Dave and I spend a lot of time considering what to pack and over the years we’ve packed less and less – something that is key for a life on the road!
This guest post gives you the low down on what is essential for a carefree holiday.
Knowing what to pack for your trip can be tricky and you’ll usually find that you end up forgetting something. The best way to avoid this is with a packing list, write down everything that you could need and try and stick to the essentials to make the most of your packing space.
Must have travel gear for your packing list:
One of the first things to consider for travelling is a quick drying travel towel. These are much smaller compared to normal towels and are often made from a smooth, microfibre material, which is highly absorbent and quick drying. Look out for options with an anti-bacterial coating, as these are useful in hot climates and conditions where you are unable to wash your towel for a while. The anti-bacterial treatment will help prevent odours and mould from developing.
Sleeping Bag Liner
The next thing you might need is a sleeping bag liner. These can be used to add warmth to your sleeping bag in colder climates or used on their own as an alternative to a sleeping bag in hot and tropical conditions. You can buy sleeping bag liners in a rectangular shape or a tapered mummy shape to suit the style of your sleeping bag. They are also available in different materials, including cotton, silk and fleece, with silk and fleece offering better insulation compared to cotton.
You’ll find that no matter what your destination, mosquitoes and other insects are likely to be an issue. It’s important to ensure you have protection against these bugs, especially in areas where there’s Dengue Fever. A good mosquito repellent is advisable and many travellers recommend DEET based repellents. However, natural repellents have been proven to be just as effective in preventing insect landings, so if you have sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a natural formula. Another item you might wish to consider, would be a mosquito net. This will depend on your destination and your accommodation, as some places will provide bed nets.
Sometimes stomach upsets can’t be avoided when travelling, like when I was sick in the US, but by keeping your hands clean and ensuring they are clean before eating you can reduce your risks of getting ill. This is why we advise packing plenty of anti-bacterial hand gel or some handy wipes.
If you want to use your appliances from home you’ll need to ensure you have the correct plug adapter for your destination. Make sure you research which plug socket is in use in the country you’re visiting before departure and if you’re visiting a number of countries, it would be wise to buy a worldwide/universal adapter which covers several countries.
Water is a luxury we take for granted back home, but when travelling you’ll find that you’re often buying bottled water or having to treat water with purification tablets to make it safe to drink. While tablets and drops are a good option for purifying water, there are also special purifying bottles available that you can fill with water from most sources and it will filter the water as you drink! One example is the Water-to-Go water purification bottle, which has a built in filter to filter out impurities and bacteria that cause illness. If you’re on a budget, you may find that tablets or drops are a more feasible option.
First Aid Kit
Having some basic first aid equipment for your trip can help with any minor injuries and make your life easier should you acquire any cuts and scrapes during your trip. In developing countries you may need a more extensive kit containing syringes and needles. These are useful should you require any emergency treatment, as you can simply hand the kit to a medical professional. Some people also like to pack rehydration salts and diarrhoea relief tablets, just in case!
Sun Care Products
Many of us are usually heading for the sun, so packing some good quality sun protection is a wise move. Always look for a high SPF with UVA and UVB protection to ensure you get the highest level of protection possible.
There’s no need to go overboard on locks and other security products, but having a couple of locks to secure backpack or luggage zips is a good idea, especially in countries with a high crime rate. Another item you may wish to consider is a money belt, these come in a range of styles and can be worn under your clothes for a discreet way to store cash and small valuable items out of sight.
You may or may not wish to put all of these items on your packing list, but hopefully these products will give you a starting point when it comes to packing for your trip.