You’re packed, you’re pumped, you’re ready to roll – all systems go for an extended romp around the world. But hold your horses for a minute – have you actually got what you really need? Especially when it comes to long-haul travel, being prepared is essential.[related_articles]62903,30113,63689[/related_articles]
All well and good to have the basics covered, but what about the true essentials? Here’s a faithful AWOL hack-list with nine of the most crucial additions to any long-haul kit.[listicle]
The Right Weight
Are you the kind of traveller who breaks into nervous sweats in the check-in line over excess baggage? Whether you do or don’t, consider locking down your heft well before any terminal transits, and leave nothing to surprise with a neat, lightweight digital luggage weight. Check-in rigmarole just got a little less jittery.
As stealthy as the engines are on today’s fleet of spruce A380s and Dreamliners, you’re probably still in for some degree of sonic discomfort (like when seated immediately next to a bawling newborn). For smooth in-flight noise control, hook yourself up with a primo headset – noise cancelling is the only way to go, and don’t forget the sound-on-the-ground either. Keep your long-haul travel comfortable.
Keep a couple of disposable earplugs handy for noisy late-night locales, and the ubiquitous snoring symphony if you happen to be bunking hostel-style.
Who doesn’t love a long-haul read? In-flight entertainment is all well and good, but tuning out to your favourite novel or long form works can make the difference between a good transit and a smoother one. Load your travel guides and destination-related fiction onto a multi-purpose, space saving iPad, Kindle or Kobo (or, if you’re a purists/techno-laggard, an old school paperback or two, but remember point #1!).
Eyeballs remain the ultimate lenses, but for posterity and instant share-ability, you’ll want to make sure you’ve packed a sufficient capturing device to remember your trip forever. Digital SLRs can prove a little chunky for the lightweight traveller, so consider something compact. The Fuji X-Pro1, for example, provides a perfect blend of convenience, stealth, and image quality. Or, you know, just use your smartphone.
It might be a digital world, but nothing captures the moment like the stream-of-consciousness scrawlings from your travel-intoxicated mind. If it worked for Robyn Davidson and Jack Kerouac, it’ll work for you too. Invest in a solid pen – a neat Visconti or LAMY, perhaps – as well as a heavy duty Moleskine to keep those chits and riffs together in one collection.
Cocktails (We’re Serious)
A travel necessity? Absolutely. Every moment abroad is a cause for celebration, but not everywhere on earth has a well-stocked bar. Equip yourself with one or two of these neat pre-mixed cocktails from Everleigh Bottling Co, and be the bar.
The Ultimate Toiletry Kit
It’s the simple comforts that make all the difference on long haul transits and treks. As well as basics, here’s what you need:
- Hand sanitiser: For sweaty, tropical, or germy occasions, especially where the water isn’t the finest purity, a little hand sanitiser goes a long way (doubly so if you happen to wear contact lenses).
- Eye mask: Who cares if you look like a human fly to the people sitting next to you? Catching winks on the road can be tricky, but they’ll come thick and fast with thanks to one of these ever-handy numbers.
- Duct tape: You might be surprised how handy this stuff can be on the road, from fixing leaky windowsills, broken electronic parts, torn luggage – you name it – duct tape has got your back when things go amiss, and you need a little sturdy reinforcement. Never leave home without it.
Music, people: we need it, and your trip needs a soundtrack. It’s all well and good to zone out into your own private sonicscape, but what about those magical communal moments when beats are a must? Pack a lightweight, yet powerful portable speaker system and plug in you devices on the go for maximum party and sonic inspiration.[/listicle] [related_articles]64847,64775,64448[/related_articles]
Cam Hassard is an international penman, sax-wielder and rogue wayfarer who writes for Junkee, Carryology, Huckberry, Caddie, Fairfax Media, Carryology, Intrepid, Peregrine Adventures and Europe Up Close. He’s eaten ant salad in Laos, hauled trucks from NYC to Vegas, and destroyed himself on the Camino de Santiago. Originally from Melbourne, he currently calls Berlin home.