What are the essential packing items you should bring on every trip?
Passport and Visas – If your visa is separate from your passport don’t forget it
Proof of Vaccines/Insurance – Some countries require proof of yellow fever, some require proof of insurance or funds
Copies – Bring duplicates of Passports, Visas, Insurance Card
Credit Cards – Make sure to alert your bank before travel
Cash – Hide it in different places. Bring plenty
Shirts – It can get colder than you expect, bring a long sleeved shirt unless it’s going to be very hot. Longsleeved shirts are also important in malarial zones. I would recommend this:
Sweaters/Jackets – I wear Mountain Hardwear almost everywhere. Nothing holds up like it
Pants – Pockets are good to have, these are excellent
Shorts- If it’s going to be super cold then skip the shorts
Socks – Hiking, Athletic, Cold Weather etc.
Shoes – Plan based on activities, running shoes, heels, boots, etc –
Rain Jacket – This is one you’ll be sorry you don’t have
Underwear – You can wear pants a few days in a row, don’t do it with underwear
Sunglasses – Protect your eyes, you won’t be getting another pair
Scarf – If I’m going to an arid climate I always bring a scarf
Swimsuit – You never know when you’ll find a pool or lake
Chargers – Don’t forget the camera charger
Battery Pack – You’ll be very glad you have this
Converter – You’ll need to plug your device into a power source, research converter type beforehand
Camera – My Olympus has been to dozens of countries. It’s been dropped, smashed, thrown, filled with dirt, and passed around by dozens of unwashed children. They are fantastic
Toiletries (I find that it’s useful to simply think of your daily routine and pack accordingly):
Toothbrush – Don’t forget to use bottled water to brush your teeth in developing nations
Hair products – Dry Shampoo, Regular Shampoo, etc
Toilet Paper – This should be on you at all times, Trust me
First Aid Kit – Band-Aids, etc
Personal Prescriptions – Research what is allowed where you are going, make sure the drugs are in your name
Motion Sickness Meds – Dramamine works wonders and I use it on long rough car rides
Bug Spray – One of the best ways of not getting Malaria is to not get bitten
Laxative/Diarrhea Meds – Yeah you’ll need these at some point
Sunscreen – Don’t get burnt at the start of the trip
Lifestraw – This allows you to essentially drink water from anywhere and not get sick. You need to have this if you’re going to any developing nation. I also would recommend you to give them out as gifts to the locals. For very little money you can provide clean drinking water to someone for over a year. You’ll change someone’s life by doing this. If you have extra room in your bag just throw 10 in there and hand them out. The impact you’ll have is enormous.
If you bring these essential packing items you’ll be set for your next trip!