Nomad Starter Pack: What to Pack When You Travel

Every traveler has a moment where the dread of minimalizing their lives becomes a reality. We all want a back-up outfit but do we really need it? The hardest part is separating the things you want to bring from the things you'll actually end up using. Taking out the unnecessary wants is easier said than done trust me, my longest relationship is with my hair straightener, and it still pains me to leave it behind when I go backpacking. Moral of the story? Hair ties are your best friend. 

Of course, we should always leave a bit of room for some of the material things that give us joy, but there are a few essential items that you should be sure to never do without:

Travel Power Cube

There are a million names for this power adaptor, but Google will know what you mean. This power “cube” contains adaptors for every region around the world. It’s light, compact, and affordable. This will save you from any surprises when you get to your destination.

Unlocked phone

One of the worst things that can happen to you is showing up to a foreign destination only to find that your phone is incompatible with a local SIM card. This happens often because specific carriers only sell locked phones which require that you jump through hoops to unlock. This is a notoriously common practice among mobile phone carriers in the United States. To unlock your phone contact your service provider and they can unlock it for you - given that your phone has been paid off and your account is in good standing. Once you have that figured out, getting data abroad is affordable and easy to access in the airports. 

Extra Cash

Fees at ATM machines and cash exchanges can really add up, especially since a lot of countries outside of the United States rely heavily on cash, not debit or credit cards. If possible, look into opening an account with a bank that doesn't charge international ATM fees, that way you can skip the cash exchange altogether and use local ATM whenever the need arises. And always travel with a bit of extra cash on hand just in case.

Emergency Medicine and First Aid Kit

This might be a no-brainer but there have been one too many times that I have gotten sick abroad and forgotten my own medicine. Local pharmacies are helpful, but keep in mind that they might not be accessible in every country. Here are a few items that should be in every nomad’s medicine kit:

  • Ibuprofen (for colds and pains)
    • Antacids (for the street food that doesn’t go down so well)  

    • Benadryl (for those allergic reactions)

    • Insect Repellent (for obvious reasons)

    • Band-Aids/Plasters (for the boo-boos)

  • Passport Holder (with a pen)

Nomads are no strangers to immigration forms. A passport holder keeps the process of filling out forms simple. Having your boarding pass, passport and pen in one place saves you from digging through the black hole of your hand carry for your materials.

Pro-tip: Memorize your passport number! 

Now go ahead and pack your favorite top and leave some room for your skincare essentials...and safe travels.