Based on my traveling experiences, these 10 items are absolutely essential to ensure that you stay sane by the end of your trip. They could mean the difference between a mental meltdown and a good holiday, so better make sure you have them.
1. Portable Power Bank
We live in a power-hungry age. Everyone has at least a smartphone, some have even more than one. Others also have tablets and laptops.
Gone are the days when phones are only used to make phone calls and receive text messages. You have literally do everything on the smartphone now. You can call, text, video call, watch videos, play games … all of which drains your phone battery.
Make sure you have a fully-charged portable power bank with you when you travel allows you to take all the photographs and videos you want without having to worry about having not enough battery.
My favorite portable power bank is the Remax Proda 30000mAh Power Bank. It’s a little bulky but it allows you to charge 4 devices at the same time or fully charge your handphone 5-6 times.
2. Universal Travel Adaptor
Different countries use different electrical outlet plug. Some use flat two-pin plugs, some use round three-pin plugs.
You are lucky if you happen to find shops near where you stay that sells travel adaptors, if not you will have problem charging your electronic gadgets.
I recommend getting a good-quality universal travel adaptor since you will using it a lot during your travels. I recommend Skross World Travel Adaptor. It is a little more expensive and bulky than others, but its durability makes the extra dollars well worth it.
3. Handheld Weighing Scale
Budget travelers and backpackers will probably understand the importance of knowing how heavy your luggage is before checking-in.
Budget airlines are getting very strict about luggage weight, even handheld luggage have to be weighed nowadays. With most budget airlines allowing only 7-10kg of handheld luggage, it is essential to know the weight of your luggage before checking-in. Last-minute luggage check-in are usually very expensive.
Handheld weighing scales are inexpensive and very useful. Although manual handheld weighing scales can still be found, electronic ones are becoming more popular. Electronic handheld weighing scales have LED screens which are easy to read. Just make sure it is functional and charged before bringing out.
The humble pen is easily overlooked as a travel essential.
Most countries require foreign visitors to fill up a disembarkation form which will be distributed before arrival. If you don’t have a pen, you will have to borrow someone else’s which can be pretty awkward. It’s worse if you are already queueing at the immigration when you realized that you wrong something wrongly or you missed out writing something.
5. Packet Tissue
Tissues are very important during travel. You can wipe your mouth, clean off spilled drinks, sneeze into it … imagine finishing your food and realizing that you don’t have any tissue left. You will then have to walk out with stains on your face, to look for a washroom to wash up.
6. Microfiber Travel Towel
I know, I know. You must be thinking “hotels provide towels so I don’t have to bring my own” but articles like this and this made me question the cleanliness of the towels in hotels.
If you are hiking or backpacker, you will definitely need to bring a towel. Microfiber travel towels doesn’t have the luxurious feel of your own fluffy towel, but they are light and compact. They take up very little space and they dry very quickly which makes them ideal for travels.
7. Travel Medicine and First Aid
Travel medicine and first aid are very important during travel. Getting sick or injured can really spoil a trip, but it’s worse when you have no medicine on hand. Seeing a doctor overseas is going to be expensive and troublesome, so it’s always good to have some travel medicines and first aid materials on hand.
I will elaborate in another post on what are some of the travel medicine and first aid supply you should prepare.
8. SIM Eject Tool
If you are the type who travel with WiFi routers, you won’t be needing this. But if you are a budget-conscious traveler like me who like to use local SIM cards, you should make sure you have a SIM eject tool on hand. SIM eject tool is that pin-like thing that you use to unlock the SIM card tray in your handphone.
This is due to the two-step verification that most credit cards and banks use nowadays. When you need to buy a last-minute flight ticket or accommodation, your credit card or bank will send a verification number to the number that is linked to the credit card or bank, which is your actual SIM card. You will need that SIM eject tool to take out the local SIM card and reinsert your own SIM card to get the verification code.
Many hotel conceirge and shops doesn’t have this, it’s better to have one prepared.
9. Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are nothing special, but they are very versatile.
Plastic bags can be used to store shoes, hold dirty laundry, throw rubbish, protect souvenirs … the possibilities are endless.
10. Ear Plugs
A good night’s rest is vital to making sure you have enough energy for your travel.
While ear plugs may not be able to block out all the noise, they will mask out enough noise for you to have a better sleep. ”