Traveling and going on an adventure is something we always look forward to. For both newbies and frequent travelers, one travel essential tip you should always pay attention to is knowing what to bring along and how to pack them accordingly. Leaving behind important stuff like documents and health-related medication can significantly affect your overall travel experience.
This article on what I carry in my travel bag will provide you with a list of the top 10 essentials every traveler must-have, from the most important ones to even the minute stuff you should bring to add comfort and relaxation when traveling. Organization is another aspect you should look into. Tossing everything in your luggage means taking out everything you need to find a specific item you need to use. So, here’s the top 10 must-haves you should start packing when planning on a trip.
Tips on Packing for a Trip
Choose the right luggage.
Finding the right travel bag or luggage for your specific trip is as essential as planning what things to bring. Choose a bag with the right size depending on how many days your trip will last. Also, a versatile and lightweight bag that you can easily carry around will greatly help keep your trip as hassle-free as possible.
Depending on your length of stay, your travel bag should be big enough to contain all the stuff you need. Some brands even offer a warranty to cover broken parts when used. Durability is important since traveling can sometimes take a toll on your suitcase, especially when you need to frequently transfer accommodations. So if you have enough budget to spend, do purchase the best quality to stay with you for all your travels to come.
Organize your stuff.
Organizing all your stuff in your luggage allows you to reach for whatever you need more conveniently. Since you might need to pull out a few items every now and then, arranging your things or putting them in packing cubes or organizers can keep your suitcase as tidy as possible. Arrange your items accordingly, and always keep essential items easily retrievable.
Some travelers also use silicone or plastic cubes that can be compressed to give room for other important items. When you get to your hotel, you can simply decompress your cube and take the item you need. When it’s time to go, stuff your things accordingly, decompress the cube, and slide right into your luggage. This organizing hack makes everything convenient and time-saving.
Pack a carry-on bag.
Pulling out everything you need from your suitcase during your trip can be too inconvenient. Thus, you also have to pack a separate carry-on bag that contains everything you might need while on the road. List down the things you might need, so you won’t forget anything when it’s time to go.
Toiletries, important documents, credit cards, and cash are some of the items you need in your carry-on bag. It’s also ideal to include an outfit or two in case you need a quick outfit change. Find a carry-on bag that’s comfortable to carry around wherever you go. Find something lightweight, and don’t over-pack. Keep in mind that carrying a huge and heavy bag with you during your trip can be inconvenient and uncomfortable.
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Important Travel Documents and IDs
When going abroad, the most important items to secure in your travel bag are your documents and IDs. Incomplete documents can lead to airline security issues that may hamper your vacation. It’s important that you have everything handy so you won’t have any problems with local authorities and even when trying to check in to your hotel. Aside from physically bringing these documents with you, try to scan them and keep a copy on your email, so in case you misplace them during the trip, you can still retrieve your copy online. Here are some basic documents you’ll need when you go on a trip:
- Visa (depending on your chosen destination)
- Personal IDs
- Driver’s license
Most travelers plan out their outfits first, before anything else. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, what I carry in my travel bag to ensure we don’t pack too much. That’s because clothing takes much space in your travel bag and since some destinations may not have laundry services, you have to ensure you’ll have enough clothing to last your entire stay. The key to packing clothes is to pack smart. Choose versatile clothes you can use given any weather or season. When you’re planning on a safari adventure, choose lightweight clothes since the hike and the humid can make you sweat a lot during the day. Here are some of the basic items you need to include in your travel bag:
- Weather-appropriate clothing
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Sweaters or jacket
- Rain jacket or Windbreaker
- Culture appropriate T-shirts and tank tops
- Pants and/or shorts
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Dresses and/or skirts
- Hats or visors
Going Out Outfits
Some hotels and travel destinations have the most amazing nightlife. The clubs and the bars around some tourist spots offer you the best cocktails perfect to end your day. Thus, always include smart casuals or party outfits in your travel bag. Packing a cute dress or a sexy top with a skirt will give you the right party vibe. For men, a pair of denim and a casual button-down polo is the perfect party outfit you can include in your packing list.
A toiletry bag is considered an essential travel must-have since it contains all the personal items you need every day. Most hotels do offer basic toiletries; however, if you’re used to the products to have, bringing them along for your daily skincare and haircare is a definite must. Here are some of the items you need to include in your toiletry bag:
- Dental Floss
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Comb or Brush
- Facial Wash
- Moisturizer and Sun block
- Contact lenses and Contact Solution
- Shaving supplies
Travel Health Kits
It’s always practical and ideal to include a health and first aid kit in your travel bag. Especially when traveling to remote destinations, medical help during emergencies may not be readily available. Also, for people who are on medication, forgetting to bring your medicines can be a matter of life and death. Take note of all medicines you need, and make sure you have enough for your entire trip. Also, include other general medicines like paracetamol and anti-allergy meds. Here are some of the other items you need to include in your first aid kit:
- Personal prescriptions
- First aid kit (gauze, bandages, adhesives, etc.)
- Pain and fever relievers
- Cold medicines and throat lozenges
- Diarrhea/laxative medicines
- Allergy medicines
- Motion sickness pills
- Sunburn relief
- Insect repellent lotion
Although most people travel to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, bringing along a few gadgets is still considered a necessity. Especially for solo travelers, updating family and friends is essential for safety purposes. Also, carrying a camera or a smartphone can help you capture beautiful moments you can share with your loved ones when you get back. Here are some gadgets you will need for your travel:
- Portable Power Source– adventure trips ay lead you to remote locations with no available electricity. So always prepare a backup portable power source.
- Camera– the camera captures the beauty of the place, the food, the culture, and the people of your chosen destination. If you have one, traveling is the best time to carry it along and bring out the photographer in you.
- Smartphone– keeping in touch with some important people even when you’re away is vital for some travelers. You can also use your phone to download apps to make you travel hassle-free. Maps guides and translation apps allow you to communicate with the locals even without a guide. For trips on the beach, purchase a waterproof case to protect your phone from water damage.
- Chargers– when you use your phone and camera, you’ll eventually need to charge them. Take a small packing cube and make sure you bring all chargers you need.
Travel Comfort and Entertainment
Traveling for an extended period can be too stressful and tiring even. Thus, bringing with you some items to keep you comfortable and entertained will greatly help while waiting for your arrival. However, since you only need a few hours to spend, try to bring small and simple items. Bulky and big ones will only add to your baggage, and carrying them throughout the trip might be too inconvenient. Here are some items to keep you comfortable while traveling:
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- Traveling pillow or neck pillow
- Sleeping liners
For entertainment purposes, you can bring:
- Travel games
- Travel journal and pen
- Deck of cards
- Interesting book
Sometimes, phone batteries die out quickly. And without a portable power source, you’ll need to rush to your hotel and charge before you can use your traveling apps like a guide book, online map, and translator. So, bringing with you an actual map of your destination may save you significantly during this situation.
You can also purchase a guidebook so you know which activities to enjoy and how to navigate your way around the area. Some language books can also help you with basic translation, which might come in handy when you need to go from one place to another. Keep these handy in your carry-bag for easy access:
- Destination maps
- Guide books and navigation books
- Travel guide
- Language translation book
Flight and Accommodation Details
Some airlines may require you to show your flight and accommodation documents upon checking in. So always keep them handy. Take a printed copy with you, and also save a backup on your phone or email. It’s good to ask ourselves, what I carry in my travel bag so you can pack them accordingly. However, once you’ve reached your hotel, try to find a secure place for all your important documents.
Cash, and Credit Cards
An international credit card may seem to be a practical way to spend when abroad or traveling. However, try to keep a few bucks hidden in many areas of your luggage and even clothing. Before your actual trip, visit your local bank and have a specific amount of cash exchanged to your destination’s currency.
Especially when visiting remote places, there might be some instances when you need to pay in cash, for example, when paying for a local guide or buying snacks from street vendors. Keeping your money safe should also be a priority. Some places are notorious for local thieves, so always keep a some cahs in unexpected places.
To Wrap It Up
Traveling is one of the best rewards you can give to yourself. After a hard day’s work, packing your bag and going on an adventure will surely give you the boost and recharge you need to continue with your day-to-day activities.
This complete guide on what I carry in my travel bag is everything you need in packing all your essentials. The key to preparing well for your big day is to keep a list of everything you need so you don’t leave anything behind. Enjoy your vacation, and we hope you have the best time of your life!