera other than your phone is worth it. How many times do you think you will be where you are going in the world again? It is great to be able to capture not just the places you have been, for example those lame touristy shots that we all get. But more to remember the amazing times we got to share with people in different corners of the world.
I have a great DSLR which is a Canon 60D with a few lenses because I love my photography. But for those of you who aren’t quite into that and don’t want to lug a DSLR around check out the GoPro which is amazing. I also have one of these and they shoot incredible quality film and photos and they are less than $500 for the greatest and newest version. I love mine because its snow, water and shockproof (to some extent) and I take mine with me everywhere, as they are small enough to fit in your pocket. They are killer quality for value too, which is why it’s my number 1 recommendation.
We all want to save room in our backpacks and this is one thing that will certainly do that. Instead of taking a larger and heavier beach or bath towel with you, pick up a small microfiber/quick dry towel. They dry your body quick, take up hardly any room and also dry you faster than any average towel. Sure they may be small and what are you to lay on when you go to the beach to soak up your vitamin D? Well instead of taking a towel grab a sarong to lie on, they also pack up super small and dry quite quickly too. These are two great things that save you weight and space.
This is the backpack I use for long term trips (6 months plus)
I stuffed this up for my first few years of travel by having a stupid duffle bag that weighed way too much and could fit a stupid amount of luggage in. This meant I could pack more and collect/buy more things. By the end of my trips I would be so over lugging that much crap around, I went out and researched the best backpack I could buy for a world trip. Learn from my mistakes and do the same, grab a backpack that is not too big and is light so you aren’t struggling to drag your life around in your bag. My backpack is quite big still as I need to fit 12 plus months of gear in it (for every season) but I love it, there is a picture of it in the link right here. Choosing a great backpack can be tough, so I will have to get my act together and write you all a guide.
As you go from plane, to bus, to train and city-to-city you need to stay hydrated so most people take a water bottle along with them on their travels. I started off doing this too, until I was introduced to the awesomeness of a camelback. Whilst they are not totally essential you should have one, I even wrote a post specific post on why every traveller should have a camelback instead of a water bottle.
I can’t remember how many times I have had to lend my travel adapter to people in hostels. Sure it’s great to not have to take one with you but when you desperately need power to charge your phone, camera or laptop it really sucks if you have to hunt around and borrow. These are very inexpensive for what they are and every traveller should have one in their pack. You can pick one up cheap online here and get one that has a USB plugin too.
8. Elastic clothes line
Another blessing is being able to wash your clothes and dry them all at once, where ever you are. I used to wash just my undies and socks and a few items with me whilst having a shower. Now I can do it all at once and even use a washing machine if available as I can dry my clothes and my towel anywhere I want with this elastic clothes line. These take up zero space and are super cheap, so I suggest throwing one into your pack. They are also especially useful if you are hiking or camping etc.
I travel everywhere with my own pillowcase and use it every time I sleep. They are great for when you are in a hostel (or wherever) and you feel uncomfortable using the hostels pillowcase for god knows where it’s been. I also use my pillowcase to create my own pillow in airports on planes, trains, busses, camping or anywhere by just stuffing my hoodie and a few clothes into it which works well. That is until I upgraded to a blow up pillow which I use now instead. They are really cheap and again take up no space and I just slip my pillow case over the top and I am good to go.
Whether you’re in Mexico or Japan, there is still the potential to be robbed anywhere in the world. I always have a good padlock on my bag as those train and bus rides where you fall asleep and can’t keep an eye on your bag 24/7, especially on flights. Not only is a padlock handy for your bag, but in a lot of the hostels they have luggage lockers where you need to provide your own lock or rent/buy one of theirs. Having a padlock is a wise move as a traveller for they are handy in all these situations and more. It is also a smart idea to use the combination locks for you won’t need the hassle of using a key.
There are a whole lot more other great travel items you should have on your travels however these are essential ones. What travel items do you take away with you that is highly beneficial when you travel?