One too many times I've left home without my list of trusty travel helpers and regretted it! Now, in addition to consulting my packing lists, I keep a small package of must-have items in my suitcase so I don't forget anything for my next trip.
When you're in a foreign country, or even in your own country on another coast, there's an arsenal of items that are nice to have on-hand to lessen the inconvenience of travel and bring a little home abroad!
Here are my go-to items, as well as a few suggestions from friends. I hope you find a few packing gems you never thought of before!
Toiletries Baby Powder If I could think of one miracle product for traveling it would be baby powder. Use it to: refresh second-day hair, aerify the inside of shoes or freshen your underarms.
Eye drops Recycled plane and hotel air leaves eyes bloodshot and tired-looking. Use eye drops to refresh your peepers. My friend Christina never leaves home without her drops!
Sunscreen Unless you're headed to Hawaii where there's a beloved ABC store on every street corner, bringing sunscreen is a must! Here'a a tip for those traveling with a carry-on, bring a small, concentrated (70 - 100 SPF) screen and mix it with the hotel's lotion for easy coverage. I've done this before and haven't been burned.
Pills No one wants to be searching for medication while trying to enjoy their trip. I've purchased allergy and cold & sinus pills is Paris, Cuzco and Nairobi. Afer paying way too much for the pills (that weren't always effective), I've resolved to always bring my own stash.
Conditioner Most hotel conditioners have the consistency of water. The only hotel conditioners I trust are at Westin and Double Tree hotels. The rest just don't cut it.
Wipes or Sanitizer Germophobe or not, this one is obvious and it is my top travel priority other than my passport, bathing suit and comfy shoes.
Band-Aids Usually travel means a lot of walking, whether in long corridors at the airport or around your destination. Unless I'm doing all my walking in my running shoes (which isn't my norm), it's almost guaranteed I'll need one or several band-aids for blisters.
Miscellaneous Sewing Kit Invariably, almost every time I travel, a button comes loose or a hem gets pulled. Most of the time you can get a sewing kit from your hotel, but if not, consider bringing one in your trusty travel kit.
Scarf Oh scarf, how much do I love thee for travel. Thee can be used as a fashion accessory, blanket on the plane, make-shift bathing suit cover-up, and so on... My husband brings a slightly more manly light cardigan as his 'scarf.'
Tide Pen If you're prone to spilling food on yourself like me, this will come in very handy until you can properly wash the garment.
Documents Recently a ferry reservation I'd made was mysteriously gone when I checked-in. Adding to my frustration, it was not recorded in my Tripit app's initerary (because it was not one of 500 approved suppliers), so while in line, I either had to pay an additional $180, or search my email for 10 mins to find the booking number. I normally travel with online and printed itineraries, but this time I'd failed to print that booking number. Ah, the one time! I was also reminded it's always a must to travel with colour copies of your IDs (which I do), as well as emailed versions in the event you lose the hard copies.
Small Bills or Coins I never travel without small bills or coins (twoonies in Canada) for tipping hotel personnel, etc...
Ear Plugs My friend Nicole noted that ear plugs are "totally a must for me, it is one of the first items I confirm I have when packing--more important than so many other things!" I couldn't agree more.
Hat/Sunglasses Similar to sunscreen, these are important unless you want to purchase a hat with a giant Florida logo on the front. Non, merci.
Small Clutch Bringing a small clutch for evenings out will look better avec your party outfit, and fly under the radar versus carting around a big purse.
Batteries My cousin is leaving for a trip in 7 days and she already knows she'll be bringing extra camera batteries to capture every moment.
Other Some additional items friends mentioned were: your own lotion, plastic bags, eye mask, travel neck pillow, travel packs of tide, headphones, power chargers, universal power adapter, flip flops and bathing suit even if you think you won't need it.
Find more items like these in the packing resources below!
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