The Final Countdown: 7 Necessary (But Bizarre) Items I Almost Forgot to Pack

Written by Emily January 11, 2016

A lifesaver when walking long distances! This helps prevent blisters.

Again, I know this will look ridiculous. This is something I'm willing to except in exchange for sleep when traveling!

I'm brining a few different forms of hand sanitizers to keep in my different bags.

I found a wine opener that was small, making it more portable! (PS, make sure to put this in your checked bag and NOT carry on!)

My favorite on-the-go snack. Healthy, filling, and very portable!

It’s hard to believe that in just ten days I’ll be hopping on a plane to Europe for three months! While I can’t wait to get started on my Lizzie McGuire Movie Italian experience (fingers crossed!), there is still much to be done. Namely, packing.

I’ll admit, my obsession lies in the art of list-making. Grocery list, wish list, daily to-do list. You name it, I probably have it. Naturally, my “Abroad Packing List” was compiled months ago after reading articles online, scanning CIMBA’s recommended list, and talking with friends who also studied abroad. As I’m compiling everything, I’m slowly remembering more and more odd-and-end items that I very well could have overlooked. The type of items that aren’t super obvious, but I know I’ll appreciate having.  So, here it is, my “List of Bizarre Items I Almost Forgot but am Super Glad I Didn’t” that I hope will help future travelers:

 Plane/Travel Snacks: With about 15 hours of travel to Europe, I know I’ll get hungry along the way. Packing them myself instead of grabbing them at the airport will save money and time. Airport food is ridiculously overpriced and I know that in the moment I’ll probably go for the not-so-healthy option. With pre-packed snacks like Cliff Bars and nuts, I know I’ll be eating healthier food for cheaper, and also get to pick exactly what I want. (Note: I learned from previous experience bananas and most fruit does not travel well. At all.)

Mole Skin: Hear me out on this one; it seems like a weird thing to bring but this stuff saved my life in New York City over the summer. It’s an adhesive padding that’s sticky on one side, and gets put on places you would normally get blisters from walking. Like magic, it prevents them from forming! I had my doubts that it would un-stick to me like band aids do, but it’s so strong it even stays on through showers (kind of gross). I bought mine at Target, but places that carry Dr. Scholl’s items usually carry it!

 Wine Opener: I was told to bring this from a friend who studied abroad in Italy. Since it’s much cheaper to buy a bottle of wine at the store instead of at a restaurant, having a wine opener handy is a must and is something that typically gets forgotten to purchase.

Eye Mask: Disclaimer: I know I’ll look ridiculous wearing this throughout travel, but I’m hoping being well-rested will easily make up for this! I plan to wear this while trying to sleep on international flights, bus rides, train rides – anytime I’m traveling when it’s not dark out and I’m trying to get a quick snooze in. If noise bugs you, earplugs or noise cancelling headphones might also be nice.  

Cold Medicine: This stuff (Nyquil, Emergen-C, Tylenol, Zicam, etc.) is offered in Italy too, but most of the time under different names. I know very little Italian, so trying to describe my symptoms to a pharmacist is not on my list of things to do when I’m already feeling sick! It’s also not a bad idea to take Emergen-C (or just Vitamin C and Zink) to prevent any colds before traveling or weekend trips. 

Hand Sanitizer: Lots of travel means lots of germs. I’m taking a mini hand sanitizer in my carry on to use before eating during traveling!  

Portable Charger: Like many, my phone runs out of battery quickly, and traveling with a dead phone is not fun. I bought the “RAVPower Portable Charger 3200mAh External Batter Pack Bower Bank”, which allows you to charge your phone or tablet when an outlet isn’t available. I’ve tried this out a few times and know it will come in handy throughout travel!

So there it is, my comprehensive list of bizarre things I remembered to pack just in the nick of time. I hope this comes in handy to some of you future travelers!

Italy, let’s do this.