Traveling internationally is hands-down one of the most educational, exciting, and rewarding experiences you can have in your lifetime. For years, nomads and explorers have trekked over foreign continents and sailed across uncharted oceans to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of foreign cultures.
Fortunately, successful modern travel is not reliant on trade winds and fruits to stave off scurvy. With these five must-have traveling essentials, today’s nomad is well-equipped to roam freely, and intelligently, through the vast lands of international exploration. Orange slices are purely optional.
A Reliable Guidebook
[Image via Flickr by The Wandering Angel.]
You wouldn’t go skydiving for the first time without a little advice, so why would you leap headfirst into a foreign country without any information? A reliable guidebook will always be your most trusted travel companion. Need to find the bus station in Prague? Guide book. Want to know the cheapest train route from Berlin to Milan? Guide book. Only have four dollars and need a hostel in Bangkok? You guessed it, guidebook.
Although there are hundreds of guide books for most countries, cities, and regions, it’s important to always have a trusted and frequently updated resource. Fodor’s Travel Guides and Lonely Planet Destination Books are some of the most trusted names in travel.
International Credit Cards
When traveling internationally, your adventurous spirit and wanderlust can’t pay for food and shelter. Traveling does have its expenses, and many of these expenses are unforeseen and cannot be budgeted. Fortunately, international credit cards guarantee your travel is not cut short by empty pockets.
If you use your day-to-day credit card for foreign expenses, you’ll most likely be hit with roughly a three percent international fee on every transaction. This adds up quickly. The best international credit cards waive these fees and offer various travel bonus rewards, such as perks for lodging and flights.
Cell Phone with International Plan
Staying connected is essential while traveling. Whether you need to call home in case of an emergency or secure lodging for the night, a cell phone will make sure your trip is as smooth as possible. Remember, phone booths are a scarce commodity. Along with a reliable phone, it’s important to acquire an international plan for the trip’s duration. Through T-Mobile’s international plans, you’ll have unlimited data wherever you go. With T-Mobile’s international plans, you’ll find coverage in over 125 countries.
Small Camera and Accessories
[Image via Flickr by Christian Haugen.]
Documenting your experiences will allow you to re-live your time as a world traveler for the rest of your life. When choosing a camera, it’s important to find one that is durable, compact, takes decent quality pictures, and holds a good charge. You don’t want blah pictures of an amazing trip.
You also don’t want a dead camera battery when the sun sets over the Great Wall of China. Along with your camera, it’s suggested to also carry extra batteries and extra memory cards. Physically, batteries need little space, and an extra memory card will provide ample room for, well, extra memories.
Space-Saver Back Pack
[Image via Flickr by kokorowashinjin.]
It’s vital to pack lightly when traveling internationally, especially if you are backpacking. You think you need your complete works of Yeats when traveling over the Irish countryside, but a few spine-crushing miles into it, you realize you don’t. When choosing the right backpack, you also need the right size. Too small, and you won’t fit your essentials, but an oversized backpack is burdensome.
In addition, it’s important to find a backpack that is very efficient. Not only can you fit more stuff; compartments help you easily access your belongings. Lastly, water-resistant material is a must. You don’t want soggy clothes and wet electronics.
Traveling internationally is a rite of passage for any true adventurer. A passage defined by its promise of experience and the discovery of the unknown. By carrying the right travel essentials, you’ll be ready for whatever these new lands and experiences have to offer.