I don’t know about you but I sure am ready to begin traveling again. I like every part of traveling – from people watching at the airport to beautiful hotel rooms. But my least favorite part is packing.

See, packing is one of the most difficult parts of traveling because you don’t always know exactly what you should pack. Without being organized and planning, you’ll likely pack all the wrong things or forget to pack what you need.

That’s why I pulled together this handy list of essentials to bring along with you.

One – The Essential Essentials

Some items you absolutely need to make your travels happen. If you don’t have these essentials, then you can’t get on a plane, check into your hotel room, rent a car, or pay for food while traveling. While there’s are obvious, make sure that you write them down so that you won’t forget them.

    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Medications
    • Drivers license
    • Phone
    • Wallet
    • Keys
    • Toothbrush & toothpaste

Two – Phone Charger and Power Adapter

Your phone is a basic essential, but what happens if you can’t charge it? Without a charger, you’re left without a phone. When you’re traveling, you need to keep your phone charged, so make sure that you bring a charger no matter where you go. I’m a fan of also packing a portable battery charger, too. That way you can charge as you go.

Oh, and speaking of power, if you’re traveling internationally, make sure that you also bring a power adapter!

Three – Comfortable Shoes

No matter where you’re traveling or what you’ll be doing, you should always bring a pair of comfortable shoes. Yes, I know shoes are bulky and take up precious space in your bag.  Not to mention they add weight to any checked luggage. Yet, they’re essential.

Because when you’re traveling, you’ll often end up walking more than you do at home. So do your future self a favor and make sure comfort is high on the list when it comes to your footwear. Oh, and you may want to pack a second pair of comfy shoes if you’re traveling to a place that’s rainy!

Four – Clothes

Of course, you’re planning on bringing clothes while traveling. However, you must bring the right clothes. You never know what to expect. Even if you check the weather of your destination before you leave, it could still change. Don’t make the mistake of packing for the weather you want; instead, pack for the weather that you might get. While the place where you’re going might be sunny most of the time, you should plan to bring some clothes just in case it rains.

Five – Your Laptop

Whether you normally work from home or in the office, you might want to check your email from time to time or catch up on work even when you’re traveling. If you’re someone who can’t be away from work for too long, make sure that you bring your laptop in your carry-on bag so that you know it’s safe. You can also use it to do work offline while you’re on the plane.

Remember, you’re traveling to get away from work stress, so make sure that you only check your email when you have to.

Six – A Book

When you’re traveling, you won’t always have access to the internet. Besides, it’s important to unplug sometimes. So make sure you bring something to occupy your mind. Though I’m a big fan of fiction, maybe you’re more of a biography fan. Or prefer crossword or sudoku puzzles to tease your brain.

Seven – Hand Sanitizer

It’s 2021, which means that you shouldn’t go anywhere without hand sanitizer, especially when you’re traveling. Make sure that you bring hand sanitizer with you wherever you go because you don’t always have access to easily washing your hands. And, of course, no one wants to get sick anytime. Let alone when traveling.

Eight – Skincare Products

Just because you don’t have to work while you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you should stop doing your daily routine. Not only do you want to pack your daily skincare products. You will want to pack your men’s skincare routine so you can avoid breakouts. Or dry skin when you’re in a different climate than your skin is used to.

Make sure to pack your skincare products in travel bottles if necessary. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen even if you aren’t going to the beach.

Nine – Travel Diary

Now, you know I’m a big fan of keeping a journal. And while you’re sure to take tons of photos to remember your trip, consider bringing a travel diary. This is an invitation to take note of all of the things you do while on your trip.

Not only that but writing in a diary before bed is a great way to wind down at the end of the day. You can use it as a signal to your body (and mind) it’s time to transition to rest. Because quality sleep will ensure you’re prepared to have another exciting day.

Ten – Travel Pillow

Whether you’re taking a plane, bus, or train, you’ll need to be comfortable. If you’re going to be on any mode of transportation for hours, make sure you bring a travel pillow. We all know how uncomfortable it can be to sit on a plane, so you can avoid any aches and pains by supporting your head while you take a cat nap and wait to arrive at your destination.

Eleven – Water Bottle

You should always bring a water bottle while traveling so you can stay hydrated while you’re on the go. Staying hydrated helps you just feel better all the way around. Especially if you’re changing time zones or climates. This is so important anytime, but especially if you’re traveling somewhere that’s know to be hot and humid.

Additionally, bringing a water bottle with you can help you save money. And also help reduce waste! Water bottles at local shops can be expensive. And relying only on disposable water bottles adds up if recycling isn’t easily at hand.

Twelve –Have Detailed Information at Hand

While this isn’t something you pack in your suitcase, it’s important to have a copy of all your detailed information easily accessible in case you lose your purse of phone. So, here’s what I do before a trip:

    • Email a detailed itinerary to a family member of your best friend. Include flight information and any connecting arrangements, such as train or car service information. And share detailed information on your hotel, including full name of the hotel, the address, phone number, and your confirmation number. By doing this via email, this means you’ll also have a copy in your “sent” file.
    • If you are traveling internationally and are a US Citizen, enroll with the State Department’s STEP program. And be sure and note the location of the nearest consulate in your destination. Oh, and bring aa blank passport photo as well as a photo copy of your passport in the event you lose your passport. These should be kept somewhere safe – and not on the same place as your passport.
    • Take a photo of all important documents – passport, vaccination cards, driver’s license – and not only store them in a special folder on your phone – but also put a copy in the cloud. Or email them to that same trusted friend.

No matter where you go, preparing ahead – and packing early – can reduce a lot of the stress of traveling.

If you want to make packing easier and prevent yourself from forgetting anything, start making a checklist of all of the items you want to bring at least a week before your trip. Pull out your suitcases and start packing a few days before you leave. This will give you time to ensure everything you want to take along is at hand.

Remember that traveling – whether for work or pleasure – is a great way to shake up routines. And give you a whole new outlook on how to create a life you love.

Travel can sometimes be a way to discover who you really are

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