It’s no secret that I love to travel – it doesn’t matter where to; whether far off into another country as distant as can be or as near as the next district that is only a few kilometres away. I will get up, pack up and go with a very big smile on my face and joy in my heart.
Over the years and with lots of travel for work, family events, adventure etc., I have gathered tips and learnt to be more efficient for travel; mostly to avoid over packing and also to ensure I carry practical items.
Also, I have a little space in my my closet for my travel things for ease of pick out and to ensure I don’t forget stuff.
Save for the obvious (shoes, undergarments, sports clothes, toiletries etc), here are my top 10 things to bring, regardless of where I am going:
1. Portable Charger a.k.a “Power Bank”:
This is my electric pack that keeps my gadgets running if I cannot find a power source. I got an Anker Power core 20100mAh; that can two gadgets (at a go); to 100%. This is great for me especially when I go hiking, mountaineering or when I travel to rural areas where one cannot have access to electricity.
The power-bank bag carries my wires and earphones in one place so they are not scattered all-over my bags.
2. Zip Top Bag:
These play an important role in keeping my documents and some delicate gadgets dry but in many cases I use them to quickly arrange items into themes e.g. meds, documents, toiletries etc. I use these when I am packing up in a really tiny bag and don’t have that much space. However, their key role is to keep my items dry and air tight.
3. A First Aid Kit:
This is something I hardly use but I carry it anyway because it could help someone else that I may travel with. My kit also houses pain relievers, hand sanitiser and sometimes contacts of a health facility in the vicinity of places I will be travelling to. I also undertook a basic first aid training with the Uganda Red Cross Society – so this could come in handy one fine day.
4. A Laundry Bag/s:
On the course of my journey especially overnight trips or those that I have to live somewhere else but home, I use these to separate the clean linens from the dirty/used ones. I usually carry 1-2 of these.
5. A Book to read:
I cannot leave chance to boredom, I love to let the mind wander off as I travel. Books are great for very long journeys especially for flights or road travel with a coverage of more that 5 hours. If I am not sleeping off or listening to music, I alternate with reading and catching up with a good book. Imagine that – travelling both in the physical and in your mind – you get two for the price of one ;-).
6. A Travel Music Playlist:
What is a trip without good music to “kill time”. I have had travel moments where I have long lay-overs (as long as 10 hours) and sometimes I don’t feel like reading, conversing with strangers or even sleeping. Music feeds the soul up quite good and somehow, the clock ticks off and away. Music may also put me to sleep and this will be good for even “killing” off more waiting time.
Sometimes, I enjoy the music with my travel-mates if we feel like a great musical ambience will keep us entertained.
7. A Note-book and pen:
I have an amazing travel app but my notebook never leaves my side. I love jotting things down (numbers, addresses, budgets etc) because usually, this is my back up. Also, I can quickly tear out a sheet of paper to jot something down or have someone jot something down. I am learning to use the phone app but I don’t think I’ll be abandoning my notebook in the near future.
For any trip, these do not leave my side. Sometimes I literally put them on my body because paranoia takes over. I remember once on a solo trip to Dubai, I used to carry my passport underneath my bra – I don’t remember who freaked me about such documents being stolen for reuse but that got me really freaked. So I don’t leave any room for chance 🙂
9. A Travel Neck Pillow:
Sweet dreams is what I do have with this particular neck-pillow. It has very soft “return” foam and does not grow old at all. I have had this pillow almost 6 years now and together we have been (slept through) places. Its very easy to wash and also easy to carry around.
10. “Crocs”, “Happy socks” and Sweat “Lazy Pants”:
For all things comfort – I always wear crocs shoes, sweat “lazy” pants and I wear my happy socks to brighten everything up. For air travel, the security check processes can be quite cumbersome when you have to keep taking off your shoes, belts and any form of metals on your fabrics but wearing these many times ensures I just walk through those machines. Also, my sweat pants have pockets-pon-pockets; allowing me to have the very important stuff on me – literally!
“Travel leaves you speechless – then turns you into a Story-teller” Ibn Battuta
Cover Photo by Paul Lumala
Love and Light