7 Things I Always Pack No Matter the Destination
For as long as I can remember, traveling has been one of my favorite ways to spend time and money. The experiences, friendships and memories received in return are truly priceless. Over the years, I’ve become quite skilled at packing my suitcase. Friends are consistently envious of how I always seem to have bags that are under the luggage weight limit, yet contain everything I need for terrific trips.
Here are the 7 things I always pack no matter how far I’m going:
1. Airborne or a Similar Vitamin Product
Traveling usually means my immune system gets exposed to all kinds of foreign germs. Although I practice good sanitary measures such as washing my hands regularly and avoiding touching my face, I’ve also found it’s really helpful to take Airborne or a comparable effervescent vitamin product a few days before, plus during, my trip. It’s easy to dissolve into water and gulp down on the go. If in doubt about the safety of the local water supply, refer to CDC guidelines to avoid getting sick while away from home.
2. My Camera
Sometimes, I get nervous my camera might get snatched while I’m in a foreign country. With that in mind, I’ve decided to never bring my expensive, professional-quality camera on trips. Instead, I have a camera I only use while traveling. It takes decent pictures and is small enough to nearly fit in the palm of my hand. I’ve learned although memories are potent, they’re not the sole method I want to rely upon to remember my trips.
Whether I’m stuck on a plane next to a noisy seatmate or bunking in a hostel with nine backpackers, earplugs are a must for all types of travels. If you want to follow my lead, try to find earplugs that come with their own case. The kind I prefer comes with a plastic case that has a key ring for easy portability and access.
4. A Fingertip Towel
I’m constantly surprised by how many hotels seem to skimp on the quality of their towels. Sometimes they feel like sandpaper against my skin. In other cases, I stay in hostels and have to either bring my own towels or have to rent them. I’ve found it’s always easier to pack a fingertip towel.
It’s smaller than a hand towel, which makes it easy to stuff into a corner of a suitcase, but large enough to tackle my personal care needs. You can find these towels in several weave types and materials, making it easy to take along one or more that suit your preferences.
5. A Pen and Notepad Set
You never know when it might be necessary to jot down a phone number, address or other pertinent details. I got tired of digging around in my bag to find a scrap of paper and working pen in those cases. To solve that hassle, I now travel with a leather notepad that has a pen attachment loop. That way, I have a dedicated place to write things, plus a writing instrument, within easy reach. Besides writing things down when when I travel, I also make notes while unpacking to keep track of items I brought, but didn’t need.
6. A Phone Charging Cable
Although I try to become as disconnected from distracting technology as much as possible while traveling, I know it’s not safe to become completely unreachable. With that in mind, my phone charging cable is among one of the first things that goes into my suitcase. If I’m traveling far enough away to need an electrical outlet adapter, I connect one to the charger before packing it so the two parts don’t get separated. If you travel frequently and find yourself away from electrical outlets, you may want to think about getting a portable alternative source of power.
7. Re-sealable plastic bags
Plastic bags with re-sealable tops are especially handy when I want to pack individual servings of bulk snacks to tame my travel hunger. I also depend on them to keep small essentials separated in my suitcase so I can easily find them later after reaching my destination. Generally, I go with quart-size bags, since those are approved for carrying liquids on airplanes.
Hopefully my list of must-pack picks will help you come up with your own collection of things to take when you travel. The things I’ve mentioned above are useful, yet lightweight, so they don’t make my bags burdensome.