Whether you are planning to go somewhere for less than a week or a few months, you are going to have struggles planning and packing your belongings.

Some examples of questions I always have when I begin to pack are: What clothes should I take? How many pairs of clothes should I take? Do I need to bring all of the toiletries abroad? and Should I bring anything that is expensive?

All of your worries are valid concerns, and through all of my travels, I have realized that there are five key items I should always take with me.

These are the top five things I would highly recommend taking on every trip, even though you may be questioning its usefulness.

  1. Your debit card.
    • You may be thinking about leaving your debit card at home and only taking your credit card abroad, but I would recommend bringing both. Chances are you will need money at some point, and having the debit card readily available will make your trip less stressful. Also, if you are worried about it being stolen while traveling, you can request that your bank freeze your account until you return or contact them from abroad saying otherwise. For example, you can request a freeze on your account while traveling to Italy, but if you need money, you can talk to them about lifting the freeze for a day in order for you to withdraw your money.
  2. A book or journal.
    • You may think you will be busy every day, especially if you have excursions planned, but you will most likely have free time. Instead of sitting and twiddling your thumbs, why not bring a novel or bring a journal and a pen to write down your feelings of the experiences. If you want tips for journaling while abroad, click here.
  3. A water bottle.
    • From my experiences, you will be wanting to have a source of water. Fill it up before you go out for the day or night because otherwise, you will have to pay for a bottle or glass of water. This may seem insignificant, but hydration is important, and if you want to save money, taking one will help.
  4. Simple, plain clothing with no name brands on them.
    • The thing or things that will make you stand out the most while traveling are your clothes. Dressing in simple clothing with no logos or brands will help you fit in. Every destination and country will have a different idea of what is normal attire, but by wearing plain clothes, you will fit in better than most other tourists.
  5. Copies of your passport.
    • Finally, you need to worry about your identity while abroad, and scanning your passport and having paper copies will keep you relaxed and possibly help you. Keep a copy in your luggage, so if it is lost, you can be contacted. If you are traveling to countries where you need identification on you at all times, you can keep a copy of your passport on you instead of the actual passport itself.

What do you always take with you when you travel? Can you think of any other important items? Share your thoughts below.