Essential travel must haves for travel overseas

Essential travel must haves for travel overseas

April 22, 2023 0 By travelfromaustralia
essential travel packing list to travel overseas

Travelling to Europe for the first time in fifteen years (and the first time with kids) really had us thinking long and hard about the essential travel must haves for travel overseas. In our Australian summer of 2022/23, we took our boys (and us) on an epic adventure to Europe for Christmas. We travelled to Finland (Lapland for Christmas, Ranua, Kivijarvi, Helsinki and Oulu), Tallinn, on a Scandinavian tour, The Netherlands and Paris. Even though we were on a winter adventure in sub zero temperatures, we had to pack conservatively and every cm in our bag was precious.

Travel Must Haves

Regardless of where you are going on holidays, there will always be a list of essentials for travelling. I have included my list of non-negotiable, travel must haves, for any trip, anywhere in the world. While most of these items are ‘un-fun’, whether you’re travelling for an extended time, being conservative with your money, travelling with kids, these travel must haves will be game changers!

travel must haves

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Universal travel adapters and charging options

We live in a digital world and whether it be phones, watches, photography equipment or rechargeable headtorch, we all need to charge something while we travel! The first thing you need for any equipment to be charged is a universal travel adapter. We like the Saunorch universal adapter for its fast charging and that it has a number of ports including USB, USB-C as well as the AC socket.

Having a solar charger is also super handy for travelling. While they are not always necessary (if you’re staying somewhere you can charge your electricals), they are handy. Weighing approximately 500g, the Blavor Solar Charger has five panels, wireless charging capabilities and a built-three mode flashlight.

We always travel with a power bank, whether it is for travelling domestically or internationally. There are huge range of power banks available and the one you choose really depends on what ports you need for your devices. You can find a great selection of power banks by clicking here.

Washing clothes when travelling

Dreambly Sheets – the Dreambly Laundry Sheets are a nicely packed, easy to carry (and pack), tidy package of sheets (similar to baby wipes) that you put in the washing machine with your dirty washing. Simply pull a sheet out and put it in with the load of washing before turning it on. If you have a light load, you could even use half a sheet. I used to take washing powder with me (or buy it if we stayed somewhere for an extended stay) but this is a far more simple strategy, no mess and no risk of being questioned for having white powder in your luggage – this did happen to me once and it was very stressful!

Click here to buy your Dreambly Laundry Sheets!

Pegless Clothesline – whether you are planning to wash at a laundromat or do some handwashing in your room, the pegless clothesline is so good! It is lightweight, doesn’t require pegs, has hooks at each end on elastic and can be shortened as required as each segment comes apart. Most hotels will have coat hangers or a shower rail to hang things, but I also found myself using the pegless clothesline just to hang things for airing. After all, you don’t want to spend your entire holiday washing, so you do tend to wear clothes for longer than you would do at home before washing. For our family, we could get away with one clothesline but two clotheslines is much better.

Click here to buy your Pegless Clothesline!

Data while travelling in a foreign country

Holafly eSim We live in a digital world and therefore if you can be online while you are travelling, it not only allows you to do everything you need to do from wherever you are, but it is also lightweight – no need to lug around all the Lonely Planet guide books like we used to.

With our Holafly eSim we had unlimited data for 45 days. We never had any issues accessing the internet, emails, social media, internet banking, Google Maps. It made researching hotels, places to eat, accessing online tickets of just generally looking things up, so much easier! No need for internet cafes or relying on accommodation having WiFi.

PLEASE NOTE! You must have an unlocked phone to use the Holafly eSim. Honestly though it would be worth seeing if you can borrow an old one from someone or buying a cheap one so that you can use it when you travel.

To get 5% OFF your Holafly eSim, use the code: PARKERSFROMAUS.

Click here to buy your Holafly eSim! – don’t forget the discount code!

Security while travelling abroad

We always travel with padlocks on our bags. We have a set of combination locks that are all set to the same combination making it easy for everyone to get in and out of the bags as they need. Obviously we know that someone could cut the locks (and this does happen, although, thankfully, not to us yet!), but we also know that it is one thing that might get in the way of someone who is trying to break into our bags.

Additionally, security cables have come in handy so many times and every time we use them I think, thank goodness we have them! We particularly use these when we are travelling on public transport and cannot be with our luggage the whole time, or when we are in a public place where we think there could be a security risk. We use the security cables to either secure our bags together, making it more difficult to swipe a bag on the run, or secure them to a baggage rail on a train or bus, for example.

We love our anti-theft bum bag/ hip pack/ fanny pack (whichever name you use) which has security cables through the band. It is a great “bag” option for safety and security when you are trying to be more discreet walking through a busy city or local markets while keeping your wallet, phone and keys safe. The anti-theft bum bag is lightweight and not bulky making it easy to also wear under a jacket. It can be worn around the waist or across the body and you can wear the pack at the front, back or on the side, whichever is most comfortable to you!

Passport Wallet

In those stressful moments where you’re boarding a plane or trying to get somewhere on time, you are always more likely to question where you put things. In all of my international travel experience, I have always travelled with a passport wallet or document wallet, as some people call them. When travelling with children, I am all the more convinced that you cannot travel without one. Keeping all passports together in a passport wallet, all the time, certainly alleviates the stress of potentially lost documents.

Money and banking while travelling overseas

If you’re a fan of the Barefoot Investor then you are probably all over ING accounts anyway, but for those of you who are not, get yourself an ING Orange Everyday account set up for your travels! We were a bit slow on the uptake of this but managed to get an application in exactly one week prior to travelling and the cards (fortunately) arrived on the day we left home to travel to Melbourne for our early morning flight the next day. I am so glad we got them in time, we saved over $350 in fees.

The Orange Everyday accounts give rebates on all ATM transactions in Australia and also internationally up until August 2023. They also rebate all international transaction fees on tap and go purchases – this is where we saved the big bucks! I couldn’t believe it, every time I looked at my statements, I would see a fee and then rebate immediately after. I almost didn’t believe it was going to work that way, until I saw it.

Additional essential travel points of interest

Luggage storage while travelling

Luggage Hero – When travelling from place to place, sometimes you need to be able to leave luggage somewhere safe before boarding your next train or getting a flight or just while you wander around a city for example. We arrived in Paris early afternoon and were meeting up with our friends when they finished work at 6:30pm, giving us a full afternoon in Paris to explore….but not with all of our luggage! We arrived in at Gare Du Nord and wanted to visit the Sacre Coeur so found one of the many, Luggage Hero locations and booked online with them. It was so easy, so efficient and felt completely safe and secure doing it. It was reasonably priced and allowed us to enjoy our afternoon with carrying everything around.

If you are needing luggage storage while travelling I would definitely recommend looking up Luggage Hero to see if there is somewhere nearby that would be useful. Be sure to check out the reviews for each place, that may help you choose between a number within a similar area.

Saving money on booking activities and experiences

We had Get Your Guide saved in a tab on my phone while we travelled. Every time we were going somewhere we had to pay for entry, we looked at the cost of the price at the door and also looked at Get Your Guide to see whether their tickets were any cheaper and/or enabled us to ‘skip the queue’. You would be surprised how many times we got cheaper tickets doing it this way. Our tickets were then online and we just showed them upon entrance and typically they were scanned for their reference.

Using Get Your Guide, you can buy tickets for entry into museums, activities, experiences, tours as well as transport. Don’t underestimate the savings from buying travel cards that last for a specific number of days.

Although we mostly use Get Your Guide, Klook, is another online business where you can buy discounted tickets and worth looking up if you can’t find what you need on GYG!

Travel reviews

Finally, I would recommend you read travel reviews on Trip Advisor if you’re unsure about something, but, I say this with a warning! If you’re going to start reading reviews, read lots. Don’t just read the first of second and read them carefully and what I mean by that is, read between the lines! There are some people on there who just love to whinge and you can hear that in their writing – be careful of those ones and don’t be put off by them. People are quick to whine about things and be negative. Less people take the time to write positive comments so I would say that if there are a number of positive comments, the place they are reviewing, was worth their time and effort to do so.

Ultimately though, if you want to do something or go somewhere, even if there are not-so-positive reviews, take the plunge and do it – your perspective on something or how much you want to go somewhere, will often be very different to others.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.