Nothing feels as good as vacation, but the pre-trip worry and preparation can be exhausting. If you’re worried about forgetting the essentials, here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to do to prepare like a pro.
Check with your doctor two months in advance to allow time for preventive medications or vaccinations. Get refills for any prescriptions and pack these items to help you navigate any minor medical issues. Additionally, consider the following:
- First aid kit
- Remedies for allergies, diarrhea, motion sickness, rashes, and bug bites
- Extra glasses or contact lenses, cleansing solution and eye drops
Keep contact information for your physician and a list of allergies in your bag. All medications must be kept in their original bottles.
Before you start packing your bags, plan for home security. It will give you peace of mind and make your homecoming smooth.
Put a hold on newspaper and mail delivery and arrange for lawn care to make it look like you’re home. Set lights on timers to prevent any excess use in energy. Have something arranged for your animals, whether it be a kennel or friends checking in.
Additionally, see if that friend will check on the house while you’re away. And lastly, plan to lock all doors and windows, unplug appliances and discard food that could spoil while you’re gone.
You’ll need a photo ID and your driver’s license as well as a passport for overseas travel. If you’re vacationing with pets, obtain copies of vaccine documentation. Collect these well in advance to allow time for updates if they’re expired.
If you are looking forward to travelling with personal electronic devices, check batteries in each. Ask your cell phone provider if you’ll have coverage where you’re going and your hotel can tell you if your devices are compatible with their electrical current. Don’t forget charging cables!
Travelers are good targets for pickpockets and thieves. Lock luggage and don’t leave valuables in your hotel room. Ask about a hotel safe.
Keep important documents and money close. Leg wallets are convenient, but a neck wallet keeps documents handy.
Choosing the Right Luggage
Luggage that holds everything you need, but doesn’t get in the way is a must. Leave the bags with broken handles and zippers behind — they’re a safety risk and won’t keep your valuables secure.
If you’re headed to the jungle, a durable duffel bag and lightweight backpack or shoulder sling should you get there and give you something to tote the essentials in without weighing you down.
Going to the concrete jungle? Think wheels! From a versatile around-town backpack to a four-wheeled suitcase to bring gifts home in, they’ll allow you roll effortlessly through the airport and your destination’s streets alike.
Products and Misc Items
It’s important to make sure you buy all of your carry-on items before you get to your destination. Often, small stores and marts have hiked up prices because they know tourists will forget common items like toothpaste and deodorant. So make sure you plan ahead. Additionally, since you’re going to be in (hopefully) nicer weather, consider a non-greasy face and body sunscreen – you will thank yourself later.
Ready, Set, Pack
- Pack what you may need on the plane in your purse or carry-on. Then, start with this list to make sure all the essentials are in the bag:
- Weather-appropriate clothing
- Personal hygiene supplies
- First aid kit and small flashlight
- Extra glasses, repair kit, contact lenses and care solution
- A map, attraction and language guide
- ID, credit cards, and cash
- Electronics and comfort items such as a travel pillow, tissues and lip balm
- Laundry supplies
- Feminine hygiene products
- Nail care kit
- Travel towel
- Razors and blades
- Extra batteries
- Suncreeen and bug spray
Things to Consider
- Check TSA security rules before each trip.
- Confirm flight, hotel and car rental details at least a day in advance.
- Pack early to allow time for a double-check.
- Put your itinerary in writing and share it with a friend.
- Consider buying items such as toiletries, laundry supplies, or sharp personal care items when you land to minimize security concerns and limit the cost of checked bags.
- Know the rules. Never bring prohibited items into a foreign country.
- Notify the bank and credit card companies that you’ll be making purchases outside the country to prevent embarrassing payment declines.
Finally, take a deep breath and put the worry aside. In most cases, good planning will save the day even if you forget a few things. Enjoy the trip!