We all want a certain level of comfort and security whenever we travel, be it backpacking in the countryside, exploring the city, traveling on a budget or splurging.

Here are the top things that are always on my list whenever I travel.

1. PASSPORT + PHOTOCOPY

Make sure your passport is valid for at least another six months when you travel abroad. You may not be allowed to board the plane or even pass through immigration because of it. Be mindful of your passport validity when booking tickets for an international flight so you won’t waste money re-booking your ticket. You can schedule your appointment online via the DFA website.
I would suggest bringing a photocopy of your passport and place it in your luggage. You may place it in the safety deposit box when you arrive at your hotel. I don’t feel comfortable leaving my passport back at the hotel so I bring it with me wherever I go.

2. MONEY IN LOCAL CURRENCY / CREDIT / DEBIT CARDS

What I would normally do is bring USD and a small amount of local currency of the country I’ll be traveling to as the exchange rate is usually better (in my experience), just enough for me to buy some food and go to my hotel. Before having your money exchanged, try to check other money changers first and select the one with the highest rates. Some people directly exchange their Peso when they get to their destination but I feel a lot safer with USD as it is widely accepted.

3. ITINERARY WITH TRANSPORTATION INFO

Save a copy of MRT stations and street maps beforehand and remember which stations you get on and off. Check on the AppStore or PlayStore if there is any app available for download. List down certain landmarks of the places you’ll be heading to especially if you’ll be riding the bus. You can also tell the driver where you’ll be going and ask to drop you off at the nearest bus stop.

4. HOTEL BOOKING & OTHER VOUCHERS

Some hotels require a copy or your hotel booking / reservation. Electronic vouchers are widely accepted especially if you book through  Klook They send the electronic vouchers in your email so you can save a copy on your phone.

5. MEDICINE

Bring OTC medicine such as paracetamol, anti-histamine, loperamide, and antacid. You’ll never know when you’ll need them. If you’re on maintenance make sure you brought enough for your entire trip + maybe for 2 days more.

6. POWER BANK + CHARGER + TRAVEL ADAPTER

Earlier this year, an officer in the X-ray area asked if I had a power bank in my bag. He asked me to take it out and let it pass through the machine again. Then I remembered some news about stuff exploding on the plane. Make sure you buy a reliable power bank that passed through standards.
In some countries, their outlets are different from ours. This is where travel adapters come in handy. Your hotel may only provide one, but if you have a lot of gadgets, bringing one would allow you to charge simultaneously.

7. PEN AND PAPER

A pen comes in handy when you need to fill out forms or you simply want to take some notes. I would usually write down the bus number, the MRT stations, and my expenses for the day. You don’t have to write everything down right away especially when you’re in a rush or if it’s a bit of a hassle to do so. You can write them down when you go back to your hotel.