If you’re a frequent traveler you probably have your own list of must-have items that accompany you on every trip. Although I don’t travel as often as I’d like, I have certain things that must come with me every time. What’s on my ‘must-bring’ list?
I love to read and there’s nothing better than uninterrupted hours on a plane or in an airport (although I find I get distracted in the airport, watching everyone around me). I used to pack books – paperbacks, hardbacks, library books, my own books, it didn’t matter – in fact it probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that half the weight of my luggage was books.
When my husband and I backpacked around Europe for almost five months (back in the dark ages) we were always looking for English-language books, which were much harder to find than they are now. The advent of the e-reader has banished these problems forever. One tiny device, weighing next-to-nothing and problem solved.
There are a number of different readers available; although I use a Kobo, I’m willing to admit that the Kindle is probably the most popular. Heck, some e-readers are WiFi accessible and actually double as mini-tablets. This means you can leave your larger, heavier iPad at home, reducing the weight even further and making it easy to add to your collection any time you have an internet connection!
Depending on where you live, it’s becoming easier to have your smartphone unlocked. In the U.S., laws vary by provider but it is possible to buy an unlocked phone or have an old phone unlocked. In Canada, all wireless providers must unlock your phone (for a fee) – even if you’re on a contract – after 90 days, or immediately, if you’ve purchased your phone outright. What advantage does an unlocked phone give you when you’re traveling? The ability to purchase a SIM card in whichever country you’re visiting, thus resulting in much lower mobile costs. I love not having to pay exorbitant roaming fees anymore! I also use my iPhone as my music source, both at home and on the road.
Travel off the North American continent and you’re going to need them! A set of these is a definite must-have for international travel. My set is ancient and I’m not sure I ever received it back from my daughter when she returned from her own European sojourn. Next time I need a set I’ll be buying a new set. The Sea to Summit Travel Adaptors appeal to me because of their bright colors. Don’t forget to pack a converter too, much of the world uses 220v instead of 110v.
My job is such that I take it with me when I travel. As long as I can find WiFi, I can work! I used to carry around a laptop that weighed a ton. Well, maybe not a ton, but definitely a lot! People would lift my backpack and ask what on earth I had in it. So, I went looking for the lightest laptop I could find. Not being willing to switch to an Apple computer and looking to stay with a PC, I ended up choosing the Sony Vaio with a 13.3″ touchscreen, which weighs just over two pounds. I love it and it lets me keep up with my work while I’m on the road, even when vacationing in Maui! While more expensive than other laptops, it’s worth every penny to me to not be lugging ten pounds extra around in my backpack.
While I still use the earbuds that came with my iPod (that I now use on my iPhone) I have my heart set on these JayBird Bluebuds Wireless Headphones. I’d love to not be tied to my iPhone, able to move freely while listening to my music. They’re light, portable and will fit into a tiny pocket in my backpack – I think I might have to get myself a pair before my next trip.
What’s on your must-pack list?