About to head off on a travel adventure? Here are some items to consider bringing along! Complete with pictures and embedded links.
A toiletries/cosmetics bag with a hook for the inevitable lack of counter space. I prefer one that packs flat.
A purse that can handle any weather (for this and all items on this list – beware of bringing leather if you are going to be in a damp climate for an extended period of time! It will mold!). Look for one with a wide strap that won’t hurt your shoulder after a full day of wearing it across your body and that will also be difficult for pickpockets to slice through.
Packing cubes or compression sacks for consolidating your clothes in your backpack/luggage. Also, be sure you are bringing just enough clothing for about 5 to 7 days – no matter the length of your trip, you will be cleaning your clothes and re-wearing them. If you are unsure you will need something, don’t bring it. This will save you a lot of packing room.
A combination lock and/or a lock with a cable if you are going to be storing your items in places such as hostels. You may need to store items in a locker and provide your own lock. If you don’t have a locker, you may want to lock the zippers together and also lock your bag to something sturdy.
A day pack that rolls up small to take up almost no space in your main bag.
A microfiber towel that also takes up very little room and drys quickly. If it has a loop attached, you can clip it to the outside of your bag to dry if you have to travel with a wet towel.
Carabiners to attach everything to everything.
A small umbrella, especially if you are in a place like the jungle that may be too hot to always have a rain jacket with you but involve frequent unpredictable showers. Use a carabiner to attach it to your daypack or purse and always be prepared.
A pocket-sized portable charger. If you are not going to have reliable electricity, you can also find solar-powered chargers.
If you are not going to have access to safe drinking water for extended periods of time, the LifeStraw water bottle will remove bacteria and parasites from your water as you drink it. There’s no wait time like there is for iodine droplets and the filter only needs to be changed after about a year of continuous use.
If you’re going to be traveling around countries with different electrical outlets than the ones from home, bring an all-in-one outlet converter.
Keep chargers, wires, and memory cards organized and in one place with an electronics organizer and/or memory card holder.
Bring light-weight dry sacks to store electronics and other items that can’t get wet in your backpack. Use a heavier duty dry sack if you need to submerge the items in water.
A weather-proof notebook (and a working utensil!). Writing down your thoughts while traveling is a great gift to have after the trip is over. You don’t want to have to worry about whether or not your notebook is going to make it through your adventures.
A waterproof phone case that can also take all the tumbles and falls. It’s also a smart idea to attach a wrist strap to the case.
A menstrual cup is an easy (and environmentally sustainable!) way of making sure you’re prepared for your time of the month, no matter the type of adventure you are on. Plus, in some places you travel to, it may be difficult to stock up on pads or tampons, so this reusable option can be great for people with periods who travel.
A rain cover for your backpack (also a great way to keep your straps from snagging).
Not to mention, you will probably need a backpacker’s backpack to carry all of your stuff. Look for one between 50 and 70 liters. Take into consideration your size and strength – if you buy a backpack on the larger end, you will probably fill it up. I am a fairly small human so I stick with a 58 liter bag. Also look for a bag that zips all the way open for easy access to your packed items (rather than a bottom-feeding backpack) so that you don’t have to unpack everything every time you need to find something. If you’re looking for a place to start searching for the right backpack, check out the options at these sites: