Whether you are a first-time flyer or a jet-setter with dozens of international trips under your belt, there are a few travel essentials everyone should bring with them on holiday. The next time you pack your bags for a romantic weekend in Paris, a safari in Africa, or just a holiday in Toronto, these are the must-haves for your trip:
This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised to learn how many travellers forget the most vital item of all: identification. If you’re travelling abroad, make sure you have your passport with you. Domestically, just a driver’s license will do. You will need your identification to board an airplane and often a long-distance train, but you’ll also need it to purchase alcohol and enter certain nightclubs. Age restrictions of drinking and partying vary throughout the world. If you need a visa to enter a particular country, keep that safe as well. On top of IDs and passports, you may also want to do a currency exchange before you arrive—your local bank will probably offer better rates than the exchange counters at airports.
Is it really necessary to tell you not to bring illegal drugs on your travels? Probably not, but if you require any prescription medications, make sure you have an adequate amount with you for your trip. Filling a prescription overseas can be challenging and expensive, so plan in advance. Bring a physician-signed copy of the prescription, as you may need to present this at customs or immigration to prove that the medication is legitimate. Remember: You can always get high when you travel–10,500 m high in a typical commercial airplane! Leave the illegal stuff far behind you.
They say bigger is better, but you definitely don’t want to go beyond 35 cm. That’s 35 cm wide, 22 cm deep, and 55 cm long: the average maximum for carry-on luggage on most airplanes. (Note: This sizing varies, so don’t forget to check with your specific airline before packing.) Unless you are taking an exceptionally long vacation, or you are bringing some serious souvenirs back with you, stick with a carry-on suitcase that can fit into the overhead compartment of your aircraft. You won’t be able to contain yourself once you realize you can pack everything in one suitcase!
If you’re obsessed with your phone, tablet, or laptop computer when travelling, the worst thing that can happen is seeing the battery run out. If you’re bringing electronic devices with you, ensure you can actually turn them on by bringing along chargers. Think about where you’re going and whether you’ll need a converter to go with the USB or wall charger. While this isn’t as important if you’re traveling in the Americas, it is crucial for London vacations and other destinations abroad. Hearing “no charge” at a bar is a great thing, but it sucks when you just want to use your phone.
Before you head on your next trip, take a minute to check and see what the weather will be like when you arrive. This can help you determine whether you need to pack for the trip and what to bring out each day of your stay. Sunshine forecast when you check out your phone’s weather app? Bring along a pair of sunglasses and some sunscreen. Does the app predict you’ll be saying, “Rain, rain, go away?” Scrunch up a thin waterproof jacket, which won’t take up much room at all. You can also find apps, like the Expedia App, that will help you keep track of flight status, gate changes, hotel check-in and more.
Before your next getaway, create a travel checklist. Identification and prescriptions are must-haves, but so are weather-appropriate clothing, chargers for your electronics, and luggage you can carry on a plane to avoid extra fees. Check, check, check? Well then, get going!
What’s your go-to item you always travel with?