Travel light. If you’re not sure, you don’t need it. This is just a basic list, it’s important to relax and not be bringing your stresses from home with you. Things will be different. If you think they are worse and it is annoying, then perhaps you should return home. If you are swimming it isn’t much use to be kicking and bucking in the water trashing about. You will tire quickly and possibly drown. When you get used to the water you can float by using very little energy.
This type of towel is great in every way. It dries really quick, easy to shake of sand if you are at the beach and light. A dark colour is always good.
Some kind of travel sheet or sleeping liner. Real useful for long bus journeys where the a/c or the nights can be cold. If you get a hammock it’s your bedding! Rocking back and forth once you learn the technique is one of the most satisfying ways to sleep.
This little item is handy. keep those nails shorter and it can double as something to cut wrappings or threads.
Really useful in warm countries. No socks so less dirty clothes! Great in the showers of the hostels as 100s of feet passing through every month isn’t what my feet were brought up to deal with.
E-Book Reader or Paperback Books
A slight luxury but travelling is a good time to read. Bringing a few paperbacks is good or that thick novel you have always wanted to read.
Learn to Swim
OK, this is not an item but it could be good to learn the basics before going to areas with beaches. One of my favourite ways to pass an hour is to go for a swim in the sea.
Learn Some of the Language
If you are going to an area where there is a predominate language it should be part of your planning to learn some of the language. It means you can talk to people who don’t know english and you wont need to go miming like a chicken shitting, with all the restaurant staff and owners around you trying to figure out what you want, just to get an egg.
Beware the money belt I say. They are good when you are moving from airport to hotel but if you are out and about they can be a problem as you end up putting too many things in them like your passport and all your cards. The hotels are usually safe and when researching a hostel, it should be part of the checklist when looking for a hostel. The few times I’ve been mugged they’ve always looked for a money belt, well I hope that’s what they were looking for!..
This is useful in the hostels where they have cages under your beds for your bags. A fellow backpacker got his nice camera robbed as he left the keys on his bed and when he was out and about his locker was emptied.
One time I was in hostel I ended up working out that one of the locals staying in the room, who hindsight told me stood out like a sore thumb, took down all my bank card details when I was having a shower which was obviously unbeknownst to me and a few days later 300 euros worth of stuff was bought in Paris with my card. At least he chose a good city to spend it in!
Bringing a smartphone is a choice. Do you want to escape from all the noise of your world at home. If you are going to bring one get a local sim card. A smart phone is the ultimate multi-tasker. It has a camera, map, Facebook, Whatsapp, the internet etc. The list is endless.