Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Things I Always Take With Me When I Travel

It's been a whirlwind month of travel with about a month and a half left to go. Here's ten things I always take with me when I travel:
  1. One bag. Only. After years of schlepping luggage, I switched to carrying only one small carry on bag when I travel and I couldn't be happier (my back is much happier too).
  2. A netbook. I wish I could just carry an iPod Touch or iPad when I travel in order to access the internet but unfortunately the specialized software I need to use when I travel won't work on either of those smaller devices. A netbook works just like a regular laptop/desktop but saves pounds and pounds of weight.
  3. A Kiva daypack. When I leave my backpack behind and just head out for the day, I put the few items I need in a Kiva daypack which folds up ultra small when not in use and weights only a couple of ounces.
  4. Acidophilous. One of the best all around cures for stomach upset due to eating food and water to which your body is not accustomed to.
  5. Cash and debit cards. I don't use credit cards. Ever. Rather, I carry some cash and have three debit cards (with the Visa or MasterCard logo) from three separate bank accounts (separate banks as well) with plenty of cash in each account to cover any contingency. Using these cards to withdraw cash from foreign ATMs works much better than carrying and converting travelers checks.
  6. Minimal toiletries. I start out my trips with basic mini-sized toiletries then pick up additional supplies as I go. Most places--in fact ALL places--that your average traveler will go feature methods for brushing your teeth, washing your hair, etc. Plus its interesting to use foreign products just to see how they work. Unless I am going way, way out in the boonies (where the ability to pick up toothpaste for example would be difficult or impossible in which case I bring lots of extra of these items to give as gifts), I figure that I would rather risk using a local product than bringing full-sized anything.
  7. A Fisher space pen. It only takes having your ink pen explode in your bag a couple of times to make you remember to bring a pen that won't leak.
  8. Business cards. There are many times on the road when you want to exchange information with other people. Business cards make it easier, and more accurate depending on how legible your handwriting is, to provide this information to others.
  9. A small flashlight. Brownouts and blackouts are much more common in developing countries. I use my flashlight a lot when I am in those sorts of places.
  10. Excellent walking shoes, sox, and underwear. I can wear the same pair of pants or shirt for a month if necessary, but I like to be able to wear clean underwear and sox daily. And anyone who has walked any distance in cheap/ill-fitting/just-wrong-for-you shoes can attest to the goodness that is an exceptional pair of shoes.


  1. You are in big trouble.

    Never carry currency(cash)If there is a crash and the dollar is worthless what you do? credit cards and ATM will be worthless.
    Do what i do. I carry gold coins and silver coins . Of course a cou[ple of diamond rings and in my watch 12 small diamonds. Of course some ordinance steel, brass and copered lead. along with my ccw.

  2. OMG, do you see whats transpiring in Syria? Despite a brutal government crackdown, the demonstrations continue