5 THINGS EVERY BACKPACKING TRAVELER SHOULD OWN
You’ve booked the plane and now it’s time to pack your bag. Now, everyone knows to take the basics like clothes and shoes, but there are some things that are essential. Without them, you can’t really say you’re traveling. The smallest details can make all the difference, particularly if you’re on your own since you can’t ask your friend or partner for help. This list will show you the must-have items to help you see the world in all its glory. They’ll make your life a whole lot easier and will make your experience even better. Here are 5 things every respectable traveler should own.
1. Debit Card With No Abroad Fees
This is now essential for anyone traveling nowadays. The US is virtually cash-free with everyone using a card, mainly for convenience and security. But there are plenty of places around the world that don’t have this luxury. From calling a taxi, going out for a meal or shopping at a local market, you need cash to ensure your vacation runs smoothly. But taking cash out at a local machine usually comes attached with various fees which will quickly add up. This is no fun for anyone. Plus, if you try to exchange cash at an exchange while you’re abroad, chances are you’ll be charged with massive commission on top. This is why it’s great to take out a debit card with your bank with no transaction fees when you use it abroad. You may have to make an account with another bank if their offers are better. For example, the Needham Bank debit card automatically reimburses you for every charge made by a cash machine, effectively making every ATM free to use. So the next time you go traveling, make sure you have your fee-free card on your person so you can take out the local currency and enjoy yourself without worrying about how much you’ll be charged.
Why should every traveler own a tent? It’s a question that many people seem to ask, with many backpackers sitting on the fence. But when you really look into the details, the benefits of owning a tent makes it a no-brainer. Of course, you don’t need to take a tent on every adventure. For example, if you’re going away to a European city for a few days, staying in a tent doesn’t make a tonne of sense. When you’re traveling in the winter and the temperature drops below zero, the idea of sleeping in a tent goes out the window. But if you’re planning on going away for months at a time, then taking a tent becomes as important as packing a toothbrush and a solid pair of shoes. You don’t have to have a lot of experience with outdoor activities to take your tent on your travels. There are so many beautiful places in the open world to set up your tent that it would be a shame to miss out on the authentic experience. Tents are the only way you can really get to know these amazing environments. Sure, it’s nice and well going somewhere for the day, taking some photos for Instagram and going back to normal life the next. But sleeping under the stars is far more rewarding. Check out Gift Wits’ list of best tents to buy and get camping.
3. Kindle And Ebooks
Traveling is a great way to start reading, but even if it’s your greatest hobby in the world, you don’t want to fill up your backpack with books and have to carry them around all day. Plus they’ll take up a lot of valuable space in your backpack. This is where the Amazon Kindle comes into its own. You can download and read as many books as you want without running into any of the above issues. Sure you don’t get the authentic feel of holding a book but it’s a small price to pay for total portability and space management. From non-fiction books to help you understand the local culture, to your favourite sci-fi series, the entire Amazon library is at your fingertips. But why Kindle and not another ebook device like regular tablets? Well, the Kindle has an anti-glare screen so you can read every word in direct sunlight or next to the pool with ease. Then in the dark, the display has LED lights built-in that gently light the surface so it doesn’t strain your eyes. You can read your books for hours without tiring your eyes out.
4. Packing Cubes
These are yet another essential item every traveler should own. You won’t realise how much you need them until you have them. If you think your packing is organised now, just wait. Packing cubes have all sorts of benefits, from keeping your clean clothes separate from your dirty laundry, to allowing you to pack more in your backpack. Everything is compact and tightly fitted; so much so that you could easily overpack and make it overweight. But if that’s the case, you can simply remove one of the packs and take it with you on the plane. They are also incredibly versatile. Put your bottoms in a large one, tops and shirts in the medium one and underwear in the smallest one. They also come in handy for keeping your toiletries separate from your clothes.
5. Eye mask
Whether you want something functional or a design to complement your nightwear, an eye mask is a very underrated item but it’s what separates the pros from the wannabes. Eye Masks are amazing for getting over jet lag and helping you get some good rest either on the plane or when you get to your destination. Plus, if you are on the plane, they’re awesome if you’re sitting next to the person that insists on being the only person using their LED device or overhead light.