What are the most useful things to pack for a RTW trip? I’ve been traveling around the world for over half a year now. Here are 10 things that I packed that I’ve found the most useful.
For the completely list of all the things I packed, see the post What Did I Pack for a Round the World Trip? – The Complete List of 106 Items. I’ve also written posts about the five least useful things that I packed and the five things I wish I had packed.
10. DSLR Camera
When I was preparing my trip, choosing which camera to pack was one of the hardest choices I had to make. However, after finally making up my mind (for the third or fourth time), I chose to pack my old Canon 600D EOS camera instead of a cheaper and smaller waterproof camera. And I’ve never regretted my choice. Better image quality is never a bad thing.
9. Anything against mosquitoes
My mosquito net has saved a couple of nights, although many guesthouses with plenty of insects offer mosquito nets in rooms. Insect repellents are also nice, but they don’t always work very well. However, I definitely recommend packing something to ease the insect bites. A small tube of anything that relieves the itch will save your days and nights.
8. Extra cash
Money talks! Or at least it’s more useful than actual talking, when you need to pay for a visa fee that you completely forgot about and there are no ATM’s at the airport. US Dollars are probably the most universally accepted currency in the world, and I also have some euros left for emergencies.
7. Petzl Zipka torch
I had a terrific headlamp. the Petzl Zipka head torch was small and durable, and it even shone in the dark after use, so you wouldn’t lose it. Or at least you wouldn’t lose it in the dark. I could still loose it when I forgot it in a tent in Nepal. Ke garne!
A friend of mine gave me a compass as a farewell gift before my departure. However, I lost the compass on the first day of my journey – a mishap that still feels fittingly symbolical. I later replaced the first compass with another one, which I’ve managed to keep. I prefer to navigate using the points of the compass, and my compass has saved me from plenty of stress during my journey.
5. Amazon Kindle
I’ve said it before, and I say it again: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is my favourite item in my backpack. While Kindle is good for entertainment, it can also be highly useful. I store my Lonely Planet guidebooks in my Kindle. The battery life is great and reading doesn’t require an internet connection, which has made many less-planned voyages a lot more carefree.
4. Plastic bags
And the 4th most useful things to pack for a RTW trip are… plastic bags! When it comes to packing, I’ve found that keeping everything organised in durable plastic bags very convenient. I even asked my friend Tino bring some Finnish plastic bags for me when he flew to India. I may prefer Finnish plastic bags for sentimental purposes, but most bags in Asia also happen to be much thinner.
I do plenty of writing on the go. I could have also bought a tablet and an external keyboard, but I instead invested in an Asus Transformer Book T100. It’s a light laptop with a great battery life – two of the most important features for a backpacker like myself.
2. Mobile phone
Okay, I know this choice is a bit boring. But after years of Nokia 3310’s, I only bought myself a smartphone for this trip. Now, I wouldn’t travel without one any longer. My phone is Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 – the phone is both waterproof and quite durable, and it even has a special “Ultra Battery Saving mode” that is very useful on the go. The only issue is the camera, which can’t compare with iPhones or other more expensive models.
The most useful things to pack for a RTW trip? A pair of earplugs. I always sleep with earplugs, as you never know what loud noises await in the night. Even bus rides become more comfortable, when you can muffle the sounds of screaming children just a little bit.