No matter if you’re on a solo trip abroad or a backpacking trip with a group of friends, something unexpected might happen. Your flight may be cancelled and you’re stuck or you somehow end up in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. Once, I even got a second degree burn in Thailand.
I have been to 45 countries and 45 states, so I have become an expert packer for any trip. It’s best to always be prepared for any situation that may arise when you’re on a trip. I like to pack things that will help ensure I’m prepared for most situations. Find out the 10 things you should bring on every vacation, so that you have a great time and stay safe. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you can get my comprehensive packing list!
Table of Contents
10 Things You Should Bring on Every Vacation
Even if you aren’t traveling abroad, having your passport on you is a great idea. Passports are a second form of ID, which you never know if you’ll need. I have been on many trips where my friends have lost IDs or their wallets, but if they had their passports then they didn’t need to worry about catching a flight. So, pack your passport and then keep it somewhere secure.
I have been on many vacations where cash came in handy. First, there are some places that are cash only and second you may need it as a backup. Similar to the last point, if you lose your wallet or misplace your credit card, then you’ll be helpless. Keep your cash in a secure area in your bag or on your body at all times and you’ll be set.
#3 Printed Itinerary and Tickets
You should always have a record of where you’re going. Even if you are going on a backpacking trip through the backcountry, you should print out any important trip details like permits. There have been moments where I have failed to find an email with my ticket, but luckily I had a paper copy of the receipt. You can just slip them in the back of your backpack and it will give you added security.
Have you ever been somewhere and your maps have stopped working? You’re lost and you don’t know where to go. Well, if you download your maps on your phone or print them out then you’ll always find your way. Personally, I use Google Maps, which allows you to download specific areas on the maps. I usually download them a couple days before my trip and then delete it once I return.
#5 First Aid Kit
I used to think it was funny that my mom kept a first aid kit in the car, but now I realize how smart she was. You don’t want to ruin your trip by having a medical concern that needs attention. So, pack a first aid kit with standard medicines and bandages. I’ve used band-aids and taken Advil on many of my trips and I’m always glad I brought them with me.
I probably don’t have to say this one, but you should always bring a camera with you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a nice DSLR or a camera phone, just something to capture the memories. You never know when something unforgettable will happen. I look back on my pictures frequently to remind me of the great times I had on vacation.
#7 Extra Socks & Underwear
I’m sure we have all run into a situation where we wish we had brought extra clothing. I usually pack a few extra pairs of underwear and socks and throw them into my backpack to make sure that I’m all set. It’s seriously such a lifesaver to have those things on hand. You will never regret bringing them with you and luckily, they can fit easily in all your bags!
#8 Plastic Bags
Whenever I don’t have plastic bags, I always regret it. I love to use plastic bags to put dirty clothes or shoes in. They seal in the smells and make sure that none of your other clothing gets dirtied up. I usually just bring extra grocery bags, but you can bring ziploc bags if you’d prefer. You will be so glad you brought them with you.
#9 Luggage Lock
I never thought about buying a luggage lock, but it came with my bag. However, over the years it has come in handy so many times. I have used it to lock away my valuables, keep random drawers closed, and protect my stuff from others. I would seriously recommend purchasing one if you don’t have it yet.
#10 Open Mind
Even the best laid plans go awry. Anyone else know this quote? The point is no matter how much you plan a trip, you’ll never know what to expect. Sometimes the best times are things that happen completely spontaneously. Keep an open mind and enjoy the journey!
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