Here’s a list of travel essentials that will make your trip a breeze.
A smartphone, a laptop and/or tablet: for keeping in touch with friends and family back home, personal entertainment, and of course if you are working on the road.
Chargers, powerbanks and universal adapters: don’t forget to pack all the chargers that go with your electronics, along with a universal adapter for your chosen destination. A couple of compact adapters with detachable parts will let you simultaneously charge gadgets. Ultra compact ones with foldable prongs are the best. A surge protector is also good to bring so you can charge things simultaneously. For quick charging on the go, invest in powerbanks. When you have been delayed and your devices are in need of a charge, these can be great friends. Try a multisocket power strip so that you can charge all your electronics through one outlet, instead of packing multiple adapters or a power splitter.
Avoid a jungle of tangled cables with cable shorteners. You can also use velcro or wire twist ties to roll them up. Stock a couple of short cables that are only a few inches long. Label them for easier cable identification.
An internet dongle to keep you connected to the world.
When it comes to apps, try the Opera Mini browser that shrinks data by up to 90 per cent, so webpages open faster and you save money.
A good book: great for reading on long flights and train rides. I am not a great fan of e-book readers yet, but they do have a plus point as they do not weigh down your bag.
A music player of choice and ear plugs. Headphone splitters are great if you want to share music or a movie with your travel partner. Or have two kids but one tablet.
FOR THE RECORD
Notebook/journal and camera: I like to record my trips through images and a journal. My favourite are on-the-go high-quality point and shoot ones but nowadays smartphone cameras are good enough. You could consider investing in some of those nifty camera lenses that attach to your smartphone (including telephoto, fisheye, and wide-angle ones) and make them DSLR-worthy. And while you relaxing on the beach, or in a hillside cafe, document your trip, take notes and keep a journal on your adventures.
AN ORGANISED TRAVELLER
If you like have everything in place and keep your stuff in neat easily-accessible compartments, then get some of those travel organisers – one for all your cords, plugs, and power converters, one an easy-to-spot-in-your-bag pouch. Buy a stowable tote so you can move around light at your destination. A money pouch or belt is really the safest way to keep your money safe. I always carry a few plastic bags to keep clothes I have not had the time to wash. Also, for the extra pair of shoes.
Information at your fingertips: These are your travel doc, IDs, passport, various cards etc. You can photocopy them, write them down in a notebook or use a note-keeping app for storing all necessary travel info. Keep a paper backup for those times when your phone can’t help you.
THE TOILETRY KIT
A basic toiletry kit is a must. Carry travel sizes of bath and body lotion, face wash and moisturiser, chapstick, hand sanitiser, toothbrush and toothpaste, wipes, sunscreen, and anti-bacterial wipes. Some people prefer to pick up toiletries at their destination. Or you could opt to go minimalistic and pack only the absolute necessities (a toothbrush, toothpaste, and face wash).
Chances are there will be a pharmacy near your destination. Then again, there may not be. It is good to have some medication ready to go. Stock up on an antibiotic and anti-bacterial ointment, paracetamol, an anti-histamine if you are allergy-prone, pain-killers, tweezers, something for an upset tummy, infection treatment of choice, insect repellent, and a roll of bandage. Keep your medicines with you – in case your luggage should get lost. You should keep a note of any medical conditions and allergies, and blood group.
The words ‘worst possible travel scenario’ will most certainly bring to mind a case of the loosies or diarrhoea. Avoid the avoidable and get a portable water filter or water purifier pills (chemical or mechanical).
Don’t forget to pack wet wipes. These can multitask really well and can be a godsend. Use them to clean up scrapes and scratches, mop dust of your flip flops, wipe the sweat off your face, freshen-up.
Other good utility items to carry – bottle opener, toilet paper or a tissue pack which are multipurpose, flashlight, scissors, safety pins, cord, and a couple of cotton handkerchiefs (they can multitask as sweat-soakers, bandages, pollution masks, eyemask and washcloth). An inflatable J-pillow – this is better than a neck pillow. It provides neck, head and chin support.
Lonely Planet India has produced this article for Opera India. All editorial views are those of Lonely Planet alone and reflect our policy of editorial independence and impartiality.