Traveling abroad is a thrilling opportunity that many people dream about for years. And whether this is your first trip or your fifteenth, having the right things with you can make or break your trip. But how do you make sure you have everything you need to jet off across the globe?
There are a few key items you should always make sure you have with you during any international trip. Read on to discover some of our favorite international travel tips for packing before you leave for your next adventure.
A Good Pair of Shoes
One of the first things you should pack for your trip abroad is a good pair of shoes. Chances are you’re going to be walking a lot more than you usually do to go see monuments, tour museums, hike trails, explore shops, and just navigate around cities. You don’t want your feet to be complaining at you all throughout your trip.
Look for a good pair of sturdy shoes with plenty of support. They should be comfortable, but relatively easy to get on and off so you don’t have to fight with them in airports. If possible, look for something water-resistant that you don’t have to worry too much about getting dirty.
A Travel Journal
After a good pair of shoes, the next thing you will need is a travel journal. Even if you don’t usually keep a journal or diary, your travel journal will be where you keep all your important information and documents. Use it to make backup notes of the addresses of your hotels, when each of your flights take off, and any other important information.
You may also want to use your travel journal to jot down important things you want to remember. Did you eat at a particularly amazing restaurant or have an encounter you want to remember years from now? Take a few minutes to jot it down in your travel journal and you’ll have that reminder of your trip forever.
A Translation Dictionary
One of the biggest thrills and challenges of international travel is getting around in a society where you don’t speak the language. Unless you’re already fluent in the language in the place you’re traveling to, you aren’t likely to learn the entire language before you go. But having a translation dictionary in hand can help you out with the most important phrases.
It’s probably a good idea to memorize a few key phrases from your dictionary before you leave. “Please,” “Thank you,” “Where,” and Help” are all good words to have under your belt. You may also want to memorize some basic greetings and important words like “bathroom,” “good,” and “bad.”
A Good Bag
Your travel bag is going to be your constant companion on your adventures. You’re going to pack and unpack and repack your suitcase half a dozen times along the way. And during the day, you may have a backpack or other bag to carry souvenirs, documentation, and, of course, your travel journal.
You may want to look for a suitcase with omnidirectional wheels to make those sprints through the airport a little easier. Your backpack should have plenty of space and be comfortable to wear for long periods at a time. It should also have some sort of security to prevent pickpocketers from getting into it without your noticing.
Copies of Your Passport
Your passport is already on your packing list, but you shouldn’t stop at tucking the original document into your backpack. Your backpack could get lost or stolen, you could lose your passport, a thief could swipe it, or a vindictive pigeon could swipe it and drop it into a river. No matter what circumstances it happens under, you don’t want to get stuck in a foreign country with no passport.
Make a few photocopies of your passport and tuck them into different places around your luggage. One should go in your suitcase, and you may want to stick one in your travel journal. You should do the same thing with your driver’s license, your health insurance card, any travel insurance documentation, and your flight and hotel confirmations.
Some Local Currency
Before you leave on your trip, you’re going to need to make a trip to the bank to let them know when and where you’ll be traveling. They can lift certain restrictions on your account designed to protect you from identity theft and fraud. But while you’re at the bank, make sure you also get a few hundred dollars of cash in the local currency where you’re traveling.
During your travels, you may find that you still have problems with your credit card or that some vendors simply don’t accept plastic. Cash is always negotiable and will help keep you out of any sticky situations. You may also want to bring an extra credit or debit card in case one doesn’t work.
When we’re on vacation, it can be tempting to ignore all the usual challenges of our daily life. But just because you’re on an adventure doesn’t mean you don’t need to take your depression or blood pressure meds. Be sure you bring along plenty of your medications to get you through your trip.
You may also want to put together a small first aid kit to tuck into your luggage. Basic medications like allergy meds, pain meds, and antibiotic ointments are always a good idea. You may also want to include bandages, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, and extra contact solution.
Electric systems in other countries don’t work on the same system we use here in the United States. For one thing, their outlets are shaped differently from ours. But their outlets also frequently use a different voltage or amperage that will fry your electronics if you plug them into the wall.
Make sure you get a set of outlet converters that are suitable for the country or countries you’re traveling to. These will make it possible for you to charge your phone and laptop, as well as your other devices. Always double-check to make sure that you get a dual adaptor/convertor; an adaptor on its own will leave your devices crispy fried.
A Portable Phone Charger
Your phone is likely an important part of your day-to-life, but when you’re traveling internationally, it becomes even more critical. Your phone keeps the information about your flights and hotels, lets you translate signs and menus and tells you how to get from point A to point B. You don’t want it dying in the middle of a travel day.
Get a portable phone charger and tuck it into your luggage along with your usual charger. Be sure to charge both your phone and the portable charger each night. You may also be able to get a case for your phone that includes an extra battery pack that your phone can switch to when it runs out of charge.
When you’re picking out clothes to bring on your trip, versatility is the name of the game. Your clothes need to be able to carry you through any situation, from a church service in a world-renowned cathedral to hiking through rugged terrain. They need to be comfortable, durable, and weather-appropriate (more on that in a moment).
Try to bring a range of clothes that you can dress up or down. Comfortable tops that can work with jeans or a more formal dress and a combination of shorts and long pants will serve you well. You may also want to bring along one nicer outfit just in case you wind up at a nice restaurant or attending a classier event.
The other thing you should focus on when selecting clothes for your trip is packing lots of layers. Layers can help you stay comfortable as you move from freezing airplanes, hotels, and museums to sunny streets and trails. They can also help you make sure you have appropriate clothing for the various attractions you may want to visit.
Even if you’re going somewhere hot, tuck a few pairs of long pants into your suitcase. You may also want to have a good combination of tank tops, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, and jackets or sweaters. And bringing a scarf is always a good idea when you’re traveling internationally.
Almost no matter where you travel, you’re going to wind up spending some time out in the sun. Whether you’re skiing in the Alps, hiking the Great Wall of China, or touring the museums and cathedrals of Rome, you’ll be outside for at least a few hours a day. And the last thing you want to deal with on your trip is a wicked sunburn.
Make sure you pack a good sunscreen you like in your check bag. You may also want to bring along a hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. And a good pair of polarized sunglasses can make any trip more pleasant and much safer for your eyes.
While you’re packing for your trip, don’t forget to tuck a few things into your bag to use on the flight over. Those eight-, ten-, and twelve-hour plane trips can be brutal, and you want to make sure you’re comfortable along the way. This is especially important if you plan to sleep on the plane.
One of the best airplane travel tips is to grab a neck pillow and/or a seat cushion to make your seat a little more comfortable for you. You may want to bring an eye mask to block out light when you’re trying to sleep. And a foot hammock can give your hips and knees some relief while you’re in the air.
Extra Hygiene Products
When you’re packing your toiletry bag, you need to make sure you bring along some extra hygiene products. If you have a period, it’s always a good idea to tuck some pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup into your bag. Even if you aren’t expecting to get your period while you’re traveling, you want to be prepared.
If you wear glasses or contacts, bring an extra set with you, as well as some extra contact solution. If you have a shampoo, conditioner, or body wash you’re attached to, be sure you bring plenty of that. And an extra toothbrush never goes amiss, just in case yours gets lost or dirty.
A Sense of Adventure
It may sound cheesy, but a sense of adventure may be the most important thing you can bring with you on your trip. No trip is going to go perfectly according to plan. For better or for worse, opportunities will arise, plans will get canceled or changed, and you’ll wind up somewhere you didn’t expect.
Give yourself space to go with the flow and follow where your adventure leads. Some of your most amazing memories will be made when you accept a lunch invitation you didn’t expect or use some unexpected free time to explore a new area of the city. This kind of flexibility will keep your stress levels low and make your trip as fun as possible.
Find More International Travel Tips
Traveling internationally can be an amazing, life-changing experience. Having the right travel packing tips will help you be prepared to tackle any new adventure that comes your way. From touring the most breathtaking buildings the world has to offer to dining on exquisite food in a new city, you’ll be ready to soak in every second of your trip.
If you’d like to find more international travel tips, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have everything you need to feel like you’re traveling on a cloud, from neck pillows to seat cushions and more. Shop our collections today and start living your life abroad in comfort.