Travel Essentials


1. A pen: This is the single most indispensable thing for me when I travel. You never know when you'll need to fill out border declaration forms, copy down phone numbers, schedules, or addresses, or give your number to a sexy flight attendant*.

2. A crossword puzzle: Not only does a crossword work great for killing those minutes spent waiting for your bus to come, your food to come, or a late friend to arrive, but it also functions as a great notepad for phone numbers, addresses, schedules, todos, travel observations, and more. I always try to carry single sided crosswords when I travel just for this reason. Looking over the notes taken on the back of them when you return from your trip is always a hoot. (Oh, and I guess Sudorkus could work in a pinch.)

3. Reading material: For the waits that are longer than a few minutes, having a book/magazine/travel guide handy can greatly help pass the time. The one thing that is guaranteed* in travel is that you will always have down time. Paperbacks works great and can often be exchanged with other travelers you meet along the way.

4. Camera: I try to keep my camera handy while traveling, but not to the point of being one of those guys*. You never know when a good shot will present itself. I take pictures not only to remember my trip later, but also to share my travels with my friends and family (via this blog of course. Who actually looks at printed pictures anymore?).

5. Ear plugs: Those $.50 yellow thingies you squish up and jam in your ears can be a lifesaver for flights with crying babies, shared hostel rooms with snorers, or time when you just want to block everything out. I rarely go anywhere with a pair of these handy.

6. Spare change: Having a dollar or two of spare change can save lots of headaches when traveling. Many public transportation systems require exact change (or at least don't give change), vending machines are often the only choice for a quick meal before hopping on a bus, some fountains simply require having a wishing penny thrown in, and for the 11 people left in the world without a cell phone*, public pay phones rarely accept dollar bills.

7. Fork and spoon: While these don't lend themselves well to air travel*, they are great to have around when exploring new places. Often times when you are trying to travel on the cheap, the grocery store provides meals. Eating yogurt with a spoon is much easier than eating it with an expired driver's license. (Using your own utensils is also a great way to avoid sending more plastic to the land fill.)
Wednesday August 29 2007File under: travel, misc

Toggle Comments (8)comment?
on Thu 30th Aug, 2007 12:04 am PDT Joe said:
a well stocked ipod has always treated me right. both music and videos...and music videos...but yea that other stuff is cool too.
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on Thu 30th Aug, 2007 04:52 am PDT Nesbitt said:
I find imodium AD to be indispensable. Nothing's worse than...well you get the point.
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on Thu 30th Aug, 2007 07:36 am PDT cardboard said:
dont forget frozen mahi mahi patties, in a pinch you can put them in the sun for a few minutes and enjoy with fine helping of vegtables (ketchup).
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on Thu 30th Aug, 2007 07:40 am PDT Sean said:
I would add a good multipurpose tool, TP, and 30 feet of 550 cord. It's about the thickness of yard, but can hold 550 pounds. Make a clothes line, tie stuff up, tie a glowstick to the end and twirl it around in the dark to signal where to land, you name it!
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on Fri 31st Aug, 2007 03:35 pm PDT Emily said:
Great list. Now all I have to do is take your already compiled list when I plan for travel. Of course I would have to add about 50 more things: Clara's binkie, a drink, a cup, extra clothes for her, a Backyardigans DVD, another binkie.....
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on Mon 03rd Sep, 2007 04:20 am PDT I said:
they told me i would have to get a cell phone. i said "nihongo ga (i don't understand japanese)" and now i don't have to get one. also, i object to the bulk of a fork and spoon; i recommend the snowpeak titanium spork.
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on Tue 04th Sep, 2007 05:13 pm PDT Wren said:
Case in point: I was so glad to have my ear plugs handy as I was dragged to karaoke night in Laughlin, NV last night.
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on Fri 28th Dec, 2007 01:05 pm PST Wren said:
Another addition to the list: good shoes appropriate for the situation. (Tennis shoes on the beach just doesn´t cut it.)
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