This is where your packing list will grow - and the weight in your suitcase will increase!
But we all have day-to-day items we feel we can't live without. I would just encourage you to keep these to a minimum. Here are a few things I take that I really COULD live without, but don't want to.
1. All my electronics (camera, iPod, iPad, all the chargers, all the related cables). This stuff takes up a lot of room and adds a lot of weight.
But since I do take some of these items, I also take an electric plug converter and a mini powerbar that has 2 plug-ins and 2 USB slots. And because we take one ipod between the two of us, we also take an earphone splitter so that we can both listen to a walking tour or podcast at the same time.
And since I do take some of these, I also need a case to keep them in. I found a really suitable one at Mountain Equipment Coop. It zips and the interior compartments zip so nothing falls out accidentally. I like that fact that it is bright orange because I think there is less chance that I'll leave it in a hotel room than if it were black. Search their site for "travel pouches and packing organizers."
dimensions are 21 x 14 x 4 cm, weight is 76 gm
2. Picnic equipment. If you eat at restaurants all the time these things won't appear to you. But we normally find a market and get some fruit/veggies, sliced meat, bread or whatever and each lunch in a park or on some interesting steps and watch the people go by. Picnic things are minimal and include a silicon bowl that flattens nicely, 2 sporks, an itty-bitty corkscrew. We buy a cheap paring knife after we get off the plane and dispose of it before flying again. Picnicing outside is much more fun than sitting in a restaurant, no matter how good the food is - just my opinion!
3. Emergency equipment. Things happen. Rule number one says you can buy whatever you need and that's true but sometimes you need to get to the store first. My emergency equipment consist of one orange pill bottle. Inside there are:
- two aspirin/advil/tylenol kind of medication
- two antihistimines
- needle and small amount of thread
- small length of string
- safety pins
- one cable tie (see previous blog post about the wheels on our suitcase case breaking!)
- two bandaids (shoes are already broken in!)
And the pill bottle is wrapped in about one foot of duct tape.
Tiny but will get you to the nearest store with your luggage, your clothes and your headache under control.
4. Down Blanket. You're probably laughing at this but yes, I take a down blanket! It's not as bad as it sounds. It is extremely light, measures about 1.5 m x 2 m and squishes into it's own carrying bag that is about 10 cm tall. This is about a third the size of a normal travel pillow. I can't tell you how many times I've been grateful for this. Air travel is not as comfortable as it used to be and the down blanket can be used as a pillow - or a blanket when the plane is cold. And travelling on shoulder seasons has often found us in hotels before they turn on the building heat.
5. Day Pack. From MEC too: "An incredibly lightweight little travel pack that shifts from urban setting to wild places. The Travel Light series is light, compact and folds into its own pocket to stow easily." Our previous daypack was getting a bit threadbare so we replaced it for this trip. It appears to be quite rain repellant and is certainly small enough. It is not used as a "personal item" when we fly. It's just packed away until needed. And if you see a pattern developing - you're right. We love Mountain Equipment Coop. They are online if you don't have a store near you. Excellent equipment.
Things I don't take but I've seen on other packing lists: a hair blower/straightener/curling iron, mini towels, make-up, a toiletries bag (they are bulkier than you think and you need to put your liquids in a ziploc anyway), cotton T-shirts (take too long to dry), a purse (a couple of items go in the day pack and other than that I'm hands free), jewelry and a bunch of accessories, laptop, separate e-reader (Kindle app goes on my phone), vitamins, stain remover, toilet paper, wet wipes, journal (I use my iPad), ear plugs, flashlight, binoculars, inflatable pillow, insect repellent.
You will probably want some of these things. For myself, I've tried to leave items at home that I have used only once or twice during any previous trip. Using something once or twice doesn't make it important enough to deserve space in my suitcase.