Though the pandemic isn’t over, travel is ramping up. Adults over 18 are approved for boosters, which means that many people feel safer when it comes to hitting the road. It’s exciting to start making travel plans, but it may be more overwhelming than you remember. To make packing easier, keep this list of eight must-have travel items handy:
1. Medications and Remedies
Breaking from your home routine can make it hard to remember everyday things you might take for granted. Medications like birth control are often casualties of this because they need to be taken consistently. They might be the last things you pack and therefore are easily forgotten when leaving. Make a note to pack important medications. Set an alarm while you’re on the road so you don’t miss a dose.
Alongside your prescriptions and supplements, be sure to bring your over-the-counter remedies as well, even if they seem unnecessary. The last thing you want is to be caught with a bad headache or allergies and no ibuprofen or antihistamines.
2. First Aid and COVID-19 Supplies
Regardless of the safety provided by vaccine boosters, COVID-19 is still a threat all over the world. It will be helpful to have personal protective equipment (like masks) on hand. Even if masks aren’t required, it’s better to have them should you need them than not to.
The same goes for general first aid. You never know if a small injury or large issue will arise. Have bandages, disinfectants, and pain relievers on hand. This can make the difference between getting on with your vacation fun and spending time in the drugstore.
3. Hygiene Products
Hygiene products are understandably less important than your meds, but don’t forget them. Just like medications, their consistent usage is important; forgetting your deodorant will unfortunately not go unnoticed. On top of deodorant, bringing everything else you need will help you feel clean and put together. Don’t forget the toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash!
Vacations in particular are meant to help you refresh and clear your mind; keep yourself hygienic and you’ll feel it. Waiting until you arrive at your destination to buy hygiene products will delay that refreshing feeling. This can make your trip more stressful in the beginning.
4. Reusable Metal Bottle
Reusable bottles are better for the environment, and their convenience is unmatched when you want a drink of water on the go. Long days of travel can quickly become a dehydrated blur if you don’t have access to water or remember to drink. A metal bottle significantly cuts down on your plastic usage and keeps your water needs satisfied throughout the day.
Do bear in mind that you can’t take a full bottle through airport security, so empty it before leaving home. More often than not, you’ll find plenty of water fountains in your terminal where you can refill!
5. Necessary Cables and Backups
Your phone is your greatest asset for safety, awareness, and communication in unfamiliar situations. You probably have yours on you at all times, but you may not always carry your charger. Buy a spare cord and charging cube that you can leave in your travel bag so you never forget them again.
In fact, you should also remember to bring a spare charger in case your main one gets damaged. Even if it’s much lower quality, that’s better than being left with no charge when you need it most.
6. Alternate Payment Methods
While traveling, you never know what forms of payment a business will accept. So try to have some options on hand. Carry a credit card or two and take out some cash from your bank before you leave. Take stock of your different payment cards and make sure you have what you need in case of emergency. Having multiple payment methods is a great way to make paying easier and prevent trouble on the road.
Keep in mind that if you travel abroad, you may need to exchange currency at some point. It’s often wise to use a local ATM for the best exchange rate. Forgo the exchange kiosks at airports, which can often charge you more.
7. Backup Clothes and Walking Shoes
You won’t have access to your closet on the road, so do your best to pack accordingly! Sometimes spills and stains happen, or you might be participating in activities that require special attire. Don’t be afraid to pack more than you’ll immediately need so you have clean and appropriate clothes at all times.
That’s not to say you’ll need 14 pairs of underwear for seven days, but a few extra are worth packing. Will you do a lot of walking? Pack a couple of pairs of comfortable shoes. Try to judge your needs based on how you normally dress, leaving a bit of leeway in case of emergency.
With schedules and itineraries on your mind, it’s easy to forget to bring entertainment for the flight. You don’t want to sit in silence the entire way — and you owe it to yourself not to. Choose the activities you want to do during the trip, such as reading, listening to music, or watching a movie.
Having this planned out can make your travels less boring or anxiety-inducing and a little more exciting. You can look forward to whatever comforts you the most and pack accordingly. Bring along a book or e-reader, a tablet with headphones, or even a crossword or sudoku book to pass the time.
Whether you’re a first-time flyer or a seasoned road-tripper, all of these items will be necessary during your trip. Don’t wait until the end to check that everything’s there; go through this list now to ensure it. These basics more than anything else (other than ticket and identity documentation!) will keep your voyage hassle-free.