Traveling is not only one of the best ways to broaden your horizons and experience the depth of diversity that our planet has to offer, but is also a fantastic way to feel alive. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many felt stuck or trapped, and the desire to explore the world has never been greater! This means that a number of us are more than ready to grab a backpack, a pair of plane tickets, and a dream and follow our wanderlust. While this drive and joy is a great tool for courageously diving into the world, in some cases we forget to fully prepare for our adventure. The last thing you want to do is go to another country or continent and find yourself lacking things you need. Luckily, we’re here to help with four must-have items to pack if you’re traveling this season!
A Good Backpack
You can have as many travel items and gadgets as you want, but if you don’t have a good backpack, you may find yourself in far more trouble than you could have planned for. The biggest question to ask when shopping for a travel backpack, is “what is a good backpack?” A quality backpack for bike commenting, office work, or schooling is very different from a quality backpack for travel, as there are a number of nuanced capabilities that a travel backpack needs.
First and foremost, you want a travel backpack that meets carry-on dimensions. Especially if you are traveling on a budget, or with possible unexpected changes, the ability to always bring your pack on the plane with you lets you know that it will always come off the plane with you. You don’t have to worry about losing luggage and having nothing to your name in a new space.
Next, you want adequate storage and security. Backpacks that are expandable, and well-shaped to store clothes, technology, gear, and personal documents without fear of theft are always worth the price. This may mean having hidden zippers and hidden pockets for things like laptops, passports, and wallets. Or, even having onboard charging for devices or stored clothing hangers.
If there’s anything that you should put the most thought into before your trip, it’s your backpack.
A Compact Umbrella
Especially as we approach the cooler months, a compact umbrella will be an investment that you didn’t think about at first, but will thank yourself for bringing with you. You of course don’t want to bring a giant, clumsy umbrella on your trip, but there are compact, wind and weatherproof options to keep you safe from cold downpours, such as this one found on repelumbrella.com.
These umbrellas fit neatly into your back, don’t put you at risk of getting everything else you brought with you wet, and allow you to protect not only yourself, but your belongings from water damage.
At the top of the list, places like England, Ireland, and a number of countries in northern Europe have long rainy seasons that stretch into the fall and early winter. Having an umbrella lets you ensure that your exploration or commute does not leave your bag and clothes soaked.
When traveling, you don’t want to bring your entire wardrobe with you. You want a few pairs of clothes that are multi-use, a couple good pairs of shoes, and basic self care items. The sacrifice that you don’t want to make is your hygiene.
It is fully possible to bring clothing for nearly every occasion when traveling, without taking up too much space in your bag, or without developing a stench throughout your trip.
One of the best ways to do this is to bring clothing of the right material. Denim, wool, and hydrophobic fabrics can be worn multiple days in a row, and can be washed in a sink, hung up, and worn again if you don’t have easy access to a washing machine. A few pairs of wool underwear can guarantee that you are always able to have a clean pair. A multipurpose jacket should always be part of your travel ensemble.
There are a number of these on the market, and they range in price, but most of them are fairly capable. A solar-powered portable battery can be lifesaving when traveling. If your phone dies when you need to book a plane or bus ticket, find out where you are, or even translate a foreign language, you may find yourself sprawling for help! A solar-powered portable charger is a great way to ensure that even if you are without an outlet, you are able to give your phone enough juice to get out of your emergency.
While there are a number of other gadgets to help you with your travel, these are four that we believe are absolutely essential! Remember that what you bring with you should be based upon what you need. Carefully prepare, walk through all the possible scenarios you can think of and process how you would solve those problems, and you will be able to pack the things you know you need for your travel experience.