Travel essentials you should sort out before you go exploring.
When it comes to making a success of extended periods of travel, you’ll often find that the best way to figure out what you need to take along is experience. The more time you spend away from home, the more you’ll notice yourself taking a mental note of things you should’ve brought along and what extras you’ll be packing next time you adventure away from home.
It will essentially be a series of trial and error for your first couple of stints. But if you’re heading away for the first time, it’s a good idea to do a little research in order to ensure you pack the absolute essentials required to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable. That’s where we can come into help. Here are just a few different travel essentials that you should really ensure you’ve sorted out before you take to exploration.
If you haven’t travelled for extended periods of time yet, chances are that you’ve taken your belongings for previous short trips in a suitcase. Now, suitcases are really great for vacations. Their hard shells mean that they can take a beating when being thrown about in airport security and they can also be fitted with locks to ensure that people keep their prying noses out of your personal belongings. Their wheels also make them easy to cart around airports and hotels. But they really should only be used for short stays in places that are designed especially for the convenience of holiday goers who want comfort and convenience. If you’ve ever tried lugging a suitcase down a two mile strip of rubble covered dirt tracks, you’ll quickly see why backpacks are the luggage style of choice for solo travellers who don’t have the help of a bellhop with a luggage cart.
As long as you pack lightly, a backpack shouldn’t be too much of a weight on your shoulders and they allow you to be much more mobile. You can navigate your way through busy crowds easily with them, take up less space on packed public transport, and you can also keep an eye on it at all times, never accidentally leaving it behind, because it is quite literally attached to you. Take a look at large backpacks that are especially designed for travel - they are much larger than standard backpacks and some come with extra features that come in particularly useful down the line. Look out for options such as sleeping bag straps (which allow you to carry your sleeping bag hands free without completely filling the inside of the bag). Once you’ve sorted out your main backpack, you will also want to invest in a smaller backpack. It may seem odd to purchase two, after all, you can only wear one at a time, but bear with us here.
If you’re going to be staying in a hostel, you might want to take a day trip without lugging around literally everything that you own. You may want to leave your main bulk of luggage behind and take something a little more convenient along with your essentials in. This is where backpack bags come in handy! You can load them with a water bottle, a map, a small first aid kit, your passport and other important documents and enjoy your day with a lighter load.
First Aid Kit
Hopefully, you will have worry-free trips and return from your travels entirely unscathed. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if there is any hiking involved, and this is why it’s important that you always take a well-stocked, portable first aid kit with you. You never know when you might need one! Some companies stock ready-filled first aid kits with everything you could possibly need in them, but you could also save money by creating your own. All you need is a small box or bag. Make sure that you include plasters/ band aids in a variety of shapes and sizes, different size gauze dressings with microporous tape, at least two sterile eye dressings, an eye rinse kit, triangular bandages, safety pins, tweezers, and sterile disposable gloves. If you use anything from the kit while you are away, try to replace it as soon as you have the opportunity. As well as a standard first aid kit, you could also take along some basic medication. Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are a must. Diarrhoea medication is also advisable.
Sunscreen and Insect Repellant
If you’re heading to a hot or sunny location, or a location that’s known to have mosquitos, you’re going to have to invest in plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent. You may be able to get these along the way, but if you have preferred brands it’s a good idea to stock up before you leave. It’s worth the investment. Time and time again people think that they can make it without these products, only to end up buying them later down the line when they are already suffering from sunburn and bites.
It’s astounding the sheer number of travellers who fail to take out travel insurance before they start their trip. But it really is essential! Sure, it might not be the most exciting aspect of your trip organising, but it could prove to be one of the most valuable investments you make. A good travel insurance will first and foremost cover your medical bills should something happen to you overseas. Never underestimate how much treatment and medication for even the most seemingly small injuries or illnesses could cost!
Secondly, it will protect your belongings. You’ll be prone to misplacing belongings or even having belongings stolen. Travel insurance will ensure that these are replaced or compensated for in another way. It only takes a matter of moments to take out a policy, and there are plenty of price comparison sites out there that can help to make the process as simple and comprehensible as possible.
While every traveller will have their personal preferences and decide to take different belongings along with them on their trip, these are essentials that pretty much everybody should be taking along with them!
by Natalie Marie.
An Aussie girls guide to
I make all of the mistakes
so you don't have to.
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