There’s nothing more exciting than going on a vacation. You can spend weeks, even months, planning and preparing for your trip. You might be checking out websites, making itineraries, booking day trips, and choosing hotels — but what to pack? Many people wait until the last minute to pack, often due to the stress of deciding what to bring.
Each destination requires different items, depending on the climate, possible activities, and whether it’s a business or leisure trip. However, there are four items that everyone should bring on every trip.
Somewhere to Keep Important Documents
A money belt is always a good idea. It fits naturally under your shirt, making it easy for you to reach, but keeps your cash, passport, and other important documents safe. Some money belts go around your waist, and some go around your neck like a lanyard. There are some great money belts out there. Many are now slim enough to be discreet but have enough pockets for all your documents. Even if you’re not traveling overseas, keeping your passport handy is incredibly smart. You never know when you might need it.
Portable Charger and Cords
Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and digital cameras are ubiquitous nowadays. One thing they all have in common? They need to be charged! Taking photos all day long, playing music, texting friends, and ordering an Uber can all drain your battery pretty quickly.
What do you do if your battery dies in the middle of the day and you don’t have access to an outlet? That’s why you should always bring a portable charger and extra cords. Most portable chargers fit in a pocket or a purse. They also come in handy during a power outage or if you lose a cord. Just don’t forget to charge the portable charger, too.
A well-reviewed option is the Aluratek 8000 from Target. It has two USB ports to charge two devices at once, it charges quickly, it’s lightweight, and it’s small enough to fit in a pocket.
image via Flickr by Eric.Ray
Vacations often require miles of walking. Don’t forget to bring comfortable footgear — running shoes, sandals, boots — whatever works best for your feet. Comfortable slip-on shoes are a great choice. If there will be lots of walking, make sure you break in any shoes before you leave. Blisters could ruin your whole trip.
Photocopies of Your Important Documents and Itineraries
Things get lost all the time. Airlines lose your bags, or something gets left behind in a taxi or hotel room. What if it’s your wallet, passport, or traveler’s checks that get lost? That’s why you should keep several photocopies of your important documents in different places when traveling.
Keep the originals in your wallet or money belt. One photocopy should be kept with a trusted individual at home. Another copy goes in a file in your suitcase, and one goes in your carry-on bag. Upload a copy to your computer and the cloud. Having so many copies might seem like overkill, but it will cut down on lots of stress if the original gets lost.
Obviously, every trip needs different items. A vacation at Disneyland needs different clothes than an Alaskan cruise. But no matter where you’re headed, be sure to bring the important stuff.