We’re used to thinking traveling is all milk and honey, and we tend to postpone the tedious bits until the last day before leaving: thinking of what we need to bring along and what stays at home. This is why we came up with 10 things you need in a foreign country. If you’re panicking the night before you have to travel to another country because you don’t know what to take along and you haven’t even checked Accuweather to see how the weather is going to be like, this list will help you out and throw you some pointers on what the traveling essentials are, especially if you need to pack lightly.
Needless to say, you’ll need your essentials with you. But let’s face it, at some point in our lives, we all forgot something at home, whether it was a toothbrush, toothpaste, pajamas or dental floss (you do floss, right?) In order to avoid spending 45 minutes in a foreign airport to track down an overpriced mouth wash, make sure to include your toiletries in you travel bag, and don’t forget the ones you use in the morning before leaving for the airport.
9. Reading materials
That is magazines, newspapers, books, Kindles, iPads, tablets, anything that would put content in front of your eyes. A two hour wait in the airport, three hour flight (plus potential delays) and more waiting in the other airport can go by so much easier if you have something to entertain your mind. This is the perfect moment to catch up with your yearly reading challenge or reread some of your favorite books.
8. Universal adapter
If you didn’t know this already, most countries have different socket styles. This means that if you’re travelling from the US to Europe, you’d better have a universal adapter in your bag, if you want to plug in your laptops, charge your phone and curl your hair when you get to the hotel. Some hotels could provide you with one of these, but it’s always preferable to have your own.
You already know the drill: if you’re under treatment, don’t forget your pills at home. But also try to plan ahead and take some other medicine with you. If you have a sensitive stomach, or if you catch a cold easily, if you have trouble sleeping, or if you need some vitamins for a boost, make sure you get everything you need with you and put all of them in a zip lock bag.
You should be enjoying your experience more than looking through a camera’s lens, but let’s admit it, you need some photos for that Facebook profile. Make sure you don’t forget your SD card at home. Extra batteries are always a good idea, as well as a camera bag that will free up your hands and allow you to move around freely.
Some of us learned this the hard way, but you need to take your chargers with you. Thankfully, in this day and age, it’s not that difficult to buy or borrow a charger if you happen to forget yours at home. So it’s safe to say you don’t risk getting completely isolated from those you left at home.
4. Travelling guide books
Plan ahead and leave prepared with a guide book. It will definitely make your life easier, give you tips and tricks and even some insight in the foreign country’s customs and “what not to dos”. You can also find plenty of info online, if you feel like doing your own research and bookmarking the places you want to see.
3. Travelling documents
This may sound as a no brainer, but each country is different and some even require special visas. Look this up before leaving and gather all the data you need. You don’t want to have the unpleasant surprise of reaching your destination and missing some essential documents that might put you on a plane back home immediately.
2. Mobile phone
Besides the obvious perks of allowing you to call others, smartphones will prove to be your best friend in a foreign country. Google Maps will take you anywhere you want and even suggest places where to eat. And depending on the city you’re visiting, you can find other useful apps that will help you enjoy your holiday, such as apps for renting bikes, for finding taxis or for checking out nearby events.
1. Small travel bag
This can also be your carry on. Quick tips here: don’t keep all your money in one place. In case someone snatches your purse in a crowded market, you’ll have some backup money stashed in a sock at home. Take your small travel bag everywhere with you and include the essentials: phone charger, medicines, passport, money, camera and a bottle of water. You’ll need it for all that walking you’ve planned.