Okay peeps, to kick off our travel tips series, I thought it best to start with the basics. Below is a list of my top 10 things to take on an international trip. While you always want to remember your passport, camera and headphones, these are more essential items to ensure you have a healthy and adaptable trip to wherever you’re going. Happy Travels!
#1 – Hand wipes.
I know I’m not starting off with glamor here but these are definitely a MUST when traveling. While hand sanitizer is also good to have on hand, the wipes are more universal for the various needs while abroad.
True Story: Just pet an elephant in the ruins of Thailand and now it’s time for lunch. Hand wipes save the day.
#2 – Travel wallet.
When traveling, it’s best to get a wallet that has separate compartments to keep your large bills and cards separate from the smaller bills that you’ll likely use at markets and tourist locations. Also, it should have a place to keep coins, as many countries use coins for most day-to-day purchases instead of bills.
#3 – Tissue paper.
Bring a few travel-sized packages. I’ve been to several countries where it’s not customary to use toilet paper…especially when you explore more rural areas. So, in addition to covering a quick sneeze, your tissue paper will definitely come in handy.
#4 – Universal charger.
Since various countries have different power sources, its best to simply get a universal converter vs. one specific to the country you’re visiting. One thing to note is to look at your devices (i.e. hair dryer, cell phone charger, camera charger, etc.) before purchasing a charger. Make sure you get one that has three prongs, if you have a device that needs it, as most chargers only have two prongs.
I learned this the hard way when I couldn’t plug in my hair dryer when living in Paris. My favorite charger is here. It’s colorful and useful for over 150 countries.
#5 – Collapsible, reusable bag.
This is one item I have used on almost every trip I’ve taken. Not only is this the best way to consolidate all your bags while souvenir shopping but it’s a great second carry-on option in case your new purchases won’t fit into your luggage when returning home.
#6 – Protective phone case.
Traveling ensues chaos occasionally so a strong shatterproof, waterproof case for you phone is important. Not only will it help you capture great photos in the rain but it’ll protect your lifeline home (and your social media sites) while on the go.
#7 – Travel steamer.
Honestly, this is one is a must for me. Since I love to travel light (i.e. stuff as much in a carry-on as possible), my travel steamer is necessary for my clothes to look somewhat decent after rolling and smashing them into my suitcase. They are cheap, lightweight and easy to find at your nearest Target or travel store.
#8 – Scarf.
- Cityguide scarf from Madewell
- Polka Dot Print Wool Foulard from Massimo Dutti
- Basic taupe scarf from Zara
A long neutral scarf is a versatile travel necessity. When visiting abroad, you’ll encounter various temperatures as well as different cultural norms. In some places, such as Thailand, you cannot enter a temple unless your legs and shoulders are covered. A good scarf can keep you warm or become a quick sarong — saving you cost of over-priced clothing sold on the street for tourists who are unprepared.
Side note: I also learned this one the hard way when attempting to enter a Chinese temple in shorts and a tank top. No entry allowed without a quick (and pricey) sarong purchase from a little lady conveniently located right across the street.
#9 – First aid kit.
A small travel first aid kit is always handy when traveling to a country who’s primary language is not English. While Advil and Band-Aids are pretty easy to spot by packaging only, items with drowsy and non-drowsy options may not be as easy to translate from another language. It’s always good to bring a few trusty meds with you just in case.
#10 – A Small umbrella.
I have yet to travel to a country without encountering at least one afternoon of inconvenient weather. Having a small umbrella on hand will help deter the rain from ruining your day of site seeing photos…because lets be honest, if your hair is messed up for the photos, the site seeing is just not as fun.
Pick up these items, pack a bag, and go forth to explore the globe.