8 Simple Items You Should Always Pack But Don’t

Items you should always pack, but forget to.

In the panic that is packing, we often find we’ve taken too much stuff, but also, that we’ve forgotten a few little basics that can really make our travels easier and more comfortable. Here are 8 of those little items you should always pack (plus of course your international cell phone from Mobal!):

1. Odor-Eaters

When packing you’ve probably thought long and hard about which shoes you are going to take; these ones for walking around town; these ones for trekking; these ones for dinner and so on. But most people forget about looking after the feet within them. A long day pounding the pavements can kick up quite a whiff so something simple like Odor-Eaters can be a God send.

2. Notepad and pen

One of the simple items you should always pack is a pen and paper. In the modern world it can be all to easy to think that we can rely on modern gadgets and gizmos to keep us going throughout the day. But sometimes the old-fashioned paper and pen is still king. If you’re out and about in a new city and you spot a restaurant you want to try, a shop who’s opening hours you want to make note of, a bus timetable you need to remember, then quickly scribbling them in a little notepad is by far the easiest way to remember them.

3. Your own alarm clock

Yes, you could rely on your natural body clock, or hotel wake up calls, or random alarm clocks supplied in hotel rooms, but nothing is better than keeping your own alarm clock. For one you will be used to it’s noise and more likely to wake up to it (and more likely to set it at the right time as you know how to use it), but you can also take it with you during the day. Fancy a quick sleep on the beach or in the park. No problem, just set your alarm for an hour’s time and you’re not going to wake up deserted in the pitch black having overslept by 5 hours.

4. Have a handy paper copy of your contact’s info

While it’s easy to keep your contacts info stored online or on your cell phone, that is not always handy when you cannot access that information for whatever reason. By keeping a back up copy of your contacts you will never get stuck without it. It might be that you just want to dash off a quick postcard, but it might also be that you’ve had your cell phone and wallet stolen and need to call your bank. Without their number to hand you could have much bigger problems.

5. Take a shopping bag

In Europe you often have to pay for your shopping bags should you need one. This is to cut down on the environmental impact of producing plastic bags, so taking your own will save you a few pennies. But also a shopping bag can be handy if you’re visiting markets and purchasing a few items. It is much easier to carry everything around with you.

6. Find a good travel pillow

Another one of the items you should always pack, if you have the room, is a pillow. Sleeping in a new bed with a new pillow can be an uncomfortable experience, so having your own pillow which you are used to can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and not. Plus, with a travel pillow you can use it wherever you are, not just in your hotel room; on plane; on the beach; on a bus.

7. Running/walking shoes

This tip may not appeal to everyone, but staying fit and healthy can make the difference between enjoying your trip or not. Depending on how energetic you are you should try to pack some running shoes, or some comfortable walking shoes. It’s amazing how an early morning burn can set you up fresh and ready for the day.

8. Your favorite medications

And by medications I of course don’t mean anything illegal, but if you have a regular sort of headache tablet or indigestion tablet, or anything like that, then it can pay to take a supply along with you overseas. If you suddenly need to take something then having what you know and trust on hand is far easier than trying to search out for some foreign equivalent.


Often it can be the simple little things which make our lives easier, and although none of the items listed above will appear revolutionary, they can easily get overlooked by many travelers. Try packing them on your next trip to see if they help out, even just a little bit.

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2 thoughts on “8 Simple Items You Should Always Pack But Don’t

  1. Traveljunkie

    For all you ladies sanitary supplies are a must if you are visiting a developing country. Supplies can be hard to come by or not of the standard we are used to!!

  2. Heights Crating

    Consider packing and shipping items prior to your arrival. You’ll be able to navigate through customs quicker and travel unencumbered.

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