If you’re planning a trip away and organising your packing, it can be all too easy to try to take too much. With many companies specialising in ‘useful’ travel gadgets such as paper soap and solar showers, it’s tempting to buy innovative items that you think might be useful on your travels, even if most of them end up never seeing the light of day. However, some things are important. Here are 10 you should not leave home without.
Even if you never use it you should keep a credit card with you for emergencies. If you are looking for 0 percent credit cards there are a number available for those with a good credit history and they can be a more secure way of funding your trip than carrying cash or travellers’ cheques.
Notebook and Pen
Despite most people having numerous electrical gadgets on which to record their adventures, there is still something to be said for having a real pen and a pad of paper to hand. From mapping directions to playing hangman to pass the time, you’ll be glad you brought these simple tools with you.
No doubt you will collect some little trinkets or souvenirs along the way so instead of carrying them around for the rest of your trip, send them home. By having some envelopes in your backpack, you can easily pop a brochure, book or ticket stub inside and mail them as soon as you see a post pox.
Despite being environmentally horrendous, the plastic bag is actually one of the more useful inventions of the 20th century. From packing wet clothes to guarding against shampoo spills, you’ll find a million uses for a few carrier bags, so take a few in the corner of your rucksack.
Zip lock or re-sealable bags also have a plethora of uses. A top tip is to use them to protect gadgets such as your phone and camera when out and about or at the beach.
They’ll seal a half-eaten bag of food, hold your dirty clothes away from clean items and have million other uses. You’ll often find that you are glad you have a few elastic bands with you.
These might be Tupperware or just old cartons from the takeaway, but a plastic box or two will come in handy. Popular uses include keeping jewellery safe in your backpack or taking snacks on a hike.
Don’t leave home without it! You can use it to stick soles back on your shoes or make repairs to your suitcase or backpack. Duct tape doesn’t take up much room and could just save the day.
Always make sure to take some water and a few things to eat, just in case you get stuck somewhere and are unable to buy refreshments.
A Sarong or Towel
Whatever you want to call it, a large piece of fabric is always going to be useful. It will dry you when you are wet, keep you cool when the sun is at its hottest and could become a picnic blanket on wet ground.