You have already got acquainted with the list of things you do not need in vacation, though they always manage to make their way into our suit-cases. Now let’s see what should be in the luggage of every person, no matter if he is going to the civilized Europe or the Amazon jungle. If you are an experienced traveler then perhaps these pieces of advice may seem trivial to you, but the main part of beginner travelers goes on vacation stuffing their suit-cases with unnecessary rubbish while leaving the most important things at home.
Of course, no one goes on vacation without money, but many people started to rely too much on the bank cards without realizing that they too have their shortcomings.
The card can be swallowed by an ATM, it can be lost or if a shop assistant in some indigenous shop performs an illegal operation then the card is immediately blocked. Besides, a fairly good amount of cash may be required in the airport, border control staff may ask you to show cash on the basis of approximately 50 euro for every day you plan to stay. The fact that you have already been checked for the financial sustainability by the Consulate is not considered by them and a statement from the bank will not do either – only cash. And of course, besides large notes it is sensible to have smaller change with which one can pay for WCs, buy a chocolate-bar from a machine, etc.
2. Credit Card
Yes, even though you have taken with you a significant amount of cash, credit card would not be out of place. Using it has a number of advantages: you’ll save on the currency exchange, you won’t have carry lots of coins in your pockets, which you will not be able to exchange later on. The only precaution would be to get a credit card specifically for the travel and not to pay with the one, which you generally use and get your salary to, because there is a high number of fraud cases with plastic cards in the developing countries.
3. Copies of all documents
This is something that everyone leaving abroad is told and nevertheless the Consulates constantly have to deal with tourists who have absolutely no ID. Let’s repeat this one more time: before you travel make copies of all documents and tickets and carry them with you while leaving the originals in the safe of the hotel.
4. Swiss army knife
A small pen-knife will be of use not only while hiking but also in a five-star hotel. It can be used in a number of cases – peeling fruits, opening a bottle of wine, clipping nails and even tightening the screws on your suit-case. Generally speaking – this is a very useful thing. It is much more useful than an iron or a small boiler. Only make sure you don’t put it in your carry-on luggage otherwise the security personnel at the airport may mistake you for a terrorist.
5. First-aid kit
It’s not worth putting the all the medicaments you have at home into your suit-case but some medicaments should be taken by all means. Abroad you can only buy aspirin and vitamins without prescription. A standard set of medicaments for vacation generally contains activated charcoal/carbon, No-Spa, Aspirin, stomach pills and band-aids. And of course if you have any chronic illnesses then don’t forget to take all the necessary pills as well. It is not worth taking antibiotics though, if you get sick enough to need them it is better to use your travel insurance and visit a doctor.
6. Good telephone
Many of us, beware of skilled indigenous pickpockets, leave their expensive mobile telephones home and take an old Siemens C35, which they’ve kept for a long time, so that they do not get upset if it is lost. But it is not possible to access internet from this phone while internet access even with a very expensive roaming can be very useful while travelling. Finding a free Wi-Fi abroad is generally not an issue especially in Western Europe. Thus if you have a good telecommunication tool you can find out what the weather forecast looks like, check the departure timetable, read about possible sightseeing tours and save on expensive international calls by simply sending an ICQ message to your family . There is no need to mention that the GPS navigation is also quite useful.
7. Adaptor 220V
Not everyone pays attention to the fact that there can be a different standard of electrical sockets in the country of your travel and you will not be able to plug in your mobile telephone charger into a British socket even with the help of your Swiss pen-knife. Therefore, it is important that you buy an adaptor in advance as afterwards you may be looking for hours for it in an unfamiliar city. Anyway if you have run into the problem of adapting your mobile telephone charger to the socket it is the best to start enquiring upon an adaptor at the reception of your hotel. They may have it or at least they will be able to give you a hint as to where to look for one.
The necessity of a laptop in travel is an arguable question. On one hand it makes your luggage heavier and does not let your eyes, which are already tired from work, to rest. On the other hand it is extremely useful in travels. It keeps you entertained on board of the plane and in case the weather is bad you can watch a movie. Besides that, it is much more convenient to access Internet with the help of your laptop rather than mobile phone. In fact, it has only one disadvantage – its weight. But if you travel often then you can buy a compact and a cheap netbook.
To take a guidebook with you or not is also a difficult question. If you like following the standard tourist routes then by all means it makes sense to save a room in your suitcase for a thin book with the description of the places of interest. If you are a well-experience traveler and prefer getting acquainted with the city in your own way then the guidebook is an extra weight for you. In any case buying a guidebook is not an issue practically in any city of touristic significance in Europe.
10. Common sense
Mainly our compatriots leave their heads at home when travelling. Of all mentioned things above this is probably the most important one. If you have a head on your shoulders and everything is fine with your common sense then independent from what you have left at home and what you have taken with you your trip would be just great.