Do you pack too much? So many folks are guilty of that. We’re afraid of getting somewhere and not having everything we might need. This is especially true for adventure travel as you cannot just run out into the jungle or hop down off the top of a mountain and pick up some aspirin or a pair of socks. You really do have to have everything you might need or want when you set out. Yet there are weight restrictions on luggage, not to mention you don’t want to have to keep up with a lot of stuff throughout a long journey. I have mastered the art of packing, having realized a long time ago just what is essential and what is not. Here are five things I never leave home without no matter how where I’m going or how long I’ll be gone.
- Medicine Kit. In my kit I have a topical steroid ointment, insect repellent, after bite stick, blister relief, ginger capsules, petroleum jelly, antiobiotics, Immodium, cough drops, aspirin, and different sizes of band-aids. There is nothing worse than having a upset stomach or worse when traveling. I like to make sure I can quickly take care of any problem.
- Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection and a hat with a visor. Always protect your eyes and face.
- Good walking shoes and socks. You should always pack shoes that are appropriate for the type of vacation you’re going on. For me, this may include sneakers, hiking boots, waders, walking sandals, and/or a nice pair of flats. If you’re going on a cruise or staying at a resort you should throw in a pair of dressy sandals. In addition to investing in a good pair of shoes, I also buy high quality walking/hiking socks.
- Sunscreen that is SPF30 or 40. Typically, sunscreen with a higher SPF does not provide much additional protection while a lower SPF does not offer enough protection. Make sure it is long lasting sunblock that does not easily sweat off or wear off quickly in water. Read directions carefully regarding application as many sunscreens should be applied at least thirty minutes BEFORE going outside. No matter where you’re going, you will most likely need sun protection. You can get a sunburn while skiing! I used sunscreen on my exposed areas while in Antarctica.
- Travel Kit. Whether I’m traveling by car, train, boat/ship, or plane, I carry this with me. It includes a small bottle of vitamin water, trail mix, protein bar, medications, book, a couple of magazines, eye mask, ear plugs, tiny battery-operated face fan, travel documents (tickets, passport, visa, contact information, etc), raincoat or windbreaker jacket, credit cards, and money. I always keep my jacket, money, medications, and travel documents on me. Never put them in your checked bag and if you pack in your carry on bag be sure that goes under your seat or in an overhead bin that you are able to see. Do not put this bag in an overhead bin that is not directly over your head or very close by. In lieu of carrying magazines and books you can bring along a kindle or iPad if you like. I leave my kindle at home usually when I travel because I don’t want to have to worry about charging it or it getting stolen or damaged during one of my adventures. I discard any books and magazines along the way so that I don’t have to carry them home. I have found that guides and other travelers are always grateful to read them once I am done. Make sure you have enough medication to last at least a few days longer than your trip in case you get delayed. There was a coup the day we were leaving Fiji and the first thing they did was close down the airport. We were lucky that we were stuck in Fiji just an additional three days as it could have been much longer. Depending on where you’re going, you may want to consider taking a probiotic starting a few days prior to your trip. Also, I usually pack duct tape, a travel size sewing kit, and tiny scissors. On every trip I’ve ever been on I have used at least one of these items at some point during a trip.
Please share what five things do you always travel with and why?