I’m a travel blog lover. I have countless sites bookmarked and always follow my favourite travel bloggers on every social media site. Almost every blog features a post dedicated to their travel must haves and essentials when moving around. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve just returned from 11 days away and feel like I did pretty badly with my packing and resulted in lugging so much stuff back to Paris but felt like I didn’t have enough of what I actually needed. I guess I can blame the weather on this occasion because reports kept changing and I was totally unsure of what to pack. But, for my next getaway I’d like to be a bit more prepared without bringing everything. Maybe I’ll start to take my own advice…?
Here are some of my travel must haves;
Mine was from Bags Etc (where I used to work holla) and I’m sure wasn’t much more than £5. It’s real leather and has pocket for cards or documents. I honestly don’t know how I survived without a passport cover, it’s nearly as important as my actual passport. The first reason is because of the extra weight/size it adds to your passport. You’re more likely to notice (and find) it in your bag and therefore hopefully can find it quickly in the boring queue’s or when officials check it on the coach. It also keeps your passport a tiny bit safer from liquids or food spilling in your bag. You can keep vaccination certificates or credits cards together with your passport so saves you from carrying another purse.
Clear plastic bags
Oh how easy was going through airport security before the introduction of these sandwich bags!!!? So they make traveling a bit laborious when you have to remember to separate your liquids but they’re very necessary and can even be helpful in other situations. Obviously take a few to the airport to avoid paying £1 for new ones (what a joke.) and keep a few spare in your bag. You can keep your toothbrush in one to avoid it getting gross in your bag, put your wet bikini in one if you have to rush off before letting them dry, dirty underwear, dirty shoes (if you have tiny feet…), separate chargers, protect delicate souvenirs, put actual sandwiches in them, keep valuables dry and sand free at the beach. Loads of possibilities for the simple sandwich bag.
Pen and notepad
I mainly use this old skl method to remember important travel details like addresses, phone numbers, plane and train times but sometimes I whack out my pen and paper to write a funny quote I’ve heard or a cool cafe I’ve visited that I want to remember for the next time. And of course, doodles on your journey. Having a smartphone pretty much replaces the need for these but you never know if you’ll lose your phone or have it stolen. Lastly, it’s essential you leave a nice thank you note if you’re Couchsurfing or leaving friends.
Sometimes you don’t know who you’ll meet on a long bus journey. Maybe you want to watch a movie on your laptop together or play them an album you’ve been loving. A headphone splitter makes it’s all possible. Super cheap and small life saver.
Maybe this only applies to girls (and the growing population of guys with man buns), but I always seem to run out of hair bands. Recently I’ve bought a big pack of cheap ones from Primark and now use them to secure my clothes after I’ve rolled them into a small tube like shape when I’m packing.
You can get a cheap pashmina from most market stalls and they seem to come in pretty handy when travelling. I never have the patience to blow up a travel pillow so I just roll up a pashmina as a replacement. If you’re lucky enough to visit a beach while away and don’t have space for a beach towel then use your big scarf to lie on. They’re also perfect for if you stumble across a cathedral or other religious building that requires your shoulders to be covered.
I think I might be addicted to these; they’re just glucose sweets that give you an extra boost of energy. I also love Berocca tablets, the ones that dissolve in water to make a luminous energy drink. Great for if you don’t have room for cans of energy drinks or bars and don’t have access to food for a short period of time.
This is more of a personal ‘must have’ because I love making friendship bracelets and doing hair braids. It’s a good ice breaker to meet new people on a long journey, ‘hey do you want a hair braid?’. Maybe not for everyone but threads are light and don’t take up much space.
They have loads of uses (especially at festivals!) and slide past the annoying ‘I can’t take my liquid make up remover in my carry on luggage’ issue.
Most of us have a pretty decent camera on our phones or tablets but if you have a DSLR or digital camera don’t forget to pack it! Decent quality photographs can help you remember a trip forever. Snap away (not too much, take it all in first) and print your favourite photos out when you get home. Don’t let your memories only exist on your Facebook page.
I love a good road trip. I haven’t ventured too far when driving but there’s something so exciting about driving in another country, I’d say the essentials for the car are a decent GPS, spare change for car parks and tolls and a road-worthy playlist with your favourite sing alongs for the long journey. The dream for many is a road-trip across america; RelayRides is great airport car rental service for anyone travelling in the states.
Check out my road trip playlist here
There are countless more travel essentials, many that I’m yet to own, but these were just a few of my favourites. Remember, as long as you have your passport and access to money you’ll be just fine wherever you are. People spend too long worrying about forgetting certain items but the most important item to pack is an open mind and sense of adventure! (I’m so cheesy)