So, this is the third and final post on what BASICS one needs to pack for your globetrotter-trip! The basics are non-negotiable, folks, so don’t try to wiggle out of it, lol! I won’t discuss clothing specifics or alternative shoe options here because maximizing fashionable-ness with comfort is a complex topic that requires a separate dedicated post. For now, let’s talk about the basic (and required) gear you’re going to need. This is especially for you ladies out there, but men will benefit from this too!
Please note: I discuss how much I paid or am paying for the items below. I’ve noticed that things have increased in price by about $10.00 for many items I purchased two years ago. Just be aware that these are ballpark estimates, and make sure you account for these in your budget!
1. Money Belt (SUPER important!)
If you’re concerned about protecting your most important documents while traveling abroad (like I am), then I’d highly suggest you wear a money belt under your clothes. A money belt is essentially a mini document protector that straps around your waist and also fits to the contours of your body. It’ll fit your Eurail pass, credit cards, and even your passport!
How, you may ask, would you buy stuff and go on excursions without direct access to your money though? WELL, here’s what I did! When abroad, you may find that some of your debit cards don’t work at traditional kiosks, but that you can withdraw cash from ATM machines. I would withdraw the amount of money I’d want for the wee, say 200 euros, and keep about only 20-40 euros and one credit card in my purse while I’d keep the rest of my stuff in my money belt. In that way, if you lose your purse or wallet, you haven’t lost everything. Also, if you ever find that you need to grab something in your money belt, make use of the public bathrooms. Never reach for it in public and let folks know you carry money and important stuff elsewhere! If you need one, grab one here or click the picture! MY COST: 20.00
2. Batteries & Memory Cards
Honestly, I’d say to stock up on this stuff before you go abroad, because once you get to the more touristy spots, you have to sell a liver just to be able to afford some damn batteries, lol! If you’re a psycho picture taker like I am, I say bring at least ten set of double-A batteries for your camera (or whatever your camera takes) and two 32 GB memory cards. Might seem like a lot of memory, but you’ll never know when you need it! 😉
3. Extra Socks (and Undies (Blush!))
When traveling it’s really important to keep your feet and uh, other sweaty parts, as dry as possible. With you walking around all day in hiking boots, your feet are bound to get sweaty. This is especially true for temperate climates and colder climates, where you’ll be walking a lot but not able to wear open toed shoes all the time. Too much moisture will cause fungus to grow (athlete’s foot) which will literally eat away at your skin and cause pain, open cuts, and will damage your feet. Take care of your dogs, and use lots of powder in your boots, socks, and in between your toes, and also if you can, CHANGE YOUR SOCKS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. A single sock change is fine for those heavier days, but make sure you get those stinky toe-grabbers off at least once. Air your feet out at night by going sockless and try to switch up your shoe routine by wearing sandals if it’s hot enough.
And the extra underwear? Well, need I explain? Skipped laundry days, long train trips, or double wears might be great for jeans, a little iffy for t-shirts, but always a little too ripe for repeat undies. If you can’t change into anything else, change those, LOL! (But that’s your business of course…) MY COST: 50.00 – 200.00
4. Windbreaker & Hoodie
I didn’t think I’d need these things in the dead of summer, but turned out that I was happy as all heck that I brought these along. Yep, you will have your cooler (and even chillier) days as you’re traveling through most countries. At night, especially, you’ll want a hoodie to curl up in occasionally. And the windbreaker is a fantastic cover all to have in case of windy days, because it does exactly what its title promises: breaks the wind. You don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on either, and you probably have one, the other, or both hidden away in your closet somewhere! Bring both and wear them on the trains and planes, when you sleep, and when you’re getting from one country to another. You won’t be sorry you did! MY COST: $50.00 (go CHEAP!)
5. Mini Umbrella
This is always going to come in handy, especially in the rainy parts of the world. The best part is that a mini umbrella will fit in the side pocket of your backpack, in your daypack, and even in a cute purse with relative ease! Go to a local Walgreens or thrift store for your mini umbrella fix. It’s gotten me out of quite a bind when traveling!
6. Writing Journal & Pens
I was SO GLAD that I decided to take a writing journal and pens along with me last trip. It’s great to just dig them out on a long train ride, waiting around, or when you need to decompress from a hike or an awesome excursion. I’ll be taking a writing journal with me on this year’s trip as well, and I’ll be filling every page EVEN THOUGH I’ll also be blogging and vlogging here! Why should you write (with your actual hands) even if you’re bringing a laptop or an Ipad? Well, do you really want to randomly whip out your 300 – 1500 dollar piece of equipment every time you want to philosophize on life? Lol, I don’t! Keep it cheap and simple when in public, and write to your heart’s content without drawing too much attention to yourself. Plus, calligraphy is a lost art! 😉
So this is it for the basics, but stay tuned as our packing list becomes more comprehensive. You will need more things, but we’ll take it one week at a time! Toodles, and as always keep it indie!