We all pack differently for travel. Some of us can live out of small backpack for a month in Southeast Asia. Some of us check 3 bags for an overnight trip to Phoenix. Most folks fall somewhere in between those two extremes.Throughout my life, my packing style has evolved. Since I’ve become uber-frequent traveler, I’ve been able shed a lot more unnecessary items in my luggage. I’ve become a much lighter packer and it’s made traveling a whole lot easier. And while I now strive to pack as light as possible, there are certain items that are must haves for me on all trips.
Here’s a few lightweight items that I consider essentials for stress-free global travel:
Stay Charged – Universal Travel Outlet – Having a reliable conversion plug wherever you are on this the planet will always come in handy. Be sure to research a reliable outlet. My personal favorite is the Satechi Smart Travel Charger/Router with USB Ports. It’s got more than essential but it’s the same size as other travel chargers and it doubles as a WiFi router to add additional security to your hotel WiFi connection.
Stay Clean – Baby Wipes – Germs are everywhere and you’ll find that sometimes when you’re on the go, there’s not always a place to wash your hands. I’m a bit more germ-conscious than the average person so these are a must for me. You never know when you might want to wipe down a tray table or clean baby goat slobber off your paws. My personal favorite are Babyganics Face, Hand & Wipes which are alcohol free and gentle on your skin. They also come in compact, handy travel size packs, perfect for tucking away in your hand luggage.
Store Your Liquids – Clear Security-Approved Toiletry Bag – A compact, internationally-approved container to help you sail through security is a must. This will come in handy in a couple of scenarios. First,for domestic U.S. security, travelers who do not have TSA PreCheck and are required to remove liquids from their hand luggage. Second, most international security checkpoints, many of which require you to have one clear bag no larger than a liter or roughly 20 cm x cm. I’ve experienced very strict security agents in Finland, Spain, and the UK. I absolutely love my security approved bag from Flight 001. I have found that I can avoid extra headache by having a transparent toiletry bag so I can pull it out quickly in the security queue.
Stay Dry – Ultralight Rain Jacket – Weather can be incredibly unpredictable sUltralight travel jacketo it’s smart to always have a lightjacket in your carry-on. I often get cold in flight or I need something to keep me dry in the rain. Jackets can kill your luggage space quickly so I recommend an ultralight windbreaker. They’re incredibly thin and surprisingly keep you quite warm. Plus, if you get a paper thin one, you can quickly wash it in your hotel sink without a washing machine. It will easily air dry on a hanger overnight. To speed it up, use your hotel hair dryer. Patagonia and Mountain Hardware make excellent jackets but these are also premium brands. I’ve got a great one from Reebok that was only $20
Keep Track of Your Bags – GPS or QR Code Luggage Tag – You never know when you may have a bag misplaced or hopefully not,have a bag stolen. GPS embedded luggage is expensive and a bit bulky for the light traveler. A less expensive alternative are luggage tags with a QR Code printed on them. This way, anyone with a QR code scanner app can look up your specified contact info to help get you reconnected with your bags.I like the Dynotag QR Code Smart Luggage Tag and keep these on all my bags. You specify what contact information you want embedded in the QR code on the luggage tag. There’s a also a hidden spot to hand write your contact info underneath the cover. Plus, they’re made of steel and incredibly durTravel Laundry Bagable.
Keep Your Clothes Clean – Bring a Compact Laundry Bag – I like my clothes clean and have a need to keep my clean and dirtylaundry very separate. Carrying an ultralight bag that takes up less room than a pair of socks is a great way to create space for your dirty underwear. You don’t need anything special, just a lightweight sack to tuck away in your suitcase. Personally, I carry the Kikkerland Travel-Size Laundry Bag for its light weight. Plus, as an avgeek, it has a nice plane print on it!
These are a few of my essentials for global travel. They helps make my travel easier and less stressful without adding too much bulk to my bag. You may have a few of your own must-haves for travel. I’d love to hear about yours in the comments below!