After the past year has kept you at home, you may be itching to get out and start traveling again. Before you pack up and head abroad, it is important you gather certain critical items for your journey - especially if you've never traveled internationally before. To ensure you're prepared for surprises on your sightseeing, make sure you always pack these items whenever you leave the country:
This may be obvious to experienced travelers, but it never hurts to be reminded to pack crucial identification, travel, and itinerary documentation. This includes your boarding pass for flying, passport, driver’s license, Known Traveler Number, travel visa, confirmation of lodging, and proof of insurance for health, travel, and automobile coverage.
On her travel website One Chel of an Adventure, Chelsea Bancroft says she will, “Always make a copy or two of my passport, Driver’s License, and Visa before going on any trip, and take photos of everything on my phone.” She recommends all international travelers do the same. “It’s a good idea to keep one in your carry-on and another in your luggage just in case anything ever got lost.”
You’re going to rely on your electronic devices a lot when you’re traveling; especially your smartphone. To ensure your devices are always fully charged before heading off the beaten path, make sure you bring all the equipment you need to keep them running.
This includes backup charging cords in case you lose the originals, as well as universal adapters. “Remember that many countries have differently shaped electrical outlets on the wall,” points out Gabrielle Boucher in her article for Worldpackers. “Pick up an adaptor before your trip so you can charge your devices abroad.”
If you plan on being outdoors for long stretches of time or in locales where there aren’t any public wall sockets you can access, make sure you invest in a portable power bank. It will let you hook up and recharge your phone no matter where you’re located.
Items for a restful sleep
As you pass through time zones that are multiple hours off from the one you’re used to living in, it’ll be crucial for your health, safety, and enjoyment to get plenty of sleep. Make sure you pack the items you may need to get some shut-eye.
A light-blocking, contoured eye mask is a must-have, as are comfortable earplugs and a travel pillow. If you prefer having ambient noise when you rest, install a meditation or white noise app on your smartphone, which you can listen to via wireless earbuds or noise-cancelling headphones.
For some assistance falling asleep, pack a bottle of sleeping pills, whether they’re prescription from your doctor or homeopathic ones with melatonin or valerian root. Shannon McMahon of Smarter Travel recommends these in her list of must-pack items for traveling abroad.
Reusable water bottle
Traveling is thirsty work. Make sure you pack a reusable water bottle you can refill whenever you’re near a fountain or sink that’s safe to drink from. “To save money and eliminate plastic waste while traveling, pack a good-quality, reusable water bottle,” recommends Boucher. “If you’re in a country that doesn’t have safe drinking water, sometimes you have no choice but to buy filtered bottled water. Or, you can buy a reusable bottle with a built-in filter so you can clean your own water.”
Of course, the most important things to take with you on your journey abroad aren’t tangible items. Always have an open mind, a respect for other cultures, and a desire for new experiences.
If you have these on your voyage, you’ll have fun no matter what surprises happen.