Do you know this feeling: you’re travelling and then <blank> happens and you do a classic facepalm wistfully gasping: OHH I WISH I HAD <blank> ?
Yeah, it happens. It’s been happening to me during my already more than two years on the road. And every time it happened I put a little note on my phone. This is how I created a list of 12 things that can save your life and sanity while travelling. Enjoy!
1. Zip bags
definitely underestimated. They can save your life on numerous occasions: broken shampoo, cream, ointment package? Shove it to the zip bag. The bathing suit still wet ? to the zip bag. Bought some red wine and don’t want to risk having it all over your suitcase ? to the zip bag and another zip bag. To protect your passport, money and everything else from dirt and humidity. Definitely a very strong position on the top 12 things that can save your life while travelling.
of course! Definitely one of the things that can save your life while travelling! We might need them for sleeping, but you can also use them in some other ways. When there’s a baby screaming on the plane- put the ear plugs in and if it’s still not enough – put overhead headphones on the top of it. The music is going to be dimmed but the tragic baby shriek will probably disappear completely. Another use of earplugs might seem a bit ridiculous, but you never know what you’ll be about to face travelling to some off the beaten track places. Imagine being on the bus with a person who stinks as hell. For hours. What can you do? Put your earplugs into your nostrils and breathe through your mouth. It might not solve the problem in 100% but will make the journey more bearable.
3. Bum bag
you wear it like a belt, so its super comfy. Placed at your womb makes it also very safe. For everything you need to always have within a reach of a hand: money, bike keys, phone.
4. Wet wipes
life saviours! To clean your hands, to take with you to the toilet, to refresh yourself in the middle of a long sweaty travelling day. Also to clean your shoes, laptop, in extreme situations ? to remove your makeup.
5. Insulation tape
every broken cable (which is a digital nomad’s nightmare with being constantly on the move), ripped pouch, broken flip-flop. When Norwegian airlines tore off one of the wheels in my big suitcase (I was devastated), my friend taped it with an insulation tape and just like that the suitcase survived another 6 flights. Otherwise, I’d be f***ed.
6. Pen & a long sleeve sweatshirt (on the plane)
do you recall this moment when a lovely (or less lovely) flight attendant is handing out arrival cards and you’re desperately trying to find a pen? Then you finally give up and wait in line at the airport to use the lonely pen (ONE pen) also desired by 30 other travellers who, just like you, forgot their own pens and need to fill in the card. Don’t be like this. Have your pen. The pen is important. Period.
When it comes to a sweatshirt, this “feature:” is very useful especially in hot Asian climate. Why? Because their planes have AC. A very efficient AC and they want to make sure you’ll be aware of this fact. So if you’re not a penguin take a sweatshirt with you. Otherwise, you might end up being delivered as frozen.
Bad hair day, after-flight sinus problems, suddenly cooler weather (most of your heat escapes through your head and feet) or rain that’s annoying you by dropping on your skull. Beanie will help. It will also help if you decide to be a little bit hipstery/sk8ter boi or whatevs. It’s small, you can shove it everywhere, you’ll love having it with you.
8. Safety pin
to pin your blouse the way your bra/boob won’t be sticking out. Or: when the zipper in your trousers refused to work. Or: thousand of different situations where a safety pin can save your life while travelling. I hear it at least once a month when travelling: “Oh, do you by any chance have a safety pin?” Well, I damn do!
9. Chewing gum
I know that, you know that, we all know that but we also tend to sometimes forget.
10. Christmas lights
if you’re not staying in a 5* hotel, but renting a bungalow or Airbnb, this little thing will change even a pretty rough interior into a little cosy wonderland. Just hang it on a wall, put on the shelf, place on the head of your bed and Bob’s your uncle! (You can also wrap them around you and aspire for an Insta-model.)
for your locker, suitcase, to lock your bum bag when you’re in a crowd. Small, preferably without the key, but opened with a code.
12. Passport pictures&passport copy
it will save you all the hustle with any visa you’ll be applying for, that’s for sure. It might be also useful in scooter rental places, guesthouses and so on. A couple of pictures and some copies of your passport (including a picture of it on your phone). Costs next to nothing and helps a lot.
These are the items I’ve been listing for some time writing it down on my phone every single time I wished I had something
Of course, for a digital nomad, the list of products necessary to survive is a bit longer and includes portable drives, power banks, a dozen of different adapters, a handful of sim card from different countries, chargers, sd cards…but that’s an absolutely different story. Also, a photographer digital nomad will have a different list than a digital nomad writer. But we all need beanies and zip-bags. Trust me 🙂