During the past six months, I’ve visited a dozen different countries. I offer the following as my essential items for traveling, i.e., those things that I “don’t leave home without.” I’m not including my passport on this list, since I really cannot leave home without it.
Note that I travel with only one (1) backpack that I easily can store in an overhead bin. I wear/take only one pair of quality walking shoes (not sneakers). In cool weather, I take an easy-on, easy-off upper layer (sweater or jacket).
I can re-wear pants and sometimes shirts (if isn’t too hot), but I make sure I have fresh underwear, handkerchiefs, and socks for each day. Even if the trip lasts longer, I think in terms of 4-5 day cycles; I must wash–if only by hand–at the end of each cycle.
The most important thing to remember is less is more! Travel light!
- hard copies of tickets and reservations
- hard copy of name, address, and directions to hotel(s)
- bottle of water and a snack (water after airport security)
- handkerchief and/or washcloth plus pocket packs of wet wipes and kleenex
- ear plugs, sleeping pills, and night mask
- $20-30 in the local currency and a mental shortcut or cheat sheet for quick conversion
- plus pocket coins worth appr. 50 cents each for bathrooms
- camera with USB connector
- small laptop with universal adapter
- smaller wallet for daily, walkabout use (I use a large passport wallet for trips and border crossing.)
Toiletries are personal but, for me, I just need a toothbrush, floss, comb, razor, travel-size toothpaste and deodorant, all of which can fit in a small baggie. I never travel with shampoo or shaving cream. (Note: roll-on deodorants may be questioned or tossed at airport security.) I put all my medicines in one bottle, selecting the one (original) bottle most likely to be questioned.
When I arrive at my destination, I buy a map and umbrella (if necessary) and use the ATM for best conversion rates.