If you’ve ever seen Big Hero 6, you would know from Honey Lemon that your bag can be your superpower. Whether it be quenching your thirst, satisfying your hunger, or energizing your day, there are so many little details to aid your day. While traveling can take you far from home, here’s some ways to feel prepared each day while abroad.
#1: Hand Sanitizer
When using public transportation or visiting crowded historical sites, I found myself reaching again and again for my travel-sized hand sanitizer. It is well-used in order to stay healthy and be able to enjoy as much of your trip as possible. We often would eat on-the-go, stopping at street vendors or walk-up shops for snacks. Having hand sanitizer on hand made for a quick and easy wash before enjoying yummy crepes, frites, and falafel.
#2: Portable Charger
Time is of the essence while on a trip; this means you may find yourself gone from breakfast to late night. In order to know where I was going, keep in contact with others on the trip, and look up the next fun activity, I knew I needed to keep my phone ready. A simple portable charger block can provide the same perk to your phone that coffee does for you! I’d recommend charging it at night and bringing along your charging cord for ease of use. Travel hack: bring an extra adaptor to ensure you can charge this portable charger along with your phone every night!
#3: Card Protector
While theft is something to be aware of on a trip, you can take steps to minimize the space it holds in your mind’s eye. One special item I brought along on our trip was a card protector. These small cases serve to protect contactless credit cards by inhibiting the scannable waves while inside. This can keep your card safe from theft devices while also providing a compact storage spot for them. Mine has little dividers that can keep everything separate from each other, and I was able to put my hotel keys in there to keep them from deactivating by being close to my phone. Make sure that you store this in a protected pocket; my bag had a small zippered pocket on the side where I stored my cards that touched my body at all times, providing a sense of safety.
Be prepared for sunny days by packing your favorite shades! Look stylish while also protecting your optical health and allow yourself to see these new sites squint-free. Trust me, you’ll regret it if you do not bring any sunglasses.
#5: Pen & Notebook
No one else will ever have the same exact trip as you in terms of interactions, sights, restaurants, and more. The combination of places you see, foods you try, and people you meet is specific to just you. It is valuable to write down as much of this as you can to reflect upon, remember, and recount to those who love you. Try keeping a pen and small notebook with you wherever you go. That way, if you hear a fact you never want to forget or want to remember the street a cute shop was on, you can document it then and there. You can even take small breaks during the day to journal, such as while traveling on public transport, stopping in a park, or simply finding a quiet spot in a museum. Some of my favorite moments happened while journaling, and I am glad I have them to keep on the page!
#6: Travel Insurance & Passport
This one is purely business, but to stay safe and efficient, it may be smart to keep your travel insurance and passport in your closest bag. That way, you know their whereabouts at all times and are not worried they sprouted legs and walked away (or under the bed) back in your hotel room. You never know when they will come in handy!
#7: Water Bottle
A cost-effective and helpful item (and my own emotional support item) to keep in your bag is a water bottle. Many cities have places where you can fill your water for free, meaning you constantly have a way to quench your thirst even on the hottest of days.
#8: Reusable Bag
Odds are you may wish to find a few snacks or souvenirs home while studying abroad. Sometimes, your day bag is not equipped to carry all that you may find. In both an eco-conscious and space-savvy manner, consider bringing along a reusable bag with you. I love to explore antique and thrift shops and often find myself making an unexpected purchase while wandering the streets. Keeping a small reusable bag rolled up in my day bag helps me to transport these items without weighing down the day!
Snacking is both a pastime and a necessity while traveling! There’s a few options for acquiring these snacks, but I always make sure to have at least one or two with me if at all possible. I brought a few of my favorite snacks with me in my initial packing list to give a sense of home when my stomach needed it and supplement between meals on my trip. I actually stuffed them all into a postal tube that I packed in my suitcase which I then brought home posters and paper goods in on the return flight after eating all my snacks throughout the trip. Another neat idea to acquire snacks is to visit a local grocery store, where you can satisfy your hunger while also becoming more familiar with the culture you are immersed in. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your new favorite snack! My favorites this go around were Jammie Dodgers in London and the Ritter Dark Chocolate Roasted Hazelnut Candy Bar.
#10: Stain Remover Stick
If you are clumsy like me, do not forget to bring a stain remover! Get yourself a travel-sized stick to quickly remove any stains before you capture a picturesque moment or save your shirt from ruin.
What you carry with you while you’re out and about can help you make the most of your visit abroad while also making you feel more prepared for what the day may bring. Don’t forget to bring a sense of wonder and curiosity, too!