Camping or traveling cross-country? What to pack for your teens

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A travel company that journeys with teens compiled a list of travel “must-haves” for camping or cross-country adventures. Since 1983, Adventures Cross-Country has provided domestic and international cultural experiences that combine community service, adventure and language immersion for students ages 13 to 19.

Check out the recommended list.

  • Steri-Pen Water Purifying Wand (and Wide Mouth Water Bottle): Never buy bottled water again! With this magic wand, you can drink the local water worry free. Fill your water bottle, turn your purifier on, give the water a stir, and like magic, in 60 seconds your water is safe to drink. Recommended: Steripen Freedom and Nalegene Wide Mouth
  • Cotton Sarong: Is it a bath towel? A sunshade? A cover-up? Headscarf? A beach blanket? Or a light sleeping cover? A sarong is light and dries faster than quick-dry towels. Whether you need to cover your shoulders while visiting a church on a remote tropical isle or you forgot your towel at the beach, if you have a sarong, you’ll be set.  Recommended:  Vera Bradley Sarong
  • Headlamp: Ever fumbled around your hostel trying to find your bunk in the dark while everyone is asleep? Or, ever been stranded in a remote guest house lacking electricity? Throw a tiny headlamp into your bag and you’ll never stub your toe in the dark again. Recommended: Black Diamond Ion
  • Compressible Day Pack: A relatively new product, an ultralight and easily compressible day pack is a must for any extended travel. It can serve as a carry-on bag, a laundry sack, a camera bag, a purse or simply as a place to stow those extra souvenirs you just “had to buy.” This type of bag compresses so small that you won’t even know you have it. Recommended:  Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack
  • Dr. Bronner’s Soap: Rustic bathrooms are one thing; rustic hand washing is another. We love traveling with a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap for hand washing, face washing, dish washing and just general cleanliness. In a pinch, you can even brush your teeth with it.  Recommended:Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap
  • Personal Lock and Cable System: Afraid to close your eyes on the chicken bus to Cuzco because someone is eyeing your backpack? Concerned your bag might walk off while you use the bathroom on the train to Hanoi? Use this simple lock and cable system to keep your belongings safe as you travel. Recommended: Eagle Creek Dial TSA Lock & Cable
  • Swiss Army Knife: That awesome bodega only serves wine by the bottle?  The screw fell out of your luggage wheel? You have a splinter from the wood dock on which you were lounging? No worries. Just be sure to pack your Swiss army knife in your checked luggage because those TSA agents don’t need any more of these! Recommended: Victornox Swiss Army Spartan
  • Small Gifts:  Small gifts for children are appreciated wherever you travel. Self-inking stamps, coloring books, balloons and markers are universally loved and are a great way to make a connection, even if you speak a different language. Recommended: Mrs. Grossmans Stickers and Classroom Rewards Pencils
  • Ziplock Bags: Our everyday uses for them multiply when we are traveling. They keep things dry (camera, meds, toilet paper), keep wet things separate, and keep dirty things away from everything else! You can also use them as ‘stuff sacks’ to organize and compress your belongings. Forgot to pack them? Just grab a couple in the TSA screening line. Recommended: IKEA Istad Plastic Bags
  • Tablet or eReader: These are great for keeping in-touch via WiFi with people back home (Skype, email, video chat) and can also be a traveler’s best friend. No longer do you need to carry 20 lbs. of guide books, maps, train schedules and beach reading:  just download them all onto your reader. They are great as language translators, currency converters and can provide directions to that little hostel hidden deep in Barcelona’s old town. They are also nice for watching a movie when jet lag has you wide awake at 3 a.m. Recommended:  Apple iPad Mini 


Yvette Caslin
Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.

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