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I think we all have a list of things we just have to take with us when traveling. It doesn’t take long for that carry-on to overflow with unnecessary items to weigh you down. I learned pretty early on to leave the kitchen sink at home and only take what I felt I truly couldn’t live without while traveling. You may be surprised at how short my list truly is.
Here are my Top 4 Travel Must Haves with 2 added bonuses:
Because it’s rare for me to travel domestically, if I’m getting on a plane, I absolutely need my passport. To even get past security I need my passport. I make sure I have it where I can reach it, and if I need to throw it in my bag, I have this super dope case so that I can immediately spot it….or pick it out of a lineup if I needed to. I’ve had this particular case for years but you can find plenty of cool ones online. Check out this passport case, or this fancier one here.
I keep a journal for writing and venting on a daily basis. Sometimes I’ll write everyday and other times I’ll go for days or weeks without a new post. I keep a separate travel journal because I don’t want to mix the daily emotions with the ones that I experience while abroad. Not only am I in a difference space literally and figuratively while traveling, I sometimes feel as if I’m a different person. When I write in this journal to document my travels, it sounds nothing like me sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn and recounting my day at work. It is very important for me to keep track of these memories (think of The Notebook) for myself and to hopefully share with my descendants one day. I actually bought the above notebook right before my first real international trip (because a cruise to The Bahamas doesn’t count) to Paris and it happened to have the Eiffel Tower pictured on it. Now I always pack it in my suitcase whenever I travel and document my day by day experiences in it. I highly recommend purchasing a sturdy travel to remember the times. This is an Obsidian Journal that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. I didn’t know how much journalling would mean to me and would have invested in a crazy unique journal to document my eternal wanderlust.
3. DSLR CAMERA
Or any camera will do. I started with a refurbished Nikon D5100. I ordered an accessories bundle separately but if you can get a good deal on a camera package, go for it. I am a visual person and pictures mean everything to me…or rather, I love taking pictures. I actually hate to be photographed but that’s a different story. During my vacations I’ll take time to snap photos of my usual things (churches, architecture, cemeteries if there are any, bodies of water) and any unique things I come across. There also comes the time where I make it a point to put away my camera and take in the scenery before me. Now, when I bought my first camera I was balling on a budget. Once I moved to New York it was stolen from my apartment, never to be seen again. So I started off 2015 with two vacations and my mode for photography, blogging, and even vlogging, was my iPhone. It does wonders. Now I’ve reinvested in myself and my brand and treated myself to the Nikon D5300. I still saved a ton of money and bought it refurbished, but it was an upgrade and about the same price as when I bought the D5100 years ago. Mind you, I still haven’t invested in additional lenses and such because I still consider myself to be a novice and the standard kit lens always gets the job done for me. Sidenote: I’m addicted to dope Camera Straps, and they’re super cheap!
My MacBook Pro just made the list. I usually would leave my laptop home because it only added extra weight and I didn’t really need it. Now, especially with solo travel being my thing, I take it with me for a few reasons. First, I need to watch something when I go to bed. Instead of looking at Netflix from my phone, I get to watch it on a bigger screen. More importantly, instead of waiting until I get home to edit photos, I try to load them onto my laptop and edit as the day ends and I have downtime. This is where I weed out all of the pictures I’m certain won’t make the blog. Trust me, it can get stressful to want to begin your blog post and you have to go through hundreds of pictures and try to figure out which picture (0f 20) of the Duomo you should post. Thank me later.
BONUS MUST HAVES
5. TRAVEL CHARGER
If you don’t have a Portable Travel Charger, what are you waiting for? Also, how are you surviving? Even a cheap one will suffice and come in handy when you least expect it. I use mine mostly when I’m not even traveling. I don’t remember the last time my phone died.
6. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ADAPTOR
When I arrived in Venice the only way to charge my phone and camera was by going to the front desk and hoping they had a spare charging adaptor or even sometimes leaving my belongings at the front desk so that they could charge them. I ended up shelling out a cool 10 euros to purchase my own adaptor, which can be used in several different countries. It was the best investment ever, even if I paid a few extra dollars. It actually looked a lot like this Universal World-Wide Travel Adapter only I don’t have USB capabilities. I highly recommend you purchase that one. Heck, I might even get a new one too.