One of the joys of having paid time off from your underemployed job, or really any job, is getting away from it all and going on a vacation. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the kind of money that allows us to spend anything we want in preparation for a trip.
In that spirit, we reached out to contributing writer, world class traveler, and creator of the travel website, Once A Traveler, Turner Wright. We asked him to put together a list of traveling essentials he could recommend that would be cost effective and easy to get. The following are his results.
We want to let you know that neither Turner nor the site have been paid in any way to advertise or endorse the following products on this list. In fact, he put this list together, and then we got links for them. However, we do get a small commission if you use any of the following links to purchase something. That commission assists us in running this site. Also, many of the following links we have contain discounts on the items you’ll be told about. With that out of the way, take it away Turner.
11 Essential Products For Travelers On A Budget
As a digital nomad and frequent traveler, I’m a bit of a minimalist, usually taking less than what I need to spend months out of the country. As such, everything I have, from my jacket to toiletries, have been selected after careful research and recommendations from fellow travelers. The Underemployed Life asked if I could promote any of these products to their readers, and I’m happy to oblige. What’s in my backpack?
- Timbuk2 Travel Bags
You don’t have to go all the way to central Mali to appreciate one of the bags made by this San Francisco-based company. Any sports or outdoors store is bound to have a variety of backpacks, but Timbuk2 stands out for its durable material and compact size. I specifically chose one of their bags for the fact they were padded enough to protect my laptop, and small enough so I wouldn’t be tempted to travel with anything but the necessities.
- Luna Sandals
As a minimalist runner, I’ve gone through dozens of pairs of shoes in my life, slowly tearing away the soles one molecule at a time. I was skeptical about Luna Sandals at first, having started my training in Vibram Fivefingers and sometimes switching to Newtons, but was willing to accept the endorsement of a figure like Barefoot Ted. As a traveler, these sandals are not only suitable for marathon training, but double as great casual footwear in tropical countries. They got me through Sri Lanka and Thailand.
3. Mighty Wallet
I always get comments on my wallet once people have a closer look, and not only because I chose the TARDIS pattern. Mighty Wallets are made out of recycled and highly durable paper; I usually only have to replace them every two years, and mainly because I want a change. When I did have the map pattern wallet in my backpack during my stay in Korea, I’m convinced thieves overlooked it, thinking it was just a map. Excellent camouflage.
- Clarks desert boots
Anthony Bourdain can’t be wrong; that’s all I have to say. These practical and fashionable shoes are perfect for long walks in dry climates; outside of that, I really wouldn’t recommend them for any kind of protection from the rain. When I want to appear more professional but still be ready to travel, I toss the hiking boots into my duffle bag and slip on these desert boots.
It’s not always necessary for travelers to risk lugging a huge bottle of red wine around in their checked bags, but if you’re particular and want to bring one over to Asia where the California blends are lacking, a VinniBag is a good way to go about it. Inflatable, recyclable, and sealed to protect your clothes from liquids, this is my choice for transporting alcohol across borders.
- Go Toob
There are other products like this and any travel-sized shampoo, soap and conditioner bottles can be reused for the same purpose. However, I’m a big fan of having a few extra containers around to store things like coconut oil, rubbing alcohol, and even on occasion real alcohol to smuggle onto planes.
- Travelon RFID Blocking Passport Case
This product appeals to my more paranoid side. Just like using wifi in a public place leaves you vulnerable to hacking, so too does carrying an RFID passport around an international airport leave you with the possibility of identity theft. I just like the peace of mind knowing my information is secure, and it helps to have a few extra sleeves to store cards and tickets.
- Exofficio Underwear
Exofficio does offer a women’s line, but I can only speak as a male traveler. This type of underwear is useful to me on a number of levels: doesn’t require washing every day to smell clean, lasts longer than cotton boxers, and isn’t priced as high as comparable products like Underarmor.
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs
Traveling to a different country means accepting a different cuisine most of the time. Even in bigger cities where familiar food is available, there’s always going to be a change to your diet, which can lead to lethargy or worse. I like to stay on top of my energy by taking a few of these packets with me whenever I travel. Not only are they small enough to be allowed on airplanes, but peanut butter provides a protein quick fix in the morning when you may not know what exotic breakfast is available.
- Ultralight Travel Hammock, Grand Trunk
Hammocks are a bit of a luxury item for most travelers, but there’s something to be said for having one around when you just can’t get comfortable in your hotel room and want to set up shop between two trees for a few hours. This one is surprisingly easy to pack and set up, making that Instagram photo of your feet dangling in the water that much closer.
- Travel pants, Betabrand
My sense of style has certainly evolved over the years, especially when it comes to how I present myself when I travel. I still see people wandering to the airport in sweatpants clutching stuffed animals – yes, adults – and can’t imagine ever having that mentality. As such, I believe it’s important to have practical and fashionable clothes when traveling, and these pants from Betabrand definitely meet those standards.
Whether you plan on traveling sooner or later, save this page and come back to it when you’re ready to get the essentials you’ll need for a great travel experience.
Turner Wright is a freelance writer with an engineering background. He is originally from Texas, but usually finds himself in the Bay Area if not some random corner of Asia. He is currently the Digital Media Manager for Airbnbhell.com and TravelVisaPro.com. He enjoys running long distances, eating more than necessary to do said running, and traveling to other countries.
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