Man With Luggage Standing At Airport Window Looking Airplane Thinking About Travel Essentials

36 Travel Essentials To Be Ready For Anything (2021)

Traveling is fun and exciting. But it can also be unpredictable!

Especially these days. As more of us leave our homes and start traveling again, it feels like there are even more ways for trips to end in disaster. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of preparation, you can travel knowing you’re ready for anything! In this post, I will show you my 36 travel essentials for any trip. 

These are the same methods I use. And, they are based on research and experimentation from my own experience. And, I’ve tried to keep it efficient by balancing safety, weight, space, and cost.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that everyone travels differently. While it’s hard to build one list for everyone, I think this is a great place to start. So let’s dive right in with my 36 travel essentials to be ready for anything.

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    Table of Contents

    Insurance

    Travel Insurance Policy Is Travel Essential Insurance
    Travel Insurance Policy Is Travel Essential Insurance
    Travel Insurance Policy Is Travel Essential Insurance

    While travel insurance is not appropriate for every trip, it is a travel essential under the right circumstances. I’ve successfully used it on several occasions as part of my own travel preparedness, which is why I feel so confident recommending it.

    1. Travel Insurance

    Traveling can get expensive, especially the more extended or complex your trip. And if something goes wrong, you could be out hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    However, you can protect your investment with travel insurance. When you purchase travel insurance, you transfer your financial risk to the insurance company in exchange for the premium price.

    The insurance policy specifies your coverage amounts and under what circumstances you can collect. The result is that travel insurance provides options if something happens to your trip in the future.

    Most travel insurance offers financial protection if you need to cancel your trip due to a covered reason like job loss, sickness, or a death in the family.

    However, good travel insurance protects you against so much more! Policies can include coverage for emergency medical, evacuation, trip interruption, delays, terrorism, weather, coronavirus, and property loss.

    Furthermore, you can even buy insurance that lets you cancel your trip for any reason.

    Pro Tip:
    If you want a policy that allows you to cancel for any reason, you must purchase it within 14 days of your first payment toward the trip.

    To help you decide when insurance is appropriate, I suggest you ask yourself these four questions:

    1. How expensive is your trip? The more money you have on the line, the more you’ll want insurance to protect it.
    2. How far ahead of time are you making plans? The earlier you start making payments, the more time there is for something to go wrong. But, insurance can put your mind at ease.
    3. Are you traveling internationally? Every foreign country on your itinerary adds complexity and risk to your plans. However, you can offset the risk with insurance.
    4. Do you want additional coverage? If you’d like specific protections like those I mentioned earlier, you’ll want a policy that includes those coverages. 

    As with most insurance, prices vary significantly from company to company. I recommend using Squaremouth to research and compare quotes from different insurance companies. Squaremouth’s comparison engine is a useful tool for travel, helping you find the right policy at the best price.

    SquareMouth Travel Insurance
    • The highest-rated travel insurance comparison site.
    • Use Squaremouth's comparison engine to search, compare, and buy the best travel insurance for your trip.
    Search For Travel Insurance Policies
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    Health

    Woman Using First Aid Kit Travel Essential Health
    Woman Using First Aid Kit Travel Essential Health
    Woman Using First Aid Kit Travel Essential Health

    No one likes getting sick or injured while traveling. But sometimes, it happens. That’s why you should consider carrying these items in your travel emergency kit.

    2. Medical First-Aid Kit

    A first-aid kit is a must-have travel essential regardless of where you go. Aside from disrupting your plans, you never know how difficult it might be to see a doctor.

    When you have your own first-aid kit, you can deal with minor issues yourself. And this keeps them from becoming serious problems.

    The best travel first-aid kits are compact, thorough, and well-organized. In addition, they should have supplies to treat ailments such as pain, stomach issues, dehydration, minor wounds, burns, blisters, and sprains.

    I’ve recommended a few of my favorite options below:

    Adventure Medical World Travel Medical First-Aid Kit
    $87.69
    • Contains the medical supplies you need when traveling to remote locations where medical assistance may be hours or days away
    • Provides you with a full complement of emergency supplies as well as medications to treat common travel ailments, including stomach upset, dehydration, pain, and allergies
    • Accommodates 1-4 people for multiple days
    • Includes TSA-approved 3-1-1 bag for liquids and cosmetics
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    09/22/2021 07:33 pm GMT
    Adventure Medical Mountain Series Explorer Medical First-Aid Kit
    $47.95
    • Organizes contents into clearly-labeled pockets by injury
    • Administer CPR safely with the face shield
    • Stop bleeding quickly using the trauma pad
    • Provide relief from allergies, pain, fevers, and upset stomachs with a variety of medications
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    09/22/2021 07:23 pm GMT

    3. Dental First-Aid Kit

    Anyone who’s ever had a dental problem away from home will appreciate a dental first-aid kit. Even a minor tooth issue can be excruciating and blow up a well-planned trip. 

    A dental first-aid kit has everything you need to temporarily treat minor issues like toothaches, damaged fillings, and broken crowns. In fact, I carry this one in my travel emergency kit whenever I travel:

    Adventure Medical Kits Dental Medic Travel First-Aid Kit for Teeth
    $14.89
    • Contains basic supplies like floss, cotton, and anesthetic
    • Temporary cavity filling mixture protects your tooth until you can find a dentist
    • Orasol gel and tural tea (tannins) soothe pain in the teeth and gums
    • Specialized instructions explain how to manage various dental emergencies
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    09/22/2021 07:23 pm GMT

    4. Prescription Medication

    Your prescription medications are definitely a travel essential. However, depending on the drug and your destination, you may also need to bring a copy of your prescription or the medication bottle.

    For more information on traveling with prescription medication, visit the Transportation Security Administration website.

    5. Over-The-Counter Medication

    It’s also helpful to include common over-the-counter medications on your travel packing list. This is especially true when traveling in a foreign country where you may not speak the language, or the drugs might be formulated differently.

    At a minimum, you should include the following:

    6. Toilet Seat Covers

    Not all toilets are created equal. And sometimes, a public restroom makes you think twice about sitting down. But, when you travel, especially with children, you need to use whatever bathroom you can find.

    However, when you carry your own travel toilet seat covers, you won’t have to worry about unsanitary toilets.

    Rockland Guard Flushable Toilet Seat Covers (50-count)
    $6.95
    • Provides a layer of protective barrier to avoid direct contact with unsanitary public restrooms for a hygienic and safe bathroom experience
    • Flushable and biodegradable
    • Pocket-sized and easy to use
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    09/22/2021 07:25 pm GMT

    7. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    The new reality of travel in the post-COVID-19 world is a confusing mess of international, national, state, local, and individual business guidelines.

    That’s why carrying your own medical personal protective equipment (PPE) is a travel essential. Consider adding items such as nitrile gloves, masks, or face shields to your travel emergency kit.

    Face Mask (50-pack)
    $15.49
    • This is a general use face mask
    • Pack of 50 masks
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    09/22/2021 07:24 pm GMT
    Safety Face Shields for Adults (10-pack)
    $17.99
    • Pack of 10 adult-size face shields with 180-degree wide full-face protection from particle droplets, spray, splatter, saliva, wind, smoke, and debris
    • Crystal clear, double-sided anti-fog and anti-static coating treatment
    • Adjustable elastic band fits most people and is comfortable to wear
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    09/22/2021 07:24 pm GMT
    MedPride Powder-Free Nitrile Exam Gloves (100-count)
    $19.99
    • Heavy duty strength with higher tactile sensitivity
    • Higher chemical protection and puncture resistance
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    09/22/2021 07:24 pm GMT

    8. Thermometer

    Another of today’s realities is that we must monitor our own health more than ever before. And one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by checking our temperature.

    That’s why a thermometer, like the one below, is such a useful tool for travel.

    Infrared Contactless Digital Thermometer
    $15.25
    • This Infrared thermometer will get the temperature reading without body or object contact and is ideal for adults, kids, and elders
    • Fever Alarm has 3 color displays on the LCD screen for different temperature levels
    • The infrared thermometer can measure both human body and object temperatures and is easily switchable between ℉ and ℃ display
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    09/22/2021 07:34 pm GMT

    9. Hand Sanitizer

    Hand sanitizer isn’t just for pandemics. Regardless of where you travel, sometimes you need to clean your hands but don’t have access to soap and water.

    That’s why I recommend adding a small bottle (under the TSA limit of 3.4 oz) to your travel packing list, just like the example below:

    Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Jelly Wraps (1 fl. oz. / 8-pack)
    $14.99
    • Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer kills 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness without damaging the skin
    • Mild formula is free of triclosan, parabens, phthalates, preservatives, and harsh ingredients, so it does not dry out or irritate the skin
    • 1 oz. jelly wrap travel bottles are perfect for attaching to purses, backpacks, key chains, diaper bags, or gym bags
    • 8 pack includes 4 Refreshing Gel and 4 Naturals
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    09/22/2021 07:33 pm GMT

    10. COVID-19 Self-Test

    Whether you’ve been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 before traveling, sometimes you might want to be rechecked. But you shouldn’t have to rearrange your plans and search for a place to get tested.

    Instead, you can carry a few COVID-19 self-tests. Then you can quickly check yourself any time you want. Here are a few of the more popular choices to include in your travel emergency kit:

    BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test
    • BinaxNOW antigen self-test from Abbott detects active infection in only 15 minutes using just a shallow, nasal swab
    • Indicated for children as young as 2-years old when administered by an adult, and for all people 15 and older to self-administer
    • Package includes two tests
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    Quidel QuickVue COVID-19 Self-Test Kit
    • QuickVue single-use home test detects nucleocapsid proteins from SARS-CoV-2 from individuals with or without symptoms in only 10 minutes using a nasal swab
    • Authorized for individuals aged 2 and up


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    Environment

    Man Drinking A Water Bottle Because It's A Travel Essential For Environment
    Man Drinking A Water Bottle Because It's A Travel Essential For Environment
    Man Drinking A Water Bottle Because It's A Travel Essential For Environment

    In a perfect world, we’d all enjoy beautiful weather every time we travel. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. But if you have these travel essentials, it doesn’t have to slow you down.

    11. Water

    Don’t let dehydration ruin your vacation! So, make sure you stay hydrated while traveling, regardless of the climate.

    Whether you use bottled water or local drinking water, carrying your own water bottle gives you the most flexibility.

    I am a big fan of this water bottle and bring it on trips all the time.

    Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle (32 oz.)
    $11.19
    • Nalgene's Tritan wide mouth bottle is free of BPA, BPS, and phthalates, virtually indestructible, and completely leakproof
    • Suitable for both warm and cold beverages (-40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Wide-mouth opening accommodates most water filters is easy to clean and dishwasher safe
    • Nalgene's bestselling water bottle for more than 30 years
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    09/22/2021 07:29 pm GMT

    However, sometimes you aren’t sure you can trust the local water. That’s why having a water bottle with a built-in water filter is a significant advantage.

    Thankfully, LifeStraw has a water bottle with an integrated filter that you can use in these situations. 

    LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw
    $74.95
    • Durable, reusable, BPA-free water bottle filters water using the award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane water filter
    • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites to ensure safe, clean drinking water
    • 2-stage activated carbon filter reduces odor, chlorine and leaves zero aftertaste
    • Replacement filters available separately
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    09/22/2021 07:29 pm GMT

    12. Rain Gear

    The worst rainstorm I ever experienced was while traveling. And, of course, I didn’t have any rain gear with me. So, I ended up soaked to the bone.

    But the rain doesn’t have to ruin a good time when you come prepared. Include a compact umbrella, hat, or rain poncho on your travel packing list and it might just save the day. Here are a few practical suggestions:

    Lewis N. Clark Travel Umbrella
    $17.99
    • Waterproof and windproof full size umbrella automatically opens/closes and folds down into a compact 11 inches
    • Extremely durable and well constructed with metal ribs, fiberglass tips, and quick-drying polyester with mildew-resistant protection
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    09/22/2021 07:36 pm GMT
    Rain Poncho Hooded Jacket with Pockets (Adult)
    $22.99
    • Strong waterproof backing with heat sealed seams
    • Waterproof quick drying and breathable
    • Full length sturdy zipper, zippered pocket, adjustable hood, elasticized cuffs, and color matched storage pouch
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    09/22/2021 07:35 pm GMT

    13. Sun Gear

    Who doesn’t enjoy sunny weather while on vacation? Unfortunately, the sun can also do a lot of damage, even when it’s overcast. I learned that lesson the hard way.

    That’s why I consider sunscreen, hats, and outerwear with UV protection to be travel essentials. Check out the following options to get you started:

    Blue Lizard Active Mineral-Based SPF 50+ Sunscreen Lotion (5 fl. oz.)
    $14.99
    • Dermatologist-recommended broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+
    • Mineral active Zinc Oxide provides broad-spectrum protection
    • Paraben-free and fragrance-free making it ideal for sensitive skin
    • Water-resistant and sweat-resistant so you stay protected longer
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    09/22/2021 07:25 pm GMT
    Henschel Hats Aussie Breezer Cotton Mesh Hat
    $28.76-$75.57
    • Crushable hat with classic 3 in. brim
    • 100% Cotton and SPF 50+
    • Made in US
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    09/23/2021 12:11 am GMT

    14. Insect Repellent

    Bug bites can ruin a good time quickly. But, insects like mosquitoes don’t just cause itchy bites. They can also carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, or Malaria.

    That’s why carrying a quality insect repellent is just good travel preparedness.

    OFF! Deep Woods Mosquito and Insect Repellent Wipes (12-count)
    $5.97
    • Long lasting protection from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers and fleas
    • 12 individually wrapped towelettes
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    09/22/2021 07:24 pm GMT

    Emergency Devices

    Flashlight Is A Travel Essential Emergency Device
    Flashlight Is A Travel Essential Emergency Device
    Flashlight Is A Travel Essential Emergency Device

    Luckily you don’t need to cram a bunch of unnecessary gear into your luggage. You only need to have the most useful tools for travel.

    15. Flashlight

    A flashlight is a pretty versatile piece of travel gear. It’s as helpful walking on a busy urban street at night as it is camping in the mountains.

    You can use it to signal for help in an emergency or if you have a power outage. And, if necessary, it can be used as a weapon for self-defense. 

    I recommend carrying a high lumen, pocket-sized LED flashlight. Preferably one with multiple light modes for different situations.

    Also, look for one made of high-quality aluminum that is durable, lightweight, and waterproof. I suggest considering a tactical flashlight like the ones listed below.

    Pro Tip:
    According to the TSA, a flashlight under 7 inches long is allowed in your carry-on luggage. However, in practice, it’s up to individual TSA agents to decide. So, if a flashlight appears too much like a weapon, it may not be allowed.

    Fenix FX-PD35TAC 1000 Lumen Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
    $68.95
    • Cree LED tactical flashlight features six light output modes up to 1000 lumens
    • Made of durable waterproof aircraft-grade aluminum with a premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    • Uses rechargeable 18650 battery
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    09/22/2021 07:24 pm GMT
    GearLight Tac LED Tactical Flashlight (2-pack)
    $15.99
    • Powerful compact LED flashlight casts a wide beam that effortlessly illuminates a whole room or backyard yet remains small enough for everyday carry
    • One mode operation with adjustable focus
    • Weather and shock resistant antislip all-metal body with removable clip
    • Powered by 3 AAA batteries or a single 18650 rechargeable battery (batteries not included)
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    09/22/2021 07:25 pm GMT
    Solaray Mini-Pro 1 Flashlight
    $9.95
    • Ultra-bright Cree Q5 LED chip with three light modes
    • Compact tactical flashlight with bezel head
    • Made from waterproof aircraft grade aluminum
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    09/22/2021 07:26 pm GMT

    Security

    Pick Pocket Working On Subway Platform Is The Reason You Need Travel Essential Security
    Pick Pocket Working On Subway Platform Is The Reason You Need Travel Essential Security
    Pick Pocket Working On Subway Platform Is The Reason You Need Travel Essential Security

    Many thieves see travelers as easy targets for theft. But you can lower your odds of being a victim by taking a few precautions. While it’s impossible to stop all crime, the travel essentials listed below will make you a less attractive target.

    16. Travel Wallet

    As a traveler, your most vulnerable moments are when you are distracted by other activities like dining and sightseeing. That’s when pickpockets love to take advantage of you.

    Travel wallets are designed to be less conspicuous, making them more challenging for a thief to grab.

    Good ones will also be RFID blocking and constructed with more secure pockets than a typical wallet. Combined, this can significantly lower your risk of being pickpocketed.

    I’ve successfully used this wallet while traveling to some of the top 10 most pickpocketed cities:

    Venture Travel Neck Wallet with RFID Blocking
    $12.95
    • Comfortable, breathable, lightweight, and water-resistant RFID blocking neck wallet designed to offer you a safe and secure location to store valuables while traveling
    • Features three smart storage compartments, including two zippered pockets and one velcro-closure patch, and an ID window
    • Measures 5.5 in. x 8 in. and comes with an adjustable hook, strap, and loop fastener
    • Suitable for both men and women
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    09/22/2021 07:31 pm GMT

    17. Anti-Theft Purse

    Similar to a travel wallet, an anti-theft purse is designed to thwart thieves.

    A good travel purse can be worn like an ordinary one but comes with lockable pockets, slash-proof construction, and cut-proof straps.

    These security features make an anti-theft purse a very useful tool for travel. Several of my female family members and friends have recommended a purse like this:

    Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag
    $50.99
    • 5-Point anti-theft security system features hidden, slash-proof, chain link construction, an adjustable, cable-reinforced, cut-proof shoulder strap, and a locking zipper
    • Designed with two multi-organizational compartments with zippered pocket and slip pockets, front magnetic flap hides, and zippered mesh water bottle pockets on each side
    • Measures 11 in. x 10 in. x 4.5 in.
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    09/22/2021 07:32 pm GMT

    18. Money Belt

    If you want an even more secure option, consider a money belt. Worn underneath your clothes, they keep your valuables close to your body and practically invisible to other people. 

    Most money belts are designed with a zippered pouch large enough to hold several items. However, some come with a small pocket, only large enough for some cash. 

    Use a money belt for items you want with you but rarely need, like your passport or emergency money. Then carry your daily spending money and credit card in another wallet or pocket.

    Look for ones made of lightweight but durable materials that have good-quality zippers. Increase your travel preparedness with one of these recommended money belts:

    Eagle Creek Travel Gear Undercover Money Belt
    $30.73
    • Keep credit cards, passports, cash, and other documents out of sight in this waist-worn, under-clothing money belt
    • Two zippered pockets keep your valuables close and secure
    • Made out of lightweight, breathable, and washable natural silk
    • Measures 11.5 in. x 5.5 in. and weighs only 2 oz.
    • Includes Eagle Creek's lifetime warranty
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    09/22/2021 07:32 pm GMT
    Venture 4th RFID Money Belt
    $16.95
    • The slim, lightweight design keeps credit cards, passports, cash, and other valuables hidden from pickpockets when worn under clothes
    • Large capacity for all your travel essentials
    • Adjustable strap ensures a comfortable fit for men and women up to a 56-inch waist
    • Constructed from waterproof 210D ripstop nylon with double-stitched reinforced seams
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    09/22/2021 07:34 pm GMT

    19. Portable Safe

    A portable safe is a travel essential for anyone with valuables like important documents, expensive jewelry, or a lot of spending money. 

    A good travel safe should have a way to secure itself to a more permanent structure and allow you to set your own combination. Personally, I bring this safe on trips where I need a little extra security.

    Master Lock 5900D Portable Safe
    $16.71
    • Small, portable safe makes an ideal travel safe to protect items like smartphones, passports, cash, and credit cards
    • Set your own four-digit combination and secure the safe to a fixed object with the included cable
    • Earbud/charging cable access port is conveniently accessible while locked
    • Constructed with shock-absorbing foam and designed to be water-resistant
    • Exterior dimensions measure 2-1/4 in. x 9-17/32 in. x 4-59/64 in. and interior dimensions measure 1-1/4 in. x 8-1/8 in. x 3-1/2 in.
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    09/22/2021 07:29 pm GMT

    Technology

    Hiker Using Smartphone As Travel Essential Technology
    Hiker Using Smartphone As Travel Essential Technology
    Hiker Using Smartphone As Travel Essential Technology

    Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, our electronic devices have changed everything about how we travel. You will feel like a pro with these electronic devices on your travel packing list.

    20. Smartphone

    Believe it or not, your smartphone is one of the best tools for traveling.

    You can use it to manage reservations, store digital keys, navigate, translate, research, shoot photos and videos, and store backups of valuable information.

    Personally, my smartphone is a travel essential I can’t imaging being without.

    21. Power Bank

    The more you rely on your smartphone, the more you need to make sure it’s charged and ready. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to drain your phone’s battery during a busy day of traveling.

    That’s why I think a portable power bank should be on everyone’s travel packing list. You’ll want one small enough to carry in your pocket but powerful enough to recharge your phone once or twice. 

    This power bank is one of my favorite pieces of travel gear:

    Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger
    • 5000 mAh battery can completely recharge most phones
    • 10-cm by 3-cm ultra-compact tubular design
    • PowerIQ technology provides the fastest charge
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    22. International Power Adapter

    If you bring any electronic devices to a foreign country, you’ll need a universal power adapter. These multi-plug adapters allow you to plug U.S.-style plugs into foreign outlets. 

    While they do not convert the electrical voltage, most modern electronics are built to adjust automatically between 110 volts and 220 volts. Just make sure you check the manuals for any devices you are unsure about.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of poorly made and even counterfeit products on the market. So, when shopping, make sure you buy one that is certified for safety by the FCC. 

    I’ve tested several different options over the years before finding my favorite ones. And I’ve successfully used the ones listed below multiple times. That’s why I include them on my own international travel packing list.

    UPPEL Universal Travel Power Adapter
    $19.99
    • Universal travel adapter (UK / US / AU / EU Plug) supports more than 200 countries worldwide
    • The compact design features one universal plug (110V-240V input), three different charging ports (USB 3.0, USB, and Type-C) for smart, fast charging, two 6A fuses, and 94-V0 silicone fireproof material
    • Safety certification by FCC, CE, and RoHS and a standby fuse ensures complete protection
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    09/23/2021 02:42 am GMT
    Bestek International Travel 5-Port USB & 2-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
    $35.99
    • Portable 5-port USB and 2-outlet charging station with 8 travel adapters (Type I/ E(F) /G /A /D /N /H /L) can power your devices in more than 200 countries
    • High-speed charging USB ports max up to 40W/8A output while outlets provide 1700 joules of power surge protection
    • Compact size measures 5.3 in. × 3.9 in. ×1.5 in.
    • Built-in over-current, over-heating, over-voltage, and short-circuit protection with fireproof ABS Material and PVC copper cable
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    09/22/2021 07:28 pm GMT

    Communications

    Man Sitting At Restaurant Using Travel Essential Communication
    Man Sitting At Restaurant Using Travel Essential Communication
    Man Sitting At Restaurant Using Travel Essential Communication

    Communication services probably aren’t the first travel essentials that come to mind when planning a trip. However, depending on how connected you need to be, the following services could be very useful tools for travel.

    23. International Calling

    Your smartphone should work fine when you travel domestically. Every major wireless provider offers some form of nationwide coverage for calls, texts, and data.

    However, most wireless plans do not include international roaming (except for T-Mobile’s Magenta plans).

    That’s why you need to decide ahead of time how you will stay connected. Otherwise, you may find yourself without the connectivity you need or a massive bill when you return.

    The first step is confirming that your phone will even work at your destination. Networks differ from country to country, and some phones or certain features may be incompatible.

    Pro-Tip
    The most popular international wireless system is GSM. However, in the United States, some providers use GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) while others use CDMA (Verizon and Sprint). If your wireless provider uses CDMA, then you need a device that can switch between systems.

    If your device is recent, you should be fine. But you can always contact your wireless company for help.

    You have three basic options for handling international wireless connectivity:

    • Contact your current wireless provider for their international roaming options.
      • Some have packages you can purchase for a flat fee, while others have daily rates.
      • This is the easiest solution but can get expensive during an extended trip.
    • Purchase a local SIM card or eSIM when you arrive at your destination.
      • Swapping out the SIM card switches your phone to a local number with credits for calls, messages, and data usage.
      • It is the cheapest option but requires some technical knowledge and time to set up.
      • Also, depending on the country, there can be other hassles such as language barriers and local laws.
    • Purchase an international SIM card or eSIM.
      • International SIMs provide coverage across multiple countries.
      • Some SIM cards come with domestic and foreign phone numbers, making it easy for people anywhere to contact you.
      • You can also purchase one ahead of time and set it up before you depart.
      • This type of SIM is more expensive than local ones but cheaper than your domestic carrier.

    You have a lot of different options when considering international calling plans. Whatever you decide, having a plan for call, text, and data is a travel essential.

    OneSimCard: International SIM Cards

    OneSimCard is an international mobile service for savvy travelers to greatly reduce the cost of using a cell phone or other mobile device while traveling internationally.

    Stay connected with an international SIM card without worrying about returning home to a huge phone bill.

    Learn More
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    24. Cloud Storage

    Cloud storage options like Google, Dropbox, or iCloud are useful tools for travel because they help you to keep data organized and accessible without carrying hard copies.

    Information like your itinerary, reservations, travel insurance, medical information, and other documents are available on any connected device. 

    Typically, you need internet access to view the documents. However, if that’s a concern, there are also ways to download them onto your device for offline viewing.

    25. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Public WIFI may be available in many places when you travel, but that doesn’t make it secure. In fact, many hackers specifically target public hotspots.

    By placing themselves between you and the network, they can intercept private communications, including emails, credit card information, and login credentials. 

    The solution is a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN. A VPN is a secure and encrypted connection within an otherwise public network.

    So, if you want to access any private data while traveling, you should consider a VPN service to be one of your travel essentials.

    atlasVPN

    All the benefits VPN has to offer for an affordable price! Experience the internet without limitations — no geo-restrictions, censorship, or tracking. Atlas VPN is your daily tool for a more open & secure internet!

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    Smartphone Apps

    SmartPhone App Store Downloading Travel Essential Apps
    SmartPhone App Store Downloading Travel Essential Apps
    SmartPhone App Store Downloading Travel Essential Apps

    There are so many great travel apps available these days. However, the ones I recommend below specifically focus on improving your travel preparedness.

    26. Citymapper

    Citymapper (for iOS and Android) is my go-to navigation app anytime I travel. That’s because its navigation integrates so well with all available modes of transportation in any supported city.

    It gives you a live-time preview, combining walking, cycling, driving, and public transit into the most efficient options. Then, based on your choice, it uses voice-guided navigation to direct you to your destination.

    Best of all, the basic version is free! So, when you are visiting an unfamiliar city, it really is the best way to get around.

    27. Google Translate

    Google Translate is a free app for iOS and Android devices that translates over 100 different languages. But this app can do a whole lot more than translate the words you type.

    It uses your phone’s microphone and speaker to listen, translate, and speak, helping you converse with locals.

    You can also point your phone’s camera at printed words (like a sign or menu) and watch it automatically translate the text right on your screen.

    While the advanced features require access to the internet, there is an option to download selected languages for offline use of basic features.

    So, it’s a useful tool for travel anytime you go somewhere you don’t speak the language.

    28. Trip Whistle Global SOS

    If you had an emergency in a foreign country, would you know what phone number to dial?

    There are over 70 different emergency numbers in the world, and Trip Whistle knows them all. Trip Whistle is a free iOS app that helps you contact emergency services anywhere in the world.

    When you open the app, it immediately maps your location and displays it as GPS coordinates. Then it gives you the appropriate phone numbers for police, fire, and medical assistance for your current location.

    It’s a cheap and easy way to improve your travel preparedness

    29. Smart Traveler

    Smart Traveler is a free app for iOS and Android devices from the U.S. Department of State for U.S. travelers. While it can be buggy, it’s the best way to monitor travel warnings, alerts, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and other official information.

    Moreover, you can also use the app to access the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This program helps U.S. embassies and consulates contact you and provide assistance in an emergency.

    Luggage

    Woman Walking With A Backpack And Suitcase For Travel Essential Luggage
    Woman Walking With A Backpack And Suitcase For Travel Essential Luggage
    Woman Walking With A Backpack And Suitcase For Travel Essential Luggage

    Your luggage is your home away from home while traveling. So, it pays to have well-built luggage that suits the way you travel and keeps your travel essentials organized.

    30. Carry-On Luggage

    Whenever possible, using carry-on-sized luggage as your primary bag is the most efficient way to travel.

    You avoid the time and hassle of checking your luggage. And you avoid the risk of losing your luggage. Plus, packing light keeps you agile if you decide to change your plans.

    The biggest downside is that you have less space than with a full-size bag. But this can be helpful because it forces you to be more selective with what travel gear you pack. 

    There are even some high-end luggage manufacturers that give you the best of both worlds with fancy features designed to fit more stuff in less space.

    The luggage I’ve recommended below are great carry-on options to consider.

    Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-In. Softside Expandable Carry-On Luggage with Spinner Wheels
    $123.97
    • Maximizes your packing power and meets most carry-on size restrictions for those traveling domestically and looking to stay light
    • Features a built-in WetPak pocket, a zippered mesh pocket, smart fix buckles, and four multi-directional double spinner wheels
    • Overall dimensions measure 22 in. x 14 in. x 9.5 in. with internal dimensions of 19 in. x 13.5 in. x 7.75 in. and weighs 7.1 lbs.
    • 10-year limited warranty
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:30 pm GMT
    Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-in. Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Carry-On Luggage
    $280.49
    • Expandable 46-liter carry-on spinner suitcase with external USB port and dedicated powerbank pocket meets FAA regulations for carry-on and checked baggage
    • Precision glide system includes contour grip, four-stop adjustable power scope handle, and magnatrac spinner wheels for precise control and effortless roll
    • Features a fold-out suiter that packs clothes wrinkle-free, an interior tie-down system with built-in accessory pockets, and TSA compliant, removable quart-sized wet pocket for toiletries
    • Lifetime limited worry-free warranty that covers the cost of repair for damages from airlines
    • Overall dimensions measure 23.5 in. x 14.5 in. x 9 in. with internal dimensions of 21 in. x 14 in. x 9 in. and weighs 7.8 lbs.
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:31 pm GMT
    Briggs & Riley Baseline Softside CX Expandable 22-in. Carry-On Spinner Luggage
    $649.00
    • Made with ballistic nylon outer fabric that resists wear, moisture, dirt, and abrasion, and cinch-down mesh garment panels keep contents from shifting and minimize wrinkling
    • Outsider handle provides greater interior capacity and swivel wheeled bag expands 2.5 in. for up to 25% more packing space
    • Unconditional lifetime guarantee offers repairs free of charge with no proof of purchase or questions asked
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/23/2021 03:39 am GMT

    31. Daypack

    Once you reach your destination, a daypack is a great way to carry what you need each day without bringing everything else.

    Since it’ll be your everyday bag, make sure it’s good quality and easy to carry. Ideally, it should have an easily accessible place to store your water. 

    You also don’t want a bag that someone can open without you noticing. So, look for one that is lockable with internal pockets instead of external ones.

    I’d also consider getting a bag slightly larger than what you think you need. Most people tend to pick up things throughout the day, and it’s helpful to have some extra space to store them. 

    Personally, I’ve found that small travel backpacks make great daypacks. These highly recommended backpacks are an excellent place to start:

    Osprey Farpoint 40 Men's Travel Backpack
    $93.89-$270.00
    • 40L backpack made from ripstop nylon fabric with a large u-zip duffel-style main compartment
    • Features lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet sleeve, stowaway back panel, shoulder straps & hip belt, zippered rear flap for protection, and two front mesh water bottle pockets
    • Meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines measuring 21 in. x 14 in. x 9 in.
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:27 pm GMT
    Osprey Fairview 40 Women's Travel Backpack
    $88.00-$160.00
    • 40L backpack made from ripstop nylon fabric with a large u-zip duffel-style main compartment
    • Features lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet sleeve, stowaway back panel, shoulder straps & hip belt, zippered rear flap for protection, and two front mesh water bottle pockets
    • Meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines measuring 21 in. x 14 in. x 9 in.
    Buy On Amazon
    This is an affiliate link, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
    09/22/2021 07:28 pm GMT

    32. Foldable Duffle Bag

    When I travel, I enjoy buying lots of souvenirs and gifts. But sometimes I get to the end of my trip and discover that I bought too much.

    That’s when I realize I can’t fit everything in my luggage. Or that it will be so heavy that I’ll get charged an overweight bag fee.

    If you’ve ever been in the same situation, you will see the benefit of a foldable duffle bag. Lightweight yet rugged, it folds down into a compact pouch.

    Toss it in your luggage without taking up much space. Then unfold it into an extra piece of luggage right when you need it. That’s why I always include one on my travel packing list.

    Gonex Foldable Travel Duffel Bag (60L)
    $30.99
    • Durable and lightweight 60L large capacity foldable duffle bag made from water repellent and wear-resistant honeycomb 210D nylon fabric and premium zippers
    • Features with an internal end-pouch, shoe compartment, multiple pockets, two handles, and a removable adjustable long shoulder strap
    • Folded size measures only 9.45 in. x 10.63 in.
    • Unfolded size measures 24 in. x 14 in. x 9 in. and weighs only 1.2 lbs.
    • 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee
    Buy On Amazon
    This is an affiliate link, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
    09/22/2021 07:28 pm GMT
    Gonex Foldable Travel Duffel Bag (40L)
    $32.99
    • Durable and lightweight 40L large capacity foldable duffle bag made from water repellent and wear-resistant honeycomb 210D nylon fabric and premium zippers
    • Features with an internal end-pouch, shoe compartment, multiple pockets, two handles, and a removable adjustable long shoulder strap
    • Folded size measures only 8.66 in. x 10.24 in.
    • Unfolded size measures 20.87 in. x 9.84 in. x 12 in. and weighs only 0.8 lbs.
    • 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee
    Buy On Amazon
    This is an affiliate link, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
    09/22/2021 07:29 pm GMT

    33. Carabiners

    Have you ever watched someone struggle through an airport or train station with too much stuff? It doesn’t look like fun.

    That’s why I clip carabiners onto every bag, backpack, and suitcase I own. They let me connect my bags in lots of different ways. But the best part is that I can use them to free up a hand whenever I need it.

    I consider these to be an indispensable piece of travel gear.

    Fusion Climb Heavy-Duty Modified D-Shape Locking Carabiners
    $12.58
    • UIAA certified heavy-duty auto-locking aircraft-grade aluminum carabiner
    • Meets ANSI Z359.1-2001 standards with a strength rating of 25 KN (5620 lbs.)
    • Measures 4.33 in. x 2.55 in.
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/23/2021 12:37 am GMT
    Favofit Heavy-Duty Medium Locking Carabiners (4-pack)
    $14.99
    • Heavy-duty aircraft-grade aluminum retractable metal carabiner is rated at 12KN and can withstand over 2697 pounds of force
    • Measures 3.2 in. x 1.9 in. and weighs 0.96 oz.


    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:25 pm GMT

    34. Luggage Straps

    Luggage straps are another useful tool for travel. There’s nothing like a trip with kids to discover inventive ways to attach things.

    I’ve traveled with everything from a car seat (without the baby) to a trash can strapped to my luggage. On occasion, I’ve even held a broken suitcase together with one.

    I recommend keeping both a long and a short one in your luggage for maximum flexibility.

    Lewis N. Clark Add-A-Bag Travel Luggage Strap
    $8.06
    • Strong, durable straps with quick connect and disconnect Easy Latch System
    • Adjustable from 11 in. to 16 in.
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:31 pm GMT
    Samsonite Add-A-Bag Strap for Spinners
    $14.15
    • Use these extra bag carriers when traveling with extra items
    • Bungee cord wraps around the top carry-handle and adjusts to the size of your extra bag
    • Lightweight, compact, and fits inside a carry-on, purse, or business case
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/23/2021 02:30 am GMT
    Samsonite Luggage Strap
    $9.00
    • Rugged ABS buckle is built to withstand the rigors of baggage handling
    • Ultra-rugged polypropylene strap adjusts to fit bags up to 72 in.
    Buy On Amazon
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    09/22/2021 07:27 pm GMT

    Money & Documents

    Multiple Currency Is Travel Essential Emergency Money
    Multiple Currency Is Travel Essential Emergency Money
    Multiple Currency Is Travel Essential Emergency Money

    The last two travel essentials on this list aren’t glamorous, but including them on your travel packing list might get you out of a jam.

    35. Emergency Cash

    You never know when some extra cash will come in handy. That’s especially true when you travel.

    While credit cards and mobile payments may be more popular, there are still some places in the world that only take cash. Not only that, but payment processing networks don’t always work. Or you might not trust someone enough to hand them your card. 

    That’s why I recommend carrying at least $100 in cash in your travel emergency kit. Furthermore, when traveling internationally, I suggest you get emergency money in every country’s currency before you depart. 

    For maximum flexibility, make sure some of your cash is in small bills. And, if possible, keep it somewhere other than your wallet or purse, just in case it’s lost or stolen.

    36. Useful Translations

    When traveling overseas, don’t let a language barrier prevent you from communicating vital details when it matters the most.

    Translate useful information like health issues, medications, or food allergies ahead of time. Write them out on an index card or your phone, so they’re available whenever you need them.

    Conclusion

    Couple Relaxing On Dock Looking Palm Trees Thinking About Travel Essentials
    Couple Relaxing On Dock Looking Palm Trees Thinking About Travel Essentials
    Couple Relaxing On Dock Looking Palm Trees Thinking About Travel Essentials

    Travel is good for the soul, providing physical, medical, and emotional benefits. And, it’s easy to enjoy these advantages when you already know you’re prepared for the unexpected. 

    Travel preparedness doesn’t have to be complicated. The 36 travel essentials outlined in this article will get you ready for any journey.

    And, if you’d like additional suggestions, you can find my favorite travel-related services and gear on my Travel Preparedness recommendation page.

    Did I miss anything? Feel free to post any thoughts or suggestions in the comments. For more helpful tips, check out some of my other articles in the links below.

    Additional Resources

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