1. Smuggler’s belt
Every country on Earth has one major thing in common: hordes of criminals, pickpockets, and con artists waiting to help you part ways with your hard-earned dough. Luckily, not only does a money belt help you conceal your precious money, it makes you feel like a suave Han Solo type.
2. Universal adaptor
In foreign countries they use weird, crazy electricity. It doesn’t work on your Earth devices. Get one of these before you go. Thank us later.
3. Travel clothesline
Unless you’re a fancy aristocrat, you’re going to be washing a lot of clothes in a lot of sinks. And now, guess what, you can dry them too. A travel clothesline is exactly the kind of thing it doesn’t occur to you to bring, until you find yourself in some spidery hostel with nowhere to dry your cool American clothes.
4. Solar-powered phone charger
The best data plan in the world means jack squat if your phone craps out on you. Luckily, if you are in a place with sunlight, you’re in the clear, because there is now such a thing as solar-powered phone chargers. BuzzFeed doesn’t have an opinion on which one you should get, but you should get one. Going somewhere without a lot of sun, or planning to spend a lot of time indoors?
A hand crank charger is another option.
5. Copies of your important documents
Passports. Itineraries. Vaccination records. Emergency numbers. Keep copies of all these things stashed where you can’t lose them all at once (e.g. if your backpack gets lost, your pants get stolen, your hotel burns down). And don’t just take photos and keep them on your mobile phone—those have a way of escaping on overseas trips.
6. Swiss Army knife
While some “airport security” types get “freaked out” if you bring “knives” on “planes,” you can still put it in your checked luggage.
7. Sunblock (in stick form)
Photos, memories, and souvenirs can last forever. And not to be a downer, but so can skin cancer. Skin cancer is totes the worst souvenir ever. So bring sunblock with you, and bring it in stick form, so it won’t get snatched by airport security.
8. Dry shampoo
You’re probably planning on a lot of hot showers in private bathrooms, right? Hahahaha. Good luck with that.
9. Your shots
There are some bad viruses out there, dudes. Remember: “Inject yourself before you infect yourself.*”
*Do not, do not, DO NOT actually inject yourself. Have a professional do it. (But for real, get your shots before you travel.)
10. Antibacterial wipes
You’d be surprised how often one man’s “bathroom” is another man’s “hole in the floor of a poorly lit train station.” If you don’t bring hand wipes on your travels, maybe don’t come home.
11. A keen eye for crime
Seriously. It’s everywhere.