With more than 15 years under my belt as a travel writer and solo adventurer
, I’ve learned it’s always a good idea to overpack with regard to certain items. Things we take for granted — like access to feminine-hygiene products, basic prescriptions, and (relative) bureaucratic efficiency — are often unavailable or prohibitively expensive in other countries, even if they’re industrialized. For me, all it took was one agonizing 14-hour bus ride along the rutted backroads of rural Mexico while suffering from a raging bladder infection to change my pre-trip planning and packing strategy.
Whether you’re a business traveler, backpacker, or bon vivant, here are are five indispensables you should always carry with you on the road, regardless of your relationship status or budget.