This year we have been traveling almost every month. We went to Bratislava several times, we spent more than two weeks on a road trip on the West Coast of the USA, we went for a nice weekend getaway to Paris, Venice, and Prague and we have a couple more weekend trips planned for the rest of the year.
We’ve been traveling much more since we moved to Belgium thanks to its central position and proximity anywhere within Europe. The cheap flights and train tickets, and services such as Uber and Airbnb also make it easier to go places. Since we travel quite often, we established more-less a routine we do before we leave on a trip. It starts few days before we leave with making sure we eat all perishables from the fridge. It continues with planning the trip itself and ends with packing all the things we’ll need but at the same time keeping our luggage small.
There are many things we learned about planning a city trip, and I might share my tips some other day, but today I decided to share the things I always pack for my travels. It doesn’t matter whether we go to the North or the South, whether we are leaving for a week or a weekend, whether it Winter or Summer. On top of the basics like my ID, wallet, credit card, weather appropriate clothes, and basic cosmetic, these are the things I always have in my purse, backpack or luggage.
My Travel Essentials
Phone & Camera
My phone is one of the most used items on my travels. Well, it’s probably most used item any day. I save all my booking confirmations, offline maps, notes, etc. on my phone. This way it’s all in one place, and it saves some space in my luggage. Also, my phone is often full things to read, watch or listen to (more below).
Ever since I had my first camera, it was an integral part of my travels. Since I got my new camera, I love to take pictures even more. I prefer to take my camera even though I could take pictures with my phone. But the camera gives me more freedom and makes better pictures.
Snacks & Water
I have snacks and water in my purse almost always. Even for a few hour trips, I bring something. Yes, it’s true you can buy something to eat or drink almost everywhere, but often it’s mostly processed food. I love to try local food in a new place, but I also like to keep my eating somewhat similar to what I eat at home. I want to make sure that even on my travels I have good nutrition which fuels me on days when I’m busy exploring from sunup till sundown.
Our favorite portable snacks are bananas, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, cashews or pecan nuts, dried fruits like dates or cranberries, homemade bliss balls or cookies. If we travel early in the morning and I don’t have breakfast at home, I like to make overnight oats and take them with me. I eat them at the airport right before going through security.
I guess everyone has that one thing (other than keys, money, and phone) they never leave the house without. For me it’s sunglasses. They are a constant in my purse and a must on travels. In a rare case when I forgot them, I had to buy a new one. My eyes are very sensitive to bright light, and I cannot function on a sunny day without them.
I usually take either a paperback or my Kindle plus I have a ton of stuff on my phone. Did you know you can download some shows from Netflix to watch them offline? I also download my favorite albums from Google Play for offline access, and I a few episodes of my favorite podcasts. I love to have options, and I love to have only things I love to choose from. You never know how long you’ll be stuck at the airport, on a train, etc.
Comfortable long-sleeved pullover or sweater
I’m usually cold. I’m the kind of person whose hands are cold almost 365 days a year and airports and airplanes usually have the air-conditioning at maximum. I have a long sleeved T-shirt or pullover even when we travel in summer. If I don’t need to wear it, it doubles as a pillow on a plane or as a protective wrap for fragile souvenirs 😉
What do you never leave the house without? What are your travel essentials?