Here is the list of my absolute travel essentials. I couldn’t imagine going on a trip without these several things! In no particular order:
1. TSA Lock: As much as I would love to be trusting of everyone in this world, the reality is that locks are important to keep valuables and luggage safe. While a regular lock will work in most circumstances, having a TSA approved lock is convenient for taking flights. If security has a need to open your bags, they’ll be able to do it without cutting the lock.
2. Swiss Army Knife: My Swiss Army Knife (purchased in Switzerland!) is one of the most practical and useful tools. Remember that one time you needed to open a bottle of wine or crack open a beer? You got it covered. Make sure you don’t pack it in your carry-on!! It would be too bad seeing it taken away before you get a chance to use it.
3. Burt’s Bees’ Pre-Moistened Towelettes: Sometimes you’ll almost miss a train and have to run for your life to catch it, other times you just want to smell good after travelling for a while, these towelettes have been a lifesaver for those situations and many others. Without having to find water and a sink, you’re face and body can still be clean.
4. Travel Journal: Writing is one of my favourite things to do while waiting. I like to jot down ideas, inspiration, and lists. I like to write stories and sketch landscapes. It’s such a good way to keep your memories and use your time.
5. Pack Towels: They’re so small and compact. It’s probably the same width of my travel journal, but unlike my travel journal it is super water absorbent and dries quickly. Some hostels will lend you towels for free, for a deposit or just charge you, so I like to keep my own and hang it to dry overnight.
6. Headlamp: In dark situations when you’re rummaging through luggage either in a hostel or camping, you’ll find a headlamp so useful! Or for reading at night – being hands free it convenient.
7. Tide Hand Washing Packets / Campsuds: If you only need several things washed and don’t have enough (time or dirty clothes to do a full load) then these come in handy to do a little bit of washing quickly. Remember that you’ll have to give your clothes time to dry. And if you’re camping buy something biodegradable and environmentally friendly like Campsuds. The liquid multi-purpose soap was created to be environmentally safe.
8. Snow Peak Titanium Mug: Ok, I think if I had to pick a favourite item it would be this product. Snowpeak is a Japanese outdoor gear and lifestyle company that has created incredible camping products. This mug is a double-walled, insulated titanium mug that keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The folding handles make it easy to pack and it’s LIGHT. Titanium is a game changer.
9. Eagle Creek Packing Cubes: I like to be organized when I pack. Especially when you’re trying to travel light, knowing what you have and where it is useful for me. I keep organized by using packing cubes, I have the ones by Eagle Creek. I like them because they’re lightweight, but there’s other sizes/brands that were created for different purposes. If you’re traveling with a down jacket or bulkier items, investing in a compression bag is helpful too. They completely take the air out and allow for more space.
10. Kind Bars: My emergency go to snack. These are my favourite snack bar that uses natural ingredients.
11. Nalgene Water Bottle: I alway drink water and one of my pet peeves is being forced to buy a 2 euro bottle of water when I could have freely had my own water. Holding a water bottle is really a “North American” thing to do, and you’ll probably stick out in varying European cities but to me it’s sensible and environmentally friendly so I carry around it almost always. Make sure before travelling, you find out if the places you’ll be visiting has safe tap water. And if it doesn’t then carry some water tablets that kill bacteria as soon 15 minutes from dropping the treatment into the water. Some places in Switzerland or Austria have purer and better tasting tap water than anything purchased.
12. Spoon-Fork-Knife: This simple, light combo of spoon, fork and knife is perfect for picnics, lunches, camping and everything in between. Sometimes the jagged “knife” part isn’t the most effective cutting tool so I would pull out the Swiss Army for anything that actually needs to be cut.
I hope this lists helps you, happy Friday and happy travelling friends! Have you come across another travel essential?