That time of the year is here again! Whether travel is your yearly pilgrimage or simply something you have to do or else you will go crazy, we all have to pack our bags (sometimes reluctantly) before the journey. You might want to have a hassle-free travel, but are you doing it the smart way?
One of the best places to start with is the luggage. This means pack only what you need, and keep your luggage light. Let’s admit it, sometimes we do bring many clothes, unnecessary items, or we shop too much and make our luggage cumbersome. Now I have good news for you – travelling light only requires you to bring the essentials, and it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
1. Light-weight Backpack
Are you planning to go for sightseeing or travel from one place to another? I would recommend you a practical bag for the occasion: Backpack. It is versatile, you can put your valuables, a jacket, water bottle, a book, and basically handy things that you need. You can even go hiking with just a backpack.
Some of you might wonder if handbags and smaller bags are a good idea for travel. My advice would be unless you have a special occasion or event to attend, it is better not to do without. While it could be light, it might take up luggage space.
2. Slip-on Shoes
Does your itinerary include visiting shrines, temples, someone’s house, or places with tatami rooms (e.g. tea room)? Then you should borrow or buy a pair of slip-on shoes. In the Japanese culture, you are required to change into an indoor slipper instead. Slip-on shoes come in handy and you will get used to wearing one in no time.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you don’t want to be caught off guard by indoor etiquettes in Japan, you can read about it here.
3. Plug Adaptor and Voltage Converter
Japan’s standard voltage supply is either 100 or 110 Volts and the plug they use is Type A (with 2 flat pins). If electrical appliances in your country supply higher voltage than in Japan, merely using the plug adaptor is dangerous. The solution for this is to bring along a multi-socket adaptor that comes with a transformer.
You can also easily purchase this in Japan’s electrical store if you forget to bring one.
4. On-the-go Hygiene Essentials
Simple hygiene items are necessary to maintain your cleanliness and comfort whenever you go. Some of the hygiene essentials that I recommend include dry tissue, wet tissue, sanitizer, and handkerchief. This especially useful if you are constantly on-the-go, or you have a tight schedule and is unlikely to have a meal in a restaurant.
Although I am only recommending only four items here, you can customize your hygiene essentials according to your needs. Other items that you might want to carry along could be towels and body mist.
5. Travel Apps
Last but not least, travel apps are very important travel essential that will help you during your travel. Nowadays, there are many free Japan travel apps that cater to foreign tourists’ needs, making travel a breeze! This includes apps for dictionary and translation, navigation, transportation, Wi-Fi, and travel guide. Some of my recommended ones would be the Japan Rail Map as it comes with a map for Japan rail network and it is very useful if you will be using the train frequently.
I personally recommend you to download the apps before your travel to Japan, as you will not have Wi-Fi access if you leave the airport. Alternatively, you can download apps that help you to connect to Wi-Fi such as NAVITIME for Japan Travel. Japan travel apps are so useful that having it on your phone is like carrying your personal Wikipedia wherever you go.
Coincidently, we have recently published an article on Travel Apps. Click here to read our recommendations.
If you are looking for other alternatives to keep you connected to Wi-Fi in Japan besides downloading travel apps, click here to read about other alternatives.
Travelling with essentials is all about being straight to the point. All you need to do is not be distracted by bringing along unnecessary items for your travel. One useful tip for you to do this is to focus on the priority of travelling light and hassle-free.