Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Just like Dora herself, for ease and frugality when going on short trips, I only carry a rucksack. This saves money as you don’t need to pay extra for checked in luggage.
1. Versatile Clothing
I always make sure I have clothing suitable for the intended climate. I normally wear a hoodie or a light jacket on the plane to save space in my backpack. Planes are freeeeezing anyway so that’s needed.
Pack clothing that doesn’t crease easily, so you can roll it up or squash it down into your bag, depending on what path you’ve chosen in life. This also means you won't need to use an iron either.
Even if your destination is warm always bring a few extra layers for cooler evenings. I also have a roll-up waterproof jacket that doesn't take up too much space. Don’t carry more clothes than you need. It’s a rucksack, not a suitcase. Plan ahead, plan outfits and only pack those outfits.
2. Travel Documents
Obviously, you’re not going to get very far without a passport so I'd hope that would be the first thing you're planning to pack.
Travel insurance is a necessity do not leave home without it!
My luggage has been lost by different airlines about 3 times now, however, travel insurance has also made this a little less stressful. Being insured means that you know you'll always me financially compensated when these mishaps happen. This can mean replacing lost items or being given an allowance to purchase essentials whilst your baggage is located.
I always ensure I have paper copies of all my important documents just in case of an emergency. I even laminate the photocopies of my passport ensuring they're waterproof and less susceptible to damage.
Who wants to be hungry? Not me. Call me a cheapskate but I'm not a fan of the food prices in airports. Absolute daylight robbery. Pack snacks that won’t leak or get damaged during transit. Something sustainable like a croissant or muffin is also a good idea as these will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
4. Wash Bag
Don’t be smelly. Pack a few quick hygiene essentials such as a toothbrush, wet wipes, tissues and hand sanitiser. I'd actually advise you put these in your hand luggage even if you have a suitcase, this ensures you'll be covered if you experience any delays. I’ll normally purchase shower gel and other larger liquids when I arrive at my destination to reduce weight and save space.
Extremely important if you’re on any prescribed medication to triple-check you’ve packed this before departing. If you value your life that is.
Other tablets that may be of use are: anti-sickness tablets, paracetamol and anti-diarrhoea tablets (if you’re going somewhere where a sip of that tap water will have your belly doing acrobatics.) Better to be safe than sorry. Also, try and make sure you keep your tablets in their original packaging. It will be a very long day for you if you get stopped at customs with a bag full of unidentifiable pills.
6. Portable Charger
I don't leave my house without this on a normal day. This is essential however if you are travelling solo. Make sure you never run out of juice whilst out gallivanting. Having a dead phone battery and being lost/stranded alone abroad is my idea of a nightmare.
7. Travel Adapters
Make sure you check that you've packed the right adaptor for the country you're visiting. I also try to bring at least two so I’m able to charge both my phone and portable charger at night.
I've recently invested in worldwide travel adapters, with USB ports. They have interchangeable plugs so you can use them globally. This also means that you won't have to keep buying new adapters when you travel to different continents.
To purchase the exact adapters that I have been using on my travels click the amazon links below. The Apark plug is more compact whereas the Lencent offers more USB ports, the choice is up to you.
Sounds like an obvious one but the number of times I've had to borrow pens to strangers abroad is crazy. You'll never know when a pen may come in handy, wherever its filling forms out at immigration or simply wanting to send a postcard.
My go-to pen is always the Bic 4 colour retractable due to its design. You can select from black, blue, red or green ink to suit your current situation. You're also able to attach this pen to your bag or a keyring using the handy hole at the top.
9. Money Money Moneyyy and a travel card
If you want to enjoy, even on a budget you're going to need some cash. Prior to travel try and find the best exchange rate online or at local shops. If you're lazy just go to the post office. I mean they literally always have money there right? It's always good to carry some cash with you both UK and foreign.
I'd also recommend getting a holiday debit card. I'm not about to plug any bank or provider as they don't pay my bills, but you can find some good ones with a quick search online. You can load this card with exactly how much money you'll need for your trip and lock in an exchange rate, avoiding any surprise conversion charges. This is a great way to budget and not get carried away whilst spending.
I normally use my Monzo card when travelling, as it doesn't charge me for card payments which is a bonus. Do your research first obviously but if you do want to sign up click here and you'll get a free £5 to spend on anything you wish!
I still bring my main bank card with me just in case of an emergency, however If you're fearless you can just carry your travel card with the comfort of knowing you will not be able to overspend.
10. A Portable Fan
I can't remember when I discovered these, but they will change your life! You can purchase these at most mass online retailers i.e. a certain Brazilian rainforest. You charge these up via USB and voila cold air on the go.
To purchase a portable fan click here. I will get commission from amazon if you purchase through this link :)