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.
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.
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?
- There are a lot of places, especially in warmer countries, where you can easily fill up your water bottle for free.
- 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.
- It’s environmental friendly.
- 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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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