Packing List for Travel – my 11 most important items
by Josien - 21 May, 2020
My packing list for travel is not that long. I have been traveling non-stop for over three years now, so I really live out of my suitcase. Yet, there are a few items that I really can’t do without. Some are things that I can’t buy at my future locations or don’t want to spend too much time finding a store that sells it. You’ll find them below.
Besides my passport, the needed visa and vaccinations/medicines:
1. PHONE, CHARGER, EXTERNAL BATTERY, AND TRAVEL POWER PLUG
This is the easy one of course. Who leaves the house without his/her phone nowadays, right?! Especially me, a digital nomad who’s work is 100% online. The important thing here is that you have the right charger and a travel power plug with you. Though you can buy these things almost anywhere, you don’t want to arrive at your destination (after traveling over 24 hours) with an empty phone and no power plug that fits the power points.
2. MACBOOK, CHARGER AND NEEDED ACCESSOIRES
I’m a lucky girl with remote freelance possibilities. But it directly means that I always travel with my Macbook Pro 13 inch Space Grey ♥. I’m nothing without it! Of course, I also bring the charger with it, but also the Magic Mouse, separate keyboard, and a Lightning-to-USB cable. I still hate the fact that these don’t come in Space Grey tho.
Picture below is from one year ago, I wish I could still pack THAT light! It also reminds me that I also always have my Compeed blister cushions, hand disinfection and a book/Lonely Planet Guide with me.
3. CAMERA SONY A6000 + GOPRO
Every traveler loves to take pictures since this is almost the only way to explain at home what your adventure brought you. The only way to bring your memories alive.
My GoPro is of course always with me since my boyfriend and I love to surf, hike, and ski/snowboard. Including a selfie stick and waterproof case, I’m completely set for every adventure.
tip: Want to make a video of your travels? Use this video editor tool and make your life easier 😉
The Sony a6000 was quite a search. After weeks of comparing and asking for recommendations, this beauty of a camera came out as the winner! The most important things I was looking for:
- Lightweight (only 344 gram!!)
- Bluetooth or other connection to transfer pics easily to my smartphone and work with a remote
- Separate lenses
- 24+ Megapixels
- High ISO reach
One of my best friends had one of these and after a holiday testing this brilliant camera I was convinced of its skills. Love at first sight 😉
4. SOLAR CHARGER
As said before, I can’t travel without my electronic gear. There will be a day you’ll find yourself in a low-battery-situation with a power plug nowhere close. Make sure you have an extra battery at all times!
I have an ANKER 21W Dual USB Solar Charger. Why? It can charge my phone almost 5 times and I don’t need a power plug: super eco friendly. Save your phone, save the planet!
5. SMALLER BACKPACK
I always travel with a smaller sized backpack. My biggest reason is that I still have 2 hands free to roll my suitcase or to read a map along the way for example. And because you want to have a smaller bag if you’re going on smaller adventures. I love slow traveling, but I still go camping or spend a few days somewhere else.
When picking the right backpack for your travels you have to make sure you can use it for several uses:
- A weekend city trip
- A camping weekend
- Beach days
- Road trips
- Does your laptop fit in there too?
- Do you need it to be waterproof?
6. STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE
Wherever you go, you need water, and in most countries in the world, you have to buy plastic bottles of water. This is one of my biggest frustrations when traveling. There is too much plastic in the world, we’re literally killing ourselves with plastic. We drop it in the oceans, the fishes eat the plastic, we eat the fishes… But that’s another subject I write about in other articles.
It’s also saddening to see that half of the world has no access to clean drinkable water. I try to buy as little plastic as I can and one of the things that help me most is my water bottle. I have one of HydroFlask now, but before I had one of 24Bottles. There are many brands that sell great stainless steel water bottles. Get yours!
They are made of stainless steel and therefore super lightweight, I’m not participating in creating the Plastic Soup. Even better: every time I fill my Hydro Flask bottle with water, I also save 0,08 kg of CO2! Sustainable, ecological, AND traveler friendly.
7. SUSTAINABLE BAMBOO PRODUCTS
One other example of my anti-plastic mission/obsession is using bamboo products. And no:
- It’s not expensive
- It’s not heavy
- It’s not difficult to get
- It’s not cleaning your teeth in a lesser way than that plastic one you have right now
8. WELEDA SKINFOOD AND VISION SUNSCREEN
In case you didn’t know yet: I ♥ WELEDA. It’s just too bad I can’t buy/find all their products everywhere in the world (I’m still waiting for my delivery in Mexico City as we speak) and I always travel light, which means I don’t bring shampoo, body lotions, and other cosmetics with me from home. Nothing. Except for Weleda’s Skinfood. It’s my body lotion, after sun, skin recovery serum all in 1. It’s THE medicine my skin needs.
Then I also love Visions Sunscreen. Everyone should have sunscreen on their packing list for travel, but this one is different than all the other sunscreens. It’s not entirely green/eco/bio/etc, but it is free of parfum, parabens, lanolines, and isn’t tested on animals. It’s the best 50SPF sunscreen I have ever tried. I haven’t found any other sunscreen that is 50SPF, leaves no white stripes, and comes without all the unnatural ingredients. At least as little as possible. Highly recommended!
9. PEN AND PAPER
It may sound weird that I, a digital junky, travels with old school pen and paper. Think about communication where you don’t speak the language. Think about quickly writing something down when on the road. Brainstorm sessions. Sometimes you remember things better when you actually write them down with pen and paper, instead of a note on your phone.
10. GOOD SHOES
I have a great set of Under Armour running shoes that I also use for hiking and long walks through the jungle. They’re not that heavy, but I also wear them in the airplane to save up space and weight in my luggage. Super comfy!
Besides that I have my flip flops and I am close to ordering Allbirds sneakers 🙂
11. BANDANA, SKIRT, SCARF, DUST MASK
Call it what you want it, but I have one piece of cotton that I wear as a sarong in Hindu temples, as a scarf in cold weather, a beach towel on African beaches, a headscarf in Muslim countries, and dust mask/bandana during MidBurn in Israel. Multifunction and an absolute quick fix for many situations and highly recommended finding something similar to put on your packing list for travel.
12. other recommended items for your packing list for travel
- headphones with noise-canceling
- packing cubes
- small wallet to keep the different valuta you collect
- first aid kit
- hand sanitizer
- face mask
- a little box to keep your SD-cards, SIM cards, etc in
- card games, like Monopoly or Catan
- Stainless steel straw