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We’ve all been there; the dreaded feeling that we’ve left something behind as soon as we sit on the plane, or have forgotten to prepare for, or book, a certain activity.
Fear not fellow travel friends, for we bring you the ultimate A-Z of travel essentials to ensure you’re covered for all eventualities!
Rather than just regurgitate the information you may have seen elsewhere, we took to asking the APS team for their personal essentials, scoured Twitter for
funny useful hashtags and were totally inspired by Pinterest (new favourite pastime) to create some beautiful flat lays for you to enjoy.
Shall we begin..?
A is for Adaptors, Assistance
and Air sickness
Power sockets across the world vary greatly as you well know, so if you’re taking any electrical essentials, make sure you pack a travel adaptor so you’re not caught short.
If you need assistance in the airport or on the plane, make sure you have spoken to the airport/airline and any plans are put in place at least 48hrs before your flight; and make sure that if you suffer from air sickness, you have booked yourself a window seat, preferably over the wing, and have a snack at the ready to keep the sickness at bay.
B is for Bullet Journal
Think of a Bullet Journal as a diary, to do list and planner hybrid. They are great ways of jotting down quick snippets of information, a memory or a task to remember your trip by. And they look pretty cool too…!
C is for Chargers,
Camera and Companions
“Phone, check. Tablet, check, Laptop, check, Speakers, check. Chargers…. Oh No!” Sound familiar? Don’t fall short! (In saying that, you might enjoy being ‘cut off’ for a while…!)
We reckon a camera is a must unless you have a photographic memory that you can show others, whilst the companion is totally up to you; some of the team would prefer to share holiday experiences with someone rather than travel solo.
D is for Dry Shampoo*
This is not just a travel essential, it’s a life essential! Not only is it perfect if you don’t have the time to wash and blow dry your hair, it’s also great as an emergency deodorant and it’s great for your grip; spritz some on your hands before you go on your rock-climbing activity and you’ll be able to grip better.
E is for Ear Plugs
and Extension Lead
Ear Plugs* are a must, especially if you’re off on a long haul flight or are camping.
Extension Lead? Hear us out… Pack one of these bad boys and you’ll only need to remember one adaptor – everything else can be plugged into the extension lead. You’re welcome.
F is for Food and Face Wipes
Some of us can’t travel without taking food along for the journey, even if it is just a chocolate bar or a bit of cheese, you know, just in case we get peckish! (Remember how much we love to talk about and eat food?!)
Face Wipes are a godsend*; great for a quick refresh in the airport, on the plane, on the beach or after a sweaty night in a tent.
G is for Glasses,
Be it your sunnies or your reading glasses, both are equally frustrating to leave behind so make sure they are safely stored in your hand luggage.
Gum is essential after that in-flight nap or to stop you having ANOTHER churro….
H is for Hand Sanitiser
It goes without saying doesn’t it? Hand sanitiser isn’t just to use at festivals and hospitals, it should be a staple in anyone’s bag, no matter where they go. Keep it handy(!) when wandering the streets; those stray dogs may look cute enough to pet, but who knows what is lurking on those coats…poor things.
Headphones are another godsend on this list; use them to listen to calming music or watch a film if you’re a nervous flyer or pop them in if you simply don’t want to talk to anyone….not that we are advocating impoliteness…sometimes it’s just nice to be left to ourselves, right?
I is for Insurance
People tend to underestimate the importance of travel insurance, and many admit to not taking any out before they go away. If you fly frequently, it often works out cheaper to purchase a years worth of insurance, or see if your bank offers it as part of your account perks.
J is for Jabs
Off to an exotic climate? Make sure you have done your homework and know if you need to have any injections before you depart; do this in plenty of time as some injections need to be had at various times prior to your departure date (and save for them if you’re on a budget).
K is for Kindle
In this new digital age we now find ourselves in, the trusty book is being
sadly slowly replaced by Kindles or the like. Why? Convenience; Why lug two or three chunky books around when you can can store hundreds of best-sellers in a small, lightweight tablet* that you can use anywhere?
L is for Licence
Your drivers licence that is – especially if you plan on hiring a car, or want to be added as an additional driver. It’s also handy to always have a second form of identification on you in case of emergencies, such as a lost passport or simply to prove your identity elsewhere.
Even if you’re just off to sunny Spain, it’s always wise to pack some sort of top with long sleeves; a light jacket, jumper or cardigan will do, just in case it’s chilly in the evenings or on the flight home. (Yes, we’re fully aware we sound like our mothers..!)
M is for Multi-use Charger
The multi use chargers* are a great investment for those off to festivals, day trekking or full blown island hopping! A single, portable hub that can be used to charge phones and tablets alike; just make sure it’s charged up before you head off out!
Medication is probably the most important essential if it applies to you! Make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip, a Drs note if applicable and above all, make sure you pack it all in your hand luggage. The last thing you want is for your hold bag to be lost and leave you without your medicine!
N is for Neck Pillow
You know, one of those inflatable ones?* Use it to snooze on in the airport, on the plane, around the pool, on your transfer bus, anywhere! They are super handy too as they deflate to almost nothing so they can be stored in your hand luggage without taking up too much space. Winner.
O is for Organiser, Off-Peak
How about one of these nifty little guys? Somewhere to store your passport, boarding cards, money, phone, pen, charger cables, the lot? It takes up a lot less space in your hand luggage and it make sit easier to locate everything
It’s an oldie but a goodie; try and book your trip in off-peak times to save some money! This isn’t just limited to booking outside of the school holidays, we mean by taking those late night / early morning flights which are often a lot cheaper than the mid afternoon options.
If you’re visiting somewhere new, don’t be afraid to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions; it’s often the best way to truly experience the country you’re in.
P is for Phone,
Phrasebook and Passport
Three fairly obvious ones coming up… Not many people will venture on holiday without their phones these days, especially if it’s a smartphone complete Google maps, currency convertors and tip calculators (yes, some people use them).
It’s always respectful to at least know a few key phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting, so familiarise yourself with the basics; knowing how to say Hello, Goodbye, Thank You and Please, along with how to ask for directions and how to order food and drink will be a great start!
We couldn’t not mention THE most essential item when travelling abroad. Someone is bound to say we missed the most obvious object – so here it is just in case it slips your mind; your valid Passport!
Q is for Quick Drying Towel
You’ll remember in our How to travel with just your hand luggage blog, we mentioned microfibre towels*. Not only do they fold up fairly small, hence not taking up heaps of room, they also dry quicker than the average towel! Perfect if you’ve only taken a couple on your trip; no-one likes a damp towel…*shudders*
R is for Roaming Fees
Those dreaded data charges when you go outside of the EU. We’ve all heard the horror stories about poor customers coming home to £100’s if not £1,000s worth of data charges from going online on their phones. There’s nothing wrong with connecting to WiFi and using the internet on your apps this way, but connecting as you would to 4G or 5G in the UK can be extremely costly. Some providers do offer data caps, but to be on the safer side, opt for turning off your data roaming to stop your device trying to constantly connect.
S is for Socks and Scarves
These come hand in hand and are more for your comfort on the plane. Keep them in your hand luggage and pop the socks on if you get cold, wrap the scarf around you like a blanket, or use it as a makeshift pillow (if you didn’t pack the inflatable one)
T is for Toothbrush,
Toothpaste and Tweezers
Toothbrush and toothpaste* speak for themselves, and if they aren’t already on your essentials list, we think they need to be!
The tweezers aren’t just for a DIY brow job, they are the perfect tool to have in case of stings and splinters. We love a bit of practicality.
— Sarah Vermunt (@Careergasm) September 24, 2016
U is for Underwear
Again, self explanatory…. please say it’s already on your list. No judgement if not though…
V is for Vacuum Bags
Another hand luggage essential, but also super handy for your hold case, too! If you’re struggling with space, pop your clothes into a vacuum bag and flatten*; you can often get double into your case, but just be careful about the weight restrictions.
Vaseline, or other lip care products*, are great allrounders; chapped lips, sunburn, dry cuticles and shaving rash can all be soothed with them!
W is for WiFi Dongle*
Create your own personal hotspots to connect to WiFi the next time you’re stuck in the middle of a festival field or lost somewhere on a countryside road trip!
X is for XL Condoms
We’re not kidding and we are all adults here. If you are visiting places such as Japan, condoms are generally smaller than those from their Western counterparts. As you aren’t allowed to import condoms into Japan, opt for the XL versions of their own brands to ensure a comfortable fit, not just an ego boost.
Y is for Yoga Mat
These needn’t be just for practising your asanas, yoga mats* actually have multiple uses; they make great ground mats when camping, are perfect for sunbathing on or taking on a picnic.
Z is for Ziplock Bags
These are super useful for anyone off to a rainy climate or on a water sports activity. Simply pop your valuables inside one for an inexpensive waterproof shield.
This blog is not only useful, but it also marks a momentous occasion; Airport Parking Shop are now on Youtube! Check out our first video below and keep your eyes peeled for more to come!
Over to you and your travel essentials
Ever had an epic #PackingFail because you didn’t have a trusty list to guide you? We’d love to hear your stories!