The internet is riddled with extensive lists telling readers what they should bring with them on their travels. Some lists have 20 items, some 30, some even list 50 things. But all of these lists contain so many suggestions that they overwhelm readers instead of informing them. The following list is a thoughtful collection of six (because ten is too many!) things you should always bring on holiday.
Notebook with phone numbers
For the last two decades, tourists have brought their mobile phones with them on holiday. They can pay roaming charges and use their phone abroad, but it also allows them to have a safe place to keep all their emergency numbers (their parents, their children, their friends minding their dog, etc.). But phones regularly get broken on holiday – or stolen, depending on where you go! So it’s a good idea to spend half an hour writing out some of your nearest and dearest’s numbers in a notebook before you go. It’s also a good idea to print out all your holiday documents (hotel details, travel insurance, health insurance, etc.) as back-ups if you lose your phone. The more we rely on phones (which is a lot), the worse off we are when we’re without them. Seal the notebook and your necessary documents in a waterproof bag. You’ll hopefully never need to use them, but it’s good to have them.
Your first reaction may be to say that you can buy cheap and cheerful sunglasses whenever you land at your destination, so they aren’t essential at all. However, most of the popular tourist destinations the world over have market stalls with knock-off designer sunglasses, and tourists almost never buy proper sunglasses when they’re away. The problem is that it’s impossible to tell if the sunglasses you’re buying from market stalls offer protection from UV rays. Cheap knock-off sunglasses can provide shade from bright light but offer no protection from the harmful UV rays that can cause cataracts (permanent damage to your lenses), macular degeneration (gradual blindness), photokeratitis (very painful sunburn of the corneas), and eye cancer – to name only a few. The worst part is that cheap sunglasses make your eyes relax because they offer shade from the sun’s brightness. This causes your pupils to dilate, which lets in significantly more UV rays than if you weren’t wearing sunglasses at all! So, it’s best not to compromise when you buy sunglasses – especially when you visit a sunny country. Online shops offer the best deals on the top eyewear brands, and some even offer discounts and bonuses for shopping with them. Red Hot Sunglasses, for example, offers free next-day delivery on all its prescription sunglasses ordered before 4pm.
Adapters for foreign plug sockets + all your chargers
It’s pretty safe to assume that most 21st century tourists have two or three electrical appliances with them on their holiday. I’d like to advise you to pack as lightly as possible, but it’s getting harder and harder to do without our gadgets. So, it’s important to bring the correct plug-socket adapters. If you’re not sure which ones to buy, this resource gives you pretty much every type of adapter you might need. These adapters are very cheap from supermarkets or budget shops and they are very expensive in the duty-free area in airports. Bringing several adapters also ensures that you and your fellow holidaymakers aren’t fighting for the adapter to charge your phones, laptops, tablets, handheld games consoles, and whatever else you’ve brought with yo
It’s vital that you bring a first-aid kit with you, and that you familiarize yourself with the various components in the kit. Of course, there will be pharmacies in any country you visit, but the language barrier and unfamiliar brands can sometimes cause tourists to buy products that exacerbate their illnesses and injuries. Additionally, if you don’t bring certain medicine, assuming you can simply buy it in your destination country, you may find that it is only obtainable with a prescription. Bringing your own first-aid kit means you can account for any allergies and intolerances and ensure you fully understand every medicine, dressing, and treatment you use on yourself or your loved ones whilst you’re away. On top of this, any pre-existing conditions (diabetes, asthma, Crohn’s) can all be very difficult to treat whilst away, so make sure you pack an extra week’s worth of medicine – just in case
A well-thought-out toiletries bag
You cannot and should not bring all of your toiletries along with you on your holiday. However, most of us have found the best moisturiser for our skin, the best shampoo and conditioner for our hair, the best face cream to keep our skin clean and clear. You’re going to a new country with different water, climate, bugs, food, etc. so relying on the hotel’s toiletries is an unnecessary risk, especially since it’s usually so important to look good on your holiday. You’re out having a great time, you want to look and feel your best, so carefully select the least expendable of your toiletries and bring them with you. To try and save on space, give yourself the goal of fitting everything into one modest-sized toiletry bag.
Entertainment is essential when you’re travelling. Wherever you’re going, you’ll be waiting for flights, travelling for hours, and there may even be cancellations along the way. Whether you’re travelling on your own or with people, you’ll need something to do with your time. Of course, you could always use your trusty smartphone, but battery life is precious when you’re on the go – especially if you’re counting on it for Google Maps and details of your accommodation when you arrive. Here are a few things you might want to bring with you:
- Crossword/puzzle book
- Adult colouring book
- Pack of cards (if there are two or more of you)
Traveling is about enjoying yourself and seeing someplace new, however, so don’t forget to look up every now and then to make sure you’re appreciating your surroundings.
And that’s it for this list. Of course, I could have included many more things, including passports, currency, underwear, etc., but the whole point of this list was to bypass all of unessential items we often find in these kinds of articles, making sure only to include the essential elements that no traveller should do without. Wherever you end up going this summer, I hope this list helps you have the best possible time.