9 Things I Never Leave the Country Without

9 Things I Never Leave the Country Without

Don’t worry!

This isn’t a list of the obvious things: your passport, a copy of your itinerary, blah blah blah.

This is my personal list of items that I’ve packed, tested, and come to depend on throughout my journeys.

I’ve made travel a priority in my life, which sometimes calls for a bit of penny-pinching and travel-hacking. Now, I’ve visited a foreign country more than 20 times. If you like, you can read about some of my adventures in Greece, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, and Kenya.

I’m headed down to Cartagena, Colombia here in a few weeks, so I’ve been rummaging around my house and collecting all of my necessary travel items. Time and time again, I find myself making room in my suitcase for the same items that I never leave the country without!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share my list with you. Each of the affiliate links below will take you over to Amazon to see the items I use and love!

In no particular order:

1. Seabands

Okay, I know I *just* said “no particular order,” but these really might be at the top of my list. When I was growing up, planes, trains, and automobiles were never a problem for me. I’d notice other people getting sick, especially on boat trips, yet I always managed to survive the journey unscathed.

Then, a few years ago, I got on a plane to Greece and started to feel a little funny on the plane. By the time we landed in Athens I was hovering over a barf bag and detesting my very existence.

Later on the same trip, I boarded a cruise ship and immediately felt sick to my stomach. I picked up these little acupressure bands in the ship’s gift shop and now I never travel without them. I mean NEVER. I seem to get sick even riding in the back seat of a car these days!

2. Voltage Converter and Adapter Plugs

I mean, how else are you going to charge your smartphone?

3. External Battery Pack

You’ll still need #2 to charge the battery pack, but this handy charger saved me a few times on a recent trip to Paris. I was completely lost and needed to power my phone to find my way back to the hostel. Who knows, without this battery pack I could still be wandering the streets of Montmartre.

4. Waterproof Windbreaker

I know this seems like a back-to-school item, but this jacket is my bestie and I love her (yes, the jacket is female). Maybe this only happens to me, but I feel like whenever I’m traveling it’s freezing in the morning and then about a thousand degrees by the afternoon. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am or what time of year it is!

I love this jacket because it keeps me warm in the mornings and evenings, and is super lightweight to stow in a day bag if it warms up too much during the day. It takes up very little space in your luggage, and can also help protect you from sun exposure.

5. Nylon Pants

Most convertible pants look super dorky, but these are fashionable enough to wear in the city or take on a camping trip. They somehow seem to keep me cool when it’s hot out, warm when it’s cold out, and they dry almost instantly if they get wet.

They are also the only nylon pants I’ve found that are available in long/tall sizes (have I told you that I’m super tall?).

6. Kindle

This one is obvious, but it has to be mentioned. I’d die without mine. Literally.

7. Durable Water Bottle

I’ve been rocking this Nalgene bottle since 2007. It’s light, easy to carry around, and super-duper durable.

8. Lightweight Carry-On Sized Backpack

This backpack is my JAM. My sister and I once spent a week in Africa with ALL of our gear stashed in this one backpack. It holds more than it looks, yet is super lightweight! Plus, it fits in the carry-on compartment so you can avoid checking luggage.

9. Portable Luggage Scale

If, like me, you come home with about twice as much crap as you left with, you’ll likely need to check a bag at some point. This handy luggage scale will help you determine if your bag is over the weight restriction for checked luggage. Much easier than trying to do the thing where you find a regular scale, weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your bag. Don’t lie. You’ve done it.

That’s all for today – time to start packing for your next trip!

About the Author


Hi, I'm Anetta! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel stories from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. I believe that food brings us together as much as it sets us apart. Be brave, try something new!

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  1. No need for voltage converters. Look at all your electronic power bricks. They are 100V-240V and 50/60Hz power. Don’t know anywhere in the world that doesn’t have power in those ranges. All you need is a $2 plug converter to get the plug to fit into the socket. Para mi, I like to use a $6 extension cord with 3 US plugs on the end. This way, I get 3 plugs for my stuff, only need 1 socket converter AND have a cord that reaches from next to the TV/sink to where every my netbook is being worked on.

    The other items match my list – minus the kindle and scale. I travel with a chromebook since I need more of a computer to do my work. The scale just hasn’t been needed. I’m usually 15+ lbs lite on my luggage. I collect experiences, photos and tiny trinkets for a display case from around the world. Perhaps a shirt and some chopsticks are the largest items I’ve brought home. A yogurt cup from Nepal, a glass globe from ZA,, a wood carved turtle from C. America, small leather CC/cash wallet from Argentina, smoothed pebbles from Alaska, Geta from Japan, some tiny pewter from Stonehenge … Not many trinkets from European trips, but lots and lots of amazing photos.