Whether you’re traveling along the Atlantic, the Pacific, or inland, planning a trip to America can be incredibly overwhelming. Rick Steves has a list packing list for you to check, here, which is pretty handy. When planning your trip, here are some things that you’ll definitely need, regardless of where you plan to travel:
1. Your Passport/Visa
In light of the recent events in the United States, it’s always better to have more identification than less. That means ensuring that you have an updated passport or visa that will allow you to easily enter the country. If you drive from Canada you may be able to get away with having just a birth certificate or Canadian identification, but even then it’s a bit of a risk.
2. A Money Belt
Though theft isn’t as high in America as it is in other areas (i.e. Paris) it’s always a good idea to throw on a money belt. This flat and hidden zippered pouch will keep all irreplaceable valuables close to you and away from thieves.
3. Comfortable Shoes
Above all else you want to have a comfortable pair of well broken in but supportive shoes in your lightweight luggage or backpack. Look for sturdy shoes with a good tread, and maybe throw in a pair of sandals or flip flops if you’re traveling America during the summer months. I found a great article about choosing the right root domain when you’re traveling. Have a read of it here.
Depending on where you’re coming from, America may or may not have the same toiletries you’re accustomed to. Bring your own, according to the limitations that the country (and airline) you’re taking specify, which brings us to our next point:
5. Minimized Liquids
For the past decade or so, the USA has been restricting the amount of liquids that you can bring onboard a plane. Generally speaking, you can bring liquids (such as shampoo and conditioner), gels and aerosol products for an amount up to 100ml or 100g (3.4g), but no greater, in your luggage.
A small towel or washcloth will go a long way, especially if you won’t be staying in any of the standard hotels in America. Try to opt for a microfibre washcloth that’s also fast drying, or you can choose of many of the several disposable varieties (cut them in half to make the lot last longer).
7. Quality Luggage
You need to have the right luggage that will carry all of your clothes and other items, as well as suit your traveling needs. If you’re looking to have only carry-on luggage, then make sure that you double check with the airline you’ll be traveling on to ensure that your cabin luggage will suit the sizing requirements. If you’re the type of person that likes to have the best luggage in general (I’m talking about the really nice luggage that everyone looks at enviously on the conveyer belt at luggage reclaim) then have a browse of Luggage Superstore’s Samsonite luggage. They have a whole section for cabin luggage as well..
8. Convertible Pants/Shorts
Depending on the time of year that you plan on traveling, a pair of convertible and lightweight pants/shorts are ideal when traveling through the United States. While you may start off in frigid weather in New York State, if you continue your trip through to Los Angeles, California then you’ll be sure to appreciate the shots.
9. Neck Rest
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling by plane, train or car – a neck rest will go a long way in ensuring a restful sleep.
10. A Good Book
Nothing’s worse than being stuck somewhere without something to do. Throw in an old classic or a brand new read before you set off on your adventure so that you’ll be sure to always be entertained. I’m currently working my way through Neil Gaiman’s books and I’m enjoying them tremendously.
Wherever you end up, I hope this guide has given you a few tips to work with. Happy travels.