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If you have been following my blog, you might have seen that my husband and I just returned from an anniversary trip to Mexico last month. Packing has always been a big deal with my husband in that he has always said that I needed to pack a bag that I could carry. It didn’t mean that he wouldn’t help me with my bags but I needed to pack my essentials for my vacation like I was always going to be managing all bags.
It definitely helped me tune down my tendency to overpack!
Packing for a vacation is not always easy. With so many things to take into consideration, it can be hard to know where to start. I’ve put together this packing list of essential items that you should bring on your next trip in order to make the process easier and more enjoyable. The following are my top tips for packing essentials for vacation.
Pack dark-colored lightweight clothes.
You don’t want to pack anything that will show stains or wrinkles easily. Make sure you have enough underwear and socks for the duration of the trip. However, keep your clothing choices simple so you can mix and match outfits quickly when needed. Keeping your clothes in the same color family allows you to limit the number of shoes you have to bring as well. Bring along some dressy clothing just in case there’s a fancy restaurant that you’d like to go to.
Roll clothes and pack them first, and choose travel-friendly fabrics. Pack the first outfit you’ll want to wear on top and place heavy items at the base. Layer plastic dry cleaning bags between clothes. Also, pack an outfit or two (with a change of underwear) in your carry-on. More on that below.
Remember personal hygiene products and medications.
Don’t forget things like toothpaste, deodorant, contact lens solution, or pain relievers. If you are keeping toiletries in your carry-on bag, remember the size restrictions so you won’t have to dump your products. Keep your medicine in well-marked containers separate from the rest of your things just in case they need to be separated for security purposes.
Leave space for souvenirs and gifts.
If you plan on buying souvenirs while you’re gone, bring along an empty bag so you can take them home. This is also a good idea if there are any small children traveling with you who may have toys or stuffed animals to bring back as gifts for their friends at home.
You may want to consider packing an umbrella and/or rain boots just in case it rains while you’re away. A lightweight rain jacket may also be helpful — you can also use it on the plane if you get chilly. Wherever you’re traveling, check the weather and dress appropriately but also bring clothes for “just in case” weather if you’re traveling somewhere that weather fluctuates.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that getting too much sun is very harmful to your skin over time. Make sure you take along plenty of sunscreen or purchase it when you arrive at your destination so you can take full advantage of your time outside.
Whether you plan on reading a book by your hotel pool or relaxing in your room after a long day of walking around town, it’s important to have something comfortable and casual packed just in case. Just be sure not to overpack so that you can fit it all in the room with you!
Bring along a book or magazine (or two or three!).
Magazines or books are definitely essentials for vacation! Every vacation needs a few moments to give your brain time to relax. You can read while at the airport, waiting for your luggage to arrive at the hotel, or even onboard an airplane. If there are any children traveling with you, they may enjoy having books or games packed away just in case there isn’t anything else fun to do.
If you’re super short on space, load the Kindle and iPad up with books and activities for everyone to do.
Not only are reusable water bottles better for the environment, but it’s also cheaper to use one than pay for a bottle of water at every turn. Most airports have spots just for reusable water bottles to be filled up!
Travel insurance is important in this current age of travel. Depending on the country, you may have to take a COVID test upon arrival or departure. If you test positive, you may have to alter your travel plans which may be rather costly. Find some travel insurance that covers COVID-related travel disruptions and make sure you don’t forget the policy information.
If you’re planning on driving and have rented a car while abroad, make sure you have all travel insurance information written down along with your personal license plate numbers. Having this information memorized could end up saving you a lot of trouble later on.
You should always have a hard copy of your passport with you, but it’s even more important to bring along an extra electronic or printed version. This way you’ll have everything you need in case anything happens to the original as well!
Bring comfortable shoes.
When packing essentials for vacation, make sure everyone has comfortable shoes that they won’t mind running around in and wearing in line. Flip flops or swimming sandals are good because they’re also safe for poolside and hotel/resort use. However, have some sturdier shoes available if there is going to be hiking or climbing on your vacation.
This is just in case your luggage doesn’t arrive when expected! This is an easy tip most people forget about, but bringing an extra (or two) change of clothes — with underwear — will allow everyone to feel more comfortable even if their luggage takes longer than expected to be delivered to them. It’s also important to bring travel-sized toiletries just in case the hotel bathroom comes without any for you to use!
A sewing kit will come in handy should anything rip or tear while on vacation and you don’t have time to shop for new clothes right away. Take a few minutes before heading out of town so that everyone has what they need; this way, you won’t have any surprises along the way!
Conclusion: Essentials for Vacation
With so many things to remember when packing essentials for vacation, it’s easy to forget some important things. There’s luggage and traveling gear like purses, cameras, chargers, and other electronics. All of these things can easily get left behind at the hotel if they’re not packed securely.
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