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Monday, October 20, 2014

10 things I never leave behind during international travel

I have a good routine in place for when I take a jaunt overseas.  In fact, I've been able to pack rather sparingly and only travel with one smaller-ish suitcase and a backpack for trips that end up being a week or longer.  For shorter trips, one bag is usually my preference.

My family members often ask me about how I end up preparing for these trips...I think they are curious how I could go so far and not bring more things. Light and nimble = always best in my book.

Here are my top ten things I typically don't leave home without (bringing or doing):

1. Bose Headphones - really helps for the loud children that sit near my seat and scream

2. Passport (and electronic copy) - necessary. And a backup via online portal just in case.

3. One debit card - I've had good success getting local currency at an airport ATM when arriving, and usually the exchange rate is better than what I'd get from ordering somewhere.  But I typically don't use much cash in-country...swiping a CC is safer and comes with buyer protection.

4. Travel clothes ala ExOfficio - why pack 10 when you can pack 2 and wash on the go?  Definitely saves space.

5. Earplugs - for sleeping on the way over

6. Intl Power adapters - helps in hotels/hostels and charges up my phone and iPad.

7. US wall plug adapter - I can't tell you how many times I end up needing to convert something from 3-prong to 2-prong...Apple power cords are near the top of the list!

8. Prepare my CC's - I make it a ritual to call my banks to let them know I'm traveling - I'd prefer not to be denied when I get in-country.  Don't forget to use a card with no foreign transaction fees!

9. Register - It never hurts to visit and register with the State Department STEP when traveling, just in case something happens. 

10. Camera - I don't always feel comfortable brandishing my iPhone, so my Sanyo 10MP camera still is a fave.  Got me pictures like this in Gimmelwald!

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