Top 5 things I never travel without

I was packing recently for a week on Australia’s stunning Sunshine Coast when it suddenly occurred to me that I always pack the same five travel essentials first and foremost, regardless of where in the world I’m jetting off to next.

Seriously, I could be heading somewhere blistering hot (like the Florida Keys in July), somewhere freezing cold (like Copenhagen in November), or somewhere pleasantly in-between (like the Sunshine Coast in June, which is where I was headed), but I never leave home without these things:


Let’s start with the most obvious thing first, because I won’t be getting very far without my passport, now will I?

Top 5 things I never travel without

Fortunately, in all my years of travel I’ve never once forgotten it at home and had to rush back and get it, missing or almost-missing a flight as a result. However, I did have it stolen on a trip to Spain once; that’s still the worst thing that has happened to me on my adventures (looking back, I guess I’ve been extremely lucky if that’s the worst thing to happen to me).


Equally, I won’t be able to travel very far or comfortably without having some money for accommodation, food, and most importantly beer.

I don’t carry around a lot of physically cash money when I’m travelling, because I wouldn’t want it stolen (did I mention I was robbed in Spain?). But I do carry two types of credit card in my wallet: one made of plastic and another made of stainless steel. The first one is for paying for stuff, the second is for opening drinks.

That’s right. I’m always packing a bottle opener in my wallet, because like the Boy Scouts of America motto says, you should always be prepared to open a sneaky beer at the beach 😉

Top 5 things I never travel without


Since January 2012, when this travel blog first started, I’ve published nearly 400 blog posts and posted countless more images. You might notice that in the overwhelming majority of those photos, I’m wearing sunglasses (heck, I’m even rocking some Carreras in my web banner!).

That’s because I never leave home without a pair, but especially on holiday.

The two times I did forget to pack my sunnies – my trip to the Canary Islands in 2012 and my adventure in Morocco the following year – I immediately had to buy some new ones before all my photos were ruined by me squinting in the sun.

Before my latest trip, I ordered some awesome new Hugo Boss sunglasses (pictured above) from SmartBuyGlasses, which I’ll wear in rotation with my existing Ray Bans. Don’t they look cool?


Remember when travellers and tourists used to take cameras with them on their adventures? And we had to use paper maps to find our way around? Yeah, kids today don’t know how lucky they are.

I don’t travel anywhere without my phone (in fact, I’d feel naked without it!), but I also don’t want to incur massive roaming charges, so I turn the data off and only use the free Wi-Fi at restaurants, bars and cafes, which is plentiful these days.

Top 5 things I never travel without


When my OE (Overseas Experience) began way back in 2008, I swear that half of my backpack was made up of paperbacks. Now, I can carry a hundred books with me on my travels and they don’t even weigh as much as one.

I realise some people prefer to read paper, and I’m probably even one of them, but ebooks are just so much more convenient.

Is it even a holiday without having a good book to read? Don’t forget to check out my novel: Slasher Sam!

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.