Travel, travel tips

7 Items I Never Leave on a Trip Without

During my many different travels, I’ve dealt with my fair share of trips where I’ve forgotten some seriously important and not-so-important stuff. I’m not going to lie you to you; I still forget stuff. However, I’ve come to realize that I do bring some of the same items with me, no matter if I’m going backpacking, heading to a trip back home, or simply heading out on a day-trip.

Now, these things are not the super important, obvious items like your wallet, your car keys, or money. These items are things that a traveler may not think to bring but should for the sake of sanity and convenience.

1. Sunglasses

The best way to never lose your sunglasses is for them to always be on you, at least in my experience. Sunglasses can block UV rays, even if it isn’t sunny out. A hat can replace sunglasses if you are more the hat-wearing kind. I wear Native Eyewear’s polizarized lenses. Check out my review on!

Longs Peak hike, Colorado, USA

2. Lip Balm

I went snowboarding without lip balm once, and it will forever scar me as it was literally the worst time ever. So, I always bring chapstick and I try to bring chapstick with SPF.

3. Water Bottle (or Water Reservoir/Bladder)

This might seem obvious for seasoned travelers but I’ve noticed too many times that people will forget to bring water, especially beginner hikers and those who don’t travel often. Always bring water, either in a bottle or a bladder. When I’m not backpacking/hiking/running, I carry a Nalgene water bottle (I recommend the narrow mouth bottles). If I am backpacking, hiking, or running, I carry a CamelBak water bladder.

I stick my water bladder underneath my backpack’s ‘brain’ for easy retrieval in the backcountry. Taken somewhere along the Appalachian Trail, USA

4. Hand Sanitizing Gel

If you are going on a backpacking trip or venturing out into the public at all, you should carry hand sanitizer. I know some people have a deep dislike of hand santizing gel, but it is necessary to reduce your risk of infection and to greatly reduce spreading your germs if you are sick. Use hand sanitizer before eating and after bathroom time.

5. Protein or Granola Bar

I am a vegetarian so I can easily get low on protein if I don’t pay attention. Therefore, I always carry a protein bar to fulfill my protein count for the day and to cease the case of the’hangries’ at time of travel where I don’t have access to any other food. If you aren’t a protein bar fan, just bring a granola bar to keep hunger at bay during travel.

6. Phone Charger

My phone is so much more than my phone. It is my camera, my map, my boarding pass, and my music/podcasts/games. Therefore, I always bring my phone charger. I even bring my phone charger to a small trip to the post office because you never know what could happen. (P.S. I wrecked my car on a trip to the post office and my phone died!)

Found an outlet while backpacking in Hawaii, USA

7. Hair Elastic Ties

I have long hair and hair ties are a normal thing in my life. Have at least one back-up hair tie in case you lose the one in your hair or it breaks. However, I recommend to bring at least one hair tie for those that don’t even need to tie their hair up. Hair ties have acted as temporary fixes for gear during backpacking trips.

What do you never forget to bring no matter the trip?

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