In honor of Harry Houdini, a man whose name comes up in daily jargon to mean 'getting out of a tough situation,' we've compiled a list of 7 essential items you should consider packing so you don't find yourself in a bind. If you're prepping for your vacation, keep these in mind!
Contact information in your luggage
Waiting at the baggage claim area can be a pain, and what makes it worse is that cute, stylish suitcase you bought to set yourself apart happens to be the same exact suitcase that someone else brought as well. Never fear, you have a luggage tag! Oh wait…it broke off. Hmm… which suitcase is yours? Tuck away a tiny piece of paper inside your luggage with your contact details (First name, last initial, mailing address or phone number), in the event that your luggage gets lost, mixed up, or simply – your luggage tag falls off. This will help to prove that the cute stylish bag is yours
A Copy of Your Passport & Visas
It’s a no-brainer that if you’re traveling abroad, you need your passport – they won’t let you on the plane without one! Yet have you ever thought to bring a photocopy of your passport and visas with you as well? You won’t have to “Houdini” out of a bad situation in the event that you lose your passport and need to get a new one. Plan ahead to avoid that headache!
Hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes
There’s nothing worse than being sick while on vacation – and keeping your hands clean plays a major part in making sure you stay healthy. Many destinations, including Asia and Europe, have restrooms that may not have running water or soap dispensers. Avoid getting sick on your trip by keeping something on hand to keep the germs away so that you can play! Antibacterial wipes are great too because they are easier to pack, don’t count against your liquid count on your carry-on, and can refresh you after that big nap you’ve taken on the plane, train, or coach.
An extra memory card
In every day life, a 2GB memory card sounds like it will take forever to fill up. Yet one wrong setting on your camera, dozens of new friends, and the desire to capture every sight and sound on your vacation can fill up your memory card in a snap (no pun intended!) While you may remember to bring extra batteries to keep your camera juiced up and ready to click at a moment’s notice, once that memory card is full – you’ll either have to purge some photos or forfeit the photo altogether.
On your travels, you’ll most likely be getting up close and personal with some of the local insects and wildlife while you’re out exploring. Packing insect repellent keeps the pests from turning you into a hot mess of itchy and scratchy. You’ll be a lot more comfortable, and you’ll thank your lucky stars that you could commune with nature, but not become a bug’s breakfast buffet!
First Aid Kit
Okay, you don’t have to be a Boy Scout – but bringing a few essentials like hydro cortisone cream for bug bites, band-aids for minor scrapes, and some pain medication or cough drops for any signs of a cold trying to ruin your vacay. If you’re prone to allergies due to dust and pollen, throw in some allergy medicine too and avoid the achoo! No need to rely on the pharmacy in a different country when you’ve got all the goods in your pack.
Books to Exchange
Magazines, books, a Contiki brochure (wink, wink) – these items don’t need to be recharged and can keep you entertained for hours on end. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. And don’t fret if you don’t want to lug all those books across town. Many local hotels and coffee shops around the world participate in the book exchange program where you can leave a book and take a new one on your journeys with you. If you don’t come across any of these, try Book Crossing – a cool way to share your books and track where they go around the world! Many locals also enjoy having US versions of magazines and books without the import prices. Just another great reason to grab something to read, to go!
So start planning for your summer vacation already! GET PACKING! Feel free to leave a comment about items that you didn’t realize you should have packed!