While the last-minute packing frenzy often leaves you asking, “Did I forget anything?” before your vacation has even started, there are certain items you should always take with you – to help address any manner of snags that can crop up as you go on your way. In fact, these particular doodads are so handy for travelers, you may even want to keep a separate “go bag” so that you know you’ll have them on hand no matter where the trip takes you.
- Tote bag – It seems so obvious now, doesn’t it? Especially because, at the beginning of your journey, it can be rolled or crumpled up and stuffed into a corner of the suitcase. Above and beyond the “green” aspects of not needing plastic or paper bags during souvenir and other shopping trips, a sturdy tote bag can be put to use in a multitude of ways: As a carry-all for day trips, so you don’t have to take your luggage along. As a quick overnight bag should you suddenly have a change in sleeping arrangements. As an extra carry-on for souvenirs. As a laundry bag during your stay and, when you’re packing for home, a place to keep your dirty togs away from any clean clothes.
- Safety pins – Yeah, sure, you can buy them in any grocery, department or drug store, if you know where to look for them. But so you don’t need to troll the aisles in the middle of your vacation, be sure to have a couple of these fasteners on hand. Not only can safety pins be used as a clothing quick-fix (broken zipper, lost button, etc.), but they can add an extra layer of security to your bags when you pin the zippers shut. Further, you can avoid such wardrobe malfunctions as muddy cuffs or a clingy dress/skirt with a properly placed pin (which helps ward off static cling).
- Power bar – No, not the edible kind (though that’s not a bad idea for an on-the-go snack to keep you energized when waiting on line at rides and attractions). I’m talking about a small multi-plug that allows you to charge/run multiple devices and appliances from a single outlet. Older properties often lack a sufficient number of accessible outlets for today’s tech-heavy travelers to plug in their laptops, tablets, phones, etc. Prior to bringing my own power bar, I took numerous trips where I had to charge my phone in the bathroom (a surefire recipe for leaving it behind), because it had the only open outlet!
- Duct tape – A small roll of this multi-purpose patch-all can go a long way toward fixing any vacation-related mishaps. Tear off a strip and quickly mend rips and tears in suitcases, shoes, sleeping bags and (in a pinch) clothing. A folded-over piece can be used as a shim under the leg of a wobbly table. And if you’re traveling with little ones, duct tape can also be used to babyproof: simply cover outlets and tape drawers shut.
- Baby wipes – Even if you don’t have little ones tagging along, these towelettes, which are available in convenient travel-size packages, are a must-bring. Wipe down any surfaces you’re unsure of, clean up after a messy meal on the go, or just freshen up.
- Silicone travel bottles – If you’re just packing a carry-on and need to bring “product” (moisturizer, facial cream, hair treatments) with you, you want to be sure to adhere to TSA regulations (lest your unguents be confiscated). Soft, squeezable bottles make more sense than their rigid cousins, because you will be able to get more out of them (and not waste expensive formulations).
- Travel mug – There are certainly ecological benefits, compared to using disposable cups, but a sturdy travel mug – with a wide mouth and a secure screw-top – can also be used as a hard case to protect sunglasses or fragile knickknacks. And when you’re on the beach or by the pool, a mug can be the perfect place to hide keys and valuables.
To book your next getaway – and you’ll bring these ultra-handy items, won’t you? – call (800) 566-8281.