1. Travel Alarm Clock-Talk about a bummer if you oversleep for an important event. A lot of you may use your cell phones as alarm clocks, but when traveling abroad, this may not be so reliable. Spend a few bucks to have an alarm clock to get you where you need to be on time.
2. Poster Tube-Souvenirs can be expensive and take up too much space. Posters are an easy solution to capturing moments without spending too much or taking up empty space in your bag. I constantly look at my posters and I am instantly reminded of past adventures.
3. Audio Recorder-This item is not only good for people considering an audio journal, but also for anyone wanting to capture the audio memories. Maybe you hear a band playing on the street or have an opportunity to talk to someone that you’d like to record. Sometimes I feel a stronger connection listening to the tone of my voice as I describe memorable moments than any photo or journal entry. I love looking back at my perspective during that snapshot of time. This small, handy device can be useful in multiple situations.
4. Copy of Important Documents-Make copies of your passport, credit cards, license, and anything else that would be important to have if it was lost. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with losing a passport or credit card, but being prepared for it is smart.
5. Ziploc Bags-I collect odd things sometimes. Rocks, sand, and other little trinkets. Ziplocs take up little to no space, are cheap, and they may be useful in the future.
6. Friend/Family Addresses-Postcards mean more than you might know. I am a teacher and anytime I travel I ask students to jot down their info if they want a postcard. A few minutes can make a big impact.
7. Band aids-Blisters, cuts, broken nails, and more can put a little damper on your comfort. You will probably need a band aid, so take some with you.
8. Back-up Bag-Carry-on is the way to go, but sometimes you find cool stuff along the way. Go with just carry-on, but have a backup bag for souvenirs on the trip home. I typically check my original carry-on bag and use a new bag for the plane ride. Some bags only take up about one cubic inch of space.
9. Packing Cubes-If you are traveling to multiple destinations, this can be very time-saving. I went on a 21-day trip that involved no more than two nights in each location. I ended up repacking each time we went somewhere new. With packing cubes, you can pack strategically and avoid repacking each time you visit a new place.
10. Swiss Army Knife (Checked Luggage)-Corkscrew, scissors, knife, nail file, the options are endless.
What do you take with you that is an essential packing element?