Packing your suitcase always requires some thinking ahead. What will the weather be like at your destination? Will it be raining or even snowing or will the sun shine pretty much all day? What will you be doing there? Will you just relax at the beach or are you planning to be more active and go hiking, biking, snorkling…? How long will you be there for? Is it a holiday or a professional journey?
This list is never ending. However, there are some items I find in my luggage every single time that I leave for new adventures (ok, granted, not for my weekly one-day travel from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but I do not reallly consider that travelling anyway), and I use them just as often.
Since this habit evolved from several years of frequent travelling, I wanted to share them with you in case you are struggling to decide what to take, limiting your luggage to the airline’s regulations or just want to get some inspiration what to take additionally next time.
I will limit myself to the more general ones which are useful for prettty much everybody. Naturally, I always take my glasses as well as a spare pair of contact lenses with me because I am short sighted, but obviously, many of you guys are fortunate enough to not need to care about this 🙂
Here are my top 10 things I never leave behind when travelling. Please also note that I usually carry them in my hand luggage, just to be sure that I always have them on hand. This leads me to another tip for smooth travelling: Whenever it is possible for you to limit yourself to only handluggage, do it! It saves you a lot of time and sweat:)
1. Ear plugs and sleeping mask
I often have difficulties to fall alspeep, and these items saved me many times, whether it was because a baby was crying in the airplane, the light was constantly switched on in a hostel, or the street outside the hotel was incredibly busy at all times. They don’t take up a lot of space, and are often provided for free by the airline on long-distance flights. So yoou don’t even necessarily have to invest money, just do not throw them away after your flight. And even if you don’t get them for free because you don’t fly long distance or go by car or train, they are pretty cheap to buy, so really make sure to get them!
2. Microfiber towel
This item is a little pricier, but reallly worth the investment! It doesn’t take up a lot of space, doesn’t weigh much and dries rapidly. Even if you are staying in a luxury hotel, this may prove to come in handy when you are on the go exploring the city, and the public toilet doesn’t have paper towels, or because you want to dry your feet after spontaneoulsy strolling along the beach- there will always be a reason. And if not, it didn’t take up a lot of space, so the level of regret will be quite low anyway 🙂
No matter where you go, they are so useful! You never know exactly what will happen, and trainers just are the most comfortable and allrounder shoes of all. Also, having a spare pair of shoes is allways a good idea, in case your other shoes get wet or you get blistes and need to have a change for your poor feet. Even if you do something like skiing where you’d suppose (in the middle of ice and snow with heave ski boots) you will never need them, there are occasions to use them: I like to wear them when going for breakfast or dinner, simply because they are so comfy and look (a LOT) better than Flip Flops 🙂 Finally, they are usually also quite light, which makes them easy to carry.
4. Flip Flops
This immediately brings me to the next item. These shoes come in handy as well, even if you are not going to a tropical island or the Sahara. I personally do not like to wallk bare foot in bathrooms of hostels or public swimming pools, simpply because htey are frequented by so many people that it just doesn’t seem realistic to me that they are perfectly free from germs, even if they look clean. Also, you never know how your accomodation will be so I like knowing that I do not need to touch any floor with my bare feet if I do not want to.
5. Foldable backpack
This is useful even if you are not travelling guys! These backpacks are so cheap- I got mine for around 3 dollars from Decathlon, they are tiny when folded and they don’t weigh anything. Plus, they are eco friendly: I use mine when going shopping to carry home my groceries or any other purchaeses I made, simply because it allows me to avoid plastic bags and because it’s just easier to carry things on the back and having my hands free for something else. Also, the hand luggage we tend to take when travelling tends to be quite a big backkpack- maybe not that suitable for little strolls around the neighbourhood. This one offers a nice alternative. Plus, it’s rain proof, which was very useful back in Singapore and Costa Rica. Finally, the little weight comes in handy also during the exploring of the new surroundings, simpply because the backpack itsellf doesn’t add onto your purchaeses’ weight, thereby allowing you to buy more 🙂
6. Light scarf
This may not be very obvious, but it is a MUST take! The usefulness already starts on the journey: Most mediums of transport have an aircon which is usually (in my experience) creating a rather chilly climate. This caused me to step out the plane/ train/ bus with a cold so so many times! And ever since I take a light scarf with me, this has not occured a single time, honestly. And don’t worry if it doesn’t fit into your hand luggage: Simply wrap it around your neck:
These are maybe not that obvious either, but they have never failed to be useful! Even if you go to rainy England (sorry guys:D ), chances are high that the sun will shine eventually. And it woould be a shame if you’d miss a nice view of a cute detail just because yoou had to squeeze your eyes because the sun was too bright, right?
Okay, this is the only one where there actually is an exception: I don’t take it when I go skiing or anywhere where I know it is going too be below 0°C. Besides that, it is always I good idea to have a small one with you. I used to take a waterprooof jacket instead, but I find that this is more useful since it protects a bigger part of your body and also the backpack/ handbag you are potentially carriyng.
9. Children’s pocket knife
This knife is a bit of a difficult case. Whenever possible, I try to put it into the suitcase I check in,, justt to be safe. However, since it has rounded top and hence is not considered dangerous, I usually also get away with having it in my hand luggage- usually. But to avoid any discussions or even having to dispose it, just put it into your suitcase if you have one. The usefulness is just enormous, since there is a pair of scissors and many other handy tools included as well 🙂
10. Spare underwear and swimming gear
The spare underwear should be quite clear, right (also, I am fully aware that they are not displayed on the picture- TMI)? With regards to the swimming gear: Firstly, it can int he worst case scenario be used as underwear as well. Secondly, you never know what will happen! You might end up in a hotell that has a pool or a sauna (I personally don’t like going in there naked) you didn’t know about, you might want to go into the ocean on a spontaneous trip to the coast. I admit that you will not always need this one, but it’s usually tiny anyway, and better safe than sorry 🙂
11. Power bank
This is so useful, especially when you are going for an adventure where you will be on the go for most of the time withoout access to a plug. Also, it saves you from having to buy several adapters since you can charge your electric devices using this one as well:) So one adapter is usually sufficient for me.
I hope I could provde some useful content for you! 🙂
Also, another life hack: To orgamnize my stuff, I put them into plastic bags when I only have a backpack. This way, I always know where to find certain things (eg. t-shirts in the Nike- bag, jeans in the Zara-bag…) and if I happen to have dirty/ wet items, I always have something at hand where I can put them into.
That’s it for today! Let me know if there is anything I am missing out on 🙂