My 8 travel essentials

packed suitcase

Whether I’m going away for two weeks or two days, there are some things I always, always pack.  Apart from the standard things like clothes, slippers and so on, here are my travel staples:

1. My camera:  I love my blog and pictures are a big part of it.  Fortunately, I love taking photographs too and am always reading up on how to get better at it so for those reasons, my camera is absolutely essential for any trip I take.  At the moment, I have a point-and-shoot but as I’ve learnt, a lot of good photography has to do with the photographer not the camera so I don’t mind my small, amateur camera.  It has taken a lot of beautiful photographs for me so I am pretty grateful for it.

2. My phones:  I have two phones right now.  The apple of my eye is my Samsung Galaxy Note which has a huge screen and an awesome camera.  I love the screen because it makes my time on Twitter,  Instagram and the internet in general more fun for me.  Also, as hard as it is for me to admit it, my Galaxy Note’s camera is better than my little point-and-shoot so I like having it on me.  I find myself taking pictures with first one then the other.  My Galaxy Note is pretty big so it’s a little ridiculous to hold  it up to your ear for calls which is why I have a second phone.  Ironically, although the second phone can go on the internet too, the screen is annoyingly small so I just use it for calls and text messages.

3. Chargers:  In today’s world, chargers are absolute necessities.  Besides, with my camera and two phones, one battery or the other is always dying so chargers are important.

4. Anti-malaria medicine:  Whenever I go out of Nigeria, I always take anti-malaria medicine with me because I’ve heard horror stories about people falling ill with malaria abroad, doctors thinking it’s one strange disease and the patient being quarantined and feeling miserable when they know they have an illness that a few tablets can cure.  I’d rather avoid that heartache so I always pack the medicine – just in case.

5. Painkillers:  Sometimes, paracetamol just doesn’t seem to take pain away and I never know if stronger painkillers can be bought across the counter or are even available in the country I’m in so I find it’s best to take mine with me when I travel.  Besides, asking for painkillers at a pharmacy in a non-English speaking country while you have a splitting headache would probably double one’s pain.  Best avoid it.

6. A notebook:  I’m a big stationery nerd.  I love notebooks and coloured pens and because I’m a writer, I always pack a notebook.  In fact, usually, I take two – a small one that fits into my handbag and a larger one that I put in my suitcase.  I jot down ideas and doodle in the small one and when I’m more settled like in a hotel room, I bring out the large notebook and write down my thoughts about my day or my trip so far.  Both notebooks are very helpful when the time comes for me to write my blog posts or newspaper articles  as my memory comes alive when I see my thoughts written down.

7. A novel:  I love to read which isn’t a surprise as most writers love to read.  I love the escape that books give me.  I guess I could read books on my Galaxy Note or get a Kindle but for me, there’s nothing quite like holding a book, feeling the paper between my fingers and turning the pages so I always take a book with me whenever I travel.

8. Cash:  Of course, most people have debit and credit cards these days but there have been many cases where your card doesn’t work.  I’ve been in situations like that a few times and the only thing that saved me from total embarrassment at those times was that I had a little cash on me.  For me, cash is queen 😉

Those are my 8 top things to take with me when I travel.  What are the things you absolutely must have with you when you travel?


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