Top 10 Things I Won’t Travel Without

This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are certainly the main ones, besides the obvious, that I make sure are in my pack.

1.  Swiss Army Knife with a Corkscrew –  Without a corkscrew, these aren’t nearly as useful as you’d hope.  Still worth carrying, especially if you don’t like wine, but wine is what mine gets used for 90% of the time.  I now pack two small, flexible, stemless wine glasses with me too (stuff clean socks inside to keep ’em from getting too squished).  There is something so primitive about drinking wine out of paper cups, or worse yet, the bottle.  Swiss knives are small, light, inexpensive and pack a punch.  Just remember to put it in your checked baggage.  I’ve had to give away a few in airports before going through security – hurts every time.

Andrew Christie 2012

2.  Noise Cancelling Headphones – Mine are Sony and, honestly, you’d be amazed that even a slight difference in ambient sound on a long flight, train ride or road-trip can make  a major improvement in quality of travel.  Turned on, but not playing, they help with sleeping, too!

3.  Canon 60D DSLR Camera – Any camera will do, but missing out on photos, especially when traveling can be a major disappointment.  Maybe not at first, but years from now, you’ll regret not making sure you had even just a basic point and shoot to help capture your memories.  I always keep a small point and shoot as back up or for going out at night.  If you travel with a laptop, try to remember to back up your files regularly, but don’t erase your memory cards until you get home!

4.  Pocket-Sized Notebooks – The number of times I’ve jotted down numbers, addresses, directions, notes or reminders is staggering.  When you’re out on a day-trip, there often isn’t anywhere (besides smartphones – I prefer paper) easily accessible to store this information.

5.  Pepto Bismol Tablets – These little beauties can cure, as the commercial suggests, almost any travel ailment you WILL run into.  Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!  Always get the chewables, you can take them through airport security…

6. iPhone 4s – Even when traveling outside of North America I make sure I pack my iPhone.  Not only does it have the musical soundtrack to my life, but also some great apps to help make your travels easier.  As long as you have WiFi you can book hostels, transfer money, pay bills, update blogs, use travel guides and maps for major cities (offline as well), do currency exchange calculations, search and book flights and so much more.  I have mine enclosed in a Lifeproof case that really IS waterproof.  However, I do not suggest you take my word for it and will not be responsible for your results…

7.  Security Waist or Neck Pouch – Whether you wear it around your neck or get a leg or waist belt, these are a good idea.  Many cities you’ll never have to worry about being pick pocketed but remember that tourists are usually easy to spot and are always a bigger target.  I always try and keep my ID and a payment card in two separate places (driver’s license and bank card in your wallet/passport and credit card(s) and cash in your neck or waist pouch), in case I lose one or anything gets taken.  After nearly losing my credit cards, drivers license and 2500 Malaysian Ringgit while crossing into Singapore, I always wear one.  Not the manliest piece of gear, but better safe than sorry.

Andrew Christie 2012

8.  Travel Adapter – If you’re traveling this is sort of a no-brainer.  If you’re doing long term travel of any kind, make sure you bring the whole kit.  If you’re traveling long term your plans will change and you may end up in places you didn’t plan on.  You’ll need one anyway and you don’t want to have to track one down and probably pay more…

9.  MEC Mochilero Shorts and/or Pants –  These things are awesome!  I can’t stress enough how fantastic these shorts are.  The two back pockets zip closed for security and fit a passport or wallet beautifully.  The side pockets are large enough to fit an entire train pass and the cargo pocket on the side is barely noticeable, but there if you need it.  Lightweight, stylish and cheap!  My favourite shorts.  Ever.

10.  13″ MacBook Pro – Although a MacBook isn’t necessary, it’s nice to have a laptop of some sort.  For researching your next destination, making reservations or booking flights, keeping in touch with friends and family – a computer on the road is indespensible.  After switching from my Blackberry to the iPhone last year it wasn’t long before I realized I had to switch to Mac.  Costs a little more (about double), but I would never go back to PC now.  Get a neoprene sleeve and you don’t have to take it right out at the airport…

BONUS – Sunscreen!  Sunscreen!  Sunscreen!  This stuff is so important, and depending where you are in the world, you could pay a fortune for even a small tube (tourist hotspots).  Always try and carry it with you. I forget to put it on constantly and it’s not long before I end up looking for some.  With “hair” as short as mine, and a head as large, my scalp is a UV magnet and burns fast.  Nothing will ruin a few days somewhere awesome quicker than a fried scalp.

Andrew Christie 2012

BONUS BONUS!  Travel Towel – This little gem is something I wish I’d been told about, or figured out sooner.  You can pick one up at any camping supply or travel supply shop.  Many hostels will offer them for purchase as well.  The fact is, most hostels won’t provide you with a towel and if you’re one of the unlucky who packed a full sized terrycloth deal, you’re in trouble.  Your towel will NEVER dry.  A travel towel is about a quarter of the size and will pack better.  It’s basically a sham-wow, but for you and will dry in as little as an hour or two.  Well worth the price.  Just make sure you don’t forget it on a bunk-bed, towel rack or on a hook…

This entry was posted in Food, Photography, Photography Tips, Tips, Top 10, Travel, Travel Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Top 10 Things I Won’t Travel Without

  1. Great list! Mine is slightly different and have been meaning to do a post on this sort of thing for a while now. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. My list is also slightly different, but then I think that’s pretty sensible – we all value different things. But I definitely agree with you about the towel – I never hostel but wouldn’t be without one as a picnic rug, blanket for the train or other draughts, or just an extra towel if the hotel ones are a bit skimpy.

    Great list, thanks for posting!

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