As promised, here is part two of my previous post titled: A Few Travel Essentials . Now, that you have planned and booked your trip. It is time to be sure to include some important items as you pack for the next adventure. Below are a few more essentials to consider as you begin to prepare for your next travel adventure. Please share your own essentials.
I want to preserve my travel experiences and memories. So, I always bring a camera with me. In addition, I have my iPhone as a backup and often grab it to take a quick photo or two. You must include a camera (small is my preference) as a travel essential to your next travel adventure.
The Traditional Road Atlas
This next recommended essential item may seem rather odd with the world of google maps and GPS at our fingertips via most Smartphones. I have been caught with the dreaded ‘searching for signal’ notice on my iPhone (T-maybe in rural areas) and thus, must either drive aimlessly or resort to following directions the traditional way. I would rather knowing how to read an atlas. If you understand how to read a map, you will will be ahead of the game and understand when the GPS route just doesn’t make sense. Consider adding a Road Atlas as your next travel essential when heading out on your next road trip. Your local AAA office an excellent source, if you are a member.
Books and Other Reading Material
During the travel period, you will find that there will be free time. Books are an essential item to include when packing for the trip. I often update my Kindle with a few free ebooks from the local library for long trips or grab a book from the library for shorter trips. Books and other forms of reading should be part of your packing travel essentials.
Extra Clothes in Carry-on
This next travel essential has saved me some frustration in a couple of long flights leading to some extending lay-overs. You will be thankful to have a fresh pair of clothes. If you have the right carry-on such as what E-Bag offers and recommended by fellow blogger Living the Q Life, you may find some extra room for this essential item.
Food is Energy
You should not rely on the food offered by either the airport or plane. I often pack snacks and sometimes a small lunch (if the journey is short). You need food to keep you going, focused, and avoid any exhaustion. Pack snacks that are offer energy such as protein bars.
Check your Passport and the Visa Requirements
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months during your travel period. In addition, you should check whether or not where you are traveling will require a tourist visa. A excellent site that I use is VisaCentral. Also, make a photo copy of your passport or add it to your smartphone device as backup just in case you ever loose your passport.
I highly recommend taking care of the visa requirements prior to leaving the U.S., rather than waiting to do these details at your final destination. There are risk of delays or possibility missing required documentation and thus, a disappointing travel experience.
Register with the U.S. Embassy
This next essential item involves registering your international trip with the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP). There are two main reasons why I do this and also recommend that you do the same: 1) once you do so, you will receive email alerts for the country that you are visiting for such issues as protests, local violence, or other issues in specific cities or regions. 2) If something should ever happen to you, the U.S. embassy is aware of where you are at the time and can notify your family and loved ones because you have registered your trip with STEP
A Good No-Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card A Must
I don’t carry much cash during my travels. Instead, I rely on the local ATM and two VISA credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee. You will hear or read about the need to grab local currency prior to your international travels. I have rarely done this option, but for a select few countries. The key essential here is to notify the credit card companies of your travel with date of travel and countries you are visiting (including layovers). Don’t forget the layover! You would hate to have the credit card company to think someone stole your card and block all transitions. This happened once to me when I forgot to include a short UK layover to a trip Italy. Of course, the credit card may still reach out to you to confirm any transition even when you report the travel notice. So, please be sure to make note of your credit card companies contact number. There should be a number to collect call for them to pay the cost on the back of the card. Take note of this number somewhere else as well.
I may have mentioned that I do not keep much cash on me, but I do try to keep just enough for taxis and food; and if ever I need to as a secondary option to convert into local currency when not able to find an ATM.
Of course none of my recommendations will guarantee the perfect trip, but offer you some opportunities to make that next trip a little less stressful. Thank you for reading and I hope you find these recommendations helpful.