Packing can be uber stressful. Whether it is weekends away or long haul trips, it is so easy to make a mistake and forget something you really should have packed. Things like certain toiletries or maybe a charger are items that I sometimes forget to pack and then when I get to my destination, I’m scrambling to find a toothbrush or an iPhone charger! For those in the same boat that wouldn’t be the most methodical packers for trips, lists don’t seem to help you remember what to pack and for where, I’ve decided to make this list of general items that should be in your bag for ANY trip, no matter where you are going so that it makes life a bit easier and the only stress you’ll have is deciding what clothes to pack! To make sure this list had things that were deemed essential, I consulted the other resident traveler in my house, my sister. She backed up my suggestions and threw in a couple of her own, I also consulted other online magazines and reports on items. So here are some of MY essential packing items for traveling:
1) Electronics and Necessary Accessories
As I said in the opening, I’ve been in situations where I’ve traveled and ended up forgetting my chargers for different things or realized in the airport that I had a full day of flying ahead of me and didn’t have any headphones with me! For me, who usually keeps my boarding cards and passes on my phone, it is really important for me to remember my phone charger, even more so that I’m with OnePlus and their chargers are less commonly found! The three electronic accessories that I put on my list are:
- Chargers (For your phone, tablet, eReader etc)
- Powerbank (You never know when you’re going to be away from a power source, and if you were like me and your airplane USB didn’t work, a powerbank is a lifesaver!)
- Headphones/Airpods (Falling asleep with a sick playlist with enough songs to get you through your flight, or for you to watch TV series’ in peace, headphones are ESSENTIAL for me).
*The one other item to absolutely pack with you is an international adapter! Especially if you’re traveling in Europe. Ireland and the UK use different sockets to Central Europe*
2) Packing Cubes – Karen’s Recommendation*
Packing Cubes will change the way you pack, honestly. When I traveled to Toronto from Ireland, I was worried how I’d fit 2 weeks worth of clothes within the designated limit I had in my luggage. Thankfully my sister, who had been backpacking in Thailand, showed me the packing cubes she used for her travels. These bags are absolutely genius. If you can find a folding method that reduces the size of your clothes, these bags can fit a couple weeks worth of shirts, shorts and underwear! I brought 3 packing cubes in my check-in luggage and was able to get the right amount of clothes I needed. The best thing about these cubes is that they minimize the risk of wrinkled or creased clothes and maximize the amount of space you have for what you want to pack! I recommend anyone traveling and has trouble downsizing their travel wardrobe to definitely check out buying a set of packing cubes! They can be easily purchased on Amazon too!
3) Updated and Adequate Toiletries!
2020 has been a wild year for traveling which is why I’m including this as an essential item for anyone packing for a trip. With the world dealing with a global pandemic, it is important for anyone who is traveling or when people eventually start traveling to update their toiletry bags. A regular toiletry bag would consist of skincare, dental products and medication perhaps, but for times were currently in, a couple of items should be added, including:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Travel size sanitary wipes (For hands, airplane and public surfaces)
- Protective Clothing, i.e Mask, disposable gloves
And yes, I would consider these items toiletries due to them keeping people safe and clean! I’d recommend investing in these items for your upcoming trips, just to be safe!
4) The Right Footwear
The wrong kind of footwear can really change the mood of a trip. For city breaks, sensible footwear is strongly recommended if walking through the streets for hours is on the cards. A pair of supportive sneakers or trainers can be the difference between a nice stroll and an agonizing, tortured walk with blistered and sore feet. My Puma’s got me through a couple of walking tours and I was so grateful for their service. When packing your bag for your upcoming trip, consider what is gonna be happening on this trip, or try and anticipate the activities. If you plan to do some hiking, perhaps heels are not the right kind of footwear that’ll see you complete the trail. If you plan to be at a Mediterranean resort, perhaps heavy boots are not weather friendly. When I travel, I tend to bring at least 1 wear and 1 spare in terms of footwear, One of which is comfy and supportive. The other pair is generally more a dress up style of shoe or boot. Just be sure of the quality of your shoes before traveling also, you don’t want to be traipsing around with shoes as flat and bendy as a pancake, You’ll regret it big time.
5) Personal Essentials
This is something people are more prepared for when packing but can still be cause for concern when traveling. It is human nature to be forgetful and it is also human nature to not have a back up plan. One thing that can be easily overlooked is the documents you need for traveling, Things like boarding passes and travel insurance documents are important to have copies of when going abroad. I usually keep a digital and physical copy of my boarding passes when I can. As for travel insurance and Travel authorizations, I tend to keep a physical copy with me also, as you never know if you’ll be asked for the at the airport or at immigration, Another Personal Essential tourists should be mindful of and what I’d recommend, especially for lengthy travels is to be certain of medications. If you need medication on your trip, do you have enough to take with you? Do you need to refill prescriptions? If it runs out, where and what do you need to get it in your location? I recommend that travelers take care of this before traveling as to, again, avoid the unnecessary stress!
6) Reusable Containers
They are super popular right now and are definitely something people should invest in for their journeys. A reusable water bottle is a handy thing to carry with you! It reduces waste and in places like Vienna where you can drink the tap water, it makes it a lot cheaper to bring water with you rather than just buying beverages. I recommend getting a couple of these reusable bottles! Most stores sell them, you can pick some from Amazon or perhaps your local coffee shops are selling some! Support local stores!
These are some things I think are essential for traveling or things I recommend taking with you to make your travels easier! If you guys have additions to this list or think I missed something essential, feel free to let me know! Stay tuned for more.