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Packing for a trip is almost always a hassle! No matter how many times you look through your suitcase and toiletry bag, it often feels like you’re doomed to forget something you meant to pack!Though most of us remember our toothbrushes and underwear, other handy travel essentials and accessories often slip our minds. Before hauling out your suitcase for your next vacation, consider checking the following list. By packing these items, your trip should be as relaxing and stress-free as possible!
Packing and Organizing Tools
During a long trip, clothing and other essentials can easily become mixed up in one’s suitcase. Instead of having to throw all of your garments on the floor, organize your luggage with packing organizers. Packing bags or cubes can be placed inside of your luggage, allowing you to easily separate your shirts from your socks.
If you plan on getting wet during your trip, an antimicrobial wet/dry bag may be of use to you, too. Such bags can also be used to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones, preventing sweat and grime from dirtying your fresh outfits.
If you don’t already have pouches and holders for your smaller travel necessities, consider purchasing such organizers as well. A conventional fanny pack may be useful for carrying everyday essentials. Money belts and neck wallets are two other smart tools for keeping your passport, credit cards, and cash safe from pickpockets. By keeping your things organized while traveling, you’ll be less likely to misplace essential items while on the go.
Travel-Oriented Smartphone Apps
Before and during your travels, smartphone apps can simplify your trip-planning process. While planning your vacation, consider using applications like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Airbnb to help you discover great deals on transportation and accommodation. Before leaving on your trip, consider downloading maps on Google Maps for the destinations you'll be visiting. By doing so, you can navigate while offline, reducing your mobile data usage and saving you money. Applications like WhatsApp can also be used to stay in touch with friends and family members for free.
If you're traveling to a foreign destination, Google Translate and language-learning apps like Memrise and Duolingo can be used to help you get a better grasp of the language and translate menus and other documents while abroad.
Before leaving on your trip, consider creating a digital list of potential places to eat, as well as the addresses of hotels and other destinations you plan on visiting. By doing so, you can also save yourself time and money while traveling, limiting the amount of research you'll have to do.
Care Products and Other Toiletry Essentials
The basic toiletries you'll need for your trip are probably things you'll remember, such as glasses and contact lenses, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, and more. Other care products that you use less frequently at home, however, are easier to forget. Instead of loading up on soaps and cleansers, consider packing a multi-purpose cleaning agent, such as Dr. Bronner's soap. Consider assembling or purchasing a small first-aid kit filled with basics such as antiseptic ointment and bandages. Other health essentials, such as cold medicines, allergy pills, throat lozenges, bug repellent, sunscreen, and sunburn relief ointment are also worth putting in your suitcase. If you're prone to dry eyes and skin, be sure to pack a soothing body lotion, face cream, and eye drops, too.
If you're a sound sleeper no matter the environment, you might not need to pack any sleep gear for your trip. Many of us, however, have trouble falling asleep and sleeping soundly, particularly while traveling. If you think you'll need a little help getting a good night's rest, consider packing a travel pillow or plush travel scarf to help you get some shut-eye while on planes, trains, or buses. To block out unwanted light and sound, consider bringing along a sleep mask and ear plugs, too. If you'll be staying in bare-bones accommodations or are traveling during the colder months, a blanket or warmer pajamas may be worth putting in your suitcase, too. If you think you'll have trouble falling asleep, purchasing an over-the-counter sleep medication may make things easier for you. By resting well, you'll be able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Before setting out on your journey, it is crucial to collect up all of your important travel documents. If you don't want to spend money on a travel organizer, consider putting all of your documents into a sturdy folder, pouch, or binder. If you're traveling internationally, be sure to include your passport, visas, and personal ID cards, along with digital and physical copies in case your documentation goes missing. Be sure to take along other important cards and documents, too, such as credit and debit cards, relevant rewards cards, and health and travel insurance documents.
Though being spontaneous while traveling is fun, it’s also good to be prepared. Keep printed and digital copies of your reservations, itineraries, and hotel and transportation booking information. A paper copy of emergency contacts may also be of use in case your phone is lost or stolen. Keeping physical and digital copies of all of your important information will help you avoid travel complications in case problems arise. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Other Practical Tools
Depending on your travel destination and personal needs, other tools may also be of use to you on your journey. A cheap headlamp, for instance, can be a great way to navigate through dark hotel rooms without waking those you're traveling with. Though you may have to check travel regulations when traveling by plane, a small multi-tool or Swiss army knife can also come in handy while on vacation, particularly if you're headed to a more remote destination. A collapsible, reusable water bottle is a practical and affordable tool for staying hydrated, and a travel journal and trusty pen are great for jotting down notes and good memories. To keep your clothing in good condition, consider packing a small sewing kit, stain remover, and soap or detergent to keep your garments clean and odor-free. Reflect on the nature of your trip and the number of days you'll be gone when considering what else you may need to take with you.
Though packing these travel accessories may make your travels easier, it is also important not to overpack. If you’re prone to getting sore throats while on planes but have a strong stomach, for instance, consider packing throat lozenges and only buying stomach flu medication if you happen to get sick. Pack a few essential clothing items that are weather-appropriate and, if possible, wash and re-wear them. By packing light and packing smart, you can make your next vacation your best one yet!
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