Must-pack non-essentials for your travels

Stuff for the voyage Contrary to most “expert” advice, there’s no right or wrong way to plan a holiday, and this applies as much to packing as to itineraries. We’re all individuals with our own set of priorities, and it may be as unthinkable for one tripper to head off without his teddy bear as for another to leave her camera at home. One size never fits all when it comes to packing, so here are a few suggestions for items that may not be essential but which many of us feel we really do need to take along, however much the self-appointed experts may sneer.

MP3 player

This can be used to listen to your favorite music and for downloading podcasts nowadays. Having music on tap can help calm you down or seriously motivate you as the mood kicks in and is especially useful if you’re traveling alone.


For many bibliophiles, an e-reader is not something they feel they need until they’re actually on the road, when it becomes a vital part of their life. To be able to carry a complete library consisting of hundreds of books around in your pocket is amazing. It not only frees up often huge amounts of space but also provides a wealth of mental stimulation instead of having to rely on just a few battered volumes. The agony of deciding which books to take, and probably kicking yourself later, just doesn’t figure anymore.

Tripod stoolRemember to pack

A tripod stool takes up little space and can be kept on top of the other gear to be whipped out whenever you need a break. Rest stops don’t always come with seating, and the ground can be wet or filthy, so a tripod stool is an item to be cherished when traveling.


Contrary to popular belief, just three or four sets of underwear are sufficient to get you to the other side of the world and back. For women, practical cargo pants can be packed alongside a sexy thong, which takes up little space. You can find sexy lingerie costumes not only for honeymoons and special trips but to help make you feel good after you’ve bathed away the day’s sweat.

Pen and paper

Close-up of a teddy bear

A small block pad and a biro may seem like prehistoric technology, the equivalent of flint tools, in today’s world of gadgets, but they have definite advantages. They can be whipped out at a moment’s notice; you don’t have to worry about connectivity or batteries; and if they’re stolen, it’s no great loss – but who’d want to steal them anyway?

When it comes to choosing what to pack, don’t forget the non-essentials because some of them can make or break your holiday. Sometimes it’s preferable to be comfortable rather than sensible, and indeed quality of life in general is made up of trivialities rather than big and important events. If you can’t enjoy the palaces of Venice or the vistas of the Grand Canyon because you’re worried about teddy being home alone, take him along for the ride!



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