When you’re headed out of town for a weekend, you may not give a second thought to what you’ll pack until the night before takeoff. But if you’re considering going on a multi-week, month-long, or even a year of adventure around the world, being pickier about what to pack is essential.
Alongside your usual packing list culprits, consider investing in these 10 items when you’re planning a lengthy excursion!
A way to drink clean water, no matter what
Does your wanderlust have you thirsty for mountainous adventure? Or daydreaming about sampling hidden food gems in remote parts of Asia? Unlike Western cultures, many Eastern and Southern homelands may not have the same easy access to potable water, making contamination via H2O a real possibility.
You could resort to purchasing countless water bottles, or make a one-time investment in this portable water-filtration system (puritii.com) with new technology that not only keeps you hydrated on the go, but gives you peace of mind, too. You’ll want to make sure you snag enough filters to get you through your travels.
A safe way to secure your things
For travelers, choosing the right luggage is as paramount as picking a compatible travel companion. We love this smart spinner from New York City–based luggage start-up Away. Developed by two Forbes 30 Under 30 winners, these lightweight, and durable polycarbonate four-wheel suitcases will get you going quickly — and safely, with a TSA-approved combination lock.
Most importantly for long-term getaways, the interior laundry-bag-meets-compression-system not only gives you more space but keeps your clothes from wrinkling, too. Another perk? Right smack-dab on your luggage is a portable charger, so flight delays won’t be quite as bad.
At least one outfit that makes you feel confident
Sure, when you’re trekking from one airport to another, battling heat waves and unforgiving humidity, a romantic dress might seem like a frivolous addition to your packing list. But while new horizons will open your mind and change your definitions of life, beauty, and love, having at least one piece of clothing that makes you feel confident is essential. The VICI Collection features materials and fabrics that fight tooth-and-nail against wrinkles, while also providing smart style and flattering hemlines.
A way to always have WiFi, without paying a ton
Even when airports advertise “free WiFi” any jetsetter knows that’s more of a suggestion than a promise. And when you do manage to go through the lengthy sign-up process — we’re looking at you, Malpensa Airport in Milan — the speed of surfing can be disappointing.
When your digital nomad jobs require you to stay connected (or you just want to see how many Likes that Instagram post got during your red-eye), a portable hotspot is key. The only kicker is that most travel solutions require subscriptions and can be pricey. Enter: SkyRoam. You simply make a one-time purchase of the device, register online, and then you only pay for the days you use. Easy-peasy.
A micro way to style your hair
Central and South America and certain parts of Southeast Asia are basically a wash for smooth, styled hair. But if you’re traveling to more mellow locations in Europe where climates are a bit more forgiving of your locks, you might consider packing heat tools made for traveling. For straight hair, the Mighty Mini Coral Styler by Amika will fight frizz and flyaways, while those seeking curly, beachy waves can pack the Conair MiniPro Ceramic Styler.
A way to pack even more things, easily
If you haven’t yet jumped on the packing cube bandwagon, you’re missing out. It might feel like an extra step to roll or fold your clothes into yet another compartment, but these smart cubes help compact your tanks, dresses, workout pants, and more to save space. Another big benefit is organization: if you don’t need to pull out your winter clothes for Japan because you’re spending the current month in Croatia, just pull out the swimsuit pack and get to the beach, ASAP.
A charging clutch or handbag
Repeat after us: never, ever leave home without a personal charger. While some are super slim — like the beloved Anker— others are bulky and at times, heavy, making them feel obtrusive in a compact bag. Check off two packing items with one purchase via this luxe leather charging clutch or the budget version pictured above.
Both pack a cleverly hidden built-in battery, so your phone can charge while it’s kept safely zipped in your bag. The Olive & Cocoa clutch goes a step further, including charging cords and adaptors for every device, along with a smart storage setup for credit cards and coins.
A simple power adapter (or three)
If you’re going to be abroad for a while, you won’t just need one power adaptor, you’ll need all of them. Luckily, this highly recommended buy is inexpensive, meaning you can grab a few without blowing your savings. What we like the most is the ease of switching between Europe and Asia, without having to keep up with several pieces that could easily get lost as you move from place to place.
A compact, sand-proof towel
You’re likely on a mission to keep your load light, and a bulky beach towel was the first item you wrote off. But imagine your dismay upon arriving to your coastal hostel (or budget hotel or vacation rental), to find a single towel meant for showering that you definitely don’t want to be sandy. To the rescue comes this incredibly compact, absorbent, and fast-drying towel by Tesalate. If the size doesn’t sell you, this fact will: the fabric is designed to repel sand, even when wet from ocean waters.
A luggage scale to avoid stress at check-in
If you’ve ever boarded a puddle-jumper to get from one tiny island to another, you probably received a rude awakening when that 50-pound checked bag weight limit was suddenly cut to 40, and each kilogram overcame with a price tag of six Euros. Yikes. You can avoid chaos and added stress at check-in by packing a lightweight luggage scale so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you call that Uber to the airport.