We all usually try to travel light, but when you succeed, do you feel a little nervous? I do. If I can lift my suitcase without grunting, I’m fairly certain I’ve forgotten something. Here’s a list of the Top ten things not to forget on a trip — hopefully both you and I can remember to check it next time we’re about to head out of town!
1. Cell Phone Charger. They’ve started carrying universal chargers (with multiple heads) at places like Walgreens, but that’s $15 to $20 you really shouldn’t have to spend.
2. Program Your Phone. Do you have the airline and hotel phone numbers in your phone? You should. It’s also a good idea to list your destination’s number for taxis, and someone with ICE (In Case of Emergency) before their name.
3. Passport and Tickets or Itinerary. You need some form of photo ID to travel even domestically, so don’t forget it. The passport is obviously important for foreign travel, but make sure it isn’t about to expire; many countries won’t let you in with under six months left. Also, even if you booked all your travel online, customs will sometimes ask to see your full itinerary, so bring tickets or print it all out.
4. Socks and Accessories. We can usually remember our socks and underwear, but when you’re heading somewhere warm, you probably throw your athletic shoes in the bag for touristy hikes and/or exercising; don’t forget the socks — or face the stinky consequences. There are other unisex items we often miss: belts, hats and scarves, and a good pair of walking or evening shoes. Men, did you remember your tie? Your cufflinks? Women, your jewelry? Hairbands? Bobby pins? Small purse?
5. A Book. Heaven forbid you should be trapped on a long flight with nothing to read but SkyMall or the newspaper. Don’t forget your book, or at least bring a laptop and a dvd.
6. Meds and Potions. Now that you have to pack your lotions and creams and such separately from the rest of your carry-on, it’s easy to forget them altogether. Also, don’t forget your medications — not just prescription. I never go anywhere without Advil, just in case. For your handy reference, TSA guidelines are here.
7. Pajamas. Once you painstakingly pick out clothes for every occasion, remember that you have to sleep in something, too.
8. Converters. Going somewhere foreign? Guess where you can use your electronics: Nowhere! Most good hotels will provide you with at least one power adapter, but I like to have more than that; otherwise I’m constantly switching from charging my phone to charging my computer, and once the razor or curling/straightening iron comes into play, it just gets messy.
9. Gifts. This is a big one for the holidays. Don’t forget the presents! Also, if you’re heading somewhere far away, it’s easy to pack a couple simple things from home to give as thank yous, just in case.
10. Camera and Accessories. Forgetting your camera can all-out ruin your fun. What good is taking a vacation without the means to document it? All right, probably some good, but don’t forget your camera. Disposables aren’t the same and you probably don’t want to buy a whole new one out of town. What’s more, don’t forget the battery charger and the memory card. It can be an expensive mistake!