16 essential items every traveler needs
Don’t rely on airlines to get your valuables from point A to point B. If you’re traveling with irreplaceable items, such as prescription medication, jewelry, computers or anything else you wouldn’t want to lose, make sure to include it in your carry-on luggage.
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Sleep mask and ear plugs
Get a good night’s sleep on the road even if your hotel room is right next to the bar or your room faces the bright lights of Times Square. Pack your own sleep mask and ear plugs and you’ll sleep great even if noise or light intrudes into your room.
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Don’t get stranded at your destination without an extra change of clothes. I have first-hand experience with this one: my luggage to Colombia was delayed by three days, resulting in an impromptu shopping trip in Cartagena. At minimum, pack at least one shirt, a pair of shorts or pants, socks and underwear.
If you get sick while you’re on a trip, spending time trying to track down a pharmacy is the last thing you want to do. Be prepared by packing some basics, including painkillers, bandages, vitamins, anti-diarrheal pills and cold/flu relief. If you’re traveling abroad, check with your doctor to see if you should bring prescriptions or need any immunizations before you depart.
Reusable shopping bag
Planning to shop at the local markets during your trip? Make sure to pack a reusable shopping bag which is tougher than the average plastic shopping bag. As a bonus, resusable shopping bags can also double as beach bags or picnic bags.
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While it might not seem like a necessity, a spork is handy for eating street food and picnic items along the way. You may also find yourself needing your spork after you’ve ordered room service at 2am and they forget to bring utensils.
While you’ll ideally spend most of your time away from your hotel room exploring your destination, just about all trips include mind-numbing moments, like taking an underground train to the airport. Make sure to pack some form of entertainment, whether it’s an e-reader, portable video game or a deck of cards.
Don’t waste valuable time shopping for deodorant and toothpaste on your trip. Make a list of your can’t-live-without items, whether it’s your favorite lip balm or hair gel.
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Pack your smart phone so that you can get email, find directions and stay in touch with loved ones while you’re away. If you travel abroad, make sure to disable data roaming, unless you have a pre-paid plan.
Comfortable walking shoes
Depending on your destination, you’ll likely bring a pair of dress shoes, flip flops or boots. Pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes so that you can spend hours on your feet without painful blisters or foot cramps.
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