We all know the basics of what to packet – shirts, pants, shoes, etc. But what are surprising things to pack that the most seasoned travelers always pack?
I travel for extended periods at a time. In my travels, I have identified certain items that ease the strain of being on the road.
Keep reading for a list of my favorite surprising things to pack to help make your future travels more comfortable.
Electronics & accessories
First up in my surprising things to pack are my favorite electronics and electronics accessories.
1. Power strip – When traveling, you often need to charge several electronics at once – phone, power bank, eReader, laptop, etc. And some accommodations do not have many power outlets. A power strip allows you to charge all your devices at the same time.
2. Mini tripod – I love this flexible tripod. It slips into my phone holder to hold my phone. I can then either stand the tripod legs up on a flat service or wrap the tripod legs around a pole or ledge. It is great for getting pictures on the road.
3. Phone lanyard or wrist strap – If you are like me, you rely heavily on your phone for pictures, directions, and information. To avoid accidentally dropping my phone or risk having it stripped out of my hands, I use a lanyard or a wrist strip to secure my phone to me at all times.
4. Samsung SmartTag – I keep an electronic tracker in both my carry-on bag and personal bag. Although I don’t check my bags at the airport, I often leave my bags at hotel reception while I explore for the day. Having an electronic tracker in my bags gives me a little peace of mind that I will be able to locate the bags when I return to the hotel. I have a Samsung phone, so use the Samsung SmartTag. Apple users are able to use the Apple AirTag.
Clothing & bags
While I always pack the standard clothing and accessories in my luggage, there are a few items that I have added over the years that make a big difference in my travel experience:
5. Packable jacket – Even the hottest climates often have an area that is colder than others. Mountains on tropical islands. Desert nights in the Sahara. Airport air conditioning on a hot summer day. Having a packable jacket with you is an easy way to add warmth to your wardrobe without taking up too much space in your luggage.
6. Thin sandals – This is an item that I threw into my luggage once as an after thought. Ever since then, I have always made sure to pack them. Sandals are great for slipping on at night to walk around the hotel when you are tired of wearing your walking shoes. They are also great for a trip to the spa. Pack some thin sandals so that they take up minimal space in your luggage.
8. Packable bag – Packable bags are great as beach bags, shopping bags, and temporary overflow bags. I always pack two in my luggage.
Personal appearance & hygiene
When I go on long trips, there are a few surprising things that I pack for personal appearance and hygiene that are necessary for longer periods on the road:
9. Conditioner – Conditioner is surprisingly rare in hotels and Airbnbs around the world. I do not always pack shampoo since it is usually provided as an amenity, but I always pack conditioner.
10. Wax strips – Eyebrows seem to grow at an alarming rate while traveling. I carry wax strips on longer trips to help maintain a trim appearance.
11. Nail clippers and tweezers – I always pack nail clippers and tweezers for my longer trips to help with personal grooming.
12. Travel-size sunscreen – Although you can typically find sunscreen at your destination, I find it handy to have sunscreen with me. Then I can go straight to the beach without having to worry to shop for sunscreen before dipping my toes in the water.
And finally, here are some miscellaneous items that are surprising things to pack:
13. Pens – The number of times I have needed a pen or have been asked by someone to borrow my pen has to number in the hundreds. I always have a pen packed in my day pack.
14. Mini umbrella – I am always surprised at the number of tourists that I see walking around in the pouring rain, absolutely miserable. A mini umbrella is easy to toss in your day pack to keep you comfortable in the rain.
15. Inflatable neck pillow – Many people have giant neck pillows that take up an insane amount of room in their luggage. I like to pack an inflatable neck pillow so that it takes up less space in my luggage.
And that is it! I hope this article of surprising things to pack will help to make your travels much more comfortable in the future.