When preparing to travel, either domestically or internationally, it can feel overwhelming to find and pack each specific item that you need for your flight, drive, or train-based journey, as well as specific items for your actual trip. Sometimes, last-minute packing of clothes, electronics, and other necessary possessions leads to forgetting items that seem less immediately important.
So, here’s a list of several items that are either necessary or desirable for making sure that you have access to everything you want without overpacking!
Items for Comfort
One of the most important things to consider when getting ready for travel is comfort. However, when you’re trying to decide on what to buy, what to bring, and what to leave behind, it’s important to keep in mind convenience too—the smaller and more easily portable items will always be the best choice for a trip, regardless of whether it is short or long. Bringing a comfortable and portable neck pillow for sleeping on a plane, train, or in a car is a necessity.
It’s also useful to find a thin and easily foldable blanket to bring for the trip, allowing you to be warm and comfy in unexpectedly cold traveling situations. Depending on the type of sleeper you are, it may be worthwhile to find a sleeping mask and a set of earplugs to allow you to feel alone when you may be surrounded by noise and people.
Also, in terms of comfort, it’s great to bring a couple of pairs of sweatpants or pajamas, and at least one pair of comfortable shoes so that you can dress comfortably on long travel days or for the departing and return journeys. With flights, in particular, it’s much easier to get around an airport and relax on a plane when you’re wearing something comfy.
There are a lot of small products or items that are too easy to forget about during the process of packing, and that will end up causing minor frustration when you realize you’ve forgotten them once it’s already too late. The biggest group of products that this tends to happen with is toiletries.
It’s very easy to forget things like a small portable deodorant, a toothbrush and tiny pack of toothpaste, and even a small container of lotion for staying moisturized during travel. For those with skincare routines, although most long-distance travel prohibits bringing liquids over a certain amount, you can still pack make-up/face wipes, hair products, and even small cases of face wash. It won’t always be possible to bring all of your usual toiletry products, so it’s important to be able to distinguish what you can and can’t bring and to pack products that will do enough to keep you feeling hygienic! However, for those who are flying, it’s important to remember TSA’s rules about what liquids are allowed through security — all gels, liquids, creams, and aerosols can only be 100ml or less, and must be in 1-quart or smaller, transparent containers (items must also be placed in a Ziploc bag).
Another group of items that is easy to forget about when packing for travel is small miscellaneous products. For example, It’s easy to lose or forget headphones, so it’s better in most cases to grab two small pairs of headphones — ensuring that you won’t be left without a way to listen to your music if one pair happens to disappear. In that same vein, it’s easy to remember to bring a charger for a laptop, but it’s just as easy to forget a charger for a phone or iPad. So, it’s better to make sure that this is one of the first items you pack, or that you pack the charger at the same time that you pack its respective device.
If you’re going to be traveling for an extended period and won’t always have access to restrooms, it’s good to bring Purell or sanitizing wipes to be able to keep your hands sanitary in publicly-frequented areas. And for those with glasses or contacts, it’s important to pack small and easily forgettable items like an extra contacts case, a glasses case, a small bottle of contact solution, and even glasses wipes. Although items like this don’t seem like a big deal at first, having to purchase them in another country or city may prove difficult if a lot of activities have been pre-planned for the trip.
For the actual trip itself, it’s important to find a bag that fits your exact needs. First, it’s important to figure out how many bags you’ll need for the trip — for a trip lasting longer than a week and a half, it’s usually worth it to consider bringing a smaller, more portable bag or backpack, and a larger suitcase or travel bag that can fit all of your travel necessities. In terms of shorter trips, if you’re the type of person who likes to bring a bunch of extra changes of clothing, it might be better for you to find a medium to large-sized travel bag that can work both as a carry on and as your main bag. However, if you’re someone who likes to pack light and doesn’t need much when traveling, then you’ll want to find a small- to medium-sized bag that will accommodate your needs, while also allowing you to have space for souvenirs that you might want to bring back!
Some of the most important items to remember to bring are health-related. When considering how far you’re traveling, it can be harder to find particular types of medicinal products in other countries and areas. As long as you can remember to pack simple items like lozenges, allergy medication, and common cold medicines, you should be prepared for most circumstances for the duration of your trip without having to buy any other products. Depending on what time of year you’re traveling, and the climate of the place you’re visiting, it can also be helpful to bring simple items like sunscreen and bug repellent.
Overall, the easiest items to forget tend to be items that you can purchase once you’ve arrived at your destination. Although, if you don’t have much time between activities and want to make sure you have everything with you once you’ve arrived, then you should try to make a checklist of the things mentioned here that apply to you. Also, it’s imperative to double-check before traveling that you’ve packed them.
Hopefully, this article has made packing a bit easier, and here’s hoping you have a great time on your next trip and the trips to come!