When it comes to packing there are a few essentials I need to make sure my trip runs smoothly. For whatever reason I always end up sick on vacation or with severe back pain due to carrying my backpack all day. It can be a nuisance looking for a CVS or Walgreens while on vacation, so I like to plan and buy ahead of time. I also like to make sure I have what I need like printed material. I’ve encountered times when I needed print documents and failed to do so, not a great experience on vacation when they tell you an email won’t work. Here are my top 10 things I do for any trip.
1. Printing documents; make double sure you’ve printed everything you need such as hotel and flight information. If you’re renting from a car make sure you bring everything you need, like proof of insurance. If you’re taking Super Shuttle…print, print, print! I have had the pleasure of forgetting to print the vouchers and while the hotel tried to help me, it was a no go. We had to end up paying full price because they wouldn’t accept an email. I don’t know if the policy has changed but in any event print and put them in your carry on. If you choose to print out tickets like I have done for the Euro rail do so; I’ve also pre-printed tickets to attractions, don’t forget those! I always carry a clear folder that has a snap, so nothing will fall out and I can see everything with having to shovel around for flight information (which I keep on top). Oh and I did I mention when we went to Paris for a day, upon returning Britain they needed proof we were leaving the UK when we said we were, thankfully my friend had service and saved the email. Print!
2. Medicine; I always have mine with me in case. Advil, Tums, Claritin, mini heat pads are just a few things I carry. I’ve experienced earaches, headaches and I feel everything in between while on vacation. It’s my small first aid kit.
3. Electronics; before I head out I make sure I make a play list with soft music. I just love to listen to soft music when you’re in flight. It helps me realize and makes my sleep a bit easier. If you rather watch TV remember to download your favorite shows. I always make sure I have all my electronics charged up and ready to go. I bought a plug that had a slot for a USB and a regular plug so that I can charge two things at one time. This really helped when I was in Europe. To make sure I had everything together I bought some twist ties and a small pouch from the Container Store.
4. Book; a good book is always good. Right now I’m reading the Hunger Games Catching Fire. I’ve seen the movie but we all know sometimes the book is better.
5. Snacks; food can be expensive, especially on a plane. If your flight doesn’t offer a meal bring some granola bars. I’ve gone through security with granola bars. If you’re looking to save on water bring an empty water bottle. My aunt has done this and after she has passed through security she fills it up.
6. Exit-flight essentials; I mean that little quart bag that has all your essentials to make sure that cabin air doesn’t break you out.
7. Plastic Bags; hear me out. I don’t know about you but I don’t like to mix my clean clothes I didn’t wear with my dirty clothes (even though I may clean them). I always carry extra plastic bags in case. I use them to separate my socks, undies, t-shirts etc…
8. Bank; this is so important especially when you fly international is to call your bank before you leave and informing them of your trip. When we were in Niagara Falls we’d go back and forth from the US to Canada, my brother didn’t call his bank and they put a hold on it while we were on our back from Toronto.
9. Copies; pick-picketers is real, it happens. My aunt who has been overseas gave me this piece of advice before I traveled international (because she knew someone who this happened to); make a copy of your credit cards, passport and ID and keep the originals in the safe of the hotel (if they have one). I realize not carrying a credit card is unrealistic but in the event that it’s stolen you have a copy of the card to reference to when making a claim.
10. Good Night’s Sleep; the last thing you want is to be late for a flight. I have a flight Monday that leaves at 8:40 AM. I make it appoint to be there two hours before when traveling domestic, three for International. Honestly, TSA aren’t the fastest group and maybe rightfully so (though I think they can open more lines) but you’re not the only one trying to catch a flight. I have to not only wake up early but also pick up my sister on the way who’s dropping us off. Houston has an insane amount of traffic, that’s just something to factor in. What time of day are you leaving? Is there usually traffic at that time? You’re not the only one on vacation and for that matter everyone else has to work, expect traffic.
I really hope these three posts helped you or at the least reminded you of what you need to do. These are just things that helped me and I’ve learned along the way, some not so easy but at least I learned for the future. Happy Traveling!