carl turnley travel

One mistake many first time travelers (and even seasoned travelers) make is overpacking.  There seems to be a way to justify packing your entire wardrobe, all of your gadgets, too many pairs of shoes, and nonessential items.  As traveling becomes more habitual, you learn that you can get by with less each trip.  Even with a lighter travel load, the following five items should make their way on every trip you make from now on.

A Small Bag for Day Trips

Traveling to an area for the first time usually consists of setting up in a hotel room and making day trips to various destinations throughout your stay.  While you are packing your suitcase, don’t forget to throw a small mesh bag into one of the compartments.  This bag will give you the ability to carry small items, toiletries, extra clothing, and travel documents with you without taking up any extra space in your luggage.  

A Compact LED Flashlight

One of the most dangerous aspects of traveling is being in an unfamiliar place after dark.  There’s a good chance you can get lost at night, or worse, get hurt from an uneven or slippery walkway.  By carrying a small LED flashlight, you can illuminate your path to ensure you will get to your destination safely and on time.


Whether you are traveling in the summer heat or in the dead of winter, super glue is a valuable asset to your trip.  Sandals are my go to on my summer trips, and there’s not many things that are more annoying than ripping the strap of a sandal during a day-long excursion.  A small bottle of Super Glue will help you easily fix that sandal and have you on your way in minutes.  

Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss Army Knife is one of the most versatile tools you can carry anywhere.  You can cut an arrant string from a shirt, file a hangnail, and open a bottle of wine for a nightcap all with the same tool.  There’s a reason they are standard issue for astronauts flying to space.

Rope Cord

A 20-foot piece of tightly-wound cord is going to save you a lot of headaches on any trip.  Tie one end to a bedpost, and then tie a knot to the doorknob to create a makeshift washiline.  Your clothing will dry overnight after you get caught in a thunderstorm.

Traveling is often a stressful time for many people.  Nobody has mastered the science of what to take on a trip, but as more people travel the world it becomes more evident of what is truly important to travelers.  If you can remember these five essential items, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.