- I’ve been working and traveling abroad for more than two years.
- I only pack a carry-on bag, and I bring 12 key items that make my travels easier.
- Items like instant coffee, duct tape, and giant Ziploc bags have made my travel experiences easier.
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When preparing for a trip, every inch of luggage space is precious.
And if you’re permanently traveling like I am, it’s even more important to pack smart.
For more than two years, I’ve been traveling and working as a remote journalist, living as a digital nomad. My travels have taken me everywhere from the Swiss Alps and the Balkans to Australia.
Along the way, I quickly learned that the more items I carried, the bigger the burden.
I eventually decided traveling with just a carry-on was best. That means I have to think carefully about which items make the cut and which ones I need to leave behind.
So what’s in my bag? Read on to see 12 items that I pack in my carry-on everywhere I travel.
Travel alarm clock
When you’re on the road, power outages happen more often than you think.
That could be a problem when you need to rely on your phone or laptop to wake you up, but they’re about to run out of battery life.
Enter the battery-powered alarm clock. A friend got me Magellan’s Mini-Time alarm clock — which is analog, small, and lightweight, has a backlight and snooze button, and is loud enough to actually get you out of bed in the morning. It uses an AA battery, which is great because those seem to be easier to find than other clocks’ batteries. Basically, it’s perfect for travelers.
An absolute must when traveling, especially if you’ll be using many different showers — whether they’re at hostels, gyms, or Airbnbs — is to have some good shower shoes. I’ve known too many people who pick up ailments such as athlete’s foot because they had no shower shoes on. Or your rental apartment floors may not be the cleanest, so better safe than sorry.
The shoes don’t have to necessarily be ones you’d wear out and about, but they should be durable enough to get wet on a daily basis. I’ve found that these Ipanema Wave Heart flip-flops get the job done well and are cute to wear both indoors and out.
If you’re as clumsy as I am, a Tide pen will save you — and your clothes — every time. Formally, it’s known as Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover, and nothing works quite like it. Best yet, it fits in your pocket or your purse.
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