A lot of you might be wondering what gear we bring on our journey’s. Well, that depends on the type of journey. Rain and I like to make sure we are perfectly prepared whilst not over packing as well.
Even though there are many different types of destinations, you will always require a select list of items.
- Day Pack
- Water Bottle
- Camera (or phone)
- Bathing Suit
- Travel Pillow
- Chargers and Adapters
This might seem pretty self explanatory, but you would be surprised how many people will be short in outfits, or have way too many. You should plan to just have one outfit for each day. On top of that you should have an outfit set aside for backup. In case of weather change, or something happens to one outfit. Sleeping wear is another outfit, most people can get by with one or two sleeping outfits, anymore and you are probably packing too much. Lastly, socks and underwear…it is important to pack what you need and not any less. You really don’t want to wear the same socks and underwear that you’ve been in the day before, especially if you are exploring in hot weather.
Be prepared to bring more than one pair of shoes. You should always have a good set of shoes that are well fitted. Blisters are not usually welcomed for those on vacation. When you are packing your shoes, you should remember that you might want to wear something else for some occasions. Sneakers are for walking around and exploring the tourist attractions. They provide the long duration comfort and support to keep you going all day. While sandals or flip flops might not be so forgiving for long excursions throughout the day. However, having sandals are more efficient when visiting the beach or sandy locations. My advice would be to bring both a good pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals. This small change can allow your feet to feel more relaxed and become less likely to ache after a long day of walking.
A day pack is a great addition to bring on a vacation or traveling somewhere. Rather than using a large purse, or trying to fill all your pockets you can keep them all together in a small bag. Now, you would probably be worried that this makes you more likely to be a victim of thievery, or stand out as a tourist and become a target. I’m not going to say that you would be wrong, but I can say that is it easier to manage one bag than worrying about all of your pockets or having multiple bags after some shopping. Day packs are great in the design too, many of them only have a single pouch with a zipper leaving you to only worry about that. Even better, a small purchase at your local hardware store can provide you with a padlock (key or combination) to keep your valuables even more safe. Sometimes extra layers of security are worth it, especially traveling on public transportation where you may be standing next to someone for long periods of time without facing them.
A quick search online can bring you to a strong selection of quality day packs. When searching for a day pack, price doesn’t always mean quality. You want something that will fit you comfortably and be big enough to carry your belongings.
Most places in the world, not all, you will have the ability to purchase a water bottle. Water is a critical accessory to traveling, you are more likely to be more active than usual by means of walking. While you exert more energy, you will be depleting yourself of water and staying hydrated is a priority when you’re away from home. Having a reusable water bottle allows you to fill it up prior to leaving for the day, and maybe again if a fountain provides access to water. Not too mention this keeps you from spending those extra few dollars a day on drinks. Drinking water more frequently through the day will also keep you from being dehydrated and ultimately craving a sugary drink. This is something that also does not have to be fancy at all. Just pick a color and style from the literal millions of options and be on your way. Also, remember that you can’t have liquids brought on planes prior to security screenings, however you are able to still bring an empty bottle. So make sure it’s in your luggage!
Cameras or Cellphones
Nothing is more disappointing than having a wonderful experience and wanting to capture it, only realizing that you don’t own a camera, or have your phone with you. Prior to leaving, research the destination and the sights you want to see. After traveling through many countries myself, I can say most phones definitely do the trick and provide quality photos and videos if done correctly. If you do not have a camera, your phone will do just fine. Helpful tip, take off your case before taking a photo, sometimes your case will cause slight blemishes on your photos. Some cases do not exhibit this fault though, but take a few photos indoors and outdoors to check whether or not this is going to be a situation for you. For those that own cameras, make sure they make the list in your packing gear. As many know that some pictures can not get the justice they deserve with a phone. Make sure all memory cards, chargers, and extra batteries are included too! It would be a disaster to forget a critical part that stops you (temporarily) from capturing your exciting moments.
This applies to everyone. Simply, if you think you need it, you need it. Most hotels have swimming pools and some hostels do too. Having a bathing suit ready can give you something to do late after dinner or after a long day. If the weather doesn’t seem like a bathing suit is worth it, bring it anyway. Bathing suits take up only a small space in your luggage. My trip to Iceland had many different forecast changes throughout a single day, but it didn’t stop us from taking a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Being prepared with a swim suit is better than being unprepared and missing out or purchasing a new one.
Everyone needs to bring these on their travels. We all think that we couldn’t possibly forget them, or assuming that they are always with us. Well, that is pretty far from the truth. Truth is, that because of thoughts like that, it makes us less likely to remember them in the first place. A few months ago, my girlfriend Rain and I backpacked through Europe making our way through seven countries in a short period of time. We had 3 flights total, but roughly 45 hours on trains. Some of those trains were through areas that pictures were not necessary, or in some cases even possible due to quick moving objects in the foreground. Remember your headphones!
Journals or Notebooks
These are great ways to track you memories during your travels. Writing down your adventures can be something that a future version of yourself can look back on and be reminded of great times. They also can keep you from forgetting important information during your travels. Hotel, or other sleeping accommodations may have certain check-in times or maybe you need to write down phone numbers and names of people. The possibilities are endless in why you could need a notebook or journal. This is just another small accessory that won’t take up too much space.
These are those special items that get forgotten most of the time. Generally, we remember to bring deodorant, a toothbrush, and maybe some shampoo too. Mostly due to the strict policy airports have, bringing these items prove to be more difficult than one intends on dealing with. Some people would rather just accept having to buy some more when they are away. Others get to the security only to witness the guards chuck it in the trash and say “sorry, you can’t bring this”. Well now to the magical power of Amazon, you have the power to search for just what you need at your finger tips, literally. A common forgotten item is actually toothpaste. We think toothbrush and forget their minty partner. Another common forgotten item is conditioner. Now some guys get away with the one product that takes care of everything, while girls may need more specified products. Having to find a suitable product that meets your expectations and the airport’s requirements can be challenging. A short list of things you should consider in toiletries would be:
- Face Wash
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Nail Clippers
- Cough Drops
- Dry Shampoo
- Hair styling products
Trust me, they are worth buying. Having a place to rest your head that is both supportive for your neck and comfortable is great to have for any type of traveling. They can help prevent soreness in your neck after long car rides or flights, or even trains too. When looking for a travel pillow it is important to review a tiny detail that most people overlook when purchasing one. The size. You want it to do its job correctly, otherwise the investment wouldn’t have been worth it. Make sure you have the ability to adjust it, most come with usually just a snap button to keep it from falling off. While having a snap button on to make sure it doesn’t fall off, you also want to make sure that there is a way for you to adjust it too. It will usually be a pull string. While style is good for these as well, function and comfort should outweigh the decision on purchasing one.
Another easily forgotten accessory when traveling is sunglasses. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be sunlight. Sunglasses don’t just make you look good either, they keep your eyes protected. Dust and debris could get in your eyes at anytime too. But let’s face it, style is about 95% of the reason to get sunglasses. Everyone likes some good looking shades that compliment them. Keeping them close to other important items is a good way to remember them (keys, wallet, and phone are good things to pair with them).
Chargers and Adapters
It would be terrible to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles away realizing you forgot you phone charger, camera charger, or any other important charger. Or you could have remembered all those, and when the time comes to charge up for the next day you realize that you are in need of an adapter. If you’re from the U.S. then you will have to remember an adapter for leaving the country. North American countries are relatively the same, Mexico has some areas that might have a different outlet design, but they still run off of the 110-120 V and 60 Hz. Other countries, like Europe, use different voltage and hertz (120 V and 50 Hz). This means if the current charger you’re using does not say it is compatible with this change, you risk damaging your device! Check before you purchase an adapter, to make sure you don’t need a converter instead!