Four Travel Essentials for International Travel

Content provided by Anne McAlpin

I just returned from hosting our AAA OR/ID Amawaterways Rhine Christmas Markets cruise – what a great time we had!  Some of my favorite memories include celebrating European traditions like putting our shoes outside our stateroom door to wake up to treats from St. Nicholas, exploring beautiful, charming towns, and of course all the delicious meals prepared every day for us onboard – especially the Chef’s Table seven course dinner.

Traveling Internationally again reminded me of two things:  Flexibility is key, and that many of the age-old travel tips and essentials we’ve used for years are still so relative today. Here are five travel essentials that I recommend on every trip:

Mobile Power

I used my smartphone continually on our cruise for access to trip documents and travel apps, and of course, as my camera, which meant I was always running down my battery. I was so happy I had my mobile power the day we cruised the Rhine Gorge – with over 400 castles – as my smartphone ran out of charge that morning.

Tip: Be sure to travel with one like this Z-Gear that provides up to two charges for most devices.

Z-Gear Power Bank 6000

AAA Member Price $26.99

Undercover Passport Security

True story:  Someone on our trip was pickpocketed – her wallet taken right out of her backpack.  They were so good she didn’t even notice it happened.

To avoid this situation – I always recommend – and wear – an undercover security wallet. Its proven design hasn’t changed much over the years and its purpose is still the same: to keep passports and other valuables safe – like credit cards and large amounts of cash.

I like the waist wallet; its elastic belt and quick release tab make it easy to access items  – some travelers prefer a neck wallet.

Tip:  Don’t keep anything valuable in a backpack and wear a security wallet.

RFID Waist or Neck Security Wallet

AAA Member Price $17.99

Cross Body Day Bag

I use my Baggallini cross body GO Bagg as my everyday handbag at home – and it was the perfect travel bag for this trip.

Being hands-free while traveling is imperative – the most important reason to travel with a cross-body bag is to wear it in front for security – but I also like the convenience of being able to take photographs and eat and drink easily without having to put my handbag down and possibly leave it somewhere if I’m not paying attention.

Tip:  The GO Bagg has a removeable RFID zippered coin purse which was ideal for keeping a few Euro coins handy for bathroom attendants – and a small packet of tissues – both which were needed along our journey.

Baggallini GO Bagg

AAA Member Price $68.95

Comfort Kit

It’s quite a distance to Europe – so I was glad to have my comfort kit ready. My sanitizer wipes were great for cleaning the area around my seat like the tray table and the seatbelt, and it was a nice surprise to see blankets and pillows were provided– wrapped in plastic – however I still preferred to use my own inflatable neck/lumbar pillow and microfiber travel blanket.

Thanks to a compression packing cube, I was able to keep all the following items easily accessible under the seat in front of me in my personal bag:

  • Snacks
  • Sanitizer
  • Eye shades, ear plugs
  • Inflatable neck/lumbar cushions
  • Compression socks
  • Microfiber travel blanket

Baggallini Compression Packing Cubes

AAA Member Price $31.50

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