Top 5 International Travel Necessities

Prince Valley Guest House, Blue Mountains, Kingston Jamaica

Sharing a smile with Bobby, owner of Prince Valley Guest House in the Blue Mountains just outside of Kingston Jamaica.

Hey travel lovers! It’s time for round 4 of the Traveling Brown Girls Carnival, hosted by Monique of Mo Travels!

To date we’ve gotten some great tips and tricks from all of the participating travelistas and we continue today with our top 5 travel necessities.

Of course you can’t travel without proper travel documents and  it’s always best to be dressed appropriately and comfortably if possible. We all have our gadgets and apps, stuffed animals, other favorite things we take on the road, but I decided to keep it simple. And the great thing about my list is that each item costs you absolutely NOTHING to procure and can save you a lot in the long run…

Here are my picks for top 5 travel necessities

Patience — We learned in the first carnival prompt that there are a lot of things that really work our nerves when traveling, from rude customer service agents to unruly kids and tons of stuff in between. But a little bit of patience can help us keep calm, carry on, and enjoy our trip. You’re on vacation, what’s the rush?

Fearlessness — I’ve said time and time again that travel is personal. Your trips and experiences should reflect who you are as a person. If you like spas and shopping go for it. Hiking and hosteling your thing, go ahead and knock yourself out. That being said, it’s always great when you can stretch yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone. Even if it’s only one thing, bring an extra dose of fearlessness along. You never know what you could be missing if you don’t give it a try. Chocolate covered crickets or sky diving anyone?


Smile — Take a cue from Volkswagen and Jimmy Cliff and get #getHappy. I’m not saying walk around with a silly grin on your face at all times, but it is kinda amazing what a smile and a little bit of pleasantness can bring to a situation. Just a few months ago, I was sitting in a restaurant in London‘s China Town with Tracey and Tawanna. A quick hello and exchange of pleasantries with the solo guest seated next to us and we were being offered VIP access to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour.  It wasn’t the intended result, but a smile is one of the quickest ways to diffuse and uneasy of confusing situation or make a new friend. Always keep one in your back pocket, especially when traveling.  And a little bucket filling (not sucking up) never hurt anyone either.

Street Smarts/Common Sense — There’s nothing wrong with going off the beaten path and wandering off on your own, but be sure to use a little common sense and streets smarts. The same precaution you would take on the “bad” side of town back home should be exercised on the road, regardless of how safe you think you are. This holds true especially for the ladies traveling solo.

Open Mind — One of the best things about travel is to meet new people and learn about their culture and customs. However, it’s so easy to get caught up in how you think things should be based on your life and experiences. Resist the urge to turn your nose up at something new, different or things you just don’t understand. Drop your preconceived notions and allow your opinion to be shaped by your first hand experience and nothing more. An open mind combined with the other 4 travel necessities mentioned above is an almost sure way to make any travel experience a success!

What are your top travel necessities?

Leave your picks in the comments below and don’t forget to visit Monique’s post to check out all of the other travelista top 5 travel necessities here.

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There’s one more round of the Blog Carnival left. Hope to have you participate. Details below:

Carnival Host:  @BrownGirlsFly
Carnival Date:  April 9, 2013
Travel Topic:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)
Publish your post and then submit to on April 7, 2013

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  • Chelle Roberts says...

    Hey April,

    This is a great list. I love that it’s less about the products/tools you carry but your mental attitude. And, it’s true … how we receive the world and respond to the things that happen to us on the road (good or bad) are completely tied to our openmindedness and patience. I don’t think we’d go half of the places we do without a good dose of fearlessness.

    • Thanks Chelle! Products and tools come ago. Decades ago travelers didn’t have any of it and made it work and so can we.

  • Great post April and some spot on highlights, especially about having just basic common sense. Something so simple can make all the difference to whether a trip is good or bad!

  • Patricia King says...

    Traveling with the right frame of mind and the right attitude makes a big difference in your experiences and those around you. Very thought provoking post. Thanks.

  • Michaela says...

    Luv, luv, luv your list. These things alone would make for a great trip. I particularly resonated with fearlessness. In my case, it’s fearlessness to say “No.” It’s easy to be pulled in different directions when you travel. Especially if you’re taking the advice of others. The best thing is to do what you enjoy – and avoid the places you don’t. Even if it means leaving your travel buds at the tourist trap!

  • meandmypassport says...

    Love that you chose to highlight the intangible!

  • LadyLittlefoot says...

    Chocolate covered crickets? Is it dark chocolate? Then I’m down!

    A translation app and a map app for directions when traveling is a must!

    • If it’s dark chocolate, I’m out. I think milk chocolate + hazelnut from Patchi, add crickets and I’m in!

  • Tracey says...

    What a clever list! And spot on! You go, you travelista you! ;-)

  • Monique says...

    Chocolate covered crickets? Um, NO. Everything else I can do (ok, may have a bit of trouble with that patience thing sometimes, too). Great list. Thanks for participating. ;-)

    • Hehe. I hear you. Not sure if I’m OK with chocolate covered crickets myself. Thanks for hosting! :-)

  • Carol says...

    My favorite list so far. So positive and true! A smile goes a long way, no matter what country!

  • Angela Myers says...

    I have recently fallen in love with my smart phone and Google translate! Don’t leave home for an international trip without it.

    Great post – as always.

    • Yeah Google translate is the business. There was an app that allowed you take pics of signs and translate. Have to find it. That was cool too.

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