Seven things you should never travel without

December 10, 2015
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The excitement and thrill of packing for a big trip somewhere can sometimes make your brain melt, and that’s why it is important to mentally, or even properly, note what to take.

Often the things like sexy undies, sexy swimmers and sexy clubbing outfits are the first items to go into your bag, but sometimes the most important things like toothpaste, hairbrushes and phone chargers are left at home.

To help you get excited and keep you from getting forgetful, we’ve come up with a list of things you might not think about, but definitely need, when travelling.   

A notepad and pens

Pen and paper are staples for any smart traveller. Drawings come in handy in countries where the population doesn’t speak English, and if you’re lost, someone can draw you a quick and dirty mud map.

Zip-lock bags

If you’re staying at a hostel with free breakfast, then a sneaky zip-lock bag will turn the free breakfast into a free lunch. ‘Borrow’ some food from the free brekkie and keep it fresh all day long. Also, most airlines won’t let you take any liquids on a plane unless they’re in a zip-lock bag.

A scarf

Probably the most versatile piece of clothing anyone can have, a scarf can add a little bit of comfort to any situation. Your trusty and super stylish scarf can be turned into a pillow, an eye mask, a sling, a face cover, a hot drink holder, or even used to tie things together. Best of all, a simple scarf can pack up pretty tightly and be thrown into any bag.

Photocopies and backups of your travel documents

Photocopy everything and upload it to a safe cloud-based server like iCloud or Google Drive. If you don’t feel safe about uploading your travel documents, just put them on a small USB. Make sure a family member or friend back home knows how to access the photocopies just in case something happens.

Travel insurance

Don’t let a hefty medical bill or stolen wallet ruin your trip; get yourself some decent travel insurance. You might be set back a couple-hundred bucks, but if it all goes to shit, at least you know you’re covered. Last year when on holidays in the United States, my passport was destroyed. All up I paid nearly $500 in fees, but I was able to claim all of it back when I came home thanks to my trusty travel insurance.

Heavy-duty waterproof Band-Aids

No matter if it’s a scraped knee, a punctured bike tyre, a rip in a backpack, a leaky drink bottle or broken a set of glasses, handy and heavy duty Band-Aids can pretty much fix anything. For more versatility, get the waterproof varieties, because sweat destroys Band-Aids just as quickly as water.


No matter where in the world you are, if you have a small jar of Vegemite packed, you’ll always make new friends. (Or you’ll manage to gross out your new friends.) Rumour has it that when a Vegemite jar is opened for the first time, it has the powerful ability to attract Aussie tourists. It also helps alleviate homesickness and is a great hangover cure. 

Keegan Thomson

Keegan is studying journalism at the University of Western Sydney. He’s an avid storyteller and global traveller whose likes include fresh bed sheets and Jeff Goldblum movies. 

Image: Terminals & Gates, Flickr Creative Commons license