Across the internet and on every travel blog worth its weight, there are lists upon lists of essential travel items. They range from being very country/region specific to being more general and generic. One list that you can find here, inspired the one below. It is one that I think will fit any destination or excursion.
Yes, you read that correctly. Duct tape. It sounds like a silly thing to pack when you are going on vacation, but it really can be very useful. Not only can it save your life in an emergency situation ( by adding another layer to your clothing in sub zero temperatures), you can also fix holes in luggage while in transit, secure food or hygiene bottles to stop them from spilling and for security, you can even place it over the zippers on your bags so that thieves have another barrier to get through. Last tip: if you are out clubbing or partying, you can use it as a lint remover. Super sticky.
It seems like it should be a given, but the importance of having the proper clothing for a trip is essential. This is obvious if you are headed to say, Alaska or the Arctic Circle. It is just as essential if you are headed to the Caribbean or the Sahara or some other tropical or high temperature location. You will not need a Parka in Africa.
That being said, it is important to remember that the proper clothing can not only keep you comfortable but can save your life. We all know that airports and planes can often be cold. But camping and backpacking in certain temperatures can be cold too, to the point of freezing. You will want to be warm when necessary.
The most annoying thing that can happen during a trip is for a bag to rip or the wheel of a suitcase to break. Having really sturdy luggage can save you from some of this aggravation. Quality luggage is definitely an investment and honestly, may not be found cheaply but depending on the type of trip you are taking, it is a necessity. The last thing you want is for your suitcase to fall apart in the middle of an airport.
A specific type of trip where luggage plays a large part is a backpacking or hiking trip. The backpack that you choose for these types of trips will either afford you a very pleasurable trip or a very uncomfortable one. When you are backpacking, you will carry everything that you have with you on your back. Learning to pack only what is essential as well as purchasing a quality, well made backpack will allow you to have the best possible experience.
Medications, toiletries and first aid
Depending on where you are going and for how long, you will want to make sure that you can take care of yourself in the best possible way. You should always take all necessary medications with you on long trips and depending on the nature of the medication, keep them with you at all times if you are in a foreign country or cannot easily get them refilled. Because of this, it is also a good idea to keep copies of prescriptions.
Taking care of yourself on trips also means being able to do so on the road. Investing in a well made toiletry bag is a good idea, preferably one that hangs. This will help when you are in hostel or hotel showers as well as airport or gas station bathrooms. The bag can hold your toothbrush, toothpaste and other shower care stuff.
First aid is also something that you want to make sure that you can address while on the road. Again, depending on where you are, you may be far away from a hospital or the type of care you are used to. Keeping things with you like bandages and gauze, motion sickness pills and aspirin can come in handy. If you are away from clean water sources, you may also want to have iodine pills or a water filtration kit.
Lastly, one of the most important things that you should be aware of and keep handy at all times while traveling is your identification. When you are traveling abroad, you will want to do everything humanly possible to protect your passport and ID. Not only should you keep them in a protective holder ( so the elements can’t get to them), you should keep copies of them and make sure that they are held in separate places. Leave one at your hotel or other housing and keep the other with you.
These are only a few of the essential things that should be secured on every trip. There are many more and at some point, we will cover them. In the meantime, if you are planning a trip, keep these things in mind.