A short list of the things I feel like I need to have on or with my while traveling. I won't consider myself 'well-traveled' but I have been to a number of places so I feel like my list could potentially help those 'Travel Bug' new comers. This list could be crazy long, but I went ahead and kept it to the basics.. beside the obvious like a suitcase or passport.
Viber: it's a FREE app that lets you talk/text/facetime with friends and family that also have the app! There's also an option to 'Viber-out' which is calling people who don't have the app, that costs money though. I have never had any problems with this app, not a one! The reception with the app is actually better than the normal reception when making a call on my iPhone! It's crystal clear! So, if you're looking to keep in touch during this trip or have friends/family in a differing country.. I would highly suggest downloading this app.. remember.. it's free!
Comfortable walking/hiking shoes: Are you really going to wander around The Acropolis in flip-flops? No, because I already did that for you and it was awful. No matter where you are going, unless it's to a beach with nothing around it, dearest Lord please bring some decent shoes. If you want to experience a city, a mountain, a jungle, some ruins, you're going to want to have proper footwear to do so. When traveling anywhere I always bring my waterproof hiking boots and a pair of running shoes. I even brought them with me to Athens but was an idiot and wanted to look cute instead. Big mistake. I ended up taking off my flip flops and walking around barefoot until a security guard scolded me.
Camera: I always have my iPhone with me for quick picture taking moments, but bringing a nice camera along will make all the difference when you go back to relive those memories! I just purchased my first 'big girl' camera for this trip.. and because I've needed one for at least a year now. I've always had a Canon but I just got a Nikon! I admit, I haven't had much practice with it before the trip but I can't wait to test this baby out in Costa Rica! It's waterproof up to 49 feet, shockproof (drop proof) up to 6 feet, and freeze proof down to 14 degrees! Fingers crossed this thing is Johnny-proof! I'm pretty hard on my things but this camera advertised 'made for adventure' so I'm going to put my faith in it!
A scarf: I learned this while getting ready for my trip to Turkey. A thin but wide scarf can be used for a variety of things. I got one so that I could cover my head in order to go into mosques, You can also use it as a shawl, a swimsuit cover up, for shade, to keep warm, for blowing sand, and so many other things! I suggest getting one in a solid color or a simple pattern so you can match it with just about anything. They're fairly cheap depending on where you go and super easy to pack as they roll or fold very small!
A good book: Let's face it. Traveling is laced with a ton of waiting. Waiting for a bus, waiting for a plane, waiting in line, waiting for a tour to start, waiting for you to fall asleep because of the time chance, waiting for help because you're stuck on the side of the road. It's great to be able to breath deeply and enjoy the moment. But, sometimes that just doesn't cut it. I always have a book or two with me while on the road. I don't often read books twice.. so if I have a book that I've finished during a trip.. I just give it to a stranger. Now, please don't do that if it's a library book, unless you're prepared to pay the fine. Try to find a book that's paperback if possible to cut down on weight and increase space in your bag. I'm currently reading Tracks by Robyn Davidson, it's about a solo trek across the Outback with 4 camels and a dog.
P.S. We are here, it is gorgeous. We are about to go on a night hike of the Arenal Volcano, hopefully we will see some creepy crawlies! :) I'll update later tonight !