Are you finally going on that trip of a lifetime? Leaving everything behind and going on an adventure without knowing when you’ll come back? I remember when Jeffrey and I were packing for our trip without an end date and that I thought to myself: what the hell should I take with me?! Well, luckily most things can be bought anywhere, so there is no need to worry. The most important things to bring with you is your passport and a one-way ticket to paradise. But if you feel like you really need some inspiration then this post is for you. In this article you can find 15 Travel Essentials for Long Term Travellers.
15 Travel Essentials for Long Term Travellers
The basis of your essentials list is of course your backpack. I strongly recommend using a backpack, as it’s the most convenient way to carry your belongings when you travel longterm. In a lot of countries a suitcase just isn’t that handy. Think about sandy beaches, rocky roads or jungles. There are a lot of options in backpacks, so perhaps it’s a good idea to read this post by Nomadic Matt on how to choose the right travel backpack. He talks about the characteristics a backpack should have such as water-resistant material, lockable zippers, multiple compartments and more. We eventually opted for a backpack from Thule.
Next to a backpack it’s smart to have a daypack to carry around some essential belongings when you’re roaming around town for a day. Of course this doesn’t necessarily have to be a daypack. It can also be a tote bag or any handbag – but in some places this just isn’t the most convenient choice. For instance, are you planning on doing any hikes? Then a daypack is a useful way to carry your water bottle, food and sun screen.
Another travel essential is comfortable shoes. I didn’t take any high heels with me during my travels and I didn’t miss them one bit. The two types of shoes I wore most were flip-flops and sneakers. Actually, I took way too many shoes with me; about three pairs of sneakers. Eventually I even threw two out. For the two treks we did in Nepal I bought new hiking boots in Kathmandu. However, if you’re planning on doing many hikes or treks I would recommend to buy decent ones beforehand.
Another alternative to flip-flops are sandals. These can be worn for a lot of different occasions and are a lot more comfortable. For sandals I would definitely recommend Teva, as they are so comfortable and most models are quite cute. Furthermore, Teva also offers sneakers and boots that are ideal for hiking. The type of comfortable shoes you need all depend on what kind of travel you will be doing. But for most travellers sneakers, flip-flops or sandals are the best choice.
4. Locks for your backpack
If you travel extensively, it’s always necessary to have a padlock or combination lock for your your backpack. Because in order to keep your belongings safe, you just have to be extra careful. When we traveled in busses or during flights, we always made sure our backpacks had a flight bag and locked it with a combination lock. Also, because I’m a bit paranoid, I often locked my backpack when I was out for a day. It’s possible to get a lock in most destinations, but we have included a cheap one from Amazon below.
To protect your pretty face from burning, wear a sunhat or cap. During our travels I actually devour hats and constantly buy new ones. Because besides protecting your precious skin, you can also look cool while wearing them.
It’s vital to protect your skin from the sun and just a sunhat unfortunately isn’t enough. Make sure you always wear enough sunscreen, especially if you’re going to a risky destination such as Australia where there is more chance of getting skin damage. Also check out this article on the worst places to get a sunburn and how to prevent them.
7. Insect repeller
If you’re going to a tropical location, you will need it. Period.
8. Basic Hygiene Items
During your travels you’ll need nail clippers and tweezers, but also a tooth brush, tooth paste, hair brush, and so on. Just the stuff what you also use at home to groom yourself. But be sure to keep it basic!
9. A Hanging Toilet Bag
One thing I’ve noticed while I’m traveling is that is not always a place to put your toiletries. A hanging toilet bag really is a travel essential!
10. World Travel Adapter
If you take your electronic gadgets with you such as your phone, tablet, e-reader and so on, it’s very useful to have a travel adapter that works everywhere around the world. In order to protect your electronics, make sure you use an adapter that acts as a converter and surge protector. There are various travel adapters that you can choose from and a lot of destinations need specific adapters. Therefore it’s useful to buy a universal adapter that is not too bulky.
11. Portable Battery Pack
If you are anything like us, you have a ton of devices that need charging, and often on the go. We quickly realised we really need a battery pack to charge our devices when we are on the road. And to be honest, we actually need an extra battery pack to charge our battery pack. Make sure you get a decent one like the Anker PowerCore battery pack.
12. A Global WiFi Device
Are you planning on staying in touch with your family and friends during your travels? Then I recommend taking a global WiFi device with you. I have already written about Skyroam before in our article How to stay connected as a traveler. It’s a useful gadget for travellers that want to stay connected while they are on the road. It’s not always easy to stay connected when you visit multiple countries and you have to keep buying simcards or use the crappy and unsecured free WiFi. Skyroam keeps you connected where you want, when you want! You can buy day passes, meaning you only pay on the days that you use it.
A headlamp is super useful. To be honest we only started using it after our trek to Mount Everest. But then I realised how I had missed it before. Not only is it useful for an early morning trek, night trek or exploring caves. Also when you’re traveling in the nighttime and want something to read or staying in a dorm and you are looking for something it can be extremely useful.
This is another essential that can be bought at most (tropical) destinations. I used my sarong for so many things. For instance, I used it as a dress over my swimwear, or to cover my exposed parts at a temple. I have used it as a sheet, beach towel, regular towel and more.
Women: Beach Sarong for Women
For those long flights, bus rides or train rides you need some entertainment. This can be something as simple as a card deck or a good book. If you like listening to music when traveling like we do, we recommend the amazing wireless headphones by Sudio Sweden. Sudio has the big headphones pictured above, but also smaller in-ear headphones that take up less space in your backpack.
It’s a weird feeling to start packing for a few months or years of travel, I know. Just realise that it’s not really necessary to pack items for a full year, because you can re-use everything. Plus, you can buy most essentials everywhere or someone at home can always sent it to you.
Those were my 15 Travel Essentials for long term travellers. Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments!
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