After two years of long-term travel, I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks of my own to survive the great unknown. As I pack for my upcoming RTW trip, I thought it’d be fun to share a few things I’ve come to really appreciate while travelling.
Seriously, take these items with you and your future self will thank you.
This has saved many shoes many times (in Taiwan, in London, in Ireland). While they’re not difficult to find and this tip isn’t particularly revolutionary (to be fair, the rest of them aren’t mind-blowers either), I like to have a spare tube in my bag just in case of emergencies.
2. IKEA’s sealing clips
If like me, you like to snack but can only have small quantities at a time, these clips are heaven sent. I like that they’re super light, but keep my food free from bugs and stops food from… erm… masuk angin (rough translation: stale).
I don’t know why I bring them around but I always do. It just seems wrong to be slurping instant noodles with a fork, y’know? I tend to grab my favourite wooden pair from home and pray my mum doesn’t notice yet another missing pair of chopsticks.
4. Water bottle
For trips where I’ve forgotten to bring a bottle with me, I go into a little self-loathing session because I want to save the environment and without a water bottle, I’m forced to buy a shitty plastic bottle that I’ll have to throw away and that shitty bottle will end up in the ocean and the fishes will eat it or it’ll go to a landfill on a planet that’s already struggling to find space and my offspring will not know what a playground is because they’ll be forced to play in trash because there’s no space left on the planet.
I got a one-litre bottle made by Camelbak and it has followed me all over town in the past few weeks. My conscience has also been a lot clearer in the last few weeks.
5. Resistance bands
So I’m getting into this thing called “working out” and I hate it.
To be honest, I’ve always aspired to have Jennifer Aniston’s arms, plus my back and feet have been killing me lately. This aching in my body has happened before and back then, I was home long enough to drag myself to physiotherapy where I learned a few exercises to strengthen the muscles in my flat feet. The therapists used resistance bands in my exercises.
I also found a few back exercises on YouTube to help manage the pain and build up the muscles in my back and adding these bands to the workouts make it a little more challenging.
I got the medium elasticity one from Aeon and it’s been pretty good so far. I like these bands because they’re so damn light and packable, I have NO EXCUSE not to bring them along. And, they take every workout a notch higher.
Speaking of my shitty back and shitty feet, I’ve found insoles to be a game changer. I carry a couple of 3/4 arch support insoles and they fit perfectly in all my shoes, providing my shitty feet with the support it needs to go the distance.
I prefer the sturdy ones, not the foamy or gel pads that tend to squish and mould around your feet.
7. Dry bag
I went with a small one, 2L, which is a good size for my essentials: phone, passport, cash and cards. When it’s not used to keep my things dry, it is used to store my chargers and cables. Everything fits in nicely and I know that if my facewash decided to explode in transit, my electronics would be safe.
I used to have one of those clear pouches with multiple zip-lock type seals and boy were they a pain to use. Yes, they kept my things dry, but having to seal it each time required me to squeeze three separate seals and my thumbs got tired and I began to resent that damn pouch.
8. Spare locks
I tend to use my Lifeventure cable lock because I like the idea of being able to secure my bag to a pole or bench if I absolutely have to. I would also carry 1 or 2 spare travel locks with me because you never know when one might break, or if the hostel you’re staying in has multiple lockers or if your travel buddy loses hers and needs a spare one (totally not me).
Again, these are cheap and easy to carry around, so why not?
9. Wireless Mouse
My dad got me a mini Logitech mouse ages ago and it’s been the most useful item for work. I swear, having a mouse just makes life a lot easier, especially for design or video editing. Tapping on your trackpad will drive you insane.
NOTE: I’m not a light sleeper. In fact, I could probably sleep through an earthquake. It’s a talent I’ve inherited from my father.
However, on the few occasions I’ve forgotten my precious earplugs, I’ve had to endure the shittiest of snores, laughter, loud footsteps, even louder whispers, or noise from outside the building.
I hope you found these suggestions useful and do let me know if you carry something that you’ve found to be super handy.
Till next time!
Another note: Each embedded image contains an affiliate link. If you decide to purchase an item with my link, I get paid 1% – 10% of what the item costs.