Run, Developer, Run!

Some lesser known items good to have in your travel/emergency bag

Portable travel bag Thumbnail

Portable travel bag

Portable travel bag

I travel a lot. Like a lot lot. I’ve prepared an achievement list to define “a lot”:

  • ✔ Visit more than 10 countries (I’m currently at 15)
  • ✔ Spend at least 1/3 time abroad (in a years perspective)
  • ✔ Fly without ticket back (round trip is for rookies)
  • ✔ Buy plane tickets in the morning, fly in the afternoon
  • ✔ Get weeks planned trip extended to a month
  • ✔ Compelled to stay overnight because of a missed flight

Because of that, I need to have my travel-survival bag always ready and with me. As unfortunate recent events taught more people to be more prepared for unforeseen travel, let me share some lesser known items that are good to always have in your bag.

Note that we are not talking about an apocalypse bug-out bag (I might tell you about mine another time), but a regular travel/city/hiking bag that is intended to make life easier and more comfortable. Everything I mention here is very light and fits in a medium-size organizer.

So in addition to powerbank, usb charger, protein bars, napkins, cash, and hand sanitizer I recommend you to get:

  1. To hold all stuff I mention here, any travel organizer will do. I've bought one from BUBM a long time ago still happy with it. Recommend S-size, single or double layer depending on your needs.
    Portable travel bag Thumbnail

    Portable travel bag

    Portable travel bag
  2. Victorinox Swiss Card. It is like a Swiss Army Knife, but more portable (fits in a wallet). Using that for 20+ years, replaced only once. It is so good. Portable scissors, knife, pin, and tweezers (all airport-security friendly) are indispensable in personal hygiene and fixing stuff. Pen once saved me a lot of trouble at customs.
    Victorinox Swiss Card Thumbnail

    Victorinox Swiss Card

    Victorinox Swiss Card
  3. For more advanched repairs I recommend foldable Swisstech pliers+screwdriver. Also airport security friendly.
    Swisstech pliers Thumbnail

    Swisstech pliers

    Swisstech pliers
  4. When you travel a lot, stuff tends to break. And when you are far away from home even minor problems could get you into big trouble. A broken zipper on the jacket can make you cold and sick, broken shoes limit your movement, broken glasses can make you miss flight info or train number. A torn backpack can make you lose things. So get a super glue, clear scotch tape, and most importantly wire zip ties. All of these are lightweight but might save you one time. Also, super glue is safe to use on wounds. Just saying.
    Cable Zip Ties Thumbnail

    Cable Zip Ties

    Cable Zip Ties
  5. Also I've got a really small sewing kit for torn clothes/backpack cause. Hopefully will never need to use it on wounds.
  6. Last, always handy for quick repairs are paperclips and safety pins.
  7. One of the lesser known things I am hoarding for the apocalypse, (also useful in daily life) are good earplugs. You can’t overestimate the importance of good sleep, and in a lot of places, sleep is only possible with help of earplugs. Honeywell Laser Lites saved me even in loudest hostels. Also from infants on planes.
    Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs Thumbnail

    Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs

    Honeywell Laser Lite Earplugs
  8. Another universally useful thing is alcohol pads. Can disinfect, degrease (before gluing), make electronic connectors work again, and clean surfaces or small cuts. Very portable fits in a wallet. Cheap and available in any pharmacy. Do I need to say more?
    Alcohol Wet Wipes Thumbnail

    Alcohol Wet Wipes

    Alcohol Wet Wipes
  9. Hand sanitizer can never replace the feeling of cleanliness of hands washed with soap. And there are lot of places with running water but no soap. So bring portable soap flakes.
    Portable soap flakes Thumbnail

    Portable soap flakes

    Portable soap flakes
  10. Fortunately I've not been in an apocalyptic situation, but having water cleaning pills really saved me from thirst a couple of times. It does not take up any space, but make tap or spring water drinkable. The taste will be bad, but at least you will not get sick.
  11. Also compressed towel pills come in handy a couple of times. The ones that expand to cloth napkin when getting wet.
    Compressed towels Thumbnail

    Compressed towels

    Compressed towels
  12. Lifehack. Sometimes clothes and shoes can get the smell from sweat but you have no access to laundry. Instead of using deodorant, get a textile odor remover and fill a portable dispenser. Works like magic.
  13. Lifehack number two. In some places like airports, tea/coffee might be very expensive, but hot water is cheap or even free. So I have a couple of teabags and coffee packets just in case. Also, camomile tea can help with tooth or stomach/gum pain.
  14. In case you can't brush your teeth, there is special chewing gum. Normal chewing gum will do as well. And a small bottle of Listerine. Listerine is also good for disinfecting wounds.
  15. Speaking about meds I will probably say nothing new. Get your prescriptions, different grades of painkillers, stuff for the stomach, allergy stuff (also good for running nose) some basic anti-inflammatory stuff, and meds for cold and cough. Cough drops can also help in case of thirst, some painkillers in case you want to bathroom badly. Also, don’t forget to pack a lot of patches and patches for blisters.
  16. Worst problem that could happen is tooth pain. Recently I've found (and tested) gel for tooth pain, which was a lifesaver. Ask for Orajel (or local analog) in your pharmacy. Flush with Listerine first.
  17. Vitamins could help from getting tired and getting sick. Don't know if true or a placebo.
  18. Ziplock bags and regular plastic bags. You never know when you need to carry extra stuff.
  19. Also for dirty/clean clothes drawstring nylon bags are more tidy and practical. Also good for the environment as they are reusable!
    Drawstring bags Thumbnail

    Drawstring bags

    Drawstring bags
  20. Speaking about cables to charge and sync a variety of devices it is smart to get a set of adapters for every port. BUDI is a conveniently packed set of USB-A/micro/lightning adapters and Type-C cable. In addition to a smart and compact design, it has a built-in card reader and slots for 6 microSD cards allowing you to hold 1.5TB of useful data, and 2 Sim cards in case you need to replace your current one during visiting another country.
    BUDI Thumbnail

    BUDI

    BUDI
  21. When traveling, long wait times are unavoidable. So don't forget USB drives or microSD cards with books, movies, or youtube shows that will make pass the time. You can put some useful information there as well.
  22. Also I have USB drive with a bootable Debian and some soft installed. So If I have access to a computer I can boot from my drive, instead of using trojan-ridden shared environment.
  23. People can underestimate how problematic dust or sand could be. A dusty port can prevent the device from charging, dusty device can overheat. Had this problem, so now I always take a small dust brush with me.
    Dust brush Thumbnail

    Dust brush

    Dust brush
  24. You never become pro, without a backup smartphone. The smartphone is too important and too breakable to leave it to a chance. Because losing it could be a catastrophe.
  25. Speaking about losing a smartphone - when looking into maps or taking photos there's a chance that the phone will fall or be stolen from your hand. The lanyard helps to secure it. If your favorite phone case doesn't have a hole for lanyard, buy a universal one and use it only when needed.
    Universal phone lanyard (works with any case) Thumbnail

    Universal phone lanyard (works with any case)

    Universal phone lanyard (works with any case)

Hope it was useful. Safe travels!



Contact

Follow

Me on Twitter and Github

We have RSS!

© 20xx

Hosted on Cloudflare Pages, which is awesome!