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.

Canon 600D mirror image.

My mistreated Canon 600D ranks very high on my list of “things that are most unlikely to survive the trip.

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.

Most important things to pack for a trip around the world. A mosquito repellent and a mosquito bite reliever.

You’re looking at salvation right here.

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.

A set of US dollar bills on the hand.

Money never sleeps. Or it doesn’t seem to be very awake either, but it surely doesn’t snore.

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.

A headlamp from Laos hanging on the door of a hotel room drawer.

This headlamp is not a Petzl Zipka.

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 green Quechua compass with a whistle and a thermometer.

This compass even comes with a whistle! (Or is it a whistle that comes with a compass?)

6. Compass

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.

A 2nd generation Amazon Kindle Paperwhite model with the idle screensaver image.

I ♥ Amazon Kindle

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.

A finnish S-market plsatic bag on the floor of a hote in Laos.

Plastic bags are not good for the environment, but using the same bags for over six months doesn’t feel too bad.

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.

Size matters in laptops when you travel. The lighter, the better.

Size matters in laptops when you travel. The lighter, the better.

3. Laptop

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.

Samsung Galaxy XCover 3 with earplugs attached.

Unlike the newest iPhones, my phone even includes a plug for headphones!

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.

See also: 8 Useful Android Apps for Long Term Travel (and What to Do With Them)

Most useful things to pack for a RTW trip. A pair of yellow earplugs.

The most useful things to pack for a RTW trip? You’re looking at them!

1. Earplugs

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.