I’ve been a supporter of traveling light for a long time. The idea of not carrying a lot of stuff is always exciting. You don’t have to spend a long time packing all your stuff, and you are usually safe from the possibility of forgetting your stuff.
There is one change in my travel life, a rather significant change, which I cherish! I’m using a cabin-sized suitcase now.
Previously I didn’t own a small suitcase. I used to love to just use a backpack because it is a lot simpler (to mobile myself). But now I feel sorry for my shoulders (sorry shoulder for abusing you for a long time!). So, I’m loving my new cabin sized suitcase 🙂 But I think I’ll still use my backpack sometimes.
I have taken my cabin-size suitcase to Egypt, Bali, and Lombok. This doesn’t change the fact that I’m still trying my best to travel light though.
Travel Essentials is a fun topic for me to talk about and to update. Realizing that I haven’t written about this topic before, here is a recap of my travel essentials. These are basically things that I never travel without. Of course, I am not including basic things such as wallet, travel documents, camera, chargers, clothes, and footwear.
The things in this list are probably more objects that can simplify your travel and the way you pack your stuff. Anyway, I have two articles about packing, if you are interested you can check it here: 10 days packing tips for Sulawesi, Indonesia and my 1-month road trip by motorbike packing list. Let’s start!
Oh btw, yes, I know my travel essentials are affected by the climate of your destination (and your travel style and etc!). The list below is just my usual travel essentials—and I rarely travel to a cold destination).
My Travel Essentials
Packing cubes/travel organiser
I’m sure a lot of people already know about these. They are like a pouch/cube, where you can squeeze your clothes and make it really compact so it doesn’t take a lot of space in your backpack or suitcase.
Small medical kit
I hate it so much—I bet you do too—if I get sick during my travels. That is why I think a small medical kit or first aid is so important. My medical kit contains the drugs I use for illnesses. This covers things like headache, stomach-ache, flu and motion sickness. I also carry essential oils, which I can smell to make me feel slightly better whenever I feel sick and want to vomit.
When I’m not traveling I prefer to read a book instead of reading from a Kindle. But a Kindle is really practical and you can store a hundred books in it (just in case you travel for a long long time).
If you travel overseas the countries that you visit often have a different plug type from your own country. I haven’t found a universal adapter that I really like. My universal adapter at the moment is really chunky.
I rarely bring more than 4 sets of underwear during my travels. I always wash them by myself at night and usually, it’s dry by the morning. It is really important to find comfortable underwear, which is also quick dry.
Small bottles for toiletries
Toiletries … Alright, everyone has their own list in regards to products they use for washing and taking care of their body. Two rules for me: each thing that I bring has to be in a small bottle. It should be less than 100ml size/bottle, and all the liquid has to fit in one small plastic container—this is a must if you travel with only a carry-on. If you travel with checked-in luggage, then you have more room to play around.
Tote bag/shopping bag
This bag can be a shopping bag so you can avoid using a plastic bag. It can also be an extra bag just in case you buy extra stuff during your travels and can’t fit it in your main bag.
Bobby pins/baby pin/nail clippers/knitting supplies (several threads and needles)
This is really a-just-in-case-set for me. I don’t usually need all this stuff, but it’s really helpful to have when I need it! And since they are so small I always pack them with me.
A journal and pens
I love to write on a real journal/notebook rather than digitally on my phone. A pen is always useful. I keep it in my sling bag/carry on bag. Sometimes you need it to fill in the arrival card, or other things.
I bring a water bottle with me to reduce the amount of plastic waste I produce. I use a thermos water bottle, so when I have a cold drink it will keep it cold for hours and the same thing for a hot drink.
I know that you normally get a towel provided at most hotels, but I love to carry a sand-free towel (it is quick dry too btw) on my travels. I use a Tesalate beach towel (mine is the Phoenix). It can function as a mat to sit on at the beach as well. It’s a great size for two people. The towel is quick dry and sand-free.
A piece of fabric is always useful to have. It can be used as a scarf if you feel a bit cold, a light blanket whenever you need it (maybe during the flights/bus ride), a cover for visiting a temple maybe, and a compliment for your outfits (can be used as a skirt too).
I feel indifferent about travel pillows. I love to have them for long bus journeys (it supports your head), but sometimes I don’t think they are really useful. I’m currently using Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam travel pillow and I can squeeze them to a 1/3 of their size when I need to ‘pack’ it.
Are you using a Bluetooth headphone? I’m thinking of getting one, but I can’t decide which one I should get. A headphone is always useful to have. One of the situations is for listening to the sound during a flight. I’m reluctant to use the free headphones they give since the quality is often poor. Sometimes they are single use, so it creates more waste. If you have any recommendation for a Bluetooth headphone, let me know!
Sunscreen and tinted lip balm
These two things are so important to avoid dry skin and dry lips during your travels. While there are a lot of other things that I bring with me on my travels, sunscreen and lip balm are two that I will never forget to apply.
Sunglasses and hat
Yup! Another set of protection to keep me safe from the strong sunshine. I like a normal cap, prefer not the fancy-complicated-to-pack or called it an Instagram hat. As long as it is not difficult to pack and performs its function, I’m happy. Same thoughts for the sunglasses, but I can always bring two sunglasses, a normal one and the cute one!
I always bring a polaroid camera if I travel to some remote places in Indonesia. I love the idea of being able to give photos to special people who I meet during my travels.
That is all guys!
These are my travel essentials. They are the things that I always bring on my travels. What about you? Do we share the same list of travel essentials? Are there other things that you always bring during your travels that are not on my list? Let me know, I might have missed some important stuff! Thanks for reading! 🙂