Why stay in one place when there’s so many incredible things to see? Life is short, and you want to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Spontaneous trip to the West Coast to get away from the February cold? Impromptu road trip to your friend’s uncle’s cabin? Compulsive flight to New York when you took a wrong turn and drove past the airport? Just say yes.
Normally, travel is something we spend days, weeks, or even months planning. We’ve convinced ourselves that fun comes at a price: the price of long shopping lists, unnecessary stress, and migraine-causing inconvenience. But traveling doesn’t need to be a planned ordeal—you can be ready at a moment’s notice with a small bag you’ll keep in the trunk of your car. Assuming you’ve already thought of your deodorant, a change of underwear, and your tooth brush, here are the top five items you need to effortlessly fit your life into a carry-on with these non-obtrusive items.
Statistics show that most places on Earth only experience rain 15 percent of the days in a year. That means that regardless of where you’re going, it’s probably going to be sunny. Nothing ruins beautiful sights than not being able to see them due to glare. A pair of great, durable sunnies makes every excursion more pleasant. The good news? Most pairs are fashionable and practical in their function.
Unfortunately, 15 percent of the time, it will rain. Grab an umbrella that’s small and portable to be ready for anything without taking up a lot of invaluable space. Want to make sure you only buy this unexciting item once? Make sure your ‘ella has a vented canopy for a model that won’t flip inside out and break with wind. An umbrella also doubles as a great shade provider, if you happen to go somewhere particularly hot.
3. Multi-Purpose Gear
If you want to be ready for spontaneous travel, you’ll have to be ready for any weather conditions or temperatures. There will be no bigger lifesaver (and space saver!) than pants that can zip off into shorts, black walking shoes that will also look nice when you go out with that handsome stranger, or a convertible dress that can be worn seven different ways.
4. Smart Phone or a Small Tablet
Granted, most of us already have these sewn to our hip. But if not, a smart phone or small tablet will help in the majority of destinations with directions, entertainment on planes (download books and podcasts), and finding fun things to do when you’re ready to venture out of your fabulous Airbnb. A wireless charger and a portable WiFi router may also be worth the investment for spontaneous travelers!
5. Emergency Cash
This is a crucial thing to have if you get stranded someplace that doesn’t have a working ATM. If traveling internationally, a surprising amount of countries—ones which make fantastic travel destinations—take the U.S. American dollar. Among them are the British Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Panama, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and more. $200 will do the trick in most emergency situations.