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7 things every world traveler needs: The ultimate list

A yellow van drives down a desert highway.

Traveling is always an adventure, no matter where or when you go. Every travel experience is unique, just like every destination and every traveler. However, there are a few things every world traveler needs that will keep you happy, healthy, and stress-free on your global explorations.

In today’s high-tech world, it’s easy to be enamored by new gadgets and inventions. It can also be tempting to want to take everything with you to make on-the-road life more like home. Keep in mind that when you’re traveling for long periods of time, less can be more.

Fortunately, the essential things every world traveler needs pare down to a fairly small list. Aim for items that are small or foldable. You want to make sure they fit in your carry-on bag, even if you have a larger checked back. Checked luggage can sometimes be lost or delayed in transit, and you don’t want to be stuck without your essentials. It’s also important to think about weight. Even if a heavy item fits in your bag, you’ll quickly become tired of lugging it around.

Finally, when you’re packing for your global adventures, look for items that can serve multiple purposes.  This is especially true for clothing. Avoid packing pieces of clothing that are for one event or purpose only, and will sit in your luggage for the rest of the time. Aim for clothing that can be adapted for both dressy and casual settings, and can be easily layered depending on the weather.  After all, you never know what unexpected things may happen on your journey, and it’s important to be prepared.


two women hold up peace signs in front of the Golden Gate Bridge


7 things every world traveler needs:

1. Camera

The first item on the list is pretty self-explanatory. Most people want to document their adventures in some way. Whether you have a travel page on Instagram or just want to send photos home to your mom, you’ll want an easy way to take pictures. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a fancy camera. Some are bulky, heavy, and expensive. If you already own a camera, you might consider swapping it out for a cell phone or a point-and-shoot camera for your trip if you’re worried about losing or breaking it. For most travelers, a smartphone is the perfect solution – small, light, and multipurpose.


2. Comfortable  shoes

Depending on where you’re traveling, you could be spending a lot of time on your feet. You don’t want to be breaking in new shoes while backpacking around Europe, or exploring Buenos Aires. Make sure you bring a pair of shoes that is comfortable and that you’ve worn before.


3.  Portable wifi hotspot

One of the most stressful travel experiences is needing to access something on the internet and not being able to find wifi. A personal hotspot is a travel luxury, but it’s well worth the investment. With the aid of pocket internet you can easily load a map as you explore a new city, download tickets for your flight, or make a reservation for tonight’s dinner. Even better, you don’t necessarily need to buy the hotspot yourself. Instead, you can rent one in most major international airports.


4. Travel insurance

There are many important elements to staying safe and healthy while traveling. But travel insurance may be the most important. In the unlikely event that you have a health emergency abroad, you want to make sure you’re covered. There are endless options out there for travel insurance, so do your research in advance and find a plan that works for your specific trip and needs.


5. External Battery

A good external battery is right up there with portable wifi on the list of things that will help you avoid stress. You probably don’t want to be caught without your phone, whether you need it for photos, navigation, or communication. Find a portable external battery and make sure it can easily connect to all of your devices.


6. Earplugs

You can’t go wrong with a good set of earplugs. From overnight train rides to noisy hostel rooms, earplugs can help make sure you get the rest you need, even on a whirlwind trip. Again, these are small and super light-weight, so throw a pair in your bag even if you don’t use them at home – you’ll thank yourself later.


7. Cell Phone

Just like the first item on this list, a cell phone is one thing most travelers never leave home without. In addition to being a great camera option, your phone offers some safety and security, as well as a means of communication with home. Make sure you know how you’ll use your phone abroad – will you buy a sim card, use Whatsapp, or your personal wifi? Make a communication plan with your loved ones at home before heading out.



  1. Untitled, by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash.
  2. Peace sign by Golden Gate Bridge, by Ian Schneideron on Unsplash.
Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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