6 Things I Cannot Travel Without

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Photo by Marisa Buhr on Unsplash

For me one of the hardest parts of travelling is packing my bag before the trip!  As a habitual procrastinator, I often leave packing til the last minute and end up throwing random things in my suitcase that there is no way I'll ever actually need.  

I can clearly remember sitting in my dorm room at 3am one morning trying to pack my bags for my flight from London to Sydney, knowing that my bus to the airport was leaving in about 30 minutes.  The stress and panic turned me into a crazy person, flinging random things from around my room into my suitcase without really thinking about what I was doing.  When I finally arrived in Aus and settled into my room, I opened my bags to find that I has packed a spatula and a frying pan in my haste... handy right...


I've tried writing lists for myself but I always end up missing things or changing my mind, but there are a few things I cannot travel without and so far (touch wood) I haven't had to try!

1.  My phone
Yeah, yeah, I know.  I don't take my phone because I can't disconnect from the world, I take it because my phone is my memory making machine (aka camera) and is highly important in safe travelling.  

Every traveler knows that on the road you see some amazing things that you either need to capture for your own reminiscence or share with your friends and family.  I used to travel with a camera but I find that my phone is far more easy to pack and takes up a lot less space.  With modern technology most phones can take excellent photos which are on par with what a smaller camera can produce.  I currently have a Samsung S8 which takes (arguably) the best photos for a smartphone.

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash

My other reason for never travelling without my phone is for safety.  Depending on where I go and for how long, I will often purchase a sim card in my destination country to ensure that no matter where I am I can always contact someone in an emergency.  It also means my friends and family can keep in touch and know I'm safe.  There have been a few times overseas where I've been lost and my phone has got me out of a sticky situation.  On the flip side I've had friends who have been overseas during severe weather events, and being able to contact them and make sure they are fine was a godsend.

2. Thongs
Woah hold up there!  I'm talking about Aussie thongs aka flip flops (I know what you were thinking)!  My trusty thongs go wherever I go as they are versatile and comfy in just about any situation.  Whether their for slipping on to walk around the plane, taking a short walk down to the beach or navigating my way around a dodgy hostel bathroom, my thongs have been through it all with me and will continue to be a necessity on every trip.

Photo by Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash

3. A guidebook or two
There's nothing better than exploring the unknown, but I can tell you from experience that having some idea of what you're doing and where you're going is ever better!  From Australia, most trips overseas take a fair while so having a guidebook to read on the plane helps build the excitement and anticipation and gives me a real sense of where I'm off to.  I also find them really handy to have with me on my trip as sometimes the places you intended to visit or things you wanted to do either won't be available and a guidebook can give you a quick alternative to keep you on your way!

Personnally I never travel without my Lonely Planet guide for my destination.  While there are plenty of other guidebooks out there, I find Lonely Planet to be one of the best, providing real reviews and extra information you don't find in your travel agents brochure.  They also suggest a lot of off-the-beaten-track locations and activities which can take you away from the touristy hot spots and allow you to experience the real flavour of the country you're in.

4. Hand sanitiser
Whilst I love to explore the outdoors and don't mind ending up covered in sweat and dirt, knowing that at the end of the day I can scrub up a little is a winner in my book.  In particular, in less developed countries things like soap and other common hygiene products are not be readily available.  On that point, neither is basic healthcare.  Having come down with food poisoning and other illnesses overseas, avoiding this as much as possible is a priority as they seriously ruin your trip.  Having a little bottle of hand sanitiser in my backpack leaves me feeling fresh no matter what I'm up to and hopefully decreases my chances of getting sick.


5. Hair and skin products
Here's the girly girl in me coming out!  I love my hair and spend a lot of money keeping is nice and healthy here at home.  The last thing I want to do when surfing waves in Thailand or lounging on a beach in Miami is worry that all my hard work is being destroyed (my hairdresser dies every time I tell her I'm going overseas again).  I always take a good quality hair treatment with me, particularly if I'm going near beaches, to make sure my hair is nourished and kept happy.  I also travel with leave in conditioner and dry shampoo for the times when showers are not available.  These all come in little bottles and aren't designed for daily use, but I like to have them on hand so I can look and feel my best!

I also make sure I take some form of moisturising lotion with me, usually one that has a sunscreen component to it.  For some people it may not be a priority, but I like to keep my skin healthy and am a stickler for sunscreen being so pale (I'm a weird Aussie).  I usually find I end up sharing this with other ladies I meet along the way, so I tend to pack a little more than necessary so I can help a gal out when in need ;)

6. A smile!
Doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing, you won't find me without a smile on my face!  Travelling is about exploring the world and yourself and should never feel like a chore or be unenjoyable.  Granted, from time to time things go wrong and the thrill of the adventure may not seem worth it, but as long as you get up every day positive and ready to go, there's no stopping the good vibes that will come you're way!

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