Updated: Oct 18
Whether it’s a weekend away or long/short-haul trip, there are a few travel essentials I always carry with me. Obviously, some would only be necessary in certain occasions and destinations, but they are game changers to have handy!
Ok, so I’m starting off with a pretty obvious one; I mean, who goes anywhere without their phone these days?! The numerous features on a smartphone make it the handiest tool to have. To ensure that my phone will last as long as possible throughout a single day whilst travelling, I turn it on flight mode when not in use, or when only using certain functions in order to save battery and data. However, in the case of needing my phone fully working, I carry a portable charger with me – especially handy when you need the help of Maps to get around! It’s also a wise decision when choosing your mobile phone contract to see which provider offers the best deals for international roaming; consider the countries you’re likely to visit and whether you’ll be using apps that require data connection such as Maps to help you get around. Cameras on smartphones have become increasingly competitive to the point people are questioning the need for a separate camera altogether! Which brings me to my next essential…
As amazing as smartphones are at capturing memories, I prefer to have a separate camera to shoot those moments from. Also, because it means I can save storage space on my phone! Plus, many cameras have incorporated Wi-Fi now, making it a seamless transition moving photos from one device to another. My most favourite camera has to be my DJI osmo action camera, which can be used underwater, is great for wide angles and when attached to a selfie stick, is the perfect (additional) travel companion.
Simply put, nobody wants damaged skin. SPF should be worn throughout the year; even when we can’t see the suns rays, the exposure can be damaging our skin cells without us even knowing. That goes for our lips too! There’s nothing worse than dry, chapped lips, right?! Now imagine that about 10x worse and that’s what sunburnt lips would feel like! (I assume) Avoid it at all costs and opt for a lip balm with built in SPF – they smell great too! I always opt for a waterproof SPF 30 (occasionally 50 depending on the country) and apply as needed throughout the day. After a day at the beach, applying after sun or aloe vera cream is another essential to keep skin hydrated and silky!
From my blog name, it’s (hopefully) obvious that I love to visit tropical islands and countries with tropical climates. Unfortunately, those destinations are also where mosquitos thrive, and I must have sweet blood given the number of bites I receive from those pests! Hence, always carrying mosquito repellent containing DEET – the ingredient proven to be most successful at providing protection from mosquitos - is essential. Repellent also protects against other insects such as ticks, meaning that it can be used in any climate where you are prone to being bitten by an insect! The last thing you want to catch on your travels is a disease! As an alternative, citronella oil mixed with body moisturiser or sun cream also works and for accommodation purposes, citronella candles are great!
This is a must have essential in the house let alone when travelling! It’s my go to for whenever I feel out of sorts. Many people associate it as use for relieving colds and congestion – which yes, it is great for! I keep it handy even whilst travelling to hot destinations because as I believe, air conditioning is my kryptonite! Even the slightest bit too much of it causes me to get the sniffles and eventually a cold – it has happened far too often for me to even second guess packing that little jar! An application of the rub overnight is just the cure to set me up and raring to go for the next day! But it can be used for so much more! If you’re feeling super cold, apply to the soles of your feet and put on some socks, as you rest/sleep you will gain warmth. Got any aches or pains, a headache? Apply to the affected area before sleep/resting and the pain will dramatically decrease! I am no doctor, these are just remedies that have worked for me - always read the instructions before use!
As the world takes steps to reduce its carbon footprint and global warming, one of the smallest contributions we can make is to invest in reusable drinking vessels – it doesn’t just have to be a typical water bottle, how about an insulated bottle that can be used for both hot and cold drinks? Alternatively, invest in a reusable cup/mug for those coffee runs! By filling your own bottle wherever you are based, not only are you helping save the planet, but also saving money with the addition of being able to make your drink just as you like it (I’m picky about my coffee!) But the most important thing is that you stay hydrated folks!
Mints, boiled sweets, chewing gum, whatever your fancy – without sounding like an old lady, having something to freshen your mouth will help you make more friends – no one likes to speak to people with bad breath! Harsh realities aside, having something to pop into your mouth will help to curb any feelings of hunger and essentially hold off ‘hangriness’ for a little longer whilst you’re on the go!
Writing a travel diary with all that you do in each day, places you have been, sites you have seen etc… was the best tip my mum gave me and to this day I am thankful that I listened to her! Without those notes, I would not be able to remember and share as much as I have about my travels in detail with you!
Another obvious one and although most purchases are made by card nowadays, it’s important to keep in mind the country, exchange rate, card fees and areas you are visiting – for example, if you’re visiting a market in Thailand, it’s most likely that they will only accept cash. Another thing with cash from different countries is that the notes can differ in sizes to what we may be used, so having the right purse is essential – you wouldn’t want a zip to get stuck and tear apart a note worth a big sum!
In these unprecedented times, hand sanitiser or anti-bacterial wipes have become an essential to carry around wherever you go. I highly suggest taking these precautions with you as hygiene and sanitation practices vary by country and area. Even if you are planning to stay in your hotel/resort for the entire trip, it can be handy for quick action to sticky hands and so on – just remember to keep it out of direct sunlight as the substances inside may be flammable! Spread love not germs!
Finally, you’ve got all your items ready to take, now it’s just about finding the perfect bag to carry it all in! Believe me when I say I’ve been through more bags than necessary – either because the material was wrong or the zip broke or it simply wasn’t practical… each trip is different and therefore finding a bag that can handle all situations is a journey in itself!