Essential Travel Swag

While traveling it’s important to have the bare essentials: a sleeping bag, a good backpack, good shoes, a steady supply of traveler’s diarrhea medicine, but what about all of the little items that tell the world that you’re a baller? These essential items of swag will help you stand out from other tourists and will serve you for years to come. So go ahead and treat yourself to something nice, you’re a world-traveler, you deserve it.

Leather Jacket (Eddie Bauer)
Every serious male or female traveler needs a stunning leather jacket. Lucky for you Eddie Bauer provides for both sexes and in a most affordable way. Nothing says “I’m a badass” while simultaneously keeping you warm and safe on a motorcycle or scooter like a leather jacket. If you have issues with leather, pleather will do (but it’s kind of like eating soy-bacon). With a leather jacket and a touch of imagination you could be hitchhiking through South America, running away from giant boulders, or changing the oil on the Millennium Falcon. Seriously.

Aviators (Ray-Ban)
I had always been a proponent of gas-station sunglasses until I bought my first pair of Ray-Bans. Not only can I now do my best Beatnick impression (bongos not included) but I now have a newfound respect for expensive eyewear. The iconic sunglasses will last a lifetime (if you don’t lose them immediately) and since they’ve been around for generations and never been out of style, you can go ahead and assumed they won’t make you look like a total ass-hat in front of your future children.

Levi Jeans
Speaking as a heterosexual woman, there is nothing quite like a well-proportioned man-butt stuffed into a pair of Levi’s. Of course, lady-butts look amazing as well. Once again, when choosing travel swag, iconic is best. Whether you are a city-slicker pulling an “Into the Wild” or a seasoned cow-person heading out on some grand adventure, a good pair of classic jeans will get you far and once they’ve reached that optimal breaking point–let’s be real–they’re the only pair of pants you’ll wear.

Existential Travel Novel/Memoir
Whether you’re reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac or Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, it is essential to have a novel that makes you question your road in life (pun intended). Unfortunately (ladies and people of color) most of these books revolved around angsty, young, white men. But don’t be discouraged, we can all learn things from these introspective stories and perhaps they can inspire you to create your own travel memoir. Which brings me to our next travel swag item…

Moleskine Journal
As a professional writer I can attest to the power of the journal. To those that find journaling intimidating or the stuff of Judy Blume novels, I say “”HA!” You need not spend your entire vacation writing out every morsel eaten, nor every emotion felt. I’m a personal fan of the Haiku–a brief summary of your travel day can go a little something like this:

Medina burgers

The undercooked mystery

, Makes my mouth water

(snap if you want)

But for real, a journal can be whatever you want it to be. It can hold tickets, drawings, pictures, and is truly yours for the rest of your years.

A Camera You Know How To Use
It doesn’t matter if you use your phone, or you have the most expensive, impressive camera on the market taking pictures throughout your travels will provide snapshot memories for as long as the internet exists. Make sure you have some practice or else you might end up with a bunch of blacked-out photos of the inside of your bag.