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10 Essential Travel Accessories for long-term travellers

Long-term travelers are supposed to travel as light as possible. Carrying too much weight on their back is an annoying pain with every trip you do. Nonetheless there are some essential accessories a long-term traveler shouldn’t travel without.

Packing Cubes

You want to keep your bag in order and do not spend half an hour unpacking and packing your bag again for everything you look for? The easy solution are packing cubes. They simplified my travel life a lot. Put your shirts in one cube, your shorts and trousers in another, another one for pullovers and long-sleeves and one for your underwear. Et voila. You’ll find everything you need in the blink of an eye and you’re bag will always look tidy.

Packing Cube

Packing Cube by Eagle Creek

Reusable Water Bottle

This maybe doesn’t seem an obvious essential travel accessory for you on the first sight. But it is. I am traveling for two months now and am so grateful for my reusable water bottle. Why?

  1. There are a lot of places, especially in warmer countries, where you can easily fill up your water bottle for free.
  2. You save so much money. If you stay longer in one place, buy 5l water canisters instead of 2 or even only 0.5l water bottles and fill it in your bottle. It’s such an easy way to save money during your trip. For example, here on the Galapagos you pay about $0.5 to $0.7 for 0.5l and $3 to $3.5 for 5l. Which makes a saving from up to $4 for each 5l water you drink.
  3. It’s environmental friendly.
  4. You can either buy a bottle which you can store in the side pocket of your backpack or a water bag which doesn’t take up any space when it’s empty.

So I guess I convinced you by now. Get your reusable water bottle now!

Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable Water Bottle


Water Bag

Water bag


Travel Towel

Coming back to the topic of packing light…A travel towel helps you a lot in consideration of that. It weights almost nothing, dries very very quickly and takes up almost no space. It’s an accessory I never travel without anymore.

Travel Towel

Travel Towel

Basic Medicine Kit

Well, I just made the experience how it is to be sick (even though it was just a cold) on the road. That was when I really appreciated to have some pills and medicine handy. If you feel bad, believe me, you don’t feel like going to a pharmacy. So have at least some basic things you can use immediately when you cannot go to the pharmacy yourself. I will publish another, more extensive post on that topic soon. So make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to not miss it:

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Combination lock

The most obvious reason to have a lock is to lock your valuables. When you sleep in dorms, you usually have a locker. The problem is that they often do not come with a lock and you have to bring your own to really keep your stuff safe.

combination lock

combination lock

Travel Diary

You will make a lot of memories along the road. And I guarantee you, you will remember a lot but not all. One of the best things to do is get your travel diary and read about days from months ago, it’s great, there are things you already forgot which make you smile, laugh or being reflective about a certain topic. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with writing in your diary everyday, but it’s absolutely worth doing it. You will regret it if you don’t.

Travel Diary

Travel Diary

World Adaptor & Multiple socket

Well, that’s obvious. You have to charge your electronic equipment like camera and phone once in a while (or daily nowadays). Sockets are different around the world, so it’s an essential travel accessory for everyone.
I happened to be in hostel dorms with 6-10 beds with only one or two sockets. Phone batteries are empty so fast these days that nearly everyone has to charge his/her phone on a daily basis. Furthermore, people take photos, have lap tops and read on Kindle E-book readers. Everything needs to be charged. To not having to fight for a socket, simply bring a multiple socket with you, so more people can charge something on one socket. Issue solved.

World Adaptor

World Adaptor


Multiple Socket

Multiple Socket


Sarong

Before this long-term trip, I didn’t have one and I do not understand why. It has so many purposes, so I now am the opinion that it’s an essential accessory to travel with. You can wear it as a dress or skirt on the beach, use it as a towel to sit on it, it warms you if it’s getting cold in the evening or you can use it as a scarf. I will never travel without mine anymore as it already helped me in so many situations and you do not have to carry “just-in-case“ stuff like pullovers, scarfs, towels etc. Simply take your sarong with you (which doesn’t take up much space) and you’re fine.

Sarong

Sarong

Disinfectant & Tissues/Toilet Paper

You probably know the problem. There is no toilet paper in the bathroom or the water doesn’t work. Always have a small bottle of disinfectant and some tissues in your bag to avoid those problems. Some people even carry a roll of toilet paper with them, especially in Asia.

Disinfectant

Practical disinfectant

Kindle Paperwhite

Read all the books you want to read in your preferred language. No more boring books from hostel book exchanges just because you didn’t find a good one. No more carrying books around on your back which are annoyingly heavy. Everything is solved with one simple invention: The Kindle Paperwhite.
I know there are people who prefer reading actual books and I was a representative of this group as well. But after moving to my own apartment, I noticed that I had far too many books. Each box was filled with a lot of books. As I also travelled a lot during my non-nomadic time in Germany, I decided to give Kindle a try. And I didn’t regret it a second. I have it with me all the time.

  • When I’m waiting somewhere, I can read,
  • when I’m in a cafe or restaurant, I get out my Kindle and read.
  • It doesn’t weight anything,
  • you can immediately read another book if you finish one and do not have to wait for the next library or book exchange.
  • You can read books in English, Spanish and German, whatever you want at the moment and do not have to be dependent on what’s available.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite has a light included which makes it easy to read in dorm rooms where people already want to sleep.
  • And the best thing: there are some brilliant offers out there. Most books are only a bit cheaper than the paperbacks but then there are daily deals on Amazon or some great books you can get for free.

So for all skeptics out there, it’s worth trying! Especially as a traveler!

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Do you agree with this list of essential travel accessories for long-term travelers? Or would you add or eliminate something?

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21 thoughts on “10 Essential Travel Accessories for long-term travellers

  1. Hannah Wasielewski

    I really need to get one of those travel towels, that’s usually the things I lose the most/forget when traveling. Also, it still amazes me how many people still forget to bring locks while traveling. That seems like a no brainer to me!
    Hannah Wasielewski recently posted…24 Hours in ChicagoMy Profile

    1. Stef Post author

      Oh yes you should buy one, I never go anywhere without them. So handy. And true people forget locks all the time. I don’t get it. I mean if you sleep in a dorm and you know you have valuables, you don’t want to take them with you all the time while exploring a big city with a lot of pickpocketing…

  2. Nobuko

    I am a huge fan of traveling light. It makes things so much easier; there is simply less stress. Additionally, if one packs smart enough (matching articles of clothing and similar color scheme), then it’s not difficult to simply take the smaller bag.

    1. Stef Post author

      I completely agree with you. I’m not the best light packer but I’m always trying to improving my packing skills 😉

  3. sunpower

    Today everybody is carrying technology (i.e. mobile phones and other portable digital gadgets) in their hands. They are the tools which can give you real-time information about anything, just in single click whether it’s about travelling or something else.

    Great share! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Tobias

    – I do not need a Kindle, my phone & kindle app does that job. Not exactly the same experience… but enough at least for me.
    – While in the past I took a mini torchlight with me, now I ma only using the phone’s light instead. At least it’s enough for a short walk in the dark.
    – As I use my phone for above mentioned and more (esp. GPS eats a lot of battery) an external battery helps to survive longer.
    – Besides a combination lock, I usually also carry some cable ties and a hot glue stick with me. Hot glue sticks can be melted with a lighter, no gun required – so works outside of civilization as well. Just be aware: if you glue sth. that’s getting wet, the hot glue won’t hold tight for long. You can also carry some duct tape w/o losing space by not carrying the whiole roll but simply sticking some stripes onto something clean made from plastic/metal you carry with you anyways. It loses a bit of sticky power due to double use, but duct tape is quite strong. A re-use is usually no prob.
    – First time I read about the packing cubes. Used plastic bags instead in the past, same principle, less elegant, but also less weight I guess.

  5. Stef Post author

    Thanks for sharing your essential travel accessories. I like packing cubes as they don’t make noise. When you sleep in a dorm and have to get up early, plastic bags might annoy your roommates. But I used plastic bags as well before I bought packing cubes. Now I don’t want to travel without them anymore.

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