Remember when you were little and you never went to bed without your favourite stuffed animal? Well I never go on a trip without my favourite travel items.
These six nick-nacks will make you look like a travel pro on your next backpacking trip.
1. Foldable Sunglasses
If you are anything like me and you go through a new pair of sunglasses every week while traveling – because you lose or break them then these are a dream come true. When I first saw these JetSetter sunglasses I got so excited! These foldable sunglasses are perfect for the forgetful, traveling clutz such as myself. These sunglasses fold into a small protective case that has a carabiner for you to attach onto your bag. Fool proof!
Now I know folding glasses seem a bit geeky, which leads me to my next point- they look stylin’ too. I was worried that people would be able to see the lines where these glasses fold but they are invisible. You won’t have to be caught in the shining sun without your shades again!
2. Packing Squares
I don’t mean to be a square and talk about organization…but I’m going to. Oh organization! Such a hard thing to achieve when you’re living out of a suitcase. However, thanks to these packing cubes finding your clothes is a thousand times easier. When traveling, I use these squares by keeping my shirts in one square and my bottoms in another. This way I’m not tossing and rummaging through my whole entire suitcase for one measly outfit.
bonus: I like to keep an extra square just for dirty clothes so that they are not stinking up the rest of my clean clothes.
3. Motion Sickness Wristband
I have terrible, terrible motion sickness. I have puked on buses, boats, planes and cars (still not on a train). Clearly, avoiding travel is not an option.
I have tried taking gravol but I just fall asleep, miss the scenic journey and arrive at my destination groggy . Then I discovered motion sickness wristbands. I decided that there was no harm in trying them. You can find them in any travel store or even in drugstores where they sell travel sized shampoos or with the link to the left.
These wristbands have two balls on the inside of them that press into the pressure points on your wrists to prevent nausea. As this is not a drug it is not as strong as gravol but there are no side effects of falling asleep or feeling groggy. These wristbands might not suffince for long flights or boat rides when the sea is looking rough, but they are great for shorter trips. I carry them when I am traveling and just pop them on anytime I get on a mode of transportation.
Even if you don’t think that you get motion sick very easily these still might come in handy for you. A lot of countries drive a lot crazier than what you might be used to back home and can leave even the strongest of stomachs feeling ill.
4. Clip-on Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is great. Hand sanitizer on a carabiner is amaze balls! This is one of the cheapest travel hacks on the list- so no excuses!
A lot of countries do not have soap in the bathrooms (or even toilet paper) so you will always want to have sanitizer handy. After touching the sticky doorknob of the stinky, wet and dirty bathroom that you just came out of you will want hand sanitizer ASAP. Instead of digging through your bag in frustration, buy a travel hand sanitizer so that it is readily available on the outside of your bag.
Caution: because your hand sanitizer is sooo handy, everyone will be using yours instead of their own.
A scarf? But you’re going to Thailand! I don’t care- I said bring a scarf.
It doesn’t have to be a heavy scarf, a light square cotton scarf is perfect! A lot of hot countries absolutely LOVE to blast the air conditioning on buses- to the point that you are shivering. This is why you want a scarf that can be unravelled and used as a blanket (or folded and used as a pillow). With cozy blanket scarf on hand, you can easily throw it over yourself as a blanket to protect yourself from the harsh winds of the air conditioning.
The scarf also works really well as a blanket on your long flight-. you’ll thank me later.
While traveling you will also come across a lot of modest countries where you will be expected to cover your head, shoulder or legs to enter some temples. Having a scarf or sarong on hand can make sure that you don’t miss out on seeing cultural sights.
As a light packer I also like to use a scarf or sarong as my beach towel.
6. Eye Mask & Ear Plugs
Sleep is a very important for travel. Afterall, you want to feel well rested for the adventurous day that lays before you. However, a good nights sleep might not always be that easy for the budget traveller staying in a hostel with 8 other people. That’s why an eye mask and ear plugs are your new best friend. When ‘that guy’ comes stumbling in drunk, turns on all the lights and is yelling (even though he thinks he is whispering) you won’t be bothered. You will be off in lala land and your dreams will be completely undisturbed because no sound or light can get through to you.