We all get caught up in the moment when packing for our next trip. We overthink what to bring and overpack, but sometimes forget the obvious! Here are some tips on what items to remember if you often find yourself regretting rushing to get to the airport.
1 – Headphones
There are few travel moments worse than realizing you forgot to bring your headphones. Layovers and delayed plans are much easier to handle when you can listen to your favorite music or binge on Netflix. Without your headphones you can’t tune out the other travelers on the plane. You know, the kids yelling at each other behind you or that overly friendly person sitting next to you who tells you their whole life story. With your headphones, you can escape into your own little world. Without them, you’re going to learn a lot about your neighbors. Also – most planes now offer tv shows and movies through onboard applications. No headphones? You’re back in the 1920s with silent movies. Good luck!
2 – The essential toiletries
Traveling, for some unclear reason, makes you feel a little yucky overall. Maybe it’s being stuck in a confined space with a hundred other people in the middle of the sky, having to use public restrooms, or using a seat that countless other people have used before you. It’s even worse when you are delayed or miss a flight and have to stay in a hotel that the airport chose for you overnight.
So be prepared! Have the necessities – toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc. They all come in travel-size options, easy to take on board the plane or in your bag. You can get a waterproof travel cosmetic bag and put your own cosmetics in it, or you can buy a premade kit for men or women. Remember: if you’re flying, no razors or aerosols. And don’t forget any medicines you take!
Helpful tip: Most hotels DO have emergency toiletries for those who are missing them. Just ask at the front desk!
3 – A travel pillow
Let me tell you, a travel pillow is NOT overrated. This comes from someone who has traveled both with and without pillows – the literal pain in your neck the following day is not worth it. Plus, they sell the pillows in a wide variety of styles – inflatable, position adjustable (these ones are pretty cool), and some even with reading lights.
4 – A sweatshirt
I don’t care if you are traveling in the middle of summer in the desert. You are bound to come across some buildings/buses/trains/planes with high air conditioning and get cold. The last thing you want is to be cold and uncomfortable during your travel if you can prevent it! So be sure to bring along a sweatshirt or light jacket that you can use when you need it.
5 – A portable phone charger
Transit can be long, and not all transportation gives you the opportunity to charge your phone or tablet. So, get yourself a travel charging pack so you can give your phone the boost it needs. You don’t want to get to your destination and be unable to take photos or update your social media to share with your friends and family! Just remember to charge the pack before you leave and recharge whenever you’re near an outlet – it serves no purpose if it has no power!
6 – Sunglasses
This one may sound silly to you – but can be easily forgotten! Particularly if you are leaving a colder, dark climate for a warm, sunny one! Because, let’s face it, that’s one of the reasons we travel most! To escape the snow and cold (at least that’s true for us New Yorkers!). It might not be on your mind because you aren’t using them regularly at home, but as soon as you get to your vacation spot, you’ll regret not having your sunnies!
7 – Addresses
You’ll be on vacation; your friends and family are stuck at home. They’ll want postcards (even though they’ll be sad they aren’t with you), so make sure you have addresses! I’m not saying to get a filo-a-fax and write them all out. It’s the 21st century – program them in your phone so you always have them. It’ll save you time and make your loved ones happy that you thought of them when they get a postcard in the mail.
8 – Cash
You never know when you’ll come across a place that doesn’t accept credit cards, or maybe you want a few dollars to tip the bell hop at the hotel. No matter, be prepared to have some cash on you. This also goes for car trips – you may need some coins to pay a toll or a parking meter.
9 – Sneakers
Yes, flip-flops and sandals are comfy and convenient. Heels look adorable and boots cover a variety of occasions. But if you plan to do a significant amount of walking while discovering a new city or adventure locale, bring sneakers. Your feet will thank you and you won’t be hobbling around with blisters for the rest of your trip!
10 – Sunscreen
Along the same lines of the sunglasses, don’t forget the sunscreen! Listen to what the doctors say – they know what they are talking about. I’ve seen the damage sunburn can do. I was on a cruise with a friend in the South Pacific and she thought it would be “cool” to get a tan, so while everyone else put sunscreen on, she ignored the advice. She ended up with burns so bad she spent the rest of the cruise in her stateroom on the ship. Don’t be that person. Use sunscreen and reapply as often as you need to! And while we are on the topic, give a listen to Baz Luhrmann’s classic song “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”.
Do you have any items that you always make sure to bring on your trip?