When I searched the term 'travel essentials" on the net, I was quite surprised that none of the following items were mentioned (at least not in the top few posts on the first page). That's why I would like to make a special mention here.
Extension Socket Board and Adaptor -- travelling without battery/power could be pretty frustrating if not troublesome. My way of sorting this out is the use of a long extension board with at least 6 universal socket positions.
It is not uncommon that people on the road might carry a few adaptors for the various devices they have. For me, I need only one universal adaptor, that is, for the extension board.
Once I check in to my room, I would pull out my extension board and start recharging my devices. Usually I could take care of all my items at the same time -- including my mobile phones, camera battery packs, shaver, my notebook, and even my electric kettle. There is no need to wait for a second round. I could not think of anything simpler to do the job.
Travel Electric Kettle -- the idea of having my own electric kettle is so reassuring. I wouldn't consider using the kettles from motels or hotels. They are often full of scaling, or flecks, or some kind of foreign substance around the base. They don't look inviting at all.
The one I have holds half a litre a time (see picture). If you also like having hot water or drinks during your travels, this size kettle is highly recommended. If possible, try to find one that has all the heating elements concealed. This surely helps cleaning and hygiene.
A Sweat Towel -- This is one of my best tools whenever I have a photo shoot outdoors. It is so versatile to use.
It can be the sweat towel that I hang around the neck on a hot day. Even in a cold day, I can use it as the scarf to keep my neck warm. When it is very windy, I can wrap it round my head to secure my cap or beret from being blown away. (This was exactly what I did in France when I needed the beret to keep my head warm but had yet to secure it from the wind. It could look a bit funny, I know.) If I shoot along the coast, I can use it to cover my camera and lens from the salty mist from the sea. Likewise, I can use it to protect the camera and lens from the rain in between shootings. In doing so, I usually tie a knot around the strap on one side and use the rest of the towel to wrap around the camera. And, last but not the least, it always comes in handy whenever I have a cleaning job at hand.
28 Degrees Mastercard -- if you live in Australia, I would highly recommend this credit card for your overseas travels. What makes it so appealing is that there is no fees or charges for use: no annual fee, no currency conversion fees and no international transaction fees. In terms of exchange rates, this one seems to be the modest of the lot. In other words, you won't be losing as much money in the exchange as you might have experienced with the usual credit card providers. I have also tried to compare this card with the major travel cards on the market. Not surprisingly, this card comes out in front too.
This is a very encouraging find. It is worth checking out before the next trip abroad. By doing things right, we could easily save ourselves some 10% or more on transactions by avoiding all those unjustified fees and rates.
Hope this helps.
Live Life, Junius.