We’ve all been there when traveling. If you travel a lot then you have almost certainly gotten all the way to where ever it is you’re sleeping that day (or should I say night..), whether that be a hotel, a Vegas casino, a motel, or just a random spot on the ground in the place you’re camping and you’ve realized you’ve forgotten something important.
It sucks, but everyone makes the mistake at least once in their life. It can make an eventful amazing trip turn into a night of cold, uncomfortable sleep because you somehow forgot your sleeping bag.
While these mistakes are horrible and can even go as far as ruining part of your trip, you only forgot something you were already planning on bringing. What about the things you might’ve completely forgotten to prepare?
There are some items so mundane that people, especially people new to traveling and the like, that you might not even think to bring them. Because surely where ever it is you’re going is going to have this right?
It helps not to be so hopeful about locations you haven’t personally been at. While, yes, every supermarket in any normal country (with the exception of the beginning of 2020) has toilet paper, do you really want to have to travel all the way to one when you need to go and find yourself without toilet paper? That is one very long walk of shame.
This is why there are some items that you should always have in your luggage if there’s extra space you can find. I’ll be ranking them in importance from how you should priorities it if you can only find room for some of them, or if you can only afford the weight of a few extra things and don’t want to add an extra list of items (although small, light ones at that.)
Of course just because it’s on this list doesn’t mean you necessarily need it for every trip you take. Think of this list as more of a reminder of what you should think about packing. It’ll make your life a little easier if you bookmark it. Or not, I’m not your master.
This one should explain itself pretty dang fast.
You never want to be somewhere where you need it but don’t have it. Keeping a roll of it in your toiletries bag could very easily be the difference between a successful trip and some very scary minutes of panic when you don’t have one.
It doesn’t even have to be related to the bathroom. Toilet paper is just an incredibly versatile item by itself. Need a tissue? Toilet paper. Need to blow your nose? Toilet paper. Need to dry your hands? Toilet paper. I’m sure with more effort you could figure out more uses for it but you should be able to get the point.
Toilet paper is incredibly useful and you should never be caught on a trip without it. You might easily forget to bring it, and you might also not have an opportunity where you need to use it but if you do find yourself needing it… you’ll sure be glad you brought some along.
You should always know where your towel is. You never want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a blizzard, with a broken-down car, and without a towel. Why not I hear you ask?
A towel is one of the most useful items you can carry with you. It doesn’t even need to be a big towel, though that can obviously be better for a variety of reasons, a hand towel also has a very large range of uses too.
Need to dry your hands? Hand towel. It’s in the name. Want to wipe something but down want trash to throw away? Towel. Need a blanket so you don’t freeze to death? If it’s not wet a towel is just a blanket that went to college.
But don’t use a wet towel as a blanket, it’ll make you colder than if you just didn’t have anything at all.
Water is amazing at transferring heat. Something that’s wet will get colder a lot faster than something that’s dry. It’ll also heat up faster. There’s a relatively famous story of a dude who went to sleep in his car with went socks during a snowstorm and woke up with his feet with severe frostbite.
He ended up needing most of his toes amputated. Not a good story but an educational one.
But a blanket isn’t where the use of a towel ends!
Trying to lie back and enjoy the star but don’t want neck pains? A rolled-up towel can be an amazing make-shift pillow in a pinch.
There are bounties of things that a towel can do too if you really push it. Need water but don’t have a cup? Freshly squeezed water straight from a clean towel.
Okay, that last one might not have been the best but you get the idea. A towel is useful, carry one.
A Good Water Bottle
One of the biggest threats to your health when traveling is dehydration. As the saying goes, you either hydrate or diedrate.
While traveling, not even in the wilderness, you sweat probably a lot more than you’re used to. Most people are used to being inside most of the day so they don’t need as much water. But as soon as you are outside, moving a lot and sweating you suddenly need a lot of water.
Drinking from plastic water bottles is fine, especially if you’re in a place where you can’t get access to clean tap or filtered water easily. But if you have the option you should absolutely go with reusable water bottles.
Plastic water bottles are trash that gets thrown away quickly, the trash that doesn’t decompose or be recycled (since they can’t be). The companies that make the water bottles can also be shams that fill these bottles with tap water and then charge you thirty times the price it cost them to produce to buy the water.
Or in even worse situations they take almost all of the water from a well that’s the sole water source for an African village and charge the people of the village, who used to get the clean drinking water for free, ridiculous prices so that a can of imported Coca Cola costs less than a bottle of water.
So the moral of the story is if you have the opportunity you should try your best to get a good quality water bottle that you can refill for practically free all the time vs paying a company for a bottle of plastic and tap water.
Main photo: São Paulo, Brazil – January 17, 2018: People waiting to board the plane.