When it comes to packing for a trip we all pack differently, some people are hardcore advanced packers and have their suitcase waiting at the door, others throw things in at the last minute and be done with it.
I have to say I am firmly in the middle, I usually pack for a trip one or two days before and I always write a list so I don't forget anything.
This post is all about my 9 essentials I take with me on any trip, from a city break to a long haul trip I always pack these items...
This is my number one essential, it's life saver on long journeys. Roll it up and use it as a pillow, or wrap yourself up in it when the air conditioning is at arctic blast level.
It can also be used for when you need to sit down somewhere and don't want to get your clothes dirty.
I've collected a few scarves on my travels but my favourite one was from Accessorize years ago.
Notebook and Pen
You'll never go wrong with taking a pen: you might need it on the plane for a crossword or filling out a landing card. The notebook can be a live saver if you're stuck in the airport and don't want to use your phone battery up. I usually note down places of interest and names of restaurants and what not on my travels
(So I can write about them later online)
Copy of my Passport
Touch wood but I've never lost my passport or had it stolen. However in terms of getting a new one if you have the passport numbers and passport picture already to hand in copy form then it can speed up the process should you need to approach an embassy abroad.
Of course don't store the copy with the original passport. I usually carry a folder with copies in my suitcase/backpack and carry my passport with me in a money belt.
Another way is to have a copy of numbers and expiry dates stored in an email so you can access them in another format.
The same goes for copies of entrance visas. MAKE A COPY.
I usually carry a canvas one so I can fold it up compactly and wash it after use. Depending on where I am I usually venture down to a supermarket and stock up on foreign snacks...therefore this comes in handy. Also if you need extra hand luggage on your return trip (because of all the snacks I've bought) then again this will be helpful.
My bag was from the Natural History Museum in London
Keeping on the snack topic I always carry a handful of cereal bars or portioned snacks that are individually wrapped. First of all these can curb your hunger on those uber early flights and if you arrive into a destination late at night after the restaurants are closed then you'll soon be glad you took that spare Special K bar
Hot drink sachets
If you're a caffeine monster like me then you'll appreciate a coffee in the morning to set you up. These powdered coffees aren't gourmet but they are incredibly handy and I usually stuff a few coffee and hot chocolate sachets into a sandwich bag ready for packing. The last few destinations I've been have been cold and I really appreciate coming back to the Airbnb and having a familiar hot drink.
I picked up travel sized towels in IKEA and they are perfect for washing your face at the end of a long day wandering around a city. Also if you are in a hot, humid place they will come into play as a luxurious and very sexy "sweat rag"...
Multi plug adapter
Of course you'll remember to take the plugs with you that fit the country you're in. However a good tip is to take a multi plug so you can charge your phone, camera, headphones or what other devices you might need. Also if you're in hostels you and your travel buddy can share a plug together.
I'm notorious for collecting these mini pouches and vanity bags. They come in very handy to compartmentalize things and organise your belongings. Also it makes packing your bag easier because you just need to pack these pouches. I try to take ones that I can wipe clean and a particular favourite of mine is one from Gambia made out of recycled plastic bags.
I tend to have two or three with me in my hand luggage.
I've heard great things about packing cubes, so potentially I'll invest in some for my next trip.
If you can think of anything that you would bring on a trip then let me know.