Traveling alone can be dangerous, but it can also be one of the best ways to see the world around you. You will be able to do what you want to do without having to answer to anyone else about what they want to do. It will let you stay out late, get up early, eat what you want, and take advantage of every situation.
Still, you have to be prepared. Don’t forget these items when traveling the world:
1. Extra Passport Photos
You may not realize it, but there are places around the world that require photos for some of the strangest things. It is an off chance that you’ll need it, but consider carrying one or two extras with you so that you can put it on a metro card, give it to your hotel to identify you, or to drop off at the Embassy.
You should get an extra when you get your picture taken, so just save that.
2. Emergency Contact Info Sheet
Write all of your emergency contact information on a sheet or paper or an index car and carry it around with you. If something happens and you lose your phone (or you aren’t able to answer questions), they can use that information to help you. The best place to put it is your wallet, just make sure that it is clearly labeled.
3. Plastic Bags
Whenever you travel around the world, you want to bring plastic bags. These are perfect to put your dirty clothes into, divide your bag for travel, and even as makeshift storage if needed. When you are alone, you need to be crafty because no one can help you carry your bags, so be careful about how many you use. Still, you never know when one will come in handy.
Use envelopes as scrap paper, to save ticket stubs, to organize yourself, to write a letter to a local, or just about anything else you could need. Having a few might seem silly, but they are small and lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much room.
5. Folder for Printed Documents
Bring a file folder with you that have printouts of all the essential information about your trip – a few copies of your passport, printouts of maps, hotel reservations, airline information, and travel guides. Putting everything into a sturdy folder will keep it safe and organized.
Even if you are traveling in the warmest month of the year, a scarf will come in handy. You can use it as a blanket on cold planes or trains, a head covering for going into religious areas (and when it rains), and as makeshift clothing if the need arises. On the trip home, you can wrap up souvenirs or to organize everything.
When it comes to choosing a scarf, go for one that is larger and isn’t attached.
7. First-Aid Kit
Truth be told, when I go on vacation I always forget bandages. Go to your local drugstore to pick up a first aid kit that will cater to your needs. For me, that means Tylenol, band aids, eye drops, Sudafed, and Tums. It might mean something different for you, so make sure that you personalize your First-Aid Kit.
Remember that if you are traveling, you need to have the prescription bottle with you for any doctor prescribed pills.
8. Sensible Sneakers
When you travel, you walk a lot. Instead of bringing five pairs of shows that hurt in different places, buy yourself a high quality pair of sneakers that you can dress up and dress down. Break these sneakers in before you go so that your feet don’t hurt while you’re traveling.
9. Foldable Down Jacket
Weather patterns change on a dime across the world. Get yourself a down jacket that you can easily fold up and slip into your suitcase. If you need it, you’ll be thankful you have it – for rain, cold mornings, or as a pillow when the ones in your hotel don’t cut it.
Another item that you want to buy high quality is a backpack. No matter what, you can always use a backpack when you travel. It serves as extra luggage and allows you to walk around hands free while navigating a new place. Go for one that isn’t ostentatious, because that makes you a target for pick pockets.
If you can, get a backpack that has a sleeve for your laptop and a space for a water bottle.
11. Snack Bars
Eating in a foreign country can be weird with friends. When you’re alone, it can be even stranger. If you are on a different eating schedule, you may wake up at 3 AM and be starving. Instead of venturing out into the world, consider packing some snack bars so that you can eat them on the go. Make sure to avoid ones that can go bad in extreme temperatures or that will melt (so no chocolate).
12. Various Wipes
When you get to your hotel and you find that it isn’t quite as nice as they advertised, you may want to wipe things down. Head over to your local store to grab some wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and even some cleansing cloths so that no matter where you are, everything around you and your body will be clean.
13. Hard-shell Rolling Carry-On Suitcase
Hard shell rolling suitcases are your best option when traveling alone or with people because they keep everything just a little bit safer – and drier. You also seem to be able to stuff more into those bags, which is perfect for the trip back when you have souvenirs. Investing in quality luggage can mean a lifetime of worry-free travel.
14. Last Chance Clothes
If you are the type of person that likes to purchase a ton of souvenirs, consider taking “last chance clothing” with you. This means the pair of underwear that you aren’t really proud of, the socks that almost have a hole in the toe, and the pajamas that have seen better days and nights. That way you won’t feel badly about throwing them away when you get ready to go back home, instantly making more room.
15. Flip Flops
You will probably want to bring shoes other than sneakers and if you absolutely must, flip flops are a great bet. They are versatile enough to wear out when your feet are swollen, wear in the shower when it is questionable, and even to walk around your hotel if things are a bit scary on the floors there. Flip flops will protect you from picking up some nasty stuff.
What are your must have items for when you travel the world?