Editor’s Note: We asked our writers to put together a list of their 5 travel must-haves. Now, we’re sharing all their travel-savvy wisdom with you. Check back each week to see a new list of items our writers won’t leave home without.
I’m a practical kind of traveler. I enjoy beach getaways, visiting historical sites, national parks, and consider life an adventure in learning.
I’ve enjoyed San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, Niagara Falls, St. Augustine, Mt. Rushmore, and all kinds of places in between. I’m more inclined to collect shells than buy a souvenir. When I get away, I want to relax, have fun, and to be prepared in ways to make sure that happens.
Donna’s Must Haves
While specifics change for much of what I pack depending on destination, I have a few staple must haves. Aside from the obvious things like a quality digital camera and a good book, these items always find their way into my suitcase.
Sweater or light jacket: Even when I travel to tropical climates, I make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater. That way when restaurants blast the air conditioning, evening temps drop, or I run into a streak of unseasonably cool weather, I’m ready to enjoy myself in comfort.
Basic first aid kit and nail clippers: I pack up a small kit with basic first aid supplies in a zip-close plastic bag so it fits anywhere in the suitcase. Along with bandages for blisters, triple antibiotic, and an over-the-counter pain reliever, I also pack hand sanitizers, tweezers, and throw in a pair of nail clippers. I use the clippers for the obvious, but they also come in handy to clip loose threads, or the little plastic tag fasteners that hook price tags to items I buy.
Comfortable shoes: Nothing cramps my style on vacation like sore feet. When I’m sightseeing, I prefer athletic shoes with a good arch support. They work for casual dress and are comfortable. I also pack one pair of dressier shoes for when I need them. Shoes take up valuable packing space, and add weight to my luggage, so I believe in carrying only what I really need.
Laptop: Yes, I lug my laptop. I like to download and organize my photos at the end of each day because it makes it easier to find what I’m looking for when I get back home, plus it’s a back up of my photos just in case something happens to my camera.
I don’t share vacation photos online while on vacation though, because it’s like shouting to the world, “These people are not home, and they can afford a vacation.” Too much information! I also like to Skype with family back home just to say hi and check in.
Bag for dirty clothes: I always pack a couple of plastic bags for clothing. I use one when I have to pack a damp swimsuit and the other to keep my dirty clothes separated from my clean clothes in the suitcase. After all, who wants dirty socks touching the shirt they’re going to wear tomorrow? Not me!
Little things like this can make a difference in your trip! Plan accordingly, and enjoy your time away.
Photo credits: Stock.xchng