Useful Items You May Not Think About Packing for Long-Term Travel

May 24, 2015

This is just a little list of the random items that I have found crazy useful, that you may not see on most packing lists, nor might you ever think about bringing them.  





I've already written a post about this and I maintain that this comes in so handy it’s unbelievable. If you're a traveling woman, believe me when I say that you won’t want to sit on or touch most of the bathrooms you use while backpacking, not to mention all of the hikes where there are no bathrooms, or secluded areas available. For RTW travel as a woman, this cannot be beat.




To keep clothes rolled up, to keep bags closed, to keep wires organized, to hold your hair up in a pinch…the possibilities are endless. So, so handy. You can wrap a bunch around a pen to keep them conveniently situated in your bag.



Ziploc Bags

Another one of those things you wouldn’t normally think about but that I’ve used more than almost any other item on this list. You can keep leftovers in them, transport food, put liquids in them so they don’t bust open in your bag and ruin your shit, soak your clothes in them…again with the endless possibilities. I brought maybe 7 gallon sized bags and a few of the smaller sandwich sized bags and I wash them after use to reuse again. This means I don’t have to keep buying full boxes of these precious items every few days.




And a third time with the endless possibilities. Need to hang literally anything anywhere for any reason? Carabiners are the answer. I’m not talking anything fit for climbing. Nothing heavy duty needed. But a few small, cheap ones come in real handy. Matt and I each have one on our Nalgenes so we can easily clip anywhere. Love them.



Luggage Locks

Duh. You will definitely see this on virtually all packing lists, but this isn’t even necessarily on here for the purposes of locking your pack while in transit. It is on here to remind you that most hostel lockers only fit this size lock and do not supply you with one. And believe you me, you will want to lock up your valuables in most places you go. Another time these are handy is for when you have to leave your luggage at the hostel after check-out while waiting for your next bus. As most of these luggage rooms are in no way monitored, I lock my daypack closed and then can lock it to my larger pack, making it harder for someone if they wanted to just grab my small bag and go.



Travel Powerstrip

Between Matt and I, we have several things to charge at any given time. When you only have one outlet to do so, that can be a problem if your time is limited. The Monster Power Outlets to Go 3 is small, light, has three plugs and one USB port so charging multiple things at once is easy peasy lemon squeezy.



 Travel Pillow

Matt wrote a post about the Nemo Fillo Travel Pillow and I need to agree with his sentiments that this thing is awesome. It is so comfortable and it rolls up super small when empty. Some might think that a travel pillow is an unnecessary luxury but I’ll tell you that it makes a real difference when trying to sleep on night buses or any mode of transportation for that matter.



Waterproof Watch

I not talking anything fancy here. In fact mine was found on the floor of a bar in Honduras. I never wore a watch at home and figured it was redundant because I would usually have my phone, but there are many times when I choose to leave my phone at the hostel, or I simply don’t want to be pulling my phone out in the public area that I’m in. Why waterproof? Because I would just blatantly forget and jump into the ocean or something. It’s just easier.




This is a hotly debated topic in the traveling world. You generally don’t want to carry around anything this bulky that takes so long to dry, yada yada. However, most people wear jeans. This is virtually universal. I feel like I blend in way more in certain places when I’m not decked out head to toe in expensive, lightweight, quick-dry clothing. Not to mention the fact that jeans are just fucking comfortable. I simply don’t feel as comfortable in the aforementioned travel clothing all the time. Also good to note that you can dress jeans up or down which is handy when you have extremely limited clothing options and maybe want to pretend to be “fancy” for a night.



Travel Scissors

Fits on a keychain and is really useful in lots of situations. You just never know when you’ll need a pair of scissors!




Immodium and Ciprofloxacin

Trust me on this people. You will almost certainly need these at some point. Traveler’s Diarrhea is a thing and it is shitty (HA!). You don’t need to carry around a lot and the generic version of Immodium is totally fine. If you’ve got some tummy troubles and you have a long bus coming up, you will be forever grateful you have this on hand. As for the Cipro, if your tummy troubles are persistent for multiple days, this is a miracle pill. I’m no doctor, so talk to yours. I will say that it is probably cheaper to get outside the US than in, but get them at some point. I’m just saying, you want both of these things.




Another hot topic…to disconnect or not to disconnect. For me though, it’s not about having your phone at your fingertips at all times so you can check Facebook. It’s your way to contact family and friends, new and old. It’s your way to do research for your next place, book hostels, check bus times, keep notes on the advice you get along the way. It’s your camera, map, calculator, translator, teacher, converter, music player, games center, and more. I have found this to be invaluable in my travels.


Category: Products

Please add a comment

Posted by Deanna sanders on
Lov reading your blogs and viewing your pics!!!

Kudos to you for taking the leap and living your life to the fullest.

Best wishes to you and safe journeys!!!
Posted by youaewe on
Thanks so much Deanna! Glad you're enjoying it!
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