The first is a map of the destination(s) you will be visiting. It’s easy to feel disoriented on solo trips — or even a guided tour!
The second essential item is a highlighter. A map that you can mark with a highlighter allows you to see exactly where in the world you are. Just mark the major cities or towns you’ll be visiting beforehand, and then connect the dots as you travel the local roads.
This is especially helpful in Europe where countries are only the size of American states and distances traveled are much less than you might imagine.
[Photo: Flickr | Adam NFK Smith]