Today I have another great guest post for you from none other than the go to place for all your travel accessory needs, The Travel Accessory Store. Admit it, there is always that little voice in your head whenever you have locked the doors and gotten into the car that something is missing. Chances are you have forgotten something. What most people seem to forget, The Travel Accessory Store has put together for us. So the next time you head out of the door, check this handy list.
So much of traveling is learned through trial and error. I am finally at a point where I have my list of necessities down. I only wish I hadn’t had so many errors to get me to this point! Here is my top ten list of handy travel accessories travelers often forget. Sometimes I pack these items and question why I am bringing them. But inevitably, I need them on my trip and am so thankful that I relied on my list instead of my gut!
1) Sunscreen. You should not assume that you won’t need sunscreen. Traveling during the winter or during rainy season is no guarantee that the sun won’t be shining, and you’re really better safe than sorry. On a recent trip to the Philippines, I purposely left my sunscreen at home due to a rainy forecast. I was traveling with a carry-on only and couldn’t spare the space or weight. I’m convinced the act of leaving the sunscreen at home actually changed the weather. It was blazingly hot and sunny for all 5 days of my trip. I had to go buy some, of course.
2) Ear Plugs. A lousy night’s sleep can put a damper on the best planned vacation. A crying child on an airplane, a person snoring in the room next door, or annoying noise from the traffic below your room window. All of these situations can be improved by remembering ear plugs.
3) Inflatable Pillow. It’s tempting to leave a travel pillow behind, especially if you have a short trip in front of you. But a short trip can quickly turn into a long one due to delays or cancellations. Bring an inflatable travel pillow with you. They take up very little room and will come in handy if you end up with a lot of time to kill.
4) First Aid Kit. You’re a careful traveler. You probably won’t need a first aid kit. Or will you? There’s no telling what kind of situations you could run into and it is always better to be prepared. Blister on your foot? Burned by a hot water kettle? Nasty bite or cut? Unless you want to try to find these things on the fly, it’s best to bring them with you.
5) Water Purifier. I bring a personal water purifier with me everywhere I travel. Bottled water can cost a fortune, and you can never be sure about the water quality in public fountains/sinks. The Steripen I have uses UV light to kill germs, is lightweight, and works in water bottles or glasses. It gives me peace of mind when I travel.
6) Quick Drying Towel. I’ve had the same grey microfiber towel for the last 10 years and have used it on every major trip I have taken. Here are just some of the ways it has come in handy for me: sun shade on a hot drive, pillowcase in an iffy hotel, drying off from a shower, cleaning up spills, as a seat cushion when sitting on the ground, and as a blanket for extra warmth. It is simple, it dries fast, and is incredibly versatile.
7) Phrase Book. As we become more and more reliant on technology, it is easy to forget “old fashioned” phrase books. There’s an app for that. But what if your battery dies? Or if you’re in an area you don’t feel safe pulling out your expensive phone? A phrase book can come in really handy.
8) Maps. Along the same lines as the phrase books, I have a soft spot for hard copy maps. I feel vulnerable walking around looking at maps on my cell phone, and you never know how reliable service or battery power is going to be.
9) Universal Adapter/Converter. Especially if you’re traveling between many different countries, having the right converter and/or adapter is vital. Just because the plug sizes are the same does not mean that the electricity coming from the wall is the same. Ruin one electronic device and you will never make this mistake again. I find the best way to avoid problems is to have an all-in-one device. This way you don’t have to remember to bring the right adapter pieces for each country you are visiting.
10) Luggage Scale. I’ve caught myself in this trap before. I carefully weigh my bags before I leave and then leave the scale at home. On the trip, I buy all sorts of good stuff and then have problems distributing it in my bags on the way home. But since I left the luggage scale at home, I don’t know that until I’m back at the airport. Then comes the mad rush to take heavy items out of my checked bag and move it into my carry on before the line of people behind me gets upset.
So there you have it. Do any of your items make your must pack list? What, you don’t have a list yet, think you don’t need one? Wait till you do forget these items because they are just too obvious and then get upset at having difficulties finding them, not wanting to spare the time to hunt them down or having to spend an extra buck on something you already had. Learn from The Travel Accessory Store’s mistakes and wisdom and take this list with you.