It can be a lot of fun packing for a new holiday, but sometimes we forget the most important things we need to take with us. While we’re understandably focussed on resort wear and cosmetics, there are a number of essential items you won’t want to forget.
We’ve come up with a list of items that you really shouldn’t leave out of your suitcase if you want to ensure your holiday goes smoothly.
Item 1: A photocopy of your passport/travel documentation
It might sound boring, but it’s really important to ensure you have copies of your identification and other documentation. We don’t plan for things to go wrong, but sometimes they do. If you need to access your local consultant or to visit a hospital, having a photocopy of your passport and travel documentation at hand could save you from a world of pain.
You don’t need to carry it around with you. Simply copy it before you go and upload it to a cloud-based server or place the items on a USB stick. It’s also a good idea to leave copies with a friend or family member back home so that they can send them to you if needed.
Item 2: A travel pillow
Unless you’re flying in first class, chances are that a travel pillow will help to make your journey more comfortable. Opt for a smaller sized, compact one that will fold up easily into your luggage. Consider ear plugs and noise canceling headphones, too, as these can help to drown out the buzz around you.
Item 3: A Pen
It’s such a simple and small item, but it can be so handy. From making notes on a map to filling out your departure form, or even as a tool for communication in a foreign country, there are many reasons why a pen should be close at hand. Don’t be stuck scrounging around for one when you need one, ensure you pack one in your suitcase.
Item 4: A light-weight rain jacket
Weather can be unpredictable, particularly in the tropics. Even if you’re traveling to a sunny destination, rain clouds could loom over the horizon. A rain jacket will ensure you stay warm and dry at all times. Aim for a lightweight, packable material that won’t take up too much space in your suitcase.
Item 5: Paracetamol and ibuprofen
No matter where you are, it pays to have access to over-the-counter medications to help keep a headache or a cold at bay. These can also help to perk you up if you indulged in too many margaritas the night before. After all, no one wants to be miserable and sick when sightseeing. Keep a stash in your hand luggage to ensure there is always some at reach.
Item 6: Access to foreign currency
Before you arrive at your destination, it’s important to ensure you’ve withdrawn foreign currency that you can use when you arrive. If you prefer not to carry large amounts of money around, consider using obtaining a good travel card instead. However, even if you have a travel card, it is useful to carry a small amount of cash that you can use to pay for small sundries, like cab fares or purchases at markets and food stalls.
Item 7: A torch
Picture this: You’re staying at a romantic Airbnb in the mountains, and you arrive late at night. It’s completely dark, and there are no porch lights. Without a torch, you’ll struggle to find the key and let yourself in. A torch comes in handy in many other situations, too, so make sure you pack a small one.
Item 8: A power adaptor
Many of us travel with a range of electronic items and small personal care appliances. Items like laptops, hairdryers, noise canceling headphones and electric toothbrushes are increasingly popular with travelers. But there’s no point bringing these items if you can’t actually charge them or plug them into a power point.
Before you travel, ensure you have a power adapter that you can use in the country you plan to travel to. Visiting multiple destinations? A multi-country adaptor is your best bet.