When it comes to packing our belongings for a getaway, we are so keen to pack many things into our checked luggage, cabin luggage and even our cabin bags and pouches (Ladies I’m looking at you mainly) in order for us to maximise our enjoyment and have the necessities to get through all the days of the excursion. (e.g. portable devices, clothes, shoes, snacks, bathroom accessories etc.).
It’s incredibly tempting, we book the flights and accommodation, the time to jet away (or board a train or ferry if we’re taking another mode of transport) is nigh, the excitement takes over and the next thing we’re packing anything and everything like we’re moving to Uni like a grown-up Andy from Toy Story.
But somehow at times there are items that we’ve had to leave behind when we’re at the airport pre-boarding because of weight restrictions or were considered a hazard, or had to pay for that one checked luggage that’s over the limit should we decide to take them with us.
Some of those items we end up not using during the trip and in hindsight we would say to ourselves that we didn’t need them in the first place.
The first time traveller or the travel veteran can overlook the most important resources and concentrate too much on how we’re going to fit an extra pair or trainers or get our bottle of eau de toilette/fragrance through airport security. Before we accommodate such things, let’s take care of the basics first:
This is so obvious. Frankly it’s the elephant in the room some travel bloggers seemingly look pass when they compile their own essentials list and it’s surprising. I mean how else are you meant to travel abroad if you don’t have a valid passport it is the key to getting through the boarding gates, getting pass security checks. This really needs no further explanation.
Also in addition to your actual passport make sure you photocopy of your passport and leave one photocopy at home and take one with you to have all your bases covered.
2. Debit Card
I’ve put this in here because it can serve as a good alternative to your pre-paid travel card or the cash you’ve got in hand when abroad.
Most importantly if you consider exploring this alternative it’s best you check with your bank whether they have fees for purchases and withdrawals from your debit card. Also, just be wary roughly of the currency exchange when you’re using it to make a purchase or making cash withdrawals from the ATMs, which may or may not charge mind you.
3. Travel Adapter
This has become more crucial than ever as the amount of electronics that we pack away into our luggage is more than ever, and will probably continue to grow in numbers with the way technology has evolved within that period and how hard-wired we are to our smart phones and portable devices.
For the travel newbie or those living under a rock, the last thing you want is for the first exploration around the city or town you’re residing in being for a power adapter, because you didn’t know sockets on the walls and plug extensions are different in other countries. All whilst the battery life of your smartphones is on the drop!
So yeah, something that needs to be avoided at almost all costs. Before travelling always make sure you check that the adapter you’re purchasing is compatible for that particular country.
I’d try and compliment an adapter with a plug extension from home as well; Plug the extension into your adapter and plug the latter into the wall socket and you’re good to go!
Anything that helps to attending to your medical needs should be an unquestioned important resource to lock into your luggage. There’s the chance you get a bit airsick and catch a headache, or you might catch it when you’re going through the pre-boarding procedure (e.g. check-in, security checks luggage packing if needed or gotten a few major bumps and have to endure considerable physical pain, not to mention that long day out sightseeing and constantly being on the move.
Enter: Paracetamol. Just a packet of them would often do. If you’re going abroad then it’s best for health and practical reasons that you buy the paracetamol you’re familiar with from your local pharmacy or supermarket as it’s highly unlikely they’ll be available.
5. Portable Charger
Like with travel adapters, a portable charger wouldn’t be something that would feature on the list if it was compiled 15-20 years ago. Again a portable charger being on the list is a near foregone conclusion.
A portable charger can be considered your 2nd companion to your smartphone, which is the chief companion for one. A reliable one can be purchased for roughly around £10 and the majority, if not all, are enough to slot into a coat pocket with ease (don’t be charging it in the rain though). Most of them are also compatible with both Android and iPhone devices. Normally a power bank with up to a power out of 10000mAh or more is ideal for a powerful smartphone.
It came in real handy for my day trips to Brussels and Paris. Having this essential is very convenient as it removes the need for you to stress yourself finding a public place to plug your main charger and power up the goods.
I have a Kmashi 10000mAh Dual USB power bank that I got from Amazon last summer and I’ve not regretted my decision one bit.
6. Travel Insurance
This is definitely in my personal top 3 list: Travel Insurance.
There have been countless stories about luggage going missing when travellers have gone to the baggage claim area and haven’t see any trace of your personal bags circling on the conveyor belt, they’ve left their luggage on the train cos they were deep in conversation with their friends (I know one girl that it happened to and she was in tears – her passport was in that very luggage she left behind too!) or they’ve been pickpocketed in Europe (highly unlikely if you exercise extreme caution but possible), or they’ve sustained a serious injury from an accident that’s confined them to the national hospital.
What I like about most is that the travel insurance can simply be downloaded onto your phone rather than be carried as a piece of paper around you in your pockets. Plus it’s insanely cheap as you can find a very good deal for only £5. Yes. You have 20/20 vision. You’re reading correctly. A fiver. CompareTheMarket.com has been my go to website if I want to compare packages with one another.
7. Other Proof Of ID
A passport is too valuable to be carried around everywhere you go. Having another form of ID (e.g. driving license, citizenship card etc.) can come in handy when it comes to security and identity checks for entrances to museums and other tourist sites, or renting a car to use for your days of sightseeing and getting around in a certain area you’re exploring.
Final Word – What’s your travel essentials?
Okay now we have packed the essentials – we can pack whatever we want now (still pack efficiently though lol). It’s funny how a small booklet and mini cards can shape how our holidays pan out.
As always, if there’s any other essentials that you think I’ve missed out list them in the comments section below and share your thoughts on what’s been discussed.
Till the next time, see you soon wanderlusters 🙂
Johnny | The Travel Connoisseur 😉