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Last updated February 07, 2016. 

Packing - Optional Travel Gear
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While you probably don't need everything listed below, many of these items make life on the road much easier and more comfortable.

Pack-It® Folder 15 PACK-IT FOLDER 15" I pack, some might say cram, most of my clothes into my 15" Pack-It Folder, but larger folders are available in 18" and 20" sizes. Keep in mind that your backpack or suitcase needs to be big enough to fit the Pack-It Folder.
icon icon PACKING CUBES iconkeep your clothing contained and organized. They allow you to find what you are looking for without taking everything out of your bag and stop all your tightly packed rolls of clothing from coming unrolled and ending up in a pile on the floor. A 2-sided Half Cube is also useful to have to keep your dirty clothes separated from your clean clothes.
 baggallini Clear Trio Baggs Black/Khaki - baggallini Packing Aids PACKING CASES These waterproof, vinyl cases are great for storing wet items or items that might spill. Much stronger and more durable than a Ziplock bag! Very handy for organizing odds and ends you need in your pack--like your first aid supplies or sewing kit.
  SHOWER SHOES or thongs/flip-flops help prevent getting foot fungus from the communal showers in hostels. Ultra Soles, pictured left, are great because they pack up so small and dry quickly. I've had mine for nearly seven years and they are still going strong.
 Lights Out Sleep Mask EYE MASK If you are a light sleeper, like me, then an eye mask  is a must have. In dorms, people come and go at all hours of the night and often decide it is a good idea to turn the lights on at 3:00 a.m. Go to sleep and stay asleep with a comfortable sleep mask.
  Earplugs (Seven pair of Hearos) EAR PLUGS iconAgain, if you are a light sleeper, like me, these are a must. I cannot stress this enough. Dorm rooms can be loud when you are trying to sleep. People snore and come in and out of the room at all  hours. To ensure a restful night's sleep, ear plugs are essential. I have this kind of ear plugs. They're pretty comfy and the case they come with is handy.
Dynamo Hand-Crank Flashlight   SMALL FLASHLIGHT/TORCH iconis handy for finding the bathroom or your bed late at night or reading in your bed after the lights are out in the dorm. Head lamps are a great alternative to a flashlight. They cost more than your standard flashlight but make excellent book lights and flashlights. Check Sierra Trading Post for closeout specials on flashlights and head lamps.
 Travel Duct Tape TRAVEL DUCT TAPE iconYou never know when some duct tape will come in handy. Temporarily fix your backpack, shoes, clothes,  or anything else that unexpectedly breaks. Hey, you can even use it to remove lint off of your clothes, cover a blister, or hang up your laundry line. There are 101 uses for duct tape and having it in this compact travel size makes it easy to pack in your bag.
 Compact Umbrella Black COMPACT UMBRELLA Here comes the rain again! You never know when a shower will catch you unawares. I always keep a small umbrella in my daypack. It has saved me from being drenched on a number of occasions and I highly recommend bringing one with you.
EYE GLASSES/CONTACT LENS CASE  Of course, not everybody wears glasses and contacts, but I do, and I think this one is pretty cool--especially if you need a mirror to help you put your lenses on in the morning. You get an eye glass case, contact case holder, and a mirror all in one!
Comfort Neck Pillow TRAVEL PILLOW  Inflatable neck pillows are nice for long flights or long train/bus journeys. They pack up small and weigh only a few ounces. The pillow pictured to the left has a removable washable fleece cover, easily inflates and deflates, and packs up into its own pocket.
CALCULATOR AND/OR CURRENCY CONVERTER  Though most countries in Europe use the Euro, there are still several that don't including: Eastern European countries, England,  Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. A calculator is also handy for keeping track of your budget. I never leave home without one. And unlike a cell phone, the batteries last almost forever!
RADIO/CD/MP3 PLAYER WITH HEADPHONES Many people enjoy having music at hand while they're abroad to fill the many hours spent traveling on planes, trains, and buses. If you have an iPod, you might also need an iPod Travel Charger.
Micro Turbo Hair Dryer and Adaptor Plugs HAIR STYLING APPLIANCES iconpersonally do not need a hair dryer, curling iron, or hair straightening device, but I know some people just can't live without them. If you do need these makes sure you get dual voltage ones and make sure to bring along adaptor plugs. Here is a dual voltage hair dryer iconand dual voltage flattening or curling iron. You can get them with or without adaptor plugs.
 Transformer Voltage Converter with Adaptor Plug Kit TRANSFORMER VOLTAGE CONVERTER WITH ADAPTER PLUGS iconUse for razors, radios, digital cameras, camcorder re-chargers, CD players, and other non-heating appliances up to 40 watts that are built for North America and require high-quality electricity.  If your electronics/appliances are dual voltage (110-240V), you will just need an adaptor plug set.
  INSTANT  PHONE CHARGER Never be stranded with a dead mobile phone again! Pocket sized, and instantly charge your devices from dead without having to plug into an outlet. Charges devices with power from 3AA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries (included). Perfect for travel, and an essential component of any emergency preparedness kit.
 Fold-A-Cup FOLD-A-CUP iconHandy if you ever find yourself in need of a cup, don't trust the cleanliness of mugs/cups at hostels, or like to have a cup handy while brushing your teeth. Holds 7 oz. of fluid. Fits easily in day bag or pocket.
CALLING CARD Click here to read about some of the different calling cards available.
JOURNAL AND PEN Writing about your travels is one of the best souvenirs you can bring back from your trip. So whether  your adventures are kept in a conventional journal or an on-line blog,  write down those memories of your journey. You'll be glad you did! One great thing about using paper and pen though, is that you don't need to worry about battery life or internet access.
  HOSTEL CARD  VIP Backpackers card or
HI/YHA card
  ADDRESSES OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS I usually bring a small address book so I can contact my family and friends while I'm away AND I can write in the addresses of the new friends I meet along the way. Sure you can email people while you travel, but I bet they would also love to receive a postcard from you so they can have a more permanent little piece of your trip.

Click here to see travel necessities.

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