Swiss Army Knifes are an essential tool to bring with you anywhere and everywhere you go. You will be surprised how often you need to bust it out to cut up food or cut the sleeves off your shirt on a hot day (Suns out guns out) The bottle opener will come in handy when you need to crack open a bottle of wine on top of the Eiffel tower. Dont be on the wrong side of a robbery! A simple pocket knife could be the difference between defending yourself from a robber and getting all your money stolen. Finally, if you are a crazy adventurer and somehow get lost in the Russian wilderness, it could mean the difference between life and death
"Okay mate, how do you play Kings again?" How many times has an Australian guy asked you that? When you are traveling, the best way to get acquainted with fellow adventurers is over a drink. Hostels usually have bars in them, and playing a drinking game with cards is a great way to break the ice. Bring the cards, and be the life of the party! It is also good for long flights, trains, and layovers.
Probably the most important item on this list. You don't realize how essential music is until youre relaxing in Greece and you have no way to play your favorite Bon Iver song. They are cheap and easy to find, and essential for a day Ibiza, a hike in the Andes, or relaxing by the Krka waterfalls in Croatia. Set the mood and be the person who brings the party. It will pay off, I guarantee it.
I cant even count how many times I've been hanging out on a Mediterranean beach and craving to do something active. You can usually find a soccer ball, but sometimes you just need a good old fashioned American past time. Frisbees are light, easy to pack, and everyone knows how to play. It will help you make new friends, and it can always double as a plate, bowl, or a surface for when you're rolling your.. cigarette.
Often forgotten, highly necessary. This can be a game changer when you have an overnight flight or bus ride. I personally am terrible at falling asleep while I am traveling, and it often bites me in the ass the next day when I am really tired. Pop a few of these bad boys when your overnight bus is about to leave, and it will help you ease you into a natural sleep.
This is one of those items that you think you dont need. You are SO WRONG. In Europe, you get charged for water when you order it at a restaurant. It might only be a euro or two, but if you think about how often you drink water, combined with the exchange rate, this could end up saving you hundreds of dollars. It is environmentally friendly people! You can also use it to pack fragile items like sunglasses, shot glasses, and any other small items you don't want to break.
In America, you can find a power outlet every 4 feet. This isn't always the case when you are traveling. Sometimes the buildings you stay in could be hundreds of years old, or you are sharing a hostel room with 10 other people. Bring a power strip and share with your bunk mates. This is also an insanely awesome thing to have if you are in an airport, because outlets are extremely hard to find. Chances are you'll make some friends if you pop this in and invite others to share with you.
I'm a coffee fiend; if I dont get my coffee in the morning my whole day is ruined. (okay maybe thats an exaggeration but you get the point) Bringing instant coffee is great because all you need to do is throw it in some hot water and you're good to go. It is also great for instant ice coffee. While alcohol is a great way to make friends in the evening, coffee is a great way to start up a conversation in the morning, and every culture in the world celebrates the awesomeness of coffee.
You never know what could happen on a hike in the alps, or a cliff jumping day in the Amalfi Coast. Having some band aids is always helpful. Buy a waterproof tin to hold this stuff in and you can also use that to keep your medical prescriptions dry. You also might be in a place where first aid is inaccessible, and a quick bandage might do the trick, and save you countless hours and money trying to get to a hospital. And in the end, if you don't end up using them, you could throw a few band aids on your cheek and tell that Croatian girl that you're Nelly.
You're probably thinking, why the hell would I need hairclippers? I'LL TELL YOU WHY! This is probably the best thing on this entire list. It is very hard for guys to find cheap hair cuts in Europe, let alone anywhere in the world, and if you have the simple skills to give a guy a buzz cut, he will be in debt to you for life. You could also use these as a way to make some extra money on the side, and charge people 5 - 10 bucks for a haircut. If you are studying abroad, chances are every guy will need 2-3 haircuts, so if you are their go to person you could be a life saver.
Franks Hot Sauce is literally impossible to find almost anywhere outside of the United States. I have gone crazy craving a New York style buffalo chicken pizza. Bring some hot sauce with you and introduce the unique taste to some foreigners. They might just end up loving you forever.
One of the funniest things I have ever witnessed was watching a hot blond Swedish girl try Peanut butter for the first time. She hated it; it was absolutely adorable.
In Europe, It is hard to find and really expensive, so a tub of the gooey stuff can save you a lot of money on quick meals, and tingle some taste buds of a few lucky friends. Sure, there is Nutella, but its not quite the same as our good ol' fashion Skippy.