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Travel Essentials

Posted on July 14 2016

Travel Essentials
I honestly think the less you pack the better. The first time I did my first international flight by myself I packed half my closet, and ended up using maybe ¼ of what I took. You think you’re going to need 7 t-shirts but you probably only need 3 and one of those you be wearing when you travel. Don’t pack 4 pair of shoes when 2 will completely suffice. Plan your day ahead, what are you expecting to be doing, pack accordingly and don’t neglect the weather forecast for your destination. Pack versatile clothing. A pair of jeans that can go with 5 different outfits is a lot better for your trip than pants that only go with 2-3 outfits.
And remember, you’re probably going to want to purchase items during your trip that’s why it’s also important to not arrive to your destination with a full suitcase.
Pack light and smart.
Although the less is better when it comes to packing, there are a view items that I ALWAYS travel with. I would recommend you getting these:
  • Lip balm:  I know this will sound silly for people who have never traveled to distant locations. There’s nothing wrong with a guy using lip balm by the way. I know that is what some of you think. When you’re on an airplane the air is a lot thinner and it’s really easy for your lips to dry out and crack. Using lip balm throughout your flight will prevent this from happening. Also around different places in the world you have to deal with different air pressure, humidity, climate, etc. You’re going to need the lip balm, I’m telling you right now.  Get it.
  • Adapters/Converters: I’m sorry to break this to you but no, power outlets around the world are not all the same. I thought this was obvious but I was proven otherwise when my friend joined me on a short trip to Germany. After arriving at my grandparents’ house he pointed out that he needed to charge his cell phone. When looking for the power outlet he was perplexed when he stumbled onto an outlet that looked like this (insert photo here). He really had no idea that different countries have different outlets. Luckily for him I always travel with adapters.
Do your research before visiting a foreign country and don’t rely on other people for help. 
There are different voltages as well. In the U.S. the voltage is 110-120V. In most European countries that voltage is double that, 220-240V. So what will happen if you don’t have a converter but a cheap adapter is that when plugging in a small electronic device, it will burn out. That’s why having a converter is a great thing. Now, most larger and high quality electronics will have an automatic converter installed. So laptop and cell phones won’t be affected since they have converters installed in them. I still recommend getting that converter though, it is money well spent.
  • Cell phone coverage: I know this one isn’t necessarily an essential, however it is strongly recommended and beneficial to have some form of service in the country you’re planning on visiting.
Losing your travel partner in a foreign country is no fun, I tell you that. It’s tricky to do because most cell phone carriers charge you an arm and a leg for international data, text, or minutes. Luckily there is T-Mobile. I myself have it and I will never switch. I’m not going to go into a debate whether or not they are better than other cell phone carries but I will tell you that with T-Mobile you get cell phone coverage in over 140 countries. That’s all I need to hear. If you travel a lot GET IT. You won’t regret it. For $60 dollars a month that’s a great deal. I’m telling you that this is the most affordable international plan there currently is. You get free unlimited data in those countries. Now for minutes you will still need to pay but if you have the app WhatsApp you can simple use your unlimited data and make calls through WhatsApp. Trust me when I tell you that having service in a foreign country can be a great deal. You can use Uber when you have cell phone reception, which can drastically lower your transportation cost. It’s a no brainer.
  • Battery Case: If you have an IPhone this one is for you. I can’t tell you how many times my battery case for my phone has saved my life. Whether you’re on the road for 8 hours or in a foreign country backpacking your way around, you’re going to realize that your phone battery doesn’t last forever. Sure you might not want to use your phone much because you want to live in the moment and don’t want to get distracted by technology. Which I totally support, but JUST IN CASE you might need that extra bit of battery. With a battery case you can easily charge your phone completely up. They are easy to store; all you’re doing is attaching it to your phone. You’ll barely notice it. It’s better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.
  • Jet lag Pills: This one is certainly debatable because some people believe pills do not work and that it is a bunch of nonsense. Placebo effect at best. There’s a good chance that it is, but placebo effect or not, it’s been working fucking great for me. I’m not telling you it’s going to work for you, but if you have really big problems with jet lags after flying like I did, then give this a try.  It’s pretty cheap. You take a pill before takeoff, and then every 60-90 minutes take another one. If you’re sleeping don’t sweat it, just take it when you wake up again. And take another pill after landing. What worked great for me was to even take the pill a day after I arrived at my destination. I’m not saying that I didn’t experience any jet lag at all, however it was much easier to endure and went away in no time. It’s a homeopathic remedy which means it doesn’t interact with any medication or doesn’t give you any side effects.
There’s nothing worse than a bad jet lag during a short trip. Try it out.
  • Maps: Yes I know its 2016 and most young people don’t even know how to read a map. But you should try to learn. Having a city map with you on your trip can be extremely helpful. When all things fail, a map will not. It doesn’t need batteries, it doesn’t require electricity and it’s easy to store. Get a map for Christ sake. When I was in Paris with my ex-girlfriend that is how we got around. And I assure you it helped out a lot.


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