Looking for a little something to help you on your next adventure? Need a considerate but cheap gift for someone who likes travel ? Just want to take a small step towards fulfilling those travel dreams of yours, one day soon?
Check out this list of ten super useful items for international travel! After two years on the road, these are the items I find myself missing when I forget to pack them; they’re so useful that I usually end up buying them again on the road. These would all make great budget-friendly gifts for a traveler.
Hanging Luggage Scale
Do you find yourself struggling to weigh your suitcase on your bathroom scale, wondering if the measurement is really accurate? Do you make a habit of flying low-cost carriers which strictly enforce their luggage limits? Ever been hit with an at-the-gate charge for excessive luggage?
A hanging luggage travel scale is the solution to your problems! Super small, light, and packable, a luggage scale is a great addition to the bag of any traveler, from the weekender to the seasoned backpacker (see my ultralight packing list here).
These little gadgets come in both analog and digital varieties. You simply hold the scale in your hand, and hang your bag off the hook. Also works great for knowing how many kilos of laundry you have.
Plugs are different all across the world! This is a fact that surprises many first-time travelers, but can catch even a seasoned veteran off-guard (I left my converter on my desk during my current trip, and had to buy an overpriced one in the Barcelona airport).
Amazon is full of universal converters. You can get one as low as $6, or if you want the comfort of several hundred more customer reviews, grab this one for $13.
A powerful but underrated tool, the travel towel can make the difference between a happy camper or a dripping-wet tantrum. You never know when you might need a towel, and a small but absorbent microfiber towel is sure to be appreciated by any traveler, hiker, or swimmer.
Budget-conscious backpackers will appreciate this item as well, since some hostels charge for towel rentals.
(Just try and keep an eye on it — I’ve lost three of these!)
First Aid Kit
The best first-aid kit is one you put together yourself. But for the less OCD types amongst you, there are plenty of cheap prepaid kits on Amazon. If you need special medicine (such as antimalarials or any prescription medicines), be sure to supplement your kit.
I may some day make a post sharing what’s in my first aid kit, but until then, use your own best judgement.
Hand Sanitizer and Clorox Wipes
Planes are teeming with germs. Just imagine: hundreds of people, coming and going from all over the world, locked in an enclosed space for hours on end. You may as well be in a petri dish. You can limit your exposure by using Clorox wipes on your seat, tray table, TV and armrests. I also like to bring some hand sanitizer for use on the plane and at my destination. I like the kind with the jelly wraps, so you can easily keep it on your keys or your backpack.
I love keeping things nice and organized when I’m in an airport, and a passport wallet is just the thing. These puppies come in all shapes and sizes. Although you CAN get one for under $10 (and I’ve included that below), I own this Visconti Leather Passport Wallet ($23) and I absolutely love it. I get a lot of compliments on this and have been very happy with the quality over two years of heavy use. So I’ll recommend that one.
I don’t bother with the RFID-blocking technology, but many wallets do incorporate it.
You always need extra juice for your phone. You can get a 3,000 maH to a 5,000 maH charger for less than $10 — one to one and a half charges for most modern phones. These things are tiny too, which makes them easy to pack. The only downside to traveling with an extra phone battery is that they can sometimes appear suspicious to luggage scanners.
Long-haul flights are bad for the human body. It’s just not natural to be sitting in that position for that long, at that altitude. Prolonged air travel is actually a contributing factor to pulmonary embolism. A good way to help mitigate this risk is to wear compression socks on your flights. These slowly apply pressure to your legs and help alleviate the swelling in the legs associated with prolonged air travel.
Nothing can make or break your travel experience like a good pair of headphones. Even $10 can go a long way — as long as you buy them back home, and not from a sketchy asian street market. The best-looking and worst-sounding headphones of my life have been bought in foreign countries. The stuff you buy in the West is usually pretty solid quality.
I used to be a big audiophile — there’s no denying the allure of a good pair of earbuds with crisp sound and excellent bass. But after losing or breaking several pairs on my travels, I’ve accepted that average quality is totally alright.
I prefer the in-ear models, to help block exterior sound. They are also much more portable than cans Headphones can help drown out crying babies or amorous hostel neighbors. As such, I never leave home without one, often two pairs.
I’m just messing with ya, there’s nothing really special about travel locks. A regular, seventh-grade-gym combo lock will work just fine. I usually travel with two locks — one small keylock, and one large combo lock. The keylock can be used on your backpack (if you want), and it comes in handy in for hostels or hotels where the hole on the safe is too small to accommodate a combo lock.
If you are a more upscale traveler you don’t need this, but backpackers definitely should always travel with a lock (or two).
There Ya Go!
Ten useful travel items, all under $10 (mas o menos). If you found this list useful, please share it on Facebook or Pinterest! Do you have a suggestion for another good budget travel item along these lines? Drop it in the comments!!
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