Let’s talk travel essentials, shall we? I absolutely hate packing and I am not a fan of checking a bag either. Add to that the fact that I’ve been caught in some heavy rainfall during my travels and also managed to go watch a sunrise without my phone being charged. The result? Nowadays, I always pack useful items which don’t take up much space but make my life very easy.
The mighty Ziploc bag is useful in a variety of situations. Yes, you need it when you fly to hold the liquids; you may also find it useful for documents (boarding passes, train tickets, etc) especially when it’s pouring rain outside. I often pack individual clothing items in them (and squeeze them to get the air out and thus save on space, too).
Universal waterproof phone case
Not all of us have a waterproof phone and even if we do chances are we aren’t terribly happy to take a dip with it, right? Here comes the universal waterproof phone case to the rescue. Whether it rains or you just want to stay by the water, it protects your precious object from taking an unwanted damaging dip.
How many times do you charge your phone daily? If I don’t use it to read, take photos, or navigate I only need to charge it once but once I use it, I am not so lucky. That’s why I travel with a power bank that has become my friend quite fast. This particular one (TP-LINK) can fast-charge (which is a blessing) and it’s lightweight.
I admit: carrying a flashlight has always been hubby’s idea and we’ve found it useful. Whether we couldn’t find how to turn on the lights on the hallway leading up to our rental or we had to look for something we dropped, a flashlight (torch for you, Brits) saved the day. Errr…night.
Packable waterproof jacket
Nothing like rain to ruin a perfect day out, right? Not if you sport a packable waterproof jacket. The keyword here is “packable”. You want it to pack into something small that can stay in your day pack until you need it. Ideally, it should dry very quickly, too.
Waterproof hiking boots
I love to hike and to walk a lot, which means I need a good pair of waterproof hiking boots . They also have to be light and easy on my feet. And no matter what brand you buy, the more walking and hiking you do, the more often you’d have to change them (just like running shoes).
Sweat absorbing socks
Do you know how you realize that you should have bought sweat absorbing socks? Let me explain. It was traveling within Transylvania in my trusty waterproof hiking boots and normal socks when the sun decided to heat us up quite badly resulting in sweat. Several hours later (after changing one pair of socks already!) I ended up with beautiful blisters. Guess what I purchased the next day? I learned my lesson so you can learn from me.
Do you know what I also dislike? Being caught in a lovely summer downpour without a rain poncho ! Yes, the waterproof jacket works up to a point but a poncho can easily cover your day pack, too!
Reusable water bottle
A reusable water bottle is a must-carry item no matter when and where you are traveling. In many places, you can use the fountains to fill it up thus cutting plastic waste.
Remember my story about getting blisters on my recent trip in Transylvania? Do you also know what I didn’t pack? Band aids ! And, in all honesty, it was the first time (in recent years) that I’ve left home without them. And yes, had to show up at the drug store to buy some cause those blisters weren’t very forgiving. Band aids can also be used to cover scrapes or tattoos (in case you travel to a country where they are frowned upon).
Do you happen to know what my first purchase before my first flight (as an adult) was? A travel lock for my carry on. Since then I have a mini collection I share with my husband. We always lock the bags even though we choose to stay in rentals or private rooms.