As summer nears, vacationers are getting ready to pull out their wheeled luggage and begin the arduous task of packing.
There are all the critical checklist items—Passport, check. Wallet, check. Bathing suit, check. Do you really need anything else? Well, unfortunately, yes.
Here are some easy-to-overlook items and we invite you to add to the list with your suggestions of things to bring on a trip that travelers typically leave behind.
- Batteries, power cords and international power adaptors: Make sure you have everything you need to power your cameras, tablet devices, smartphones and whatever gadgets and gizmos you plan on bringing along
- Storage/memory is always an issue, so either be prepared to download photos to a laptop or bring enough storage
Don't forget the Transportation Security Authority's 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage! All liquids and gels must be in 3.4-ounce containers or smaller, placed in one clear, zip-lock bag and placed separately in its own container when heading through security.
- Prescription medication: It might prove very difficult to get your prescription filled once you've left home
- Vaccinations: Are there any required vaccines or preventative medication you need in the destination you're heading to? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has good advice on this front
- Additional medications: Unfortunately, sickness happens on vacation, so be prepared for common ailments such as upset stomach, colds and the flu
- Travel tissue packs: They serve a million purposes, from napkins, to toilet paper, to makeshift band-aids (and make sure to bring some of those as well)
- Wet wipes
- Smaller items such as cotton swabs and floss are easy to forget
- Sunscreen (and aloe for overexposure, ouch!)
- Specialty grooming products, such as hair brushes, electric shavers, curling/straightening irons, etc.
There's nothing harder than packing for a different climate than the one you live in. Try to transport yourself there, to the beach, the rainforest, the mountains, wherever it is you're heading and think of all the things you'll need, all the climates you'll be encountering.
- Hats: Will you be in the sun? Will it be cold or windy?
- Inclement weather: If it might rain, rain jackets or umbrellas will be needed
- Gear: Think about specialty activities you might partake in that require special clothing or footwear (and different types of footwear require different types of socks)
- Accessories: The devil is in the details, details such as hair accessories (headbands, hair bands), jewelry, watches, scarves (great for protecting against the sun and the cold), belts, etc.
- Neck pillows, eye masks, ear plugs
Random items to consider
- Travel speakers or an auxiliary cord for the car for those who want to play music on their trip
- A smaller backpack/fanny pack for day use, or a beach bag
- An additional, folded up luggage bag for purchases
- Some detergent for spills and stains or an emergency bathroom sink laundry load
For the kids
- You've got yourself packed, now think of whether you need any special items for the kids, ranging from baby food and formula, to games and activities that will keep them occupied.
Lastly, if traveling by air, make sure to check with your carrier about luggage size and weight limitations. You don't want to get stuck paying extra or worse, being that person off to the side at the check-in counter, luggage thrown up, desperately ditching the family-sized shampoo and conditioner bottles. Always better to pack smart and light.
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