It‘s no surprise that the overwhelming majority of my travel has been to urban destinations. Whether it’s Dubrovnik, Istanbul or Beijing, I’m pumped and ready to explore every square inch of each city. I want to see, eat and experience everything. But experiencing a city like a local takes a lot of planning. Other than what to see, what routes to take and, of course, where to eat, the single most important part of travel planning is packing the right things. That’s right. Forgetting an umbrella can make or break a trip, as can sunburn, sea sickness or an uncharged camera.
So before you pack for your next urban escape, check out this list of must-pack items. You wont be disappointed.
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My Philosophy: I like to think that my travel style is urban-chic. While comfort is key, I almost never let comfort trump fashion.
The Reason: I usually walk several miles for hours on end, so comfort is key. I prioritize fashion because most of the time, I leave my accommodation in the morning and don’t return until well after dinner. This creates the unique challenge of packing and then dressing for a day and night out.
What I Pack: cute black shoes, like flats, with shoe inserts (stylish on the outside, comfy on the inside), a scarf (for warmth, sun protection and to be reverend when entering holy places), colored lipstick (especially bold reds and pinks), and small accessories like earrings (to help me transition to an evening out).
My Philosophy: Technology should enhance, not interfere with travel.
The Reason: I refuse to let my desire to capture memories and stay connected with loved ones back home take away from my experience because I chose to have an authentic experience. If I don’t want that, then what’s the point of even traveling?
What I Pack: a camera (no explanation needed here), along with a place to store photos, like an empty memory card, external hard drive, or simply my computer.
Expert Tip; Be sure to download relevant apps like offline public transportation maps, Skype and WhatsApp (for free international texting to anyone with the app).
My Philosophy: I love food so much, it get’s its own packing category. Food makes or breaks a place for me. It’s a great way to learn about a culture…not to mention it can be a delicious way of learning.
The Reason: It’s not because I’m going to remote destinations (remember, I’m an urbanite!). It’s more because I love eating regularly. If I’m in a cheap destination, I choose to spend my days eating cheap, street food. But when traveling in more expensive places, I try to pack some snacks to keep me from spending too much money.
What I Pack: a list of local foods as well as famous eating establishments, a piece of fruit like a banana, gum, and a granola bar.
My Philosophy: Travel shouldn’t be uncomfortable for you or those around you. So don’t forget your hygiene!
The Reason: Nothing is worse than focusing on smells and other discomforts instead of the amazing sights around you.
What I Pack: a water bottle (for hydration), a small pack of medicine (like aspirin, non-drowsy allergy pills, dramamine), deodorant, chapstick, hand wipes, tissues, and perfume.
…and an umbrella. Because being wet all day is the worst.