What's in Your Travel Pack?

So as many know, I recently went on a trip.  Well, over a month ago now, so this post is wildly overdue, but June got crazy, so here it is now.  This is what I've come to find my essential travel pack.  What I mean is the stuff besides thing like toiletries.   I have listed things that would be useful in your day to day adventures or just a good resource to have on hand.

Plastic Baggies of various sizes:  These will come in handy for carrying small amounts of food or trying to keep something protected from rainy weather.  They can fit easily in your day-bag (see below) and you can toss your phone into one if it starts raining hard (and you for got your umbrella).

Lock:  Particularly if you plan to stay at a hostel, many of which will have storage you can lock stuff up.  I'd go with a combination lock, doing your best to remember it and to store it on a digital device or something along those lines.

Umbrella:  A small 6-8 inch umbrella is a must.  It takes up a little more space in your day-bag, but it inevitably proves its worth the first time you're caught in rain and quickly pull it out.  It's also useful with it's hanging hoop that you can latch onto your belt or outside of your bag.

Pen:  Call me crazy but going somewhere without a pen feels wrong.  It's probably the writer in me, but I just feel if I need to write something down (e.g. directions, an address, a note), I have it onhand.

Paper pad:  See pen above.

Bandanna:  Depending on weather, air quality, etc, a bandanna is a great carry item in the day-bag as it can be versatile in its uses from wiping up to covering up.  If you're low on sunblock or just don't want direct sun, it can be wrapped around the head.  It can be soaked in water and put upon the head to help cool you down.

Rain poncho:  Not necessarily an essential depending on the climate (ahem, I'm looking at you desert!), but again, a cheap one (read: plastic back with hood and arm holes), can fit easily into a day-bag and quickly accessible if the rain is a coming.  While the umbrella is useful, I like the poncho because you can put it on over your day-bag, thus guaranteeing the dryness of your day-bag.

Canteen:  A must for certain if you don't want to spend a fortune on water (though in some places, you will need to buy the water for health reasons).  This takes up more space and weight (especially when full) in the day-bag, but I find it extremely useful to draw upon, especially if there are no stores around or I don't want to spend $3 for a bottle of water of equivalent size).  I try to get one with a carabiner so I can hang it off my backpack for quick access.

Mini-backpack or day-bag:  I've become a big fan of these items.  Maybe some would it a murse or man-bag or what have you.  However, I like the string-based backpack sacks that are usually nylon.  I will toss stuff in there and carry that about throughout the day.  It's great in that I can put snacks and the aforementioned items as well as if I buy stuff, toss it in the bag and continue on my way.

Mini-flashlight:  Maybe not to have in the day-bag but definitely useful to have on-hand if you're traveling at night or next to where you are sleeping.

Strip of paper with contact info and play you're currently staying:  I would carry this on me somewhere such as my wallet.  If something were to unexpectedly happen to me, knowing where I am staying, who to contact, etc, would be extremely useful information for medics or other involved players to have (especially if you have allergies, medical conditions, etc).

Copy of Passport (physical and digital): Again, I would carry this one me as a backup (if traveling abroad) as well as have a copy of it in digital form.  It may not do much if I lose the real thing, but it might get things done quicker if you know the information that's on your passport.

Small towel:  Ok, I stole this one from Douglas Adams, but it's pretty true.  Much like the bandanna, but I'm apt to leave this in the living space I'm staying at as a back up (again, if using a hostel, your own towel will save you money).

Utility Knife:  I tend to carry this on me in the day-bag if going out and about so long as I know I'm not going through any security checks that will cause me to lose it.  A utility knife with its various appendages can come in extremely useful in many different situations.  Though make sure you don't do what I did and leave it in the backpack you use to get on the plane (keep it in your luggage when flying--ooops!).

Universal Adapter:  Pretty straight forward but many forget and thus cannot get their electricity on for their various items.

Electronic device with maps, public transportation info, and other useful information;  even if you don't have an international plan or cannot access the interwebs online when abroad, you can download a good amount of that information onto your digital device.  For instance, you can take really good map images from Google of the area/city you are staying in with areas marked and such to help you move about.  You can also download public transportation data so you can go to your device to find out where you need to go and how to get there.

So what's in your travel pack?  What are your essentials for traveling?

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