15 Things I Don’t Leave Home Without On A Trip

While packing for an international or domestic trip, these are the top 15 things I don’t leave home without. Hopefully this trip packing list will help your remember everything you need.

  1. Digital backup of my passport & other documents stored to a Google Drive Folder. Backing up your documents is pretty important in case you have your wallet or passport stolen. Prior to every trip, I make sure that there is a folder somewhere on my phone, laptop, and other accessible place. Other people like to bring a paper copy of their documents with them, however, I’ve never seen any use for this.
  2. Hiking Backpack – This is the most important item that you will purchase before your trip (if you haven’t already). I cannot stress enough how important the proper fit for a backpack is. Especially if you are going to be doing extended days with it on your back. Please take the time to go to a local REI, Sierra Trading Post, or other outdoor goods store to get properly fitted for a pack.
  3. Day Pack – A day pack is pretty key, in my opinion. I like to separate out what I’ll need on my flight from my pack and place it into a cinch bag. The size is large enough to fit just about anything I will need for being in transit.
  4. Stuff Sack – I’ve never known the amazingness that is a stuff sack until my past trip to Central Europe and Tokyo. Stuff sacks allow you to pack all your clothing and then compress it all down to a fraction of the size. They really are amazing. For my trip to Central Europe and Tokyo, I was able to pack 2.5 weeks of clothing into a 20L stuff sack with plenty of room to spare.
  5. Travel Towel – I like to carry a travel or swimmers towel with me while traveling due to hostels charging asinine fees (sometimes you have to even buy the towel for >$10). Bringing this small, quick-drying towel affords me the flexibility to be able to wash my face in the airport or take a shower without having to worry about stopping at a convenient store in a foreign country.
  6. Smartphone with various apps installed – It’s difficult to imagine a time when people would roam the globe without using their cell phones to stay connected. I often catch myself fantasizing about it, so I’ll leave my phone behind in the hostel or hotel to go wander aimlessly. However, having modern technology on a trip definitely helps with planning and navigation. You now have the ability to plan an entire trip ahead of time and map it out in real time if you have international cell data.
  7. Travel Power AdapterThis is a must have. Definitely shy away from the cheaper models, I’ve learned my lesson with them. Basically, these multi-country adapters will allow you to plug in just about any American device into the grid wherever you might be. If you forget yours at home, airports will charge ~$15 for just a single country plug.
  8. An Amazon Kindle or a Book – When traveling alone or while in transit, I like to read as many books as possible, that’s why I bring a Kindle with me. I’ve seen other travelers with other eReader or even Apple iPad that they use for connecting with people back home.
  9. Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones – Planning on trying to sleep on the airplane or on a long bus ride? Definitely bring a pair of good Noise Canceling.
  10. Two TSA Locks with Keys – Not only will these locks make it easier for traveling in the US, they can also be used to secure a locker in a hostel. Sometimes hostels won’t provide locks for their lockers and you’ll be shit out of luck.
  11. Mod Notebook to Write In – It may seem cliché to travel with a book and a notebook, but there is really no better time for me to disconnect and just write my thoughts down. Being in a new setting makes my brain work differently.
  12. Earplugs and An Eyemask– In the same vain as the noise canceling headphones, be sure to bring a pair of earplugs and/or an eye mask. Having complete sensory deprivation on an airplane is my go-to way to fall asleep.
  13. Clothing – This one is pretty obvious. I’ll have a writeup soon on what sort of clothing I like to bring with me.
  14. Computer & Charger– Since I am afforded with the flexibility of working remotely, I almost always have to bring my laptop & charger with me. This is one of those items that stays in the daypack or near me at all times. However, if you’re not looking at bringing an extremely expensive computer, you can always pick up aHewlett-Packard Chromebook.
  15. Passport & other travel documents.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.

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