Packing Tips: Essential Items

Packing Tips: Essential Items

Posted November 10, 2016

We’ve all experienced that, “Oh, I wish I’d brought that!” moment on a trip.  Often, the item we find ourselves needing is something we wouldn’t normally think to pack and can’t readily find abroad.  To help make your trip smoother, we have provided the following list of essentials items that should be packed on every journey.

Health and safety: 

  • Pack any over-the-counter medications that you’ve found effective – and that may be hard to come by – for headaches, colds, upset stomach, motion sickness, allergies, etc. Make sure these are in your carry-on bag and not packed in checked luggage.
  • If you plan to do extensive walking, take some moleskin along to prevent potential blisters.
  • Antibacterial wipes and pocket tissues go a long way towards maintaining your comfort and cleanliness on exotic trips such as safaris.
  • With several travel-sized bottles of sunscreen along, you can spend time in the sun without paying the price for it.

Organization and convenience:  

  • Wrapped around a pen to save space, duct tape serves a host of purposes from fastening your luggage if a zipper breaks or repairing a camera case.      
  • Use an eyeglass case to store your phone charger cords and earbuds and keep them from tangling up in your luggage.
  • A small flashlight always proves invaluable, especially in more exotic locales where you may encounter power failures or poorly lit walkways.
  • Don’t forget zip-loc bags for change and small trinkets and for things that may leak (shampoo, lotion, etc.), and a plastic bag(s) for separating out wet and/or dirty clothing.

Clothing and personal comfort: 

  • Ward off unexpected chill – air-conditioning on a bus, for instance – on any trip with a pashmina shawl, warm and extremely lightweight.
  • A sleep mask and earplugs will help you catch some shut-eye on the plane, or in any other distracting environment not readily conducive to sleep.
  • For those long bus or train rides, a travel pillow makes the trip more comfortable.
  • Slip a pair of flip-flops into your bag if you have any swimming in your itinerary.


  • A power strip with a surge protector lets you plug in multiple devices at once, and if necessary, with only one plug adapter – especially handy in places with limited outlets.
  • If you want to keep your cell phone, tablet, and/or camera charged while on the move, a portable external battery charger with USB ports will do the trick.


Photo courtesy of Flickr.