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Six small essentials to carry when travelling

8 April 2009 No Comment


I recently wrote a review of my packing list for Latin America, here are six of the less obvious items that turned out to be indispensable:

Earplugs – Noisy hotels/hostels, long bus journeys with crying babies, Bolivian folk music. All enough to cause loss of sleep, and subsequently bad moods. All preventable with a decent set of earplugs.

Pen & pad – You never know when you’ll need to write something down, so save yourself the fret of searching for a pen and scrap of paper when the need arises, and carry a small pen and pad in your pocket or day pack.

Watch with light and alarm – A basic Casio digital watch is ideal. Cheap, strong and retro stylish. Even though you are travelling and not on the 9 to 5 schedule, on occasion you need to know the time – and horribly enough – get out of bed before dawn (when the light comes in handy)!

Penknife – Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness trekking, a small multi-tool will suffice, no need to spend a fortune on a Leatherman. Will get used a lot, for tasks ranging from erm, cutting things, to opening a bottle of wine in a hostel that has no corkscrew. Make sure to remember to take it out of your pocket and put it into your checked luggage if you are going to fly.

Toilet Paper – Sometimes strange food can do things to your insides. Sometimes hostels run out of toilet paper. Sometimes there are no toilets. Sometimes a combination of these things happen at the same time. Unsavoury, but necessary.

Padlock – Used all the time both on my bag and on locks in hostel security deposit boxes. Recommend a combination one, so don’t have to worry about carrying a key.

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