August 12, 2021
Other than remembering to bring your passport on a trip, there are certain must-have items I will bring on every trip regardless of the destination or what I have planned.
While I was in Kingston, I bought this beautiful green string grocery bag that I use on a daily basis. I mostly use it for my groceries, but it is also great for beach days and some days I use it as a purse bag. The material of the bag allows for the bag to expand the more it has in it, and will shrink when it's empty. You can also use a tote bag, or a bag that will folder into itself to help save space.
I had the idea to bring these on my first solo trip after having flashbacks of using public pool change room and showers. It was so gross to me, and thinking about having to share a bathroom with people in hostels, gave me the same vibes. I bring a pair of plain foam flip flops just to wear to use the washrooms or to walk around the hostel, like a pair of slippers. If you plan to use the beach too, these are good to have for walking in the sand.
Speaking of hostels, you do not want to forget padlocks at home. I always carry two padlocks with me, one is to lock my personal belongings in the hostel locker, and one is if I need it for my day pack around the city. I chose padlocks that had longer and bendier hooks so they were more likely to adapt and fit on different lockers.
Here are the ones I bought off Amazon
I love a good fanny pack. I don’t just use fanny packs to travel with, I just wear them on a day to day basis. Find a fanny pack or waist that isn't too flashy or bulky and has lots of pockets to store your most essential items, like your phone, passport, money and any cards or keys you have. I met some girls abroad who found ones that were waterproof so they could take them in the shower with them and sleep with them underneath their pajamas.
Find waist pouches on Amazon
Stasher bags and other reusable sandwich and plastic bags are becoming more popular and they are a fantastic eco friendly option for travelling. They are incredibly versatile and can be used for so many things. You can use them as tupperware to pack lunches if you are making food at the hostel or want to pack up your leftovers.
Because they are transparent I store my liquids and toiletries in here so I don’t waste time at the airport digging through my bag to find my liquids compile in a plastic bag.
My final use for this product is as a waterproof pouch to store my passport, phone, wallet and other items. If it's raining and your day pack or purse doesn’t have a rain cover, knowing you have another protective layer for your essentials. You could also buy a waterproof phone pouch that has a neck strap too.
Find reusable sandwich bags on Amazon
Find waterproof phone pouches on Amazon
For all my lady friends out there, I chose to travel with a Diva cup to help save money, it saves space in my bag but it is another thing I do to be more eco conscious. In my opinion these cups hold more than tampons or pads do, so you’ll spend less time in public washrooms changing out your feminine products.
It doesn’t matter where you are staying, I recommend you bring your own pillow case. If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping with the linen your accommodation has provided, bringing a case to change out is a must.
You can also use your pillow case as a double for a dirty laundry bag.
By far the heaviest item in my bag is my portable charger. This thing has two charging ports, a crap ton of charging power and a built-in flashlight. Bring a portable charger that you know will be durable. If you are going to take a lot of pictures or rely on navigation everywhere you go, find one with more charging power.
My portable charger is from Imuto, you can find it here
I went to a restaurant one time and wanted my friend to take a picture of me with my drink. Well isn't it convenient that my drink spilled on the front of my nice bright shirt just in time for the picture. Plus depending on the limited access to laundry services, bringing stain remover is a nice easy and quick fix.
Bringing a microfibre towel is essential for any trip, especially if you intend to stay in hostels. Hostels will sometimes provide towels as a part of the total accommodation cost, however I have found that cheaper hostels and chains will not provide you with one, and the cost of renting per night is almost as much as you paid for the night stay. Towels are also good to pack for a sweaty day of hiking or for a cool off at the beach. You can bring whatever towel you want, but I recommend a microfibre towel because they are quick drying, and fold smaller than regular towels.
My microfibre towel is from Mountain Warehouse
No matter what kind of weather is being called for in whichever climate I plan to travel to, I always bring a lightweight travel rain jacket. I found one that folds into almost nothing and provides an extra layer if I need it.
My jacket is from Marmot and I found it off Amazon
I keep two carabiners secured to my backpack all the time. They are versatile, and take up no room in your bag, so why wouldn’t I bring them? In the past I have used these to clip my water bottle to my bag while I am hiking, hang my rain jacket over my bag to save space inside of my backpack, and use them to hold all my hair ties.
Something that I did not use to travel with until recently is toilet paper. Weird, right? Before I went on my trip to Peru, my tour company sent a recommended list of things to pack and toilet paper was one of them. Hiking through the jungle to get to Machu Picchu meant limited washroom trips and not many bathrooms I used actually had toilet paper. I have also heard from my friends that some cities won’t have toilet paper in public washrooms, so I bring a couple rolls with me everywhere now. There are specific rolls that don't have the cardboard insert in them, making them much smaller and easier to travel with. You can always use Kleenex too, but the bottom line is, bring something you'd be happy to wipe both your face and butt with.
Here are the ones I purchased on Amazon
It shouldn’t take too much to explain that you need to bring a power adapter with you on your trip, but I have discovered a new universal power adapter that has multiple USB ports on one block and I totally recommend them. It is going to save space in your bag since you won’t have to pack multiple blocks with you.
Here is an example I found on Amazon
To help eliminate electronic fraud overseas, protecting your debit and credit cards, and any ID you are carrying on you with RFID card protector sleeves is a smart idea. You can find them off Amazon, but I found mine on sale for 90 cents.
To help keep my keys and wallet secured to me at all times, I bring a wrist strap and/or a lanyard with adjustable straps.
*Disclaimer - None of the products or brands mentioned in this post were sponsored, they are products I have found worked for me.