I can safely say 2016 was a year marked by many things for me, including gaining experience while travelling. As I reflect back (while continuing to dream of the places 2017 may take me), I thought a great way to keep up travel blogging while home, is to craft a guide on my travel essentials. Check out my list below of what’s in my bag when I’m on the move! Let me know in the comments where you guys are thinking of heading in the New Year!
Travel Essentials: 8 Things You Need In Your Bag
iPod + Earphones
Not a week goes by where I don’t still get questions about using a 5th generation iPod Nano! While old school, I still find it the easiest way to listen to my music. And of course, earphones are must for drowning out plane noise or moving along the down time. My favorite music to listen to on trips include Halsey, tropical house, Passion Pit, and of course…The Maine.
I tend to keep the beauty products to a minimum when traveling, but lip balm is one of the things I always carry. I’m less than a fan of dry lips so I always tuck an EOS lip balm or Blistex into my bag for good measure.
I can safely say that my phone is always in my bag and it’s pretty obvious why. Besides keeping in touch with people and using social media, technology definitely has shaped how we travel. Nowadays, you can retrieve your boarding pass, check arrival times, or plan your trip right from your phone. Out are the days of calling hotels for reservations, and in are the days of doing it from the click of a button. For example, on Tripping.com you can find and save on vacation rentals in places such as sunny Florida, while on StudentUniverse, students can find discounted flight deals domestic and internationally!
Tip: When traveling out of the country or to a place where wifi might be spotty, screenshot important logistics like your hotel address, plane confirmation etc. This way you can access the information in your photos offline in a pinch when there’s no internet.
A good book
Unfortunately, I can’t read when moving …hello motion sickness! However, when I’m waiting around at a station, I consider it one of my travel essentials to have a paperback book with me for some light reading. I’m a big history nerd fan but of course any book works. It’s a nice break away from technology and makes the waiting time fly by.
When traveling internationally, your passport should top your travel essentials list. I picked up one of these cases before my study abroad and found it incredibly useful. It protects your passport from getting damaged or torn in your bag, and keeps it more inconspicuous. I like this one because I can tuck my passport away and on the other side store my ID and debit card. Check out places like Target, Vera Bradley, and Etsy for cute ones!
Tip: Scan a copy or two of your main passport page and keep it hidden separate from your actual document. In the event your passport is stolen, having a back up copy can be incredibly helpful.
If there’s one thing travel is not..is sanitary. Occasional sickness is inevitable but we can unanimously agree it’s 10x worse on a trip. When traveling, germs are pretty much everywhere you go – from airplane cabins to hand railings to public restrooms. Personally, I always a pocket size hand sanitizer to use after touching too many communal things.
Since I am only a little near-sighted, I don’t always wear glasses but I make sure I carry them with me when on the go. Whether it’s reading the board for arrival times or taking in the view from a castle, 20/20 vision is the goal. Glasses and/or contacts are a small thing but can have a big impact if you forget them!
One thing I never gave a second thought to before going abroad was differences in outlets. Different countries and/or continents have different standard outlet sizes and voltage levels. I picked up this universal travel adapter at Best Buy which works around the world. I plug my cord into the front, then slide the correct adapter size out and plug that end into the wall. Simple. Some of your electronics may require voltage converters but it depends on the item.
Tip: Don’t worry about Apple products needing voltage converters in Europe. You will need an outlet adapter but that’s it.