1. Earplugs & Noise Cancelling Headphones
Even if you don’t plan to sleep on a flight, having these can come in handy in case you get stuck next to loud talkers, crying babies, or snorers on a flight. The Bose® Noise Cancelling Headphones put off great sound, eliminate the surrounding noise and engine roar on an airplane, and the ear cushion adds comfort. Don’t want to spend $300 on the technology? EarPlane earplugs are $8 and can be purchased at CVS. Voilà!
No, this won’t prevent a thief from getting into your bag, but it will make it harder for them to attempt it in public places. There’s no need for a bulky lock, but a small TSA approved padlock will do the trick. There are lots of options and sizes to choose from, but we like this simple combination lock, available on Amazon for around $15.
3. Extra memory chip for your camera
Besides the memories, sometimes the only things you take home after a trip are your photos. Don’t make the same mistake as thousands of travelers and risk losing those photos by not backing them up! If you have access to the cloud while traveling, backing your photos there should suffice. But if you’re working with an older camera that doesn’t have cloud connection, bringing an extra memory chip and switching to your second chip at a halfway point in your travels is a good idea. That way, if your camera breaks or gets stolen, you at least have the memory chip with half of your photos saved! This will also come in handy if you go snap crazy and fill up a whole chip with photos and don’t want to go through to determine what to delete to make space.
4. Dry Shampoo
Because duh, you shouldn’t wash your hair every day! But really, this stuff comes in handy when you’re traveling and still want to look presentable between showers. Birchbox sells a three-pack of my favorite dry shampoo, Klorane, all in travel size (1.06 oz bottles) for $18. It smells nice, too!
5. Plastic or reusable bags
I use these for my dirty laundry and shoes, but these can come in handy for just about everything while you’re traveling. The Lululemon small tote bags are the perfect size, and you can wipe them clean after use. I always save my plastic grocery bags and shopping bags when I’ traveling, just in case I need them later in my trip. They fit easily into small zippered pouches in my luggage or pack.
6. Copy of Passport & Photo ID
Having a copy of your passport can be a lifesaver if your purse or wallet gets stolen. Keep these separated from your original ID in a safe place in your luggage. Note: Many stores and restaurants won’t accept the copy of your ID as proof of identification or age. I learned this the hard way at a Zara in Buenos Aires… and had to put all of my potential purchases back since I didn’t have a real ID matching my credit card. (Good for my bank account, bad for my wardrobe)…
7. Wet Wipes or Hand Sanitizer
For sticky hands, sweaty arms and legs, or a quick face wash, these things do the trick. For more details on when and how these come in handy, check out this post.
8. Water Bottle
Paying for bottled water everywhere you go adds up! Smart travelers bring an empty water bottle with them and fill up at clean water stations, or add purifier drops to filtered water to make the water potable. I’m especially thankful for my water bottle on Sundays when I’m feeling dehydrated at the airport.
These take up such little space, can double for warmth on chilly nights, and are oh-so welcomed when rain hits. Getting wet is no fun.
10. AN OPEN MIND!
This should go without saying, but being open to new ideas, people, tastes and smells is integral to an enjoyable travel experience. Let yourself relax and know that it’s all part of the experience!