You know that sinking feeling you get in your chest when you’re mid-flight and realize all of the things you forgot to pack in your suitcase? I know I’ve been through it too many times to count. That’s why I made this list of products I wish I always remembered when I travel internationally. I definitely forgot a few of these when I studied abroad… oops…
If you forget everything else, just don’t forget this. Make sure you order or find one well before your trip, too, because I feel like it’s hard to find them sometimes! This universal adapter will allow you to charge your phone, computer, or use any other electronic in any country in the world. Note: be careful with how much wattage you use with these. Each one has pretty specific instructions about how much an adapter can handle. For example, it’s usually not the best idea to use an adapter with a hairdryer. But hopefully, you’ll have a hair dryer, or other things you might need, provided at your accommodations.
You will definitely regret it if you don’t document every single memory from your trip. I filled almost two journals when I studied abroad and I’m so happy I wrote it all down. I took note of restaurants I loved, all the flavors of gelato I indulged in, and of course, all the places I saw. No regrets, ok? Get a journal. There are even specific journals made for travel!
If you’re staying at hostels, you’re going to need a padlock. This happens to be just one of the things on this list that I forgot. Better safe than sorry! Also, it’s helpful to have if you need to lock up anything else, even if you aren’t staying in a hostel. They are so small that it’s just a no-brainer to pack one… you know: just in case. Note: if you also want to make sure your luggage is locked, here are some TSA-approved locks.
I had a Mophie charging case throughout my time studying in Europe. Not only is it a pretty durable case, but my phone had double the charge. If you drop your phone and it breaks when you’re traveling, well, you’re pretty out of luck. Of course, you can probably get it fixed somewhere but who knows how much that might cost! Trust me, the extra money you pay for a good case will pay off. Note: if you would like a more stylish option, consider this Case-mate that I currently have on my phone.
I had to specify a bit here because I made the mistake of bringing a backpack that broke during my trip. It was brand new before my trip began, but because I was lugging my laptop, camera, and other things around, the straps couldn’t handle the weight. One of the straps ended up tearing right off the bag at the train station one day! Don’t make my mistake: get a good travel backpack!
Bring a hat! And I’m not talking about those really cute floppy straw hats that you see in beach pictures on Instagram… Not that I don’t love those but, they are really difficult to pack (I tried to pack one and it took up most of my suitcase). Bring a baseball cap or something small and easy to pack. If it’s sunny where you’re heading, it’ll keep the sun off your face and you will potentially avoid a nasty sunburn.
Having that extra battery life on hand can be the difference between getting lost and arriving back at your hotel safely. Having the charging case was amazing, but having a portable charger is the next best thing. There is also a neat keychain that works off of solar power to charge your phone. Just clip it to your backpack and you’re set!
If you think they are basic: think again. Don’t tell me you don’t want a picture by the Eiffel Tower or at the Great Wall of China… because you do. Selfie sticks are actually super practical for travel because you can get that group picture or cute couple picture without annoyingly asking people. Plus, I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to ask strangers who are bad at taking pictures to help me take a picture… typical.
I bought my subscription to Spotify Premium in the car, on the way to the airport. Let me tell you: this was the best, last-minute decision I have ever made. When you have to endure countless hours on a plane, you need music (or at least I do). Plus, I love having a good soundtrack to accompany my travels.
You won’t always want or need to tug around a full backpack of stuff when you travel: that’s where the crossbody bag comes in. Compared to other styles, the crossbody is compact, easy to keep track of, and pretty dang hard for people to pickpocket. Another option? The fanny pack! (if you’re into that). Note: I packed a fanny pack for my trip and used it at airports mostly. It’s incredibly helpful to keep your phone, tickets, and passport in there.
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