There are two types of people in this world. The first is to meticulously pack for a trip, using a checklist and starting a week (or month ahead of time). The second pack at the last possible moment, shoving everything they think they need into their suitcase.
It’s often said that the two types are usually partners and drive each other nuts. Speaking from personal experience, that does seem to be the case. While I can’t help you change your partner’s behavior, this week, I’ve pulled together my must-pack items that make my life a little easier while traveling.
Over the last several years, I’ve moved closer to the rushed packing side of the spectrum than I care to admit. Before my trip to Jamaica last month, I pulled together everything I was taking with me in about 30 minutes before I needed to sleep before at 6 AM flight. That’s not my typical packing routine, and I was glad to keep the items listed below in my suitcase. This way they’re always packed and ready when I need them.
My Favorite Must-Pack Items for Your Next Trip:
A dedicated set of charging cables, like this set from Amazon. The last thing you want to forget when traveling is a charger for your phone. Even when keeping your phone on airplane mode, the camera will still use considerable energy, so selecting cables is essential. I always keep this set of cords in my suitcase to make sure that I have one that is long enough to reach across from the oddly placed outlets and short enough to use with a battery pack on the go.
Speaking of charging on the go, I use a USB blocker when connecting my phone to a public USB outlet. With the increasing number of public outlets available, scammers have figured out how to passively harvest data when you plug-in. Using one of these USB blockers prevents all but the juice from moving to your phone. This way, you keep your photos safe, avoid catching a virus and don’t have to worry about random malware popping up on your phone.
Having a heavy-duty battery pack can be the difference between having a moment captured as you dive in with the Manta Rays in Hawaii and having a dead phone. On vacation, I usually don’t spend much time on my phone, but this Anker PowerCore Portable Charger has been a lifesaver. I just toss it in my day bag, grab a short cable, and it keeps my phone (and the phones of every else traveling with me) charged all day.
Packing Cubes are a great way to keep your things organized and separated from your partner’s stuff. When not in use, I keep my cubes neatly tucked away in my suitcase, so they’re ready to go when I need them. When traveling, they make unpacking a breeze as I just need to pull them out of my bag and set them in the drawer or closet. I suggest ordering different colors; it makes finding your things if you’re staying in a room with limited storage space.
Traveling with a pop-up hamper helps keep your room tidy without piling all your dirty clothes up in the corner for the housekeeper to judge your choice in underwear. The pop-up hamper folds down nicely so that it doesn’t take up much space in your bag. When you need to do a laundry run in the middle of your vacation, it makes taking everything down in one trip so much easier. Repacking at the end of a vacation is easier with a pop-up hamper as well. I have been known to shove the full hamper in my suitcase to deal with the laundry once I’m back in my apartment.
Lastly, while not needed for every trip, a set of plastic luggage tags is golden when you take a cruise. For the most part, the mainstream cruise lines have moved away from sending luggage tags that stick together. Instead, they opt to let you print them off at home and staple them together. Using these plastic tags can be a lifesaver as you’re not stressing about the paper ripping off and your suitcase being left on the pier.
What is on your must-pack list? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.
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