Ready for your next big adventure? These 10 unexpected travel necessities will help you stay stylish, comfortable, and prepared for just about anything. Sail through airport security, and voyage confidently with the right gear. Happy travels!
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Give airport security the brush-off with comfy slip-on shoes. The smaller the pair the better, so you can cram them into your carry-on if necessary. They’re also great for swollen feet during the flight, getting up and down for the bathroom, and general cute/comfy ease.
A Physical Map
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Yes, you thought ahead and purchased an international data plan… or not. Either way, it’s always good to have a back-up. Definitely don’t stand around in the middle of Times Square in New York City holding the map out, but it’s helpful to have a physical map to help get your bearings in a strange place. Not only will you be able to find your way back to your hotel, but it will also become a nice keep-sake after your trip.
Portable Phone Charger
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An external power bank for your phone will you give you around five hours of additional battery life. Power banks are typically inexpensive, and very handy for when your layover just got four hours longer. For some of our favorites, click here.
Downloaded Podcasts, Audio Books, Movies, Books, etc.
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It’s always good to download a bunch of media before your trip. If you’re prepared for spotty wifi, and then you won’t have to sit through a long layover with nothing to occupy yourself. Having your favorite podcast or audiobook ready to go will be great, even for the 30 minutes between take-off and cruising altitude.
Clothing with Pockets
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The 45 seconds after airport security are some of the most stressful: you’re trying to grab all your things, put your shoes on, remember your boarding pass and identification, all while trying to remember what gate you’re heading to. Wearing comfy clothes with pockets will make this process infinitely easier—and you won’t have to fish through your bag every time you need something.
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Rather than purchase a different plug for each country you visit, get a universal plug. These handy gadgets feature the most commonly used plugs from around the world in one small and inexpensive device. Do some research before you travel on which plug to use, and avoid frying your devices.
Travel Art Supplies and a Journal
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Drawing, painting, or doodling while you travel is a great way to create an authentic book of memories for when you come home. Do a quick sketch of the new and different plants you see during your trip, the architecture, or the gorgeous views of your hike. Connecting to a special location through art is a unique experience, and is a far better momento than a selfie.
Pepto Bismol Pills
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An unfortunate truth to travel is that it’s often hard on the human body. The good news is you can help prepare yourself for the sudden changes that come with travel. Pepto Bismol is a great way to keep from getting sick in a new place with different food and water than you’re used to. Take them for a few days at the beginning of your trip until your body acclimates. Since they’re now offered in pill-form, you don’t have to worry about losing the bottle of liquid at airport security.
A Cross-Body Bag
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Nothing screams “tourist” like a money belt you have to lift up your shirt to access. Try to blend in with the locals. It’s one of the best ways to stay safe while traveling. Individuals with the hallmark signs of being a tourist are far more likely to be targeted for pick-pocketing and other crimes. Walk confidently, stop into a coffee shop or cafe if you’re lost, and wear a cross-body bag to keep your valuables close.
An EMPTY Hot/Cold Water Bottle
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Yes, a water bottle shows up on every single list of travel necessities. By making sure it’s both hot and cold insulated, you can enjoy ice cold spring water with iodine drops if you are hiking, hot tea in a foreign airport, and everything in between. Carry it empty to get through security at the airport, and then fill it up before you get on a plane. Carry a few tea bags in your carry-on and ask an airport vendor for hot water. They’ll usually fill you up for free, and then you have a hot jug of (free!) calming tea before and during your flight. No need to wait for beverage service.
What are your favorite unexpected travel necessities?
This article was created in partnership with the Wind River Visitors' Council.
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