Traveling abroad is a great way to see new sights, try new things, and experience different cultures. Here are some necessities you should bring with you as you explore the world!
No matter which country you’re visiting, you’ll need identification and other papers as you travel, for both safety and convenience.
Whether you’re going through customs at the airport or simply crossing borders in a car, you should have a current passport and visa or other form of ID, such as a birth certificate or driver’s license. Some countries require that you carry them at all times so that, in the event that you are pulled over or questioned, you can prove who you are and where you hold citizenship.
Other papers you should bring include:
- Plane and other transport tickets
- Maps of the areas you’ll be visiting
- Informational guides
For convenient travel, it’s wise to pack light, but also to prepare for possibilities. Think about the potential activities you may be participating in during your trip, and pack accordingly.
If you know you’ll be attending a fancy dinner or going out dancing, bring one outfit that fits in more formal settings. Likewise, if you’ll be going hiking or doing some other strenuous activity, bring the appropriate clothing and shoes.
To keep your bag light, consider bringing only one outfit per irregular occasion and a few single-use packs of detergent, and wash clothes as needed at your hotel. For daytime wear or casual events, bring half as many outfits as days you’ll be there. For example, if you’re going on an eight day trip, bring four casual outfits whose items can be interchanged. You’ll find your selection is wider than you think!
Tips for almost anywhere:
- Bring enough socks and underwear for each day (or extra, just in case you get caught in a rainstorm or feel the urge to jump in a pool while clothed).
- A light jacket will come in handy wherever you are.
Toiletries and Medications
Hotels usually provide travel-sized bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and even body lotion, and will replace them as needed with each housekeeping visit. Keep your bag light and only bring prescription or specialty toiletries, plus other necessities like a small hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal items (ladies, don’t forget your makeup!).
Keep your medicines zipped tightly in a plastic bag, and make sure they’re clearly labeled. If you’re using certain prescription drugs, you may want to keep a copy of the prescription with you, in case you are stopped at the airport.
If you’re visiting Ireland in March, you certainly wouldn’t bring sandals and sundresses. Check the weather for your destination and bring appropriate clothes so you won’t be shivering (or sweating) while everyone else is comfortable.
Some suggestions include:
- Bug spray
- Sun hat or rain hat
- Rain coat
Whether you’re using your computer, tablet, or phone for web surfing, making calls, or sending emails, you’ll need a fast connection, privacy, and secure access.
Cell Phone Roaming
You may want to call home to check on the kids, text some nice locals to meet up with, or contact your travel companions if you get separated — but you shouldn’t get stuck with a huge bill. Bringing a cell phone on your international trip doesn’t have to mean the $3,000 phone bill horror story we all fear. Speak with your wireless network to see if they offer international roaming for your plan and the country you’ll be visiting.
Virtual Private Network
For going online on your laptop, tablet, or other device, you’ll want a VPN. Virtual Private Networks are helpful, especially while traveling, because they allow you to:
- Bypass firewalls and censorship set by governments
- Browse anonymously with an encrypted IP address
- Prevent websites from tracking you or installing cookies on your computer
- Protect all sent and received information from prying eyes
- Connect to a remote datacenter (your company, for example)
As exciting as new locations are, they can also be dangerous. Being in an unfamiliar place – and using an unknown and unsecured network for your browsing – can put your identity and other information at risk. Protect yourself and all your devices by investing in a VPN.
These tips will help you be prepared, comfortable, and ready for anything while you travel the globe!