As a road warrior, you get to be pretty efficient at packing your travel bags. You understand that different climates require different items: rainy areas require umbrellas or rain gear, cold destinations require warm coats. Some trips may require attire for fun and games in addition to work outfits. Regardless of where you go, some essentials remain constant. Consider these tips for international travel and discover the ten things that you should never leave without!
Most of us are familiar with airline entertainment… it isn’t always the most reliable! And, if you’re traveling somewhere by train….well, good luck! Instead of sitting patiently for a number of hours in an uncomfortable seat, indulge in a new book that you’ve loaded on your Kindle or tablet. Choose several ahead of time and load them to your device, or download a movie for watching when you need to entertain yourself. (Don’t forget your earbuds, though, or you’ll be entertaining the whole plane!)
Trial Size Toiletries
Instead of packing full-size toothpaste or perfume/cologne, pick up trial-sized versions to bring along with you. They take up much less space, and if you forget or lose them, you aren’t out expensive products. An added bonus is that you can pack them in your carry-on bag so in the instance of lost checked luggage, you’ll have exactly what you need!
While it may sound like the most obvious of elements to pack, it’s often the most overlooked. As you’re rushing to pack socks, your laptop and anything else you may need, the small passport booklet is easily left behind on your desk. Always, always, always pack your passport in a bag that you’ll be carrying onto the plane with you. More importantly, make sure it’s current! Some foreign nations won’t let you in if it’s close to its expiration date. It helps to have two to four blank pages as some customs officials are picky and may refuse entry to a country.
Flash Drive or Memory Card
It’s easy to pack up physical copies of your driver’s license, passport, insurance policies, itinerary or debit/credit cards. It’s even easier to scan them onto a flash drive or memory card and tuck that into a pocket in your bag. If your originals happen to get lost, you can access this information easily. Additionally, if you need documents or presentation materials for your business meetings, you can save them on the memory card. Then you can simply print them at your destination, instead of packing them along with you. The benefit of this method is that it works even when you don’t have internet access!
While many hotels provide electrical adaptors as you travel abroad, you shouldn’t depend on that. Bring your own universal adaptor with you so that you can charge your devices, use your flat iron or utilize any other item you have that needs power. The last thing you need on your way to an important international business meeting is a laptop with a low battery!
Extra Power Banks
Not only are those power adaptors a necessity, but bringing along a few pre-charged power banks can keep you from desperately searching for an outlet. From having a charge ready to go on the plane to having extra juice for your presentation, a power bank is easy to pack and takes up only a little space. It should, definitely, be at the top of your “to pack” list.
Sometimes your prescriptions are available in the countries you’re traveling to, but the safe thing to do is to just pack what you’re going to need. Determine how long you’re going to be gone and pack a few extra doses in your carry on just in case. Keep your medication in a bag that you’ll be holding with you in the cabin – never put them in a checked bag to avoid the possibility of lost or stolen luggage.
Neutral Clothing Choices
While it might be fun to dress in festive colors or other hues that relate to the culture of your destination, it’s wise to choose neutrals instead. When you pick neutral-colored garments, you can mix and match them, coordinating them to create several outfits out of a few items. Packing as little as possible, but creating more outfits, allows you to bring only a carry-on bag. All road warriors know that checking luggage costs you time, leaves you open to risk/loss and creates a lot of unnecessary hassles.
Even if your bag has wheels or a sturdy strap, it may not be convenient to carry. Take your luggage on a trial run down your driveway or around your house to ensure that you can easily maneuver through crowds or a busy airport. After being on the road for several hours, your back will thank you for it!
You may not be able to pay with your credit card everywhere when you reach your destination, but you can find an ATM and withdraw local currency. Without funds, you’re going to be limited on what you can do and where you can make purchases in several destinations abroad. Avoid these restrictions by carrying small (but, sufficient) funds with you.