There is nothing quite as exciting as going on a trip to a new place, or visiting and old favorite. But to remove all the hassles from travel, even the most experienced travelers have to plan and be organized, as forgetting something you end up needing can put a damper on things. So we’ve compiled a list of things that might not be at the top of our travel list, but may cause a lot less problems at some point during the vacation.
1. Passports. I knew of a very experienced traveler who lost her passport while out of the country and had no backup. When you are out of the country your passport is undoubtedly your most essential possession, and it’s not a good thing if you lose it. Things can get very difficult if you don’t at least have a copy. To be even more vigilant, give a copy to a friend who you know you can get in touch with in an emergency, so if everything is lost they could fax you a copy.
2. Duct tape. It doesn’t take much space, but if luggage or your shoes should need something to hold them together in an emergency it will be worth carrying it around. And believe it or not, it actually comes in travel-size.
3. Laundry facilities. More lodging places are providing kitchen facilities, and many come with washer/dryer. If you have these at your disposal, you can cut your luggage load by nearly 50% by planning a time in the middle of the trip to wash clothes. For a two-week trip that’s a lot of luggage you won’t have to tote around.
4. Good walking shoes. If you can’t walk, or you walk in pain, your vacation is going to be memorable for the wrong reasons. Comfortable footwear is vital, and it should be well broken in but provide good support.
5. A small corkscrew. This has happened to me: you buy a bottle of wine then realize you have no way to open it. You hope it has a twist-off cap, but no luck there. You have to check it with luggage, but it can come in handy, along with a bottle opener.
6. Travel wallet. The one you carry on vacation will need to be a fraction of the size of your regular wallet, because you certainly won’t need most shopping or library cards. Just carrying the essentials in a smaller wallet, and preferably one with a wrist strap will be more secure than your everyday wallet.
7. Know the weather conditions. It’s amazing the number of times I’ve seen people at Disney World in shorts in January, and they are obviously freezing. Knowing what clothes to bring for the weather is better than having to buy a new wardrobe for you trip.