I’m on my way to Stockholm, Sweden to organize PodCamp Europe, and I’m a little anxious as I’ve never traveled outside of North America before. Within my country, I’ve put on thousands and thousands of miles over the last several months, and I’ve come to realize there’s a few things I want to take with me every time I head out for a trip. Here’s my plan: I’ll tell you five things, and you add your must-haves in the comments section. Deal?
Power Strip– As a geek/business traveler, I’m often surprised that hotel rooms aren’t tricked out with 100 free plugs for me to stuff my gadgets into for a charge. I think this PowerSquid Surge Suppressor is cool, because if your chargers have bulky ends like mine, this fixes that issue.
Quart-sized Plastic Zip Bags– I use these for a lot of things. I keep one for my expense receipts. I use another to store extra business cards. I keep a few energy bars in a third. In a pinch, these zip bags can come in real handy for a lot of reasons.
Baby Wipes– Not just for babies any more, a few of the unscented “just like cloth” type found in any baby products aisle at a grocery store tucked into , wait for it, a one-quart zip bag make a million useful saves for me while on a trip. Use them to wipe up after snacks on the run, or to clean up spilled coffee. Use them to spot clean clothes. Plenty more uses, I’m sure you’ll find on your own.
Duct tape– I don’t mean that you should take a roll, but instead take about 10 feet wrapped upon itself into a little rectangle about the size of a wallet. Use this for instant lint brushing, for hacking curtains shut to better darken the room, for hanging signs, for taping down your laptop cord at a conference, for mending damaged luggage, and about 3,149 other reasons, as well. (**Caution: taking a full roll on your carry-on might cause a security issue.)
Energy Bars– Meal replacement bars, or cereal bars, of whatever kinds of calories you can store simply and access when you need a boost is what I’m talking about here. Once, my plane was delayed after we’d boarded, and the delay stretched past an hour. I’d rushed to catch the plane, skipping breakfast, and here we were without any service (because they weren’t getting out those food carts in case we miraculously were cleared to get out of there). Energy bars to the rescue. These also save you from eating something horrible, nutrition-wise, just because you’re a captive somewhere. I don’t o anywhere without a few energy bars in my bag.
What are a few MUST-HAVE travel items that you pack away every time you go on a trip? Hack my suitcase, people! I’m heading overseas tomorrow, and I might just need your help.