A List of The Most Commonly Forgotten Things to Pack when Travelling

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You need a detailed packing list when you travel. Whether you’re just going on a weekend or a foreign trip, you’ll need to pack some essential items. Even frequent travellers can forget one or two essential items when they pack for a trip. This article lists the most commonly forgotten things to pack when travelling. To help you create a packing list for your next trip, use this list to help you to avoid forgetting anything essential.

The Most Commonly Forgotten Things to Pack When Travelling

Although you may have limited suitcase space, whether travelling on the road or flying, it’s a good idea to pack according to your packing list and double-check it once you’ve packed. Forgetting items can happen, but having a packing list can help you limit the items you forget when travelling. The following items will help you avoid a last-minute scramble for essential travel items and may help you have a good time exploring your destination.

First Aid Kit

One of the most commonly forgotten things to pack when travelling - a first aid kit
Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

A first aid kit is an important item to pack when travelling. A first aid kit should be the first thing you pack! You don’t know how your stomach will react to foreign food and drink. Include different medicine and medical items in your first-aid kit to cater to ailments that may befall you in your destination. A first aid kit will be super helpful if you get a paper cut, need an ice pack, or want ibuprofen to soothe a headache. Another essential item is medicine for an upset tummy, nausea or sore muscles. Taking an antibiotic cream is always a good idea!

Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is a travel essential for flying and driving. Staying hydrated is essential when you’ve got a long day of travelling. Since you can’t get through the security at the airport with large quantities of liquid, you’ll rely on an empty water bottle you can refill later. And if you’re driving, you can easily refill a water bottle from the taps if you’re in a country with safe drinking water. If the drinking water is not safe, buy a large bottle of mineral water you can use to refill your bottle daily before you explore your destination.

Plastic Bags

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Both zip-style bags and spare reusable grocery bags are helpful on trips. You can use zip-style plastic bags (or sandwich bags) to separate items containing liquids from clothing. I like to use zip-style bags instead of packing cubes, as I can buy various sizes to include an outfit per day or separate clothing by type, such as having one bag filled with underwear or hair ties.

As for grocery bags, those are useful for keeping dirty shoes and clothes separate from your clean belongings. Plastic bags may also come in handy when it’s time to empty trash from your day bag or wrap up fragile items in your suitcase. You may also find a grocery bag helpful when buying microwave meals or groceries at the local grocery store to save money on food while travelling.

Important Documents 

One of the most essential items to pack when travelling is your important travel documents, including your passport and travel insurance documents. Always make copies of these documents. Copies can help you continue your travels if you lose the original document. Your accommodation bookings or itineraries are other documents to make copies of or keep electronically. An electronic version of your birth certificate can help you apply for a new passport in your destination if you lose yours.

If you plan to drive when you reach your destination, get an international driver’s license before you depart and don’t forget to pack it!

You’ll also need to bring medical documents for you and anyone travelling with you. You may bring your prescriptions with you on your travels, especially as you may run out of your prescribed medicine while on your trip. If you are a chronic illness sufferer, take your medical records if you need treatment at your destination.

Multiple Banking Cards

One of the most commonly forgotten things to pack when travelling - credit and debit cards
Photo by Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

One of the most essential things to pack is your credit or debit card to allow you to pay for items while travelling. You will need these cards to pay for food, tours, transport and accommodation, especially if you did not make prepayments. It is always best to take multiple banking cards since you may lose one while travelling. Remember to take your account information with you, as you may need to contact your bank if one of your credit or debit cards gets stolen or lost at your destination.

Most Commonly Forgotten Things to Pack when Travelling: Cell Phone Chargers

Your cellphone is like your virtual Swiss Army tool when you’re travelling. It has your compass, GPS and map services, communication services, payment abilities, email, and essential travel information. You may have your boarding pass on your phone, meaning you’ll need your phone to check in online and board a plane, research sights in your destination and check the weather to decide what to wear and where to go. Some of the most commonly forgotten things to pack include cellphone charging cords. So the best way to stay prepared with your cell phone is to bring your charger (and an extra one if you have it). 

Laptop Chargers

Just as you’ll need your phone charger(s), you’ll need chargers to use your computer/laptop or tablet. A well-charged computer allows you to access and set up internet services at your destination. Packing a laptop charger is essential if you need to do some work while away or check your work email. If you can, pack a portable battery charger.

Batteries and Flashlights

Taking a flashlight with extra batteries is a good idea when you travel. Try to pack a strong LED flashlight with two battery packs if the first battery pack gets flat while you’re away. You may go camping and need to visit the restrooms outside your camp area at night. Or there may be power outages in your destination, where you’ll be happy to have a flashlight.

Travel-Size Hand Sanitizer

One of the most commonly forgotten things to pack when travelling - hand sanitiser
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

A small bottle of hand sanitiser is a must when travelling, especially amidst the recent pandemic. Bring along something to keep your hands clean when you want to snack in the car or on a plane. Perhaps you cannot wash your hands with water as you are out and about, making hand sanitiser the next best thing to have a high level of personal hygiene. 

Most Commonly Forgotten Things to Pack when Travelling: Extra Shoes

When you pack shoes, consider packing an extra pair or two. Extra shoes are essential when travelling because you’ll walk a lot while exploring your destination. You may want a comfortable pair for the car/plane, such as slip-on shoes or sandals. But for sightseeing, you may prefer close-toed shoes, depending on the activities you will participate in. Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of shoes in case something happens to your first pair.

Rain Gear

You should also pack light rain gear to prepare for rainy weather or storms. Suitable items include a compact umbrella, a light rain jacket, and/or rain boots. You might even want to pack a waterproof poncho if you need hands-free help.

Toiletry Bag

Once you reach your destination, you’ll be happy to have some bathroom essentials, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, sanitary items, a hairbrush, body wash or soap bar, and makeup remover. Storing them in a lovely toiletry bag can make life easier! Even though you can buy all these items at any destination, having them with you can make your first day in your destination much more comfortable.

Bottle Opener

Although it may seem unnecessary, you may want to unwind after a long day of travelling. You may arrive at your new hotel and want to pour a wine and relax. A bottle opener in your bag can help you open that bottle of wine you bought at the airport before travelling to your hotel.

Most Commonly Forgotten Things to Pack when Travelling: A Coffee Maker 

If you are a bit of a coffee connoisseur, you may prefer making your coffee, even when you travel. That first morning spent in a new place can be all the better if you have an Aeropress to make the first satisfying cup of coffee of your travel day.

Extra Memory Cards

If you love taking pictures when travelling to a destination, it is always good to pack at least one extra memory card. If you’re anything like me, you’ll take multiple photos of each attraction you visit, and you’ll soon run out of space if you only take one memory card.

Other Travel Essentials

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There are several travel-sized necessities to pack for comfort. These include hair ties, lip balm, snacks, noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones and a Kindle with a few books to read. You may prefer carrying these items in your carry-on bag for easy access.

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