All right, I will cut the chase. We will not discuss backpack, suitcase, toothbrush, or other banalities. Anyone on an outing should think about carry those. If not, they should face the consequences on their own. Instead, we will talk about those little things, often neglected, quickly regretted. These little gadgets constitute my essentials of a travel survival kit.
1. Travel case
If we are going to talk essentials, let us start with stop giving freebies to airport security officers. A designer perfume or your favorite cologne is not a thing to separate yourself from, minutes away from venturing into the unknown. Travel bags are TSA-ready nowadays, with empty bottles you can fill with all your favorite stuffs. I only hope you actually use it for toiletry. The gains from keeping all your grooming products in one place are two-fold. First, when packing, you can easily visualize what you have and what you are missing. Second, once on the road, you will have easier access to them. Nothing fancy needed. Amazon has a wide selection that will certainly suit your needs.
If you want to take your travel survival kit to another level, consider a leather Dopp kit. It has enough room for your toilet bag and your grooming tools if you want to take them along with you.
2. Face wipes
The perfect travel survival kit should have something for those in need of a deep cleansing on the go. This means all of us, at some point, during a long trip. The seasoned globetrotter knows that the best way to survive a long day on the road is to never stop feeling great about yourself. Get rid of that reek and sweat and clear those blocked pores with facial cleansing wipes.
3. Laptop sleeve
You cannot travel with your laptop. Either you are simply addicted or just a workaholic, you need a proper laptop sleeve to protect it; one that is tough yet compact. I have a Jansport sleeve and I am happy with it. It has a sports look. For a more sober design, try a Samsonite.
photo credit: Lisa Brewster via photopin cc
4. Travel wallet
You might already have a wallet but what you want is a travel wallet. They are (surely) not equal. A wallet fit for a traveler should be a slim billfold, made with the finest material, capable of holding all your currencies, travel documents, bankcards, without inflating your pocket. Did I mention a mini pen included to help you through the annoying process of customs form filling? If your wallet does not fit that description, here is a comparative table of the best solutions out there.
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5. Universal adapter
Keep your laptop, phone, and all other devices running wherever you go. With less than $20, you could acquire a universal power adapter. They are compatible with most plugs worldwide. The newer ones integrate USB ports, and that is useful. I even found one that also acts as a mini surge protector. If you happen to be an Apple fan, then Twelve South PlugBug is your best bet.
6. External battery pack
Sometimes, you really need a little extra juice to navigate from the airport to your hotel. Save a dying phone, laptop or tablet with an external battery pack. This article discusses some of the best external battery packs out there. Their prices range from $20 to close to $100. Better yet, some like the Astro reportedly kept an iPhone running a GPS alive for 7 days.
7. Listening headset
Life on the road is easier when we can lay back at times listening to a good vibe. Gazing at the Pacific Ocean, first thing in the morning, from a beachside hotel balcony, while listening to Sinatra’s “somewhere beyond the sea” is simply priceless. Consider investing in an earphone for the very least. I prefer headphones for their noise cancellation although I realize they might not as practical as in-ear pieces. You could always get sound quality and a slim design with a Bose QuietComfort 3s or the more affordable Sony MDR-NC200D. A friend of mine swears by Beats by Dre. It might be worth checking too.
If you are group traveling, then also consider a portable speaker. Jawbone Mini Jambox and the Beats Pill are probably the leaders on the market. You can always hit EBay for cheaper solutions that would most likely do the job.
You definitely need a photography device to immortalize those scenic places and unbelievable things you will experience. You could choose a DSLR, a simple point-and-shoot digital camera or stick with a smartphone. I guess the main difference between these relates to how much precision and quality you are willing to trade for simplicity and size. Check out this great article to help you add the right cam to your travel survival kit.
9. Food Containers
Depending on the length and the destination of your travel, this might be a sound advice. Carry some food and drink containers. It could spare you food poisoning and forced fasting issues. I talk from experience. Usually, I just pack a couple of sandwich bags with zip seal along with my travel mug. They do the drink. You might need to conserve more food than I do, in which case, check this site out for a better understanding on the matter.
10. Granola bars
I was tempted to add this to the previous section but I think it deserves its own. Pack granola bars. They are a cheap yet nutritive source of nutritive elements: fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Travel jackets, sunglasses and a gaming device could have also made this list. They are some of the things always in my travel survival kit whenever I plan on a long excursion. What do you pack when you go on a trip? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.