You’re going on a trip in a month and want to depart as prepared as possible. You want to make sure you can fit enough into your backpack or suitcase without forgetting any essentials or overpacking.
Over the past year, I have lived and traveled in over 10 countries. There were many times when I wish I had a certain item or came more prepared and protected.
Although traveling can be such an exciting, rewarding experience, there is also a dark reality to it as well, such as pickpocketers or not bringing essential items for backpacking.
I’ve compiled a list of items that will help you go on your next trip as prepared as possible, without breaking the bank.
Below is a list of 10 items that I have found to be crucial to have during my travels.
1. Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag.
I’ve known of far too many people that have had their purse stolen or strap slashed right in front of them.
- slash proof construction
- a compartment has RFID blocking card with passport slots included
- rear pocket
- 3 locking compartments which provide even more protection from pickpocketers
- cut-proof straps with key clip and LED light
- 6 available colors
2. Universal Adapter.
A universal adapter is so much more convenient than getting a bunch of adapters that are used for only 1 country. Less bulk and less money spent.
- 2 USB chargers for use at the same time
- covers more than 150 countries
Related: Save money on groceries and other products at the store by using Ibotta. Get $10 by signing up here.
3. Ziplock Bags.
You’ll need them, so don’t underestimate them. They are inexpensive and small, so there’s no excuse to not bring at least 5-10 zip lock bags, depending on the length of your trip.
Ziplock bags are useful for:
- storing items in a dry setting
- storage for liquids for airport security
- collecting items abroad
- storing your passport, which you want to make sure does not get wet or damaged
Related tip: Use Ebates to get cash back on flights and travel services. Ebates is also awesome for any online shoppers! Get $10 by signing up here.
4. Collapsible Water Bottle.
A water bottle is essential for traveling, for obvious reasons, but what makes this collapsible water bottle stand out from other bottles due to its ability to collapse and fit into a very tight space.
- will not shatter or dent
- perfect for someone who needs to more space in their backpack
- lifetime warranty
- BPA free
- leak proof
5. Travel Boots With A Hidden Pocket.
I wore these boots all throughout my trip in Europe. They withstood 20,000 steps a day throughout Rome, rainy days in Bologna, and treks in Germany.
- pocket that can hide money, copies of passport, keys, etc.
- cute and stylish, while also being able to walk long distances in
- 18 different colors available at this time
6. 3 Outlet Plus 2 USB Chargers.
You might not think you need one now, but trust me, you will. Just wait until you’re stranded at the airport, with only a few electrical outlets for use for hundreds of people. You aren’t the only one who needs to charge your phone.
- comes in handy when you need an outlet, without asking someone to use their outlet, you can ask if other people would like to share yours so everyone can charge at once
- perfect for hostels when outlets are more likely needed to be shared
- 360 degree rotating – yes, that will matter more than you think
- lifetime warranty
7. Travel Towel.
A travel towel is essential if you plan on backpacking and staying in hostels. Most hostels will charge a fee for renting a towel, and the towels are not the best quality, either. Save money and invest in a towel that will last a long time, while needing very little space in your backpack.
- 9 colors to choose from
- fast drying and super absorbent
- hold 4x its weight in water
8. Packing Cubes.
Packing cubes are essential for reducing bulk and carrying more items with you. Packing cubes enable you to stay organized by separating items into each cube, allowing you to only have to pull out 1 cube at a time and neatly store everything back in neatly, without having to pull all of the items out of your suitcase. Packing and unpacking can get old real quick, especially if you’re jumping from hostel to hostel.
- 8 colors available
- 4 packing cubes – each cube is a different size
- laundry bag included
- water resistant
9. A Multi-Purpose Scarf.
Ask any “expert” traveler and they will tell you having a scarf is one of the best items you can bring along with you. Scarves are extremely versatile and can have so many different uses.
- several different ways to rock a scarf
- certain scarves can be made into a skirt, dress, or top
- great for keeping warm
- stylish headscarf
10. Noise Canceling Headphones.
Noise canceling headphones are crucial if you plan on staying in hostels. Hostels can be very loud, especially with the younger folk partying and coming in at 3 in the morning. You’ll need to stay energized and awake during your travels, so it’s best to invest in some noise canceling headphones ahead of time.
Extra must-know tips:
- toilet paper is a rare commodity in public restrooms, so come prepared
- bugs are alive and strong in South America, come prepared with either BugX Towelettes or some kind of bug spray.
- booze isn’t a good idea on planes, motion sickness is a lot worse in the air
- this Savvy Backpackers Guide to Europe on a Budget can save you a lot of money and time on your trip
- ditch the souvenirs and snap photos instead, and then create a photo album at home with Shutterfly
- bring a few photocopies of your passport and store them in different spots in your bags, so you always have a copy
- purchase a bright colored suitcase or backpack, rather than a black suitcase that will blend in with the hundreds of other bags at the baggage claim
- a portable charger is a lot more important than you think
Packing items that can have multiple uses are key to packing light, while also having everything you need for your trip.
As always, I recommend writing and checking off a travel checklist or keeping all of your travel gear in one drawer. One day you might even become comfortable with no longer using a travel checklist, which is the point in time where you definitely still need the checklist! I remember starting my backpacking trip in Europe without my GoPro charger. Getting a new charger was so difficult to find, not to mention expensive, that I ended up not even buying one or using my GoPro in Europe.
What are some travel essentials that you bring on your trips?
Like this post? Share it!
Get exclusive access to the free resources!
Join 2,000 others to get access to 10+ free printables related to budgeting, traveling, and meal planning with new prints updated weekly.