You’ve booked your flight, accommodation, worked hard to save your money and probably waited for what seemed like forever – now the time has finally come to pack for your upcoming travel adventure!
Some people love packing, some people hate it.
I’m the former as I get so enthusiastic whenever I’m about to jet off and I love the excitement of getting everything prepared and ready to go.
(So much so that usually I can’t even sleep the night before!).
Passport, wallet, phone, tickets, sunglasses, camera, clothes, toiletries, book,
etc. – take a minute and check the following travel essentials listed below.
The country you’re travelling to might surprise you – every destination is different, so it’s always better to be prepared.
Here is a checklist that includes the essentials to pack and also some handy items which can be useful depending on where and how long you will be travelling.
Travel documents copies
It’s really important to make copies of your passport just in case it gets lost or damaged. Same for any required travel visas.
It’s a good idea to also print out confirmations, especially for hotel bookings and any pre-booked extra trips and activities – as quite often bookings can get ‘lost’ and are nowhere to be found in the system.
If you are travelling for a while it can also be handy to make a print out of your itinerary to refer to along the way, with all the important info highlighted such as flight/travel times and top things you wish to do.
Noise cancelling headphones
This is a big necessity for me! As well as having an extensive music playlist.
Noise cancelling headphones are my saviour on aeroplanes. Even if I don’t feel like listening to music I’ll pop them on anyway to tune out all the noise around me.
Earplugs & eyemask
Another necessity similar to above! Useful for when trying to sleep on long-haul flights and even for those noisy hotel rooms or hostels that also never quite get dark enough at night.
Surge protector & adapter
Surge protectors are important to make sure your electronics don’t fry in case of different surge strengths. It’s a smart idea to bring a double plug adapter with you to be able to plug in two devices at once if you need to.
Something I’ve learnt the hard way – pack appropriate footwear! You walk so much more when you travel and it’s so important to wear durable and comfortable shoes.
Your legs will probably already be aching at the end of the day (love that feeling though!) so don’t add to the pain by having sore feet too.
Wind & rain proof jacket
Another important travelling item is the wind and rain proof jacket (maybe not so much if you are just going to a tropical island!).
Nobody wants to be stuck in the rain while travelling. When choosing one try to go for the all-in-one kind – both wind and waterproof, lightweight and with a pocket. These are both comfortable and useful and can be easily packed into your luggage.
Very very important! You don’t want to get sick, especially while on holiday so use it frequently – after touching money, door handles, rails etc. and especially before eating if you can’t wash your hands first.
Mini travel health kit
Pack a mini health kit with any medications you may need, along with panadol/aspirin, cold/flu medicine, antibiotics, Imodium (just in case!) and basic first aid supplies such as plasters and so on. Small scissors are also very handy to pack (just don’t put them in your carry-on bag… woops!).
Take at least a couple of small tissue packets with you and have one on you at all times in your day pack. Not only for nose emergencies but more so for the many places that don’t have toilet paper! (Especially common in South-East Asia and other developing countries).
Plastic bags & snap/zip lock bags
Take a few plastic grocery bags for any dirty or wet clothes, and to wrap your shoes in before packing them in your suitcase.
Snap/zip lock bags are also great to seal any toiletry liquids that may leek, to keep all of your chargers together or any loose items, to put your rubbish into whilst out and about, and even to seal your phone in if it happens to downpour!
I highly recommend putting a lock on your suitcase while travelling to and from your destination and keeping any valuables locked up inside it when leaving your accommodation for the day.
If you’re staying in a hostel quite often they provide lockers but you have to provide your own lock for it. It’s also handy to bring a spare if you’re going somewhere notorious for pickpockets. Keep your backpack locked up and all of your belongings safe!
Wet wipes or baby wipes are excellent to take if you’re doing a long tour, hiking, backpacking or just going somewhere really hot! They are perfect to help freshen up.
You can wipe your face, hands or whole self with if you’re missing a shower, and they are even handy to clean your belongings with if you get dirty shoes for example.
It’s a great idea to bring a small insect repellent with you if you are going somewhere warm and will be spending a lot of time outside. Use especially when at the beach and in the evenings to keep away those pesky mosquitoes, flies and other blood-sucking bugs.
If you’re heading to a hot destination you probably won’t be bringing many warm clothes – so a light scarf or sarong is perfect for during the flight to keep warm or to even use as a pillow. It can also double up as a beach cover up or for visiting temples.
Sunblock & hat
Don’t forget your hat and sunblock! Protecting your skin from sun damage is extremely important, especially as you’ll probably be spending extra time in it. Soak up those rays but do be sun-smart.
Mini sewing kit
I’m not kidding you I have used my mini sewing kit and I am so glad that I had it! (I had to sew up a large rip in the back of my suitcase which saved me from having to buy a new one). Pack a small kit with a couple of basic needles and threads as well as safety pins and spare buttons. You know that you will need it that one time you don’t pack it!
If I’m travelling for a while I have no problem at all with hand-washing my clothes in the sink, so I always take a small ziplock bag with a scoop of washing powder with me.
It’s a heck of a lot cheaper and more fuss-free just to wash your clothes yourself!
Notebook and pens
I do like to write so I always take a small notebook and pen with me. I like to write down the highlights of each day (I love looking back on these years later!) as well as any ideas of things I’d like to do or places to eat at etc.
This is an essential item for fellow beer drinkers out there! I do enjoy chilling in the hotel room for example on the balcony, having a couple of local store-bought beers in the afternoon sun or before heading out for dinner.
For the wine drinkers – you may want to bring a Swiss army knife with you for those pesky corks (or of course if you are camping/hiking/backpacking it will definitely come in handy for that too).
I always pack a small, lightweight but durable umbrella. I would recommend it if you’re going somewhere in the colder months, definitely if you’re going to the UK, or somewhere with regular afternoon downpours!
Lastly, it’s a great idea to take a packet of good protein bars with you for your day pack. Being active all day long will wake up your appetite, so having a quick and filling snack on hand is useful to curb hunger in-between meals, which can also save you some money!
There we have my ultimate list of travelling essentials to pack. Let me know in the comments if you have any other essentials you can’t go without – I’d love to read them!
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