Are you planning a solo vacation? I’m sure you have a checklist of items to bring, but I’m going to show you a few items worth being added to your checklist. These are items I’ve found to be absolutely essential while traveling solo, whether they’re for security, practicality, or simply comfort on long flights.
Which items are essential for a solo trip?
A cheap extra cellphone
A lot of people don’t consider this, and you definitely shouldn’t be one of them. Losing your cell phone (or worse, having it stolen) while on vacation is a terrible experience. That’s why you should bring a backup phone that you leave behind in your hotel room when you go out.
It could be a simple keypad phone, like an old Nokia-type, that you use for making calls in the event of an emergency. Better yet though would be a cheap, but modern Android (or iPhone) that has your credentials tied to it. So for example, if somebody steals your main Android phone, you can use your backup phone to log into Google Account Settings and either GPS locate your stolen phone, or remotely disable / wipe it.
A good travel mug
A proper travel mug doesn’t only keep hot beverages hot, but cold beverages cold. They’re useful for all sorts of reasons, whether you’re ordering Starbucks at the airport and pouring it into your travel mug for the airplane ride (or saving it for when you touch down), or keeping ice water as cold as possible while you’re kayaking under the hot sun.
In any case, you should consider a stainless steel travel mug (for sanitary reasons, stainless steel is most effective at keeping out germs), and it should also have multi-walled technology for maximum temperature control. Travel mugs like those here come in all sizes and price ranges, so browse a bit before settling on one.
Airline headphone adapter
So the cheap little plastic earbuds you get on airlines are absolutely terrible, and yet airlines often have two-pin headphone jacks. Times are slowly changing, and you’ll find more airlines being equipped with stereo jacks and even power jacks for ANC headphones, but this is still an exception and not the norm.
So to use your own headphones on an airline, you need an adapter. And while you can just buy a headphone adapter in the airport, typically they’re marked up quite a bit than the prices you’ll find online.
A hard shell suitcase
Yes, you might think it’s easier to stuff a soft suitcase full of clothes, and you’d be right. But someday you’ll get caught in the pouring rain while lugging your canvas suitcase, and everything inside will be completely soaked through (or very damp, at the least).
Do yourself a favour and get a hard shell suitcase, preferably with wheels.
A luggage tracker
These are like little GPS chips you can put inside your luggage, and typically there will be a companion app you can download on your phone. So if ever the airline “misplaces” your luggage, you can launch the app on your phone and literally direct the airline to finding your luggage.
They range from around $25 to upwards $100, but are definitely worth the investment if you’re at all worried about your luggage becoming lost.
These might seem weird, but they’re totally worth it. Many airlines have been criticized for cramming passengers into available space, and on long flights, it becomes really uncomfortable.
To prevent your legs and feet from falling asleep (you know, that pins and needle feeling), you can wear compression socks which aid in blood circulation, to prevent the symptoms of sitting too long.
A travel adapter
If you’re traveling abroad, you absolutely need an adapter for your electronic gadgets. I once made the mistake of plugging an electric shaver directly into a socket while abroad, and one minute later it burned out with a very audible ‘POP’ noise. Research what electrical sockets are used in the country you’ll be visiting, and buy the appropriate adapters.
At the end of the day, whether your next trip is backpacking around Asia or an ocean bound cruise vacation, keep the above items in mind and you can’t go too far wrong.