Check out our top 10 essential travel items not to forget
Check out our top 10 essential travel items not to forget
Top 10 travel essentials
The more you travel the more you learn what you do and don’t need to pack. This however, does not mean you get any better at it. Our kit list will give you the basics and tell you things that will make your life so much easier, things that you might not even know existed.
- Rucksacks, daypacks and cross body bags
- Dry bags
- Travel towel
- Combination padlock
- Universal USB travel adapter
- Deet and insect repellent
- Rechargeable battery pack
- Reusable water bottle
- First aid kit
Rucksacks, day packs and cross body bags
The most important thing for us is that it has either a side zip or opens fully at the front for easy access. Gone are the days of top loading rucksacks. Where you had to pull out everything to find the item you want is right at the bottom of your bag. It’s personal preference but why struggle when you don’t have to? A rucksack is for life not just for Christmas so invest wisely. We would recommend a large rucksack that holds roughly 65L but this can vary slightly on personal preference. Make sure you get one that’s got padded straps and good back support because this bag will be your shell and you don’t want to end up with a bad back. The recommended rucksack weight is max 12kg as you will be constantly picking it up and lifting it into lockers or taxis.
It’s better to buy things as you go along rather than over load yourself. Unless you’re going into the Sahara Desert you’ll be able to pick up any toiletries that you forget. You will get small rucksack envy and you don’t want to be that awkward turtle that can’t get up! It’s useful to have a rain cover with it but if not, you can buy them separately, your bags may be out in the rain or thrown on the back of a truck so it will protect it from rain and dirt. It will also deter criminals if you cover it when you put it under the bus as its harder to access.
We would recommend to check out brands like Osprey, Lowe Alpine, Berghaus and North Face.
Don’t forget that you also need a Day pack. We recommend it to be around 25kg, this will be your life and you’ll take it everywhere with you. If you’re doing hikes it’s important to get one with comfy straps and good back support. You will need to put your valuables in it so make sure its locked and the zips are pulled down to the side so people can’t easily get in it.
There’s so many day packs out there so its personal preference on colour, design, if it’s got a waterproof cover, how many compartments it will have and whether you need a laptop sleeve.
You might be wondering where this bag will go when you already have a rucksack…. Well on your front of course! There’s no time for looking cool when you’re travelling I’m afraid.
These are personal preference but it’s useful to have a cross body bag or passport wallet for safe keeping. You can get waist belts to hide under your t-shirt or cross body ones to keep your passport, phone and money in.
It’s worth it being water resistant and means that it’s easier to get your money and passport out rather than going in your rucksack every time. It’s also good to store your phone if you’re taking a lot of photos. If you’re in a dodgy or busy area your valuables are best kept out of sight and locked in your day pack or hidden under your clothes. You can never be too careful!
2. Dry bags
The key is in the name here. The purpose of these bags is to keep your belongings dry and have a roll top to seal and stop water getting in. They’re handy for stuffing into your rucksack to keep things clean and dry and stop them smelling.
They also come in useful to separate clothes into compartments. It makes it much easier when you’re looking for things. For example you might have underwear in one and day or night clothes in another. Alternatively stash your dirty laundry until you decide it’s wash day and you’ve carried it around for just long enough.
3. Microfibre Travel Towel
Trust us on this you won’t regret buying one. Forget about taking your old heavy space invading bath towel, this one is compact and light. The microfibre travel towel is absorbent, quick drying and anti bacterial which means its perfect when you’re on the move.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much time to dry it and put it straight into your bag, we’ve tested ours and it doesn’t smell. They’re also awesome to use for the gym. You can thank us for this one later.
Buy ours here: Wanderlust Travel towel
4. Combination Padlock
If you’ve never stayed in a hostel you might not realise that you need one, if you have you will probably understand why you need 2! Padlocks are useful for locking your suitcase or rucksack when on buses or flights, they’re also great for locking your day pack when you’re on a night bus or walking around a busy city so you don’t have to worry about pick pockets.
Another reason you’ll need them is to lock your bags away in the hostel. Some hostels have a big locker or cage in the room and then a small one for valuables in the main reception. Occasionally a lock will get jammed or you’ll mess up the code when setting it.
Can you see why you need 2 locks now? You always have the option for a key padlock, but it feels like too much responsibility to not lose the key or lock it away in your bag. Hence why we would recommend a combination lock.
Buy ours here TSA Combination padlock
5. Universal USB travel adapter
We love these inventions here at Yugen Explore. Simple yet mind-blowing. Basically, it’s one travel plug that can be used worldwide. This means you don’t need several plugs for different countires. For example, different countries in South America use different plugs so this saves you the hassle of buying more than one. As well as the usual plug socket it has 2 USB ports which means you can charge 2 devices at once, so it's useful for in the UK too. Winning!
Buy ours here Onism Travel Adapter
6. Insect repellent
Insect repellant is one of the most important things to rememeber when going travelling, research the area you are going to because you may need it in unexpected places even in the UK. Bites can be itchy, annoying and can ruin your trek if you get covered in them. Not to mention the nasty diseases mosquitos carry such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever just to name a few. Even if you are taking tablets or had injections we would ALWAYS recommend it to be high on your list of priorities. Repellent can be expensive, poor quality and hard to find when you’re traveling in remote places so always be prepared and buy it before hand.
Incognito is a vegan, natural, non-greasy mosquito and insect repellant. It is tested to be 100% effective against mosquito bites and it is a deet and Picaridin-free formula (no synthetics). You can buy it through the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Treks usually recommend using an insect repellent spray that has at least 25% deet in. If you're going deep into the jungle or will be exposed to high malarious areas then we would suggest using at least 25% deet. People have reservations about using Deet due to it being harmful and potentially toxic, it does strip the colour off some bags and clothing so it can't be particularly good for you! However, there is argument that Deet is the best repellant so you just have to weigh up where you will be going and the risk involved. It could be worth having for the high risk areas but then a natural formula for everyday.
7. Rechargeable battery pack
In answer to the question, no, you don't need a solar powered phone charger. You do however need a rechargeable one. If you haven’t got one of these yet then you’ve either got extremely good battery life or you aren’t leaving the house for long enough. This will be your life saver when you’re on a long bus journey and want to listen to music or watch your ipad.
They’re also great when you go to the beach or out hiking or when you just can’t get to a charging point for long enough. Make sure you get one that does at least 2 full charges otherwise it’s not really worth it. Also some have 2 USB charging points so you can charge with your friend. You’ll be surprised at how many people will love you forever for providing them with battery in their hour of need!
You can buy battery packs with up to 6 charges of an iphone for around £20 so have a look around for a good deal.
Buy ours here Gadabout USB portable charger
8. Reusable water bottle
A reusable water bottle comes in really hand when travelling. They're great when you go on treks and excursions and also just using to refill with water in the hostel. This 1 litre water bottle is perfect for travelling, the gym or just everyday use. We urge you to be aware of your plastic use and don't use disposable plastic bottles as they're so wasteful. Using these bottles means it's better for the environment and also better for your bank balance!
A travel essential that's simple yet effective. We're all about helping the environment and using reusable plastics instead of disposable ones so make sure you have this handy at all times. Ours is lightweight and compact with a spoon on one side and a fork on the other. It also has a perforated edge to use as a klnife. Unlike metal ones it's lightweight and can be taken through airport security, so it's perfect if you only have hand luggage.
Buy ours here Spork
10. First aid kit
It might be the last on the list and the last thing on your mind but it should definately be on there. Make no mistake in thinking there's a tesco or boots in every village like there is in most places in the UK. You should always prepared, have a first aid kit with the essential items, paracetamol, diacalm, travel sickness tablets and any contraception or regular medication you use. There will be pharmacies around but there's no harm in being prepared. If you do forget things or get ill while you're away, google translate might just be your life saver in explaining your symptoms!
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it's lethal!
** This list doesn’t include everything you need it’s just a guideline. Make sure you check out our ultimate travel check list section which gives you a more detailed packing list.