The Essentials I Pack When Traveling

To be honest, I have two reasons for creating this post and list:

  1. People ask me what I pack on some of my excursions to keep in mind for their travels.
  2. To remember what I pack so I don’t forget anything on an upcoming trip. 

Here are some of my top items I make sure to pack on every trip I go on. Yes, some of this list seems pretty obvious, but I’ve forgotten my toothbrush on more than one occasion (and M forgot a few items on his trip this week).  I have saved quite a bit of money with these travel deals, but I’ve also wasted a lot of money (and time) by forgetting some of my essential items while out on a trip or vacation.

What To Pack When

  • Photo ID Approved for Travel: Make sure you know what forms of ID are acceptable for traveling and going through TSA.  Is your state impacted by REAL ID (like mine is)? Make sure to prepare for this upcoming change.
  • Copy of Medical Card: In case of emergencies, make sure you have this on you.
  • Money: You’re likely going to have to spend some if you’re traveling.
  • Roller-board Suitcase or Backpacking Backpack: Gotta put all this stuff somewhere.
  • Tote or Smaller Bag: For day adventures, like going to the beach or a hike!
  • Credit Cards: And if you’re traveling internationally, ones that don’t charge you for international transaction fees.
  • Phone/Camera: Take photos on the go and to be able to stay connected.
  • Tablet: Similar reasons to the phone, but also so I can watch Netflix during downtime (like when traveling via plane).
  • Chargers: No one likes a dead battery. Make sure to have all the chargers you need.
  • External Battery Pack: For when you’re on the go, but need to recharge your device.
  • Waterproof Case: So nice for when you want to take a swim, or accidentally fall in a very large puddle (which I did in Seattle once… phone damage occurred due to water)
  • Light Raincoat or Jacket: Weather can change on the fly. Find a light jacket to bring with you in case or stormy weather. Obviously, if you’re traveling somewhere extremely cold – wear appropriate attire (like a winter coat).
  • 360 Camera: M purchased this earlier this year and it was an investment that we’re very happy with. It captures us and the experience we are in. We’ve gotten some pretty great shots with it.
  • Medication: Very important. Make sure you have of your medication as well as some other over-the-counter medication that you may need.  You never know when you’ll get sea sick on a boating experience, allergy experience in a new country, or have a major headache occur. Also, make sure to keep a list of all of your medications on hand.
  • List of Foods Your Allergic To Translated in the Languages of the Countries You Are Visiting: If you’re not allergic to foods (or other items), GREAT – you can skim right past this bullet point, but for those of you with food allergies (in my case – severe food allergies), make sure you have a list on hand of the foods or items you are allergic to so you can provide it to any restaurant you may be eating at.  This suggestion was given to me recently and it can be lifesaving.
  • Passport: For when you’re traveling internationally.
  • Copy of Passport: I learned this one the hard way. My passport was stolen and I needed to find a way to get an emergency copy of it. Had I had a copy of my passport on hand, I would have saved a few hundred dollars.  This happened on a trip to Hawaii, but not one of the Hawaii trips I saved money on (so it was a double loss).
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones: For on the plane, it helps take out a lot of the noises you hear or can find distracting on the plane.
  • Earbuds: For hiking or traveling in more public spaces.  I often keep one of my earbuds out to pay attention to my surroundings while listening to music. Also helpful if you are on a hop on/hop off bus tour or canal cruse.
  • Copy of General Itinerary: I often keep a copy on my phone, but it’s nice to have a hard copy incase my phone dies (or goes MIA). Confirmation Numbers for Hotels, Car Rentals, Airfare or any other experiences you may have planned are what I often have listed on this.
  • Pen: You never know when you will need to fill out documentation for entry into a country.  I’ve often received these documents during my flight and having a pen helps save time during the customs process.
  • Comfortable Shoes: I always pack one pair of tennis shoes (if I’m not already wearing them on the plane).
  • Sunglasses: For when you need to protect those eyes (and just want to see).
  • Prescription Glasses/Contacts: I’ve forgotten these quite a bit, but luckily was never in a situation where I needed to drive a car.
  • Clothing: Yes, obviously… I know.
  • Toiletries: So many toothbrushes, razors and hair ties have been forgotten…
  • Items Required for Any Activities You Plan to Do:  We purchased snorkeling gear for one of our trips to Hawaii to save money and be able to use it for other trips. Hiking boots is another thing to consider should you decide to go on a hiking experience.

What do you pack that I’m missing on my list?  What are you essentials? Comment below and let us know!

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