The Ultimate Travel Survival Kit

Jenny Katte talks through some of the most handy and helpful things to take with you on your travels

Whether you are flying away on a weekend city break, headed on a week-long beach get away, or off exploring on a longer adventure, there are a few things that you should always consider taking with you. The obvious ones being the essentials; things like your passport (it’s also a good idea to take a photocopy to be on the safe side should you lose it), money and your phone, but there are also a few other items that could make your trip much more comfortable.

First off, you should really invest in a good suitcase, or rucksack if you’re the more adventurous type. For shorter breaks a smaller, carry on size suitcase (for most airlines the maximum dimensions are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels) are perfect and avoid costly hold storage fees. If so, you should really be looking for one with a good lock, a hard-shell and 4 “spinner” wheels for maximum security and practicality. If you’re embarking on a longer-term trip, you might consider taking a large, hiking style rucksack instead of a bulky hold size suitcase because they are so much easier to use and leave your hands free when navigating in unfamiliar places.

“If you’re heading to the beach perhaps you might leave this one at home”

A foldable shopping bag is also a great thing to take with you. They fold up small and can be used for all kinds of things including to carry shopping, separate out dirty from clean clothes or to put your shoes in so they don’t dirty the rest of your luggage. They also ensure that you’re not contributing to the global use of plastic bags every time you buy something. Zip-lock bags are also brilliant for travellers because they are so versatile. They’re great at keeping important or valuable things dry, or they can be a great place to keep snacks and things that might leak (like shampoo).

In terms of clothes, a good coat and comfortable shoes are three must-have items for any traveller. A windproof, waterproof coat means you will always be prepared for unpredictable weather in foreign climates. Good ones have inside pockets in which you can keep important items safe and dry. Obviously, if you’re heading to the beach perhaps you might leave this one at home. Comfortable shoes are so important given that all travellers are likely to spend a lot of time on their feet. Make sure you’re not the one who needs to sit down because your feet hurt when exploring a fantastic city where there are loads of sights to see.

“Wearing flip flops can save your feet from grimy shower floors”

Flip flops and swimming shorts/costume are also great travelling items, especially if you’re planning on staying somewhere warm, but they are also great things to have if you’re planning on using hostels. Bear in mind that some hostels have communal showers, so bathing in your swimmers can be a great way to preserve your modesty, and wearing flip flops can save your feet from grimy shower floors.

Some necessary things to pack in your wash kit are anti-bacterial gel, to keep your hands clean when your surrounding may be lacking the cleanliness your body is used to, a mini toothbrush and paste, which are godsends on long-haul flights, and some tissues, for when the public loos run out (a frequent occurrence). Also, be sure to take insect repellent and sun cream to warmer climates and remember some baby wipes to freshen yourself up when perhaps a shower isn’t available.

“You can never be too careful”

A basic first aid kit is probably also a good move. It doesn’t need to be big, but a few plasters should you cut yourself, some Sudafed to combat fluey symptoms, some paracetamol/ibuprofen for pain relief and some Dioralyte should you eat something dodgy. Make sure to take an emergency contact card, especially if you’re travelling alone, just in case something serious should happen, because you can never be too careful. Make sure it’s marked with a big red cross and kept in an easily locatable place; perhaps it’s best kept with your travel insurance documents.

I would also advise you to take an eye mask and earbuds because you never know where you might want to nap. Plug converters are also an essential because you might not always be able to find USB charging points abroad. A reusable water bottle is a must as it’s really important to stay hydrated, especially in hot countries, but don’t want to be continuously buying disposable water bottles. Also consider taking a notebook and pen so when your phone inevitably runs out and you need to go old school and jot something down you can, but it would also work as a travel diary which will be a great souvenir in itself and something to look back on.

If you pack these items, then you’re sure to have a great holiday because you’ll be safe and prepared for every eventuality. Happy travels!

Jenny Katte

Image courtesy of cmor15 via Flickr.

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