It’s time. You are determined not to postpone your trip any longer so you need to prepare. A seasoned traveler usually takes surprisingly few things in his or her pack but that’s because they know what to take and what really matters. Check this list before a going on you next trip and you’ll find that most items are indispensable.
- A good backpack – The rule of thumb here is to take one that you can really handle. Most people buy giant backpacks that end up being too heavy. Before the long trip take your backpack on a short hike, make sure it’s loaded to the max and see how you manage with that. If it’s too much, you will probably want to change it. Buy a backpack that has a rain cover and preferably some kind of system to minimize your sweating.
- In-ear or noise-cancelling headphones – Earplugs are not enough most of the time. In order to block out the noises around you when you travel you must have some in-ear or noise-cancelling headphones. You will thank me later.
- The NobelApp calling app – It’s a cool phone app that allows you to make really cheap phone calls back home or even locally using Wi-Fi or 3G connections and it even works without Internet. Check out the International Phone Cards NobelCom offers at the moment for really good deals. I don’t go anywhere without this.
- A good and soft microfiber travel towel – These towels are amazing, they are super-compact and absorbent and great for travel. They will take up little space in your luggage and are very handy in numerous situations. I also use them as travel blankets.
- Scotch tape – It will get you out of a number of unusual situations. Don’t take a big roll, however, a small one will be useful.
- A book or e-reader – There will be plenty of situations when the battery of your phone will run out and there will be no power outlet close by. You’ll need something to do. Or you can take an external charger with you, but that can run out also. I do most of my reading when I travel.
- A notepad and a pen – You will need to explain stuff to people who don’t speak your language or sometimes you may even find yourself in an impromptu round of Pictionary with a local.
- A lock – You’ll need it in most hostels (otherwise you’ll need to rent one) and it is also useful when you travel on night trains or if you plan to go camping.
- Plenty of floss– It’s useful for the obvious reason, but floss is also resistant enough to improvise a line when you need to hang your clothes or when you need to tie something.
- A travel pillow – You use it often, but make sure you take the kind that is inflatable in order to free up room in your luggage.
It is often more about what you don’t take with you than what you take. So analyze the items that you want to take with you and figure out if you will really use them or need them or if they can actually be bought locally.