I’ve had the opportunity to do a decent amount of travelling, throughout the united states and a little internationally. I like to travel as light as possible, usually only taking one carry-on size bag, so space is at a premium and I only take stuff that is useful. There are 5 things that I always take with me whenever I go travelling:
Don’t get one of the really soft ones, as they flatten out and don’t support your head. I have a squareish pillow made out of memory foam. At around 10 or 12 bucks it’s well worth the cost and I’ve been super happy to have it on any trip where I have to travel by plane, bus, train, etc. Especially at weird hours.
Portable Phone Battery
These days everything is done on our smartphones – Navigation, communication, entertainment, data storage, research, picture and video taking, etc. Constantly using the phone can quickly drain the battery, and when you are travelling having a dead phone can be a huge pain in the ass. There are all sorts of portable chargers, from tiny versions that give you a full charge, to larger battery packs that can charge 5 or more phones before needing to be recharged. I always take one like this with me when travelling strongly recommend getting one.
I carry a knife with me virtually everywhere I go. For self defense, as well as a variety of other practical reasons it is a great idea to have a knife with you at all times. Unfortunately, what is legal to carry varies wildly depending on where you are. The Lanksy company produced this knife to solve that problem. It is legal to carry in all 50 states and virtually every country on the planet. Because of having to conform to so many different rules it is not a great knife, but it is better than nothing, and it is cheap. Rather than try to figure out all the various laws of everywhere you will be going, just take this one.
Security is always something you should be thinking about, whether or not you are travelling. It is especially important when you are travelling however, as you don’t have the same access to the resources you do when you are at home. Losing your money, wallet, phone, or especially passport can turn a fun vacation into a nightmare.
Aside from preventing pickpockets and other thefts, something like the Galco Ankle safe or a money belt will also help prevent you from simply dropping or leaving behind important items. I recommend at least having one with you, even if you don’t always feel it’s necessary to use it.
I don’t normally vacation like regular people, where I sit at the same hotel in the same for a few days. In that case its easy to remember everything you did. However, In the last trip I went on, I spent 10 days travelling from Charleston South Carolina all the way to Portland Maine, hitting every major city in between. When you see that much stuff it can be hard to remember it all, so I like to write down all the stuff I’ve experienced and the thoughts I had during it. Otherwise you find yourself forgetting a bunch of little stuff.
Of course you can use a note-taking app or something similar, but if I don’t have a full keyboard I would prefer to write by hand, so I use a moleskin notebook.