- iPhone. Literally changed my life. You need a translator, a camera, GPS, international texting, social media… you’re set. A computer is a real must, but in a jam, the iPhone will take care of you.
- Kindle. I like to read, and especially when you’re not in school anymore, and most of the conversations you have are in broken English, I think it’s really important to keep up some level of brain stimulation…. if nothing else than to maintain a good vocabulary. Kindles are great because they have no frills, but a perfect screen for reading and the battery lasts forever. Plus you can download a book anywhere in the world with the international 3G.
- Beef jerky. #1 travel snack and you can’t find it in Europe. I load up at Costco before heading over. And ask for reinforcements at Christmas.
- Coffee maker. If it’s a short trip, I don’t worry about it, but when I’m heading over for a season, I need to know that I’ll be able to make good coffee at home. This year I brought over an AeroPress, and it’s easy to use, small enough to be portable, and makes great coffee.
- Portable speaker. I have a small, wireless bluetooth speaker that is perfect for traveling. You can listen to your music anywhere, and you get better quality than your laptop without too much additional space being taken up (and for the traveller…. space is everything).