I am preparing for a trip to Ireland in a few weeks and then London, Prague and Iceland later this year. There are a few important travel essentials I think that everyone should have when traveling abroad. I am in the process of getting some of these, others I already own. This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are lots of other things needed when traveling for more than a week to Europe, but these are a few of my favorite ones. Let me know if you think of any others!
1. Travel Backpack
I just bought my first travel backpack and I am absolutely in love with it! It is amazing how much you can squeeze into something that you can carry on your back. I bought mine from L.L. Bean, luckily for me it was on mega-sale and I paid $79.99 for a $160.00 backpack. I would recommend going with a name-brand backpack for a purchase like this. It’s something you can keep for your lifetime, and the thing I love about L.L. Bean is that their products are guaranteed for life. Amazon is also a great place to get name-brand packs for less.
Daypacks are useful for using during the day, when your luggage is in your hotel or hostel. In Ireland, for example, we will be doing a few day trips to places outside of Dublin. It is useful to have a hands-free place to put water bottles, personal items, maps, etc. It makes exploring easy. I saw a friend of mine post about a start-up called Carry a Country recently. They sell daypacks made of fabrics from countries around the world. 20% of their proceeds goes back to help that particular country. And their totes are really cute! This one is my favorite.
3. Comfortable Walking Shoes
Not to give another shout to L.L. Bean, but their shoes are so comfortable. And, again, that whole lifetime warranty thing is a bit unbeatable in my opinion. I use these boots and highly recommend them. They are perfect in the snow and the rain. I can’t wait to get more use out of them hiking the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and exploring Iceland.
4. Passport Cover
This was something that I hadn’t thought about until reading others’ posts about travel accessories. On any international trip, the most important thing that you need at all times is your passport. No question. And I think that the most treasured souvenir after any of my trips are those beloved stamps received when entering or leaving a country. A passport is something to hold on to forever. But since it gets tossed around in your bag on every trip, it’s important to keep it protected. I don’t own one yet, but maybe I will get one before my bigger Europe trip later this year. This Etsy shop has a lot of nice ones.
5. Rain Jacket
I think something everyone can agree on is the weather in Europe is unpredictable. And lots of areas on that continent can be susceptible to rain and mist. A rain jacket is a must when traveling in general, but especially abroad. The worst thing that could happen when hiking or walking around a city trying to explore is getting soaked and not being prepared. Most rain coats fold up pretty nicely, and are versatile for both rainy or chilly days.
Honorable mention: A good camera
This is something I am hoping to save for over the coming year or so. This is a good investment because a good camera will perfectly capture your memories of any trip. I have heard that the DSLR Canon Rebel is a good starter to nice cameras. Luckily for us, the iPhone, and most smart phones, have pretty good cameras built in. That is what I used to take most pictures and with minor edits, the pictures come out really well!