Travelling Essentials: 10 Bits of Essential Travel Kit You Should Never Be Without plus Buyers' Guide, Review & Tips
Here are the pieces of essential travel kit you should never leave without...
Essential Travel Kit
Having the essential travel kit when you head off on an adventure is absolutely mandatory. Travelling can be pretty damn stressful, but when you’ve got all the essential travel kit packed, that extra bit of baggage can actually take a whole lot of weight off your shoulders.
From helpful loads that make your time in the airport fly that much quicker to compulsory details that could save you a bundle of cash, there’s a world of ways to make your travels more relaxing from the moment you step out your door.
So, what exactly constitutes essential travel kit? In our books, essential travel kit is the stuff you simply should never travel without, whether that’s due to safety reason, to stop you getting lost or confused or simply for the purpose of enjoyment. Have a read on and see what we mean...
Are we really going to tell you why a passport is essential travel kit? It’s about as essential as essential travel kit gets. We apologise for highlighting something that is quite frankly so boldly obvious, but let’s face it, if you lose your passport or forget it all together, you don’t have a holiday at all.
Luckily for you, bum bags are cool again. Buy one. Or, if you want something even safer, how about a ERI RFID Neck Security Wallet. It’s not particularly good looking, but it’s not particularly expensive either, and you know it’s going to do the job.
A good camera for travelling, whether round your neck or even just on your phone, is essential kit for every budding adventurer.
Whether you’re updating your Instagram, shooting in a professional capacity or even just snapping away for the sake of a scrapbook or personal photo album, part of the fun of being out of your hometown is capturing the world around you in different ways.
If you are a camera phone photographer, you may be interested in expanding your horizons with the highly-rated 4-in-1 OlloClip photo lens. If you’re already more invested in photography meanwhile, you might be interested to have a read of our interviews with action sports photographers Dan Milner and Timo Jarvinen. They’re more qualified to give out tips than we are!
Did you know that your mobile phone can call and receive calls in near enough any city on Earth? Yes, it’s a bit of an obvious one. In the Mpora book of travel though, it’s really what’s on your phone that makes it essential travel kit.
A phone by itself is very useful, yes, but load it with your hotel address, a local taxi number, local maps, Google translate and make notes of all the sites you want to see, and it becomes the most essential piece of travel kit you’ve got with you. It’s the ultimate travel diary.
Make sure you use this awesome Google Maps travel hack to turn your phone into the ultimate guide, too.
Portable Phone Charger
As we’ve previously explored, phones are pretty damn useful when you’re out on the road. It’s the modern piece of essential travel kit that few can live without, but while the things are undoubtedly very handy, their battery life is often even shorter than a human’s short-term memory – and when you combine these two factors, what you’re often going to get is a lot of travellers who forgot to charge their phones before heading out on a day trip.
This is where portable chargers come in handy, because unlike Britain, where it’s cloudy, rainy, windy or, at best, slightly sunny with a chance of hailstones, the majority of the rest of the world actually has enough sun to make solar panelled chargers useful.
Our recommendations would be the Powerbee Solar Charger at the cheap end of the spectrum or the non-solar panelled but near enough indestructible Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation PRO for someone who wants to be super prepared.
It might not be a fun gadget like a camera, a phone or a portable solar powered charger, but despite the fact that it normally just drains you of money and you never get anything back in return, travel insurance is really, really freakin’ essential travel kit.
You may have bought it 15 times before and not used it once, but that one time you do need it, you’ll thank yourself a million times for shelling out whatever lowly sum you paid for the cover. Make sure you get everything you need from your travel insurance – if you’re doing extreme sports, make sure it’s covered, and look into flight and hotel cover too.
This is another 'you’ll-probably-never-need-this-but-thank-god-you-had-it-when-you-did' addition. Insurance is great for getting you covered, but there are lots of situations where you would still have to pay up front for medical bills and then claim it back on insurance if you get yourself injured.
If you’re in a European country and you have your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) though, you’ll get to pay significantly, significantly less. And did we mention the card is free? Even if you don’t know it, you’ve probably got one stashed away in a cupboard somewhere.
An EHIC allows you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost, and sometimes even makes it free. It’s sure saved us a lot of money in the past few years...
You need something to kill the time in between plane journeys, on train trips, on bus transfers, or even just to entertain you and your group during down time after a hard, long day of amazing adventuring.
Our essential travel kit when it comes to this? A basic pack of playing cards, a good book, and the Mpora 2015 annual, ‘1,387 Types of Animals That Have Brutally Beat Down A Drone And Made Angry Rich Men Cry’. Obviously we just made that last one up, but you do kind of want to read/watch it now, don’t you?
Seriously though, you can’t go wrong with cards, a book and a good selection of music. No matter where you’re waiting – and sooner or later, you will be waiting – you’ll be eternally thankful. We’ll get to what headphones you should be wearing later...
The Right Jacket
We don’t know about you, but in our world there are not many things worse than travelling about for a week being constantly too warm or too cold. It’s a nightmare, which is why you’ve got to make sure you’ve got a good travel jacket before you leave – waterproof, windproof, comfortable, breathable and with plenty storage space.
Whether this means splashing out on something like the Arc’teryx Beta LT Hybrid Jacket, the more affordable North Face Kilowatt or the extremely affordable Quechua Arpenaz three-in-one jacket, you’ll thank yourself when you’re on the road.
Headphones are essential travel kit in our books. Not passport or insurance or phone essential of course, but essential for adding the perfect soundtrack to your perfect adventure in the perfect way.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to disconnect from everything from time to time, put all the gadgets away and breathe in the nature. It’s the ultimate way to relax. But sometimes on your travels, you can increase all your emotions with a cracking playlist – whether when you’re waiting around for your next connection or shredding surrounded by trees and dirt or snow and mountain tops.
When it comes to headphones, most people have a sentimental preference of their own. Have a look at the in-ear NHT SuperBuds or Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones if you’re super keen on your sound quality though.
Before we even bother telling you about this thing, let’s make one thing clear – you won’t be able to take it through as hand luggage at the airport. No matter how much you argue. No matter how much you attempt to bribe the security guard. Well, we imagine everyone has their price, but it’s very unlikely you’ll ever be able to take this through security at the airport, so don’t bother trying!
If you are bringing check-in luggage though, a pocket knife can prove all sorts of helpful – and it’s especially a travel essential if you’re going to be hiking, climbing or up to any adventure antics while you’re on your holiday. Pick one that’s got not only a good, strong blade, but a screwdriver, a pair of scissors, even a pair of tweezers, and – essentially – a bottle opener. You can’t go wrong with the Victorinox Explorer Pocket Knife.