6 things to pack next time you travel abroad

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

When you’re preparing for your travels abroad, making a list of what to take is an important step before you leave. When I do this, I avoid the feeling that I forgot something. You could just pack at random, but you’re much less likely to forget something if you have a list. You should try to think of anything that you might need, especially when it’s cheaper to buy something at home than at your destination, or vice versa – do you need to lug that heavy hair dryer when the hotel will have one? Some things are vital for your journey too, so you don’t want to forget them. Here are some things to consider, based on my travels over the years.

A universal power adaptor

Wouldn’t it be handy if all the countries in the world had the same electrical sockets? Unfortunately, they don’t. In fact, they don’t even use the same voltage which means even if your plug fits, you may still blow out your device. That’s why it’s important to take a power adaptor on your international travels. You could get one that’s specific to one country, but there’s no need to. A universal adaptor is even better, allowing you to use it anywhere. Try something like these from Amazon.

Also, remember that adapters only allow a plug to fit in a differently shaped socket. A converter is required when the voltage is different from your country of origin. Fortunately, many plugs are capable of handling a spectrum of voltage, such as 110-240 V. Just be sure to check your plug or device to be certain that the voltage it can accept is written on it.  If there is nothing written about the voltage, then don’t take a chance. Bring a converter or risk having your device become fried.

Sanitizer Wipes

If you’re worried about hygiene when you’re traveling, you might want to take a few products with you to stay clean or to clean your environment. It will be handy to have some things to clean up with when you get on planes. Some of the most germ ridden environments are on airplanes. Take sanitizing wipes that you can use to wipe down surfaces such as try tables and armrests on the plane; and some liquid sanitizer to clean your hands. You’ll be able to deal with germs, even without soap. Try these.

No-fee credit card

Using your credit card abroad could result in hefty fees regarding exchange rates. Before you go, you should check the rules for your card. The best thing to do is get an international credit card that doesn’t charge fees when you use it in other countries. You could save a lot of money by avoiding credit card fees. But pay attention to any charges from vendors or ATMs, just in case. Some banks will even wave ATM fees if you use certain brands of ATMs when traveling abroad. Just check your bank’s website to find out. Don’t forget to notify your bank that you’ll be traveling abroad and let them know the destination and dates that you will be there so that you can avoid having your card blocked by the bank due to suspicion of fraud.

Quick-dry travel pants

Practical clothing can be a lifesaver when you’re traveling. Whether you’re planning an adventure or you’re trying to pack light, quick-dry pants are so useful. You can wash them more quickly, they’re lightweight, and you won’t be bothered by a bit of sweat or rain. Buy some that convert into shorts to double your wardrobe options. My absolute favorite are Prana.  

Resealable plastic bags

You never know how handy a plastic bag can be until you go traveling. Take some with zipper tops, so you can reseal them easily versus the ones that you have to pinch close. You can use them for anything from holding your carry-on liquids on the plane to holding some snacks or loose change; or for keeping important documents dry. Bringing nicely scented trash bags is a good idea too. It can be used to store your dirty laundry without fouling up your clean clothes. If you can’t find the scented kind, just throw in a few fabric softener sheets to mask all odors.

Copies of travel documents and cards

It’s a great idea to have copies of your passport, driver’s license and front and back of your credit card. You can scan or photocopy them, but it’s also easy to take photos with your phone. You can even put them on the cloud so you can access them without your phone. Email the photos to yourself to access even if you had your phone lost or stolen; just make sure that they’re secure to prevent identity theft.

Make a list of all the things to take on your travels to make it easier to remember everything. Being organized will help you to be prepared and relax as you embark on your trip.