10 Travel Essentials You Must Take On Your Next Trip!

By Tina

So you’re counting down the hours and minutes until your next big trip overseas, and finally, it’s time to start packing and you have no idea what you should be packing? Yup, we know the feeling, which is why we have compiled a list of 21st Century essentials that you probably shouldn’t be leaving the country without.

Say goodbye to the stress of packing because we just made life a whole lot easier for you.

1. Smartphone

Don’t waste precious time on your holidays documenting your trip on Facebook or whats-apping your other half. Instead, look up and find hidden gems and local restaurants on apps like TripAdvisor or Qype, book your next destination on skyscanner.com, or simply to use Google Maps to find your way back to your hotel. Did I mention that most smartphones have amazing built-in cameras these days? Yup, who even needs an SLR anymore. For an Android smartphone that won’t break your bank…

2. Crossbody bag or bum bag

I know it, you know it… bum bags aren’t exactly the trendiest of accessories, but sometimes in life you learn that being the coolest cat in town makes you a whole lot more susceptible to getting pickpocketed. Yup, I learnt this the hard way. So make sure you get yourself a small crossbody bag or bum bag and hang it where you can see it. Trust me, it looks a whole lot better than carrying a huge backpack on your chest, which is what some travellers resort to. For a range of stylish crossbody bags, take a look here

3. Kindle or tablet

As much as you may be looking forward to the journey itself, whether it be the plane trip or the 5-hour train ride you booked from Venice to Rome, you will get bored. Immensely bored. After enjoying the picturesque scenery for about 10 minutes, you’ll be twiddling your fingers. Pack a Kindle so you can read up on your next travel destination or a tablet so you can keep yourself entertained with games on those long trips. Make sure you have the perfect tech travel gadget to keep your boredom at bay on the road.

4. Travel lock

Whether you’re backpacking or staying at 5-star hotels, it’s a good idea to keep your belongings safe by purchasing locks for all your suitcases and bags. I can highly recommend the Victorinox TSA approved Sentry Cable lock for your baggage.

5. Headphones/Earphones

Headphones will make your trip a hell of a lot easier, trust me. It’s OK if you get stuck sitting next to Mister Snorlax on your 15-hour flight to LA, because you know what? Your quality set of noise blocking headphones will eliminate any unwelcome sounds. I suggest a pair of these babies for the best travel experience. Not only for the sole purpose of blocking out noises, but I’m a firm believer that you need a track for every destination, so that when you come back home and hear that track, you can sit back and reminisce on the best times of your life.

6. Travel Adaptor

Don’t leave the country without an adaptor for every country you’re visiting, because they can be hard to get once you are overseas. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is a dead smartphone with the address of your hotel saved on there.

7. Go Travel Emergency Phone Charger

In case you have forgotten no. 6, or you just can’t for the life of you find a place to charge your phone, then a Go Travel Emergency Phone Charger will be your lifesaver if you’re ever in a pickle. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to post the perfect instagram selfie because of a flat phone battery!

8. Camera

If you’re not satisfied with your smartphone’s photo taking abilities, or need that extra bit of quality for your Instagram pics, then definitely consider bringing a proper camera with you. Want to know how to get the best pics to bring home to show everyone? Check out this guide to nailing travel photography with any camera on Scoopon Life.

9. Wet Wipes

You may not be travelling with a baby, but trust me, these are a gift from the travel gods. Use them to clean up scrapes and scratches, mop dust off your shoes, wipe the sweat off your face, scrub a day’s worth of dirt and grime off your hands if there’s no toilet nearby, and so on. You can thank me later. Grab a 64-pack here for as little as $2.49

10. Travel Organiser

Imagine yourself sitting back on a train, listening to your favourite song, cruising through the stunning Italian countryside, and a wild ticket inspector appears. You rummage through your backpack… no sign of you ticket. You grab your 20kg suitcase from the storage compartment above and frantically search through it exposing your whole suitcase and undies to the other passengers. You can save yourself the trouble and grab a trusty travel organiser that will keep all your documents in one safe place.

Now that your ready for your trip, with all the essentials you need, take a look at these posts:

Got a travel essential you simply can’t travel without? Let us know in the comments below.

Catch Culture’s Guide to Taking an Awesome Selfie

By Jayden

Did you know there’s a Wikipedia page about how to take a selfie?

I didn’t, at least not until I typed, for the first time ever actually, the word selfie into the Google Machine. There’s actually some fairly interesting background regarding the art of the self-portrait, with the first recorded “selfie” being taken way back in 1939!

But that’s enough boring talk! You don’t care about history! You only care about taking selfies, selfies, and nothing but the selfies. Well, buckle up all you Facebookers, Tweeters and Instagramers; We’re going to look at how to take the most perfect selfie!

It’s all about size

Contrary to what every male on the planet says, size does matter, and when it comes to the subtle art of selfie taking, the smaller the better. We’re talking smartphones here, gutter-minds!

Yeah so okay, the kids today might be all about the iPhone 6 Plus and those weird looking “phablets” (big arsed phones that look like an iPad), but seriously, you’re going to want a smaller smartphone (because let’s face it, who’s actually using a camera to take selfies these days? Nerds.) in order to take better selfies. Because here’s the lowdown; The smaller the phone you’re using, the easier it is to one-hand snap those pics while striking your best pose.

Have you tried taking a happy snap of yourself and your friends with an iPhone 6 Plus? Pass! Something around the 5” or less size is just perfect, meaning iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, or even a Windows Lumia 930 (if you’re into Windows Phone…) should be your weapon of choice depending on your OS preference.

Always face the front

If you take one thing away from this blog, it should be this; Always use your smartphone’s front camera when taking a selfie. Under no circumstances are you to use the back, and far superior by a whole lot, camera. Ever! Y’all can complain all you want – waaaaah, the back camera has higher megapixels, and it makes me look better!!! – just no. No! Never!

When taking selfies you always run the risk of catching (see what I did there?) that particular angle that makes you look like the Elephant Man, and no one wants to see that. Using the front camera on your phone allows you to “preview” your selfie before you capture it (read: create a saved record of your horribly disfigured face). So use it. Simples.

To recap; Always use the front-facing camera when using selfies. Always!

Find your best angle (and work it, baby!)

So far we’ve covered that you should be using a smartphone no more than 5” in size (a teeny bit over is fine), and you should always be using your phone’s front camera. Next up is the subtle art of angles, and how important it is you locate your best possible angle, and work that puppy to the bone.

Apparently there’s this whole science surrounding the fact people prefer to snap a selfie of the left side of their face, or what have you; but that’s just silly talk. You use whichever side of your lovely face that doesn’t make you look like a rejected cast member of American Horror Story: Freak Show, be it your left side, right side, or the back of your head.

Buy a Selfie Stick

Oh yes, we’re going there. No doubt you’ve heard about the selfie stick, the phenomenon currently “catching” on in Australia (see what we did there?!). We sell ‘em here on Catch from time to time, and even I own one (after my grandparents bought one for my dad, for some reason, who in turn gave it to me). When it comes to the art of selfies, there is no tool better, other than your phone, than the selfie stick.

I could talk about the benefits of owning a selfie stick, and why such an invention is simply a gift from on high when it comes to taking group-selfies, or when you want to capture some stunning scenery in the background, but what I’m going to do is let Catch’s own selfie stick ad speak for the product itself;

“Picture this: You’re out on the weekend with your friends grabbing some dranks, and you suddenly realise y’all look amazing. You want to take an epic group selfie, but what’s that, your arm isn’t long enough? Oh no! Enter the Selfie Stick, the best way to take the “perfect selfie” each and every time!”

Silly faces are allowed, but duck face ain’t

This is pretty simple, but don’t use that gosh-darn duck face. It’s been overplayed to the point where even the ducks are laughing at you, at everyone. That said, however, feel free to use silly faces. The more obscure the better. After all, what’s the point of a selfie unless it’s silly and fun? Golly gee.

Got a better suggestion? Sound off below and let us know. In the meantime, I’ll be taking selfies in and around the Catch HQ.