After three years of non-stop adventure travel, I have learned a few lessons along the way about how to pack, what to pack and which items you cannot leave home without. In this blog post, I will share with you five essentials for travel that will make your life easier and have a positive impact on the environment.
#1 A RE-USABLE WATER BOTTLE
One essential item that I would never travel without is a re-usable bottle. As you travel around the world or to your next tropical destination, you may be confronted with the inability to drink the local tap water. You may find yourself traveling from a developed nation such as U.S.A or Australia to a developing nation such as Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand. In this case, it is often advised not to drink the local tap water as your stomach has grown up with a different combination of bacterias. The local population may or may not be accustomed to the tap water and in many locations around the world, even the locals use only bottled water for drinking.
What this means is that you will be purchasing 2-4 plastic bottles per day to ensure your health and safety while abroad. That means that if you traveled for a year you would be consuming more than 1000 plastic bottles per year just from drinking water alone. That is a terrible environmental impact and one that we have a handy solution for.
Most hotels or hostels offer filtered water for free or a small fee of just a few cents for refilling. You can refill your reusable bottle here every morning and night to avoid the need for purchasing plastic water bottles. I also have a filtration device so I can filter straight from the tap and then pour that into my reusable bottle. With these two solutions, I haven’t purchased a plastic bottle of water in over a year.
The bottle below is from the Cotton On Lost collection and keeps your water cool throughout the day.
#2 PACKING CELLS (CUBES) OR DRAWSTRING DIVIDER BAGS
When I see some of my friends unpacking their luggage I get anxiety. It’s all just thrown in there randomly. I’m not a packing expert or crazy about it being in order but by using packing cubes or drawstring bags it is a really simple solution to providing some sort of system to your luggage. I use a cube for t-shirts, another for shorts and two more for socks and underwear and one for miscellaneous like a rain jacket or jeans that aren’t used as often.
When I get my laundry done, I quickly sort it into the cubes and then whenever I need something I just unzip the cube and in a matter of seconds it is there. By having the items in cubes, you also keep them clean from any dust, sand or dirt in your luggage and they are easier to pack
#3 A VERSATILE DAYPACK
When you are out adventuring, you don’t want to bring your whole backpacking bag or luggage. You want the freedom to move, climb, run and not be limited by a bulky backpack. There are a million different styles, sizes and features to consider but the main three I look for in a backpack for small adventures.
- An external water bottle holder form re-usable water bottle
- Easy access to my camera
- A small pocket to hold my wallet and/or phone for easy access
Once these three features are ticked then we can worry about the color and how the backpack looks but its always important to tick these features off first. I used the backpack featured below for my adventures in the Philippines this year.
#4 LAUNDRY BAG
It might seem obvious but I’ve witnessed a lot of things throughout my 1000 days of travel and it is not uncommon for people to travel without a laundry bag. It’s slightly horrifying!
I use another drawstring bag /packing cell as my laundry bag so I can keep the dirty clothes separate from my clean clothes. A little system goes a long way and makes your life so much easier when you are already dealing with a lot of different external factors while you explore the world. You don’t need to wonder why you are missing all your socks or whereabouts your favorite pair of underwear went!
#5 PADDED LAPTOP COVER
If you travel with a laptop you should definitely invest in a padded laptop cover. Whether it is in your main luggage or carry-on there are so many opportunities for it to get bumped and knocked. Your backpack will probably offer very limited support so although it does take up a bit of extra room it will save your valuable laptop from screen cracks and damage to the keyboard. I’ve been traveling with a black and floral design from Cotton On Lost Collection this year and so far my laptop has been kept in perfect condition. I’ve met numerous people who have damaged their laptops simply after leaving them in their bag without a case in the overhead bins on an airplane.
I hope this simple but effective tips can make your travels nice and cruisy without any lost socks, broken laptops, smelly clothes, and most importantly unnecessary plastic bottles!