You might think the destination is the most important part of a vacation. It’s not. What you pack is the most important part. After all, the items you bring make or break whether or not you have a good time.
Don’t believe us? Think back to that one vacation where you forgot your walking shoes. Or when you didn’t bring a portable charger to the airport and had no way to contact your family once you landed. Sound familiar?
Even if those two scenarios didn’t happen to you, something similar probably did. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. Here are seven travel essentials to pack for your upcoming trip.
1. Carry-On Luggage
Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking a train, you need luggage that’s easy to carry and holds all of your essentials. This is especially true if you’re flying and want to avoid paying extra to check a bag. Consider purchasing a travel backpack or a small carry-on.
A travel backpack is small enough to store in front of you on a plane. It’s also spacious enough to hold everything you need for a weekend getaway. Most backpacks come with several compartments so you can easily store your computer, phone chargers, wallet, purse, and more. You can even find backpacks with built-in USB ports so you can charge your electronics when you aren’t near an outlet.
A small carry-on is similar to a travel backpack. But instead of carrying, you roll it. This is a great option for travelers who want to avoid walking around with something strapped on their backs.
2. Personal Pillow
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest. While traveling is a great way to escape stress for a few days, it can greatly impact your sleep cycle.
According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, your circadian rhythm (which regulates the sleep-wake cycle) is thrown off when you travel. To keep that from happening, make sure you maintain a sleep schedule similar to the one you have at home.
And don’t forget to travel with your sleep essentials! For instance, if you sleep with a certain pillow, consider bringing it as your personal carry-on. You might also bring a silk pillowcase and your favorite cozy pajamas to make yourself feel as “at home” as possible.
3. Portable Laundry Bag
Picture it. You’ve been on vacation for a couple of days and have accumulated some dirty clothes. What do you do with them? Most people either throw them in the corner of their hotel room or keep them inside their suitcase.
The problem with both scenarios is your dirty clothes end up cluttering the hotel room. They can also end up getting mixed with your clean clothes. Gross! Avoid that problem by packing a compact laundry bag. These bags are small and can easily fit into a carry-on.
4. Healthcare Items
Don’t let an upset stomach or strained muscle ruin your trip. While you don’t need to bring an entire pharmacy with you, you should pack some essentials from your medicine cabinet. Be sure to bring along a pain reliever, something for an upset stomach, Band-Aids, and even muscle rub. You should also bring along items like hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and a couple of spare face masks.
Remember to fill your prescriptions in advance of your trip and bring them along in their original bottles. That way, if the TSA has questions about your meds, you have the prescription number on hand. Have your insurance card in your wallet in case you need to use it on the trip. Hopefully you won’t need to, but it’s best to be prepared.
5. Comfortable Shoes
Let’s be honest. How many times have you had blisters on your feet because you went sightseeing in ballet flats instead of walking shoes? We get it — you want to look good while you’re traveling. But you should also want to be comfortable. So make sure you don’t forget to pack shoes that offer your feet support, like tennis shoes or Birkenstocks.
Keep in mind these don’t have to be the only shoes you pack. You can throw some heels and booties into your luggage, too. Just make sure you don’t wear them for a day of walking.
6. Compression Bags
After gathering all of those necessary items, you might be low on luggage space. Don’t pack another bag. Use compression bags or packing cubes to fit everything you need instead.
Compression bags work almost like a vacuum. They remove extra air in the bag so you can fit more without taking up too much space. Packing cubes are designed to compartmentalize items inside your luggage. They also compress clothing, so you’re able to pack more in a small space.
Both of these travel essentials will make it easier for you to pack everything you need, even when traveling with carry-on luggage.
7. Travel Apps
You’re bringing your phone with you on vacation, right? Great. Make sure you download apps that’ll make your travels easier. For instance, if you’re flying, download your airline’s app so you can get real-time updates on flight information, gate changes, etc. By downloading the app, you’ll have access to your boarding pass without having to print anything out.
The Go City app is another travel essential. It shows users some of the best things to do in the city they’re traveling to. This is a great app if you’re visiting somewhere you haven’t been and want to maximize your time.
Do you know where you’re staying on your vacation? If you don’t have the Airbnb app already, you should definitely download it. This app provides users with millions of homes that offer different accommodations across the globe.
With more and more people getting vaccinated and travel restrictions easing, you might feel more comfortable traveling. That’s great! But chances are you’re a little out of practice when it comes to hitting the road. Don’t worry — the tips above will help you find your way and make your vacation worthwhile.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.