Essential travel items for a long-term trip

When planning a long-term trip, you already start weeks ahead thinking about what (not) to pack! Must-haves are a good backpack, clothes and toiletries. But then you start thinking about the details. You start to wonder which articles really are essential. Taking along anything that might come in handy is just not possible.

The following 12 articles definitely make one`s life easier while travelling. The fact that they take up little space, is certainly an additional advantage.

Very handy, small-sized pocket-knife

    1. Pocket knife

This is one of the most essential items we carry along and which we use almost daily! How would you peel that delicious mango or orange on a park bench without a pocket knife? Or how about cutting your veggies during that dream road trip? Our advice: buy a small, sharp pocket knife with just the most essential functions; you won’t regret it!

    1. Sheet sleeping bag

A sheet sleeping bag is ideal (to sleep in) when you don’t fully trust the bedding in your hostel. It’s very compact and lightweight. But besides using it for the obvious, you can also  put it to use as a picnic blanket. On the beach it is quite functional as well for a number of reasons: it doesn`t take as much space as a beach towel, it is very comfy to lie on and it dries super fast.
Where to buy:

Our re-usable Platypus water bottle

    1. Platypus water bottles

Flexible, foldable and firm? That sounds like the ideal water bottle when backpacking and that’s exactly it! During our travels we use 2 flexible one liter Platypus bottles (see photo). Advantages: when empty they take up no space at all and you can even roll them up into a tiny package of 38 grams 🙂 When they’re (partly) full, they’re still very flexible and fit in anywhere. These Platypus bottles are very sturdy and are made for roadtravelers: we’ve been using them on a daily basis since August and they will definitely last at least another three months.
Shop for these at Bever or Amazon

    1. Pad lock

A pad lock comes in handy when you want to secure your bag against unwelcome visitors. Many hostelroom doors can also be locked with one of these. It’s much safer than the hostel key of which a spare key lies around somewhere.
Where to buy:

    1. Cable lock

A cable lock is ideal when you’re travelling by bus and would like a peaceful snooze during the night. With the handy cable lock you are able to securely attach your backpack and… sleep tight!
Where to buy:

Silicone coffee cups and filter, and our spork

    1. Coffee filter + cup

We both love to start our day with a nice cup of coffee. Seeing that neither of us are huge fans of instant coffee, we prefer to make filter coffee! During our travels, we found this neat coffee filter and corresponding cups. This is especially ideal when going on a road trip. All you need is grounded coffee, hot water and filter bags (we even used toilet paper sometimes :)) and you’re all set!
Where to buy: or Bever

    1. Spork

This all-in-one knife, fork and spoon will surely come in handy when you would like to prepare a sandwich, enjoy a pasta or scooping a bowl of salad.
Where to buy: or a Hardwareshop

Watertight camera/smartphone bag, with audio plug

    1. Watertight camera bag

Indeed, most of the cameras and smartphones available are not yet water resistant. Depending on your destination, chances are (high) that you would like to take some underwater pictures. Precisely for that reason, this watertight camera bag was invented. With this bag you can be sure to make some nice underwater pics, while your phone stays completely dry. We have tried and tested it on none other than the Galapagos Islands, and it was sure worth it!
Where to buy:

    1. DEET

Mosquitoes carry diseases you would rather avoid. Therefore protecting yourself day and night in a mosquito region is absolutely essential. In warm, humid areas, mosquitoes are active 24 hours a day! DEET also works against other pesty insects. Our tip: buy mosquito repellent with a high percentage of DEET; you’ll come across more aggressive mosquitoes than you’re used to.
Available at pharmacy and

Our best buddies: day bags

    1. Foldaway/collapsible day bag

These are our best buddies during this trip. Very handy to take along on a hike or going on a city tour and needing nothing more than water and some sandwiches. Also great for doing shopping. Shop for your own favorite anywhere!

    1. Diarree inhibitor

We really hope you won’t need them, but when you do contract food poisoning, it’s better to have them at hand… Unfortunately, chances are you’ll need them sooner than you might have anticipated. However, we do recommend staying at your hostel till you are feeling better rather than using this medicine.
Available at pharmacies or supermarkets

    1. World adaptors

Why don’t they just have the same plug on every continent? This small device is indispensable. We will just mention one important reason for not travelling without it: recharging the battery of your smartphone!
Available at, pharmacies or possibly locally

You can find many handy travel essentials at (The Netherlands) or (rest of the world ;). Some of the items mentioned here can also be purchased at a drug store. Outdoor shops such as Bever or Decathlon also stock some of the items, but they are more expensive.

No comments

Leave a Reply