Even – or perhaps especially – the most experienced travelers among us forget some integral items when traveling abroad. Take a look at our list of the most popular and make sure that you have everything you need when traveling abroad.
Universal Power Adapter:
If you’re from the US traveling to Europe, this is an absolutely necessity. Not only are the actual plugs different between the United States and Europe (and there are even some variations within Europe, like in the UK, Germany and Denmark, among others), the voltage through the plugs in the US and Europe is different as well, which is why oftentimes it is recommended to bring some sort of converter for items other than laptops (which usually have a converter built in). Voltage in Europe is 220, in the US, it’s 110 – so if you don’t have a convertor, you can fry your favorite hair straightener.
Especially necessary if you’re traveling in Asia, toilet paper is still not a bad thing to throw in your luggage (and then your purse) when traveling abroad. In Asia, toilet paper can be a rare sight, particularly in India; so it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. Anywhere you travel, though, you never know the state of the bathrooms, and if you can’t speak the language, and are justifiably shy to use mimicry while in the bathroom, carrying your own toilet paper makes the situation less…awkward.
Unlocked 4G Phone:
If you want to call your loved ones while you’re away; have a chat while wandering the streets of Stockholm – don’t rack up ridiculous roaming fees with your US provider. Instead, make sure that your phone is unlocked for international use – iPhone users, this might be particularly hard for you, as you can’t (legally) unlock an iPhone. Once it is unlocked you’ll be able to use local SIM cards in your phone. Most European countries (and Asian countries, for that matter) are pretty straightforward – a fee for the SIM card associated with a specific number, and then a charge for a certain number of minutes. Usually the cost of the actual SIM card and the lowest bundle of minutes doesn’t cost more than 20 Euro. If you really want to take advantage of this – have a 4G phone, as most of Europe already has 4G coverage, unlike the United States.
Much like toilet paper, hand sanitizer is not something you’ll necessarily need, but will be grateful to have. Children will touch anything they see, or worse, lick it (though I would not recommend putting hand sanitizer in someone’s mouth); and you yourself may end up touching some not-so-savory things in turn. Plus, there is usually just a lot of dust in your clothes by the end of the day, and hand sanitizer can help you feel a little fresher.
Swiss Army Knife:
Rather than carrying around an entire toiletry bag full of various clippers and scissors and tweezers, pack light, and grab a Swiss Army knife (though make sure to pack it in your checked luggage!) and marvel at the wonders of its various uses. Also extremely helpful when you buy fruit off the street that you need to peel or want to share, or with any other street food.
Emma Taylor is a freelance writer who has worked with everything from lighting companies, heating oil PA companies, environmental consulting firms and digital design consultants. She has been a professional writer for the past four or five years, and will always enjoy finding a new place to travel.