Every trip I forget something vital – not usually the same thing every time as I like to think I learn from my mistakes. I have forgotten pyjamas, toothpaste, my phone, my passport and the cliched socks. This time I remembered all of the above but forgot two other vital travel accessories – DOH!
I have said before that the main things you need to travel with are a Swiss Army Knife and a Quick Dry Towel. These two items can solve any number of problems or disasters, however they have a two brothers that were sadly missing in my pack this trip.
The Torch – I have a great mini Maglite torch that my dad bought for me when I left for my first solo trip at 18. Over many different continents it has proven its value and earned a permanent place in my pack. Due to some strange lapse in common sense I forgot to pack it this time round. At first this wasn’t such a disaster as I could use the light on my phone. However when you are camping in Yosemite for a three days and your battery has died you suddenly need that trusted torch to find the toilet in the middle of the night… or to check if that rustling sound is a bear (it was a fox… not quite as scary).
The Pillow Case – My mother told me to always pack a pillow case. I scoffed at her – what would she know, she hasn’t backpacked since the 80s! Ok she may be one of the most travelled people I know – but she has no idea what the modern backpacking world is like, right? I grudgingly packed it on my first trip and found that it doubled up with so many uses that now that I ever wondered why I rebelled against taking it.
- When staying in a hostel with questionable sheets – put your pillow case on top of theirs.
- On a bus, plane, train or camping with no pillow – stuff some jumpers/sweaters into your pillow case!
- Your quick dry towel has got to that stinky stage and you can’t be bothered washing it – the pillow case can double up as an emergency towel (and I stress the word EMERGENCY)
- Your dirty laundry is starting to merge with your clean stuff and you can no longer tell the two apart – no fear – put your dirty stuff in the pillow case to segregate it from your clean stuff.
Luckily for me there was a target near by and the minute I realised I had forgotten these two items I hit the store and picked them up for the low low price of $5 each – and in the last few days they have been worth every cent!
What are the must have travel items that you will never travel without and why???