There a millions of “What To Pack For Traveling” blog posts out there. Ultimately, I think what you pack is entirely up you and there is no one way to pack a bag that will suit every person. I also never worry about forgetting anything, because it’s never a problem finding the essential things that I need while abroad. Having said that, here is a list of the most useful items that I take with me on every trip that you might not have thought to pack.
Sawyer Mini Water Filter - This handy little guy not only saves you tons of money, but is essential in staying hydrated without getting sick. I always take it to countries where the tap water isn’t safe to drink. I simply pour the water from the tap into the bag, screw the filter on the bag, and it’s it immediately drinkable clean water. This bad boy saved me many times on Indonesian islands where all the shops closed early and I woke up dehydrated in the middle of the night (especially if I drank alcohol the night before). The Sawyer Mini Water Filter removes 99.99% of bacteria. This includes salmonella, cholera, and E.coli. It also removes 99.99% of all protozoa, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It's hard to think of something that pays for itself more than this.
Resistance bands - This is for those that like to stay in shape while traveling. I will do an entire blogpost on this subject soon. The resistant band is light enough to not add too much weight to your bag, and you can workout almost any body part with it. Who wants to spend time and money finding a gym while traveling?
Exofficio underwear - The Exofficio motto is "17 Countries. 6 weeks. One pair of award-winning underwear. (Ok, Maybe two.)" I swear by this product. I spent an entire 5 month trip abroad using only two pairs. They have odor resistant technology and you simply wash them in the sink after wearing them. On top of that, they are extremely comfortable and they save a ton of space in your bag since you only need a couple pairs.
First aid kit - These seem pretty standard for the average backpacker but I included them on this list because I can’t stress enough how important they are. Depending on where you go and how long your trip is, you will inevitably find yourself sanitizing those nasty travel feet or digging for the antacid tablets to cure that upset stomach. I can’t think of one trip where I didn’t use at least a few things from my first aid kit.
Energy bars - Having a food source on you is important in countless situations while abroad. You might find yourself stuck at a train station and you don’t want to spend money on food, maybe all restaurants close at 7 p.m. in whatever town you’re in, or maybe the noodle dish you ordered looks like it has something moving in it. These came in most handy for me when my travel partners and I were spending way too much time deciding on the best place to eat. When you spend most of your day walking around and exploring, especially in a hot country, you are going to get hungry…VERY hungry.