penny pinching...every little bit counts!
penny pinching…every little bit counts!

If you’re backpacking, just out of college, traveling solo or don’t have the kind of bucks needed to get all the cool accessories you’ve seen in SkyMall, don’t worry! Your daily needs can be met without losing an arm and a leg.

The #1 thing you want to have on your person, an Anker Astro E5.  It lets you charge multiple devices, it’s not that heavy and the fact that you don’t have to worry about charging your netbook, Android or tablet is a lifesaver. Don’t tie yourself down with just one specific type of charger. CHARGE ALL THE THINGS! Plus, if you join the dark side and switch to an Android phone, it’s really easy to replace the battery. So keep an extra charged battery inside the Anker bag and you’ll have a way to quickly switch out batteries or recharge when you have some down time.

Second thing you want to do is always use a local sim to place calls. It’s really easy to get a sim card for your phone and BAM, you can make calls without incurring those long distance fees. If you’re traveling to multiple countries it is really easy to lose those sims. So, keep any unused sims in your wallet. It’s the safest place because you won’t ever lose that item. If you are a bit clumsy with your wallet, that’s another issue for another post. Keep in mind, in Europe you can usually get one sim card to work in multiple countries. However, the rates are usually higher and honestly, even the local 7-11 should be able to sell you a very cheap, reliable sim card. If you have an Android phone, it gets even easier. Pop out, pop in. Make a call. 

Oh and we can’t forget the crazy rules on carrying liquids. Gone are the days when you could bring a whole bottle of your favorite shampoo or in my case, the right type of hair products to do my hair in a super-humid jungle environment. You can find lots of plastic bottles online in fancy cases that are made specifically for travelling or you could just visit your local .99 store and buy them in person. Seriously, a whole set of reusable plastic bottles could come out to less than $5.00 and instead of putting them in a fancy bag, just stick them in a gallon sized ziplock bag. You’re welcome, btw.

For me, the most overlooked item when traveling is water. When you travel, it’s no secret that your skin can get dehydrated and have you exiting the plane looking like the ghost of Christmas past. You could purchase lotions, creams or whatever else you think you need to keep your skin glowing or you could drink water. Bring in an empty water bottle through security, fill it up at the airport and drink every hour while in flight. You might not realize it, but that’s exactly when your body needs that extra water! Besides, you probably don’t drink enough during the day as it is. I know, I know, the whole getting up/going to the restroom. It will bother people if you don’t sit in an aisle seat, but whatever. Your skin will thank you.

Last, but not least are the blankets and pillows! For around $30 you usually find a blanket/pillow travel set. Small enough to fold and take on board with you in a carry-on. It’s worth it to bring these extras – even if you get one from the airline. I’m a mutant and I’m always cold (my boyfriend thinks it’s part of my undiscovered super powers) so when the airlines cranks up the air, I feel frozen. Having that extra blanket improves my mood and oh man, a pillow that fits my head…

Trust me, you’ll arrive refreshed and really happy.

There are a lot of things you can buy, but these are my go-to items when traveling and they’ve saved me a bunch of headaches.