Planning an international voyage? Need some travel packing advice? Here are a few items I’ve found indispensable in my misadventures…er…I mean travels around the world.

Travel Packing Advice Item #1: Running shoes

You never know when you might stumble across a marathon and feel compelled to sign up for it.
travel packing advice means packing running shoes
Travel Packing Advice Tip 1. This is how you should tie your running shoes to your pack to ensure that they don’t fall off while you’re racing to catch a train in Germany.

Downsides: You’ll have to actually run the marathon.

Travel Packing Advice Item #2: Petzl Tikka Headlamp

Strobe setting. Enough said. Also you can be that annoying person reading on the plane while everyone else is trying to sleep. Go ahead. Set it on the highest setting.

Travel Packing Advice Tip 2. I didn’t have any photos of just the headlamp. I tried to find a funny photo. I even googled “cats wearing Tikka headlamps.” Nothing.

Downsides: It’s really hard to look sexy with a headlamp on. You’ll inevitably blind people while trying to talk to them.

Travel Packing Advice Item #3: Scarf

Useful for covering oneself while visiting religious sites, shielding off the sun, and escaping out the window of your hotel (I’ve never done this, and if I did I would probably use sheets because that’s what they do in the movies. But you never know. Maybe a scarf would work). Can also double as a towel.

Travel Packing Advice Tip 3. It was windy.

Downsides: Sometimes gets caught in taxi cab doors.

Travel Packing Advice Item #4: Passport

Customs officials get irritated when you try to enter a country without one. Also it’s no fun to travel without at least 2 or 3 items that you absolutely 100% cannot lose or you’re screwed.

For added excitement to any trip, try this: 1. Leave passports in hotel safe; 2. Forget about passports; 3. Check out of hotel; 4.Start to get on bus going to another town hours away; 5. Remember passports; 6. Negotiate with bus driver to wait while you sprint through town to hotel, retrieve passports, and sprint back; 7. Leap dramatically onto bus with passports; 8. Spend next 10 minutes sweating profusely on parked bus while bus driver has 2nd cigarette break.

Travel Packing Advice Tip 4. This is what a spy’s passport looks like.
Downsides: Completely screwed if you lose it. For U.S. citizens: Hard to pretend you’re Canadian while carrying travel documents emblazoned with USA on them.

Travel Packing Advice Item #5: At least 5 books

Plenty of reading material. You can finally catch up on the entire collected works of Dostoevsky.
Travel Packing Advice Tip 5. I just wanted an excuse to reference one of my favorite contemporary writers
Downsides: You won’t read them. You won’t even look at them during the trip. You’ll wonder why you even brought them. The answer to this question will elude you until you’re packing for your next trip.