Recently I returned from a trip to Germany, where I watched a sword-fighting and jousting tournament. There could be an endless list of the items you should take with you on any vacation or backpacking trip.
It all depends where you are going and for how much time you plan to be gone. But there are indeed 10 essentials that you will most likely need to have in your Travel Backpack Checklist.
10 Items on your Travel Backpack Checklist
If you are traveling abroad, the most obvious and primary item you will require to take with you is your passport. It allows you to show foreign customs agents and establishments who you are and from which country you are from.
You are in serious trouble if you lose your passport. Passports are extremely valuable to thieves and can be sold in the black market for thousands of dollars. Pick-pocketing is a very crucial problem in cities.
The United Kingdom has an average of around 600,000 pickpocketing incidents every year, while the New York City Police Department estimates that there are around 3,000 incidents of pickpocketing in the city every month. Most pickpocket incidents go unreported.
While it doesn’t mean that you are going to be stranded in the country forever, losing your passport can be a very great hassle in order to replace. So be sure to keep your passport within your reach and under your eye whenever you go out.
I recommend storing your passport in a small pouch strung around your neck in front of your chest. You should also keep a photocopy or a digital copy of your passport, so you can show it to the nearest embassy and prove who you really are.
2. Cash and credit card
The next most essential item to the traveler is money – I recommend that you bring both cash and a credit card. Be sure to investigate the exchange rate for your country’s currency with the currency of the country to which you are traveling.
I was very surprised, for example, six years ago when I took a trip from America to France and found that my $600 only gave me 400 Euros to spend in the country.
I’m a type-A personality. I’m a planner and I follow that plan. Many travelers underestimate how important it is that you know where you are going before you set out on an adventure. “Wherever you go, there you are,” the old saying goes.
Know down to the hour or even minute which sights you want to see and which activities you want to do, so you aren’t wasting precious time (and money!) figuring that out when it’s too late.
4. Eye mask and ear plugs
A perfectly good and fun vacation can be ruined if you cannot get a good night’s sleep. They are items that are often overlooked, but in retrospect make sleeping in strange places so much easier. The eye mask to keep light out of your eyes, with the earplugs to block out noise, will save you much misery and drowsiness – especially on a crowded plain, or a cheap thin-walled hotel!
5. Travel journal and pen
You will surely want a way in which to remember your amazing travels. I’m a writer, so keeping a journal is the best way I preserve the moments of my adventures. You might want a small pocket notebook, or a larger composition notebook.
Also be sure that you have a pen on you at all times – it’s amazing how often you experience a thought or see a fantastic sight, and yet somehow you’ve lost your pen! Perhaps keep the pen on a keychain, or store multiple pens in your pocket. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally leave the pens when you put your pants through the wash.
6. Comfortable walking shoes
Nothing else can put a cramp in your good time like a literal cramp in your ankle, or a blister on your toe. No doubt there will be an inordinate amount of walking, whether you are taking to the trail or you are strolling with your lover through Paris. Packing comfortable shoes is a simple precaution that could mean the total difference between a good time and an awful time.
7. Motion sickness pills or bands
I, for one, am a sensitive man, and am easily prone to motion sickness – I don’t even ride merry-go-rounds these days. I highly suggest motion sickness pills for cruises, as well. Motion sickness is caused when your eyes and ears receive conflicting messages.
When you are reading a book in the car or a bus, your eyes are telling your brain that you aren’t moving, but the vestibular organs in your inner ear are saying you are moving.
Dramamine is my choice of motion sickness cure.
8. Insect repellent
If you don’t want to suffer the insanity of annoying buzzing noise by your ear or the madness of swatting and slapping flies from your neck, you need to bring insect repellent. If lack of sleep or foot blisters doesn’t ruin your good time, a swarm of bugs in the swamp just might.
9. First aid kit
No matter where you go – the top of the snowy Alps or the deserts of the United Arab Emirates — you never know when there is going to be a scraped knee or a subbed finger. Definitely be sure to include ibuprofen in your first aid kit.
A migraine headache or a sore shoulder can be a great nuisance, and you don’t want to have an easily preventable or curable pain put a cramp in your vacation. Just don’t forget to take your pain medicine with some food, so you don’t get a stomach ache and just cause yourself another problem!
One of the very last things you want to have happened on your vacation is to come down sick. So you should pack a small – or large! – bottle of disinfectant rub to keep your hands clean. You never know when you are going to use the bathroom and there isn’t any soap available, or you shake hands with an unsanitary relative.
So there you have it. My personal Travel Backpack Checklist for all my trips. I ensure I use it as a guide whenever I’m packing my Travel backpack so that I will not miss out on any of my important items.
Hope the Travel Backpack Checklist is useful for you and Happy Travels!!!