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Do you have a mental checklist when packing for a trip?

Check the weather – if it’s going to be cold remember your coat. If there will be a pool or hot tub remember your swimsuit. Always remember your pajamas.

Whether your a last minute packer or someone who plans ahead days in advance, there’s a variety of things to remember to fit into your suitcase. And it’s easy to overlook the smaller items that make your trip more comfortable.

Jacket or Cardigan

Even if you’re going to a tropical paradise, the airport you’re departing from probably isn’t as warm as where you’re going. Neither is the airplane. A light jacket or cardigan is easy to throw into a carry on and exceptionally helpful when it gets chilly.

Socks

Very rarely do I go through airports in tennis shoes. Even less often in boots (because there’s a lot of walking through airports and you don’t want your feet to start hurting). Unless it’s winter, comfortable sandals are the easiest way to deal with going through security and remain stylish.

But planes are cold (have I mentioned that?). Sock keep your toes warm on the plane and hardly take up any space in your carry on.

USB cable

Airports have charging stations for devices throughout most terminals. And more and more planes have in-seat power. Your USB cable and charging block will keep your device active long enough to give you all the information you need for your trip.

And you can charge your device while using it on the plane. So you don’t have to worry about it dying half way through your movie.

Headphones/Earbuds

Most airlines will provide free earbuds if you need them. But it’s nice to have your own to listen to movies or music. And they’re very easy to forget.

If you can, have a spare USB cable and earbuds you keep stored in your suitcase so you never forget them.

Pen(s)

You may not need a pen if you don’t plan to write anything or work. Enjoy a movie on your flight and skip this one entirely.

Or, take advantage of not having any distractions on the plane; the excuse not to pay attention to emails or work in the airport and write. I actually kind of love pens – especially clickable pens. I don’t carry a full set in my purse every day but I do enjoy loading up my carry on with fun choices of blue, purple, pink and green ink

Snacks

There’s always food you can buy at the airport or on the plane. It’s not going to be healthy though. In fact, one of the biggest struggles while traveling is eating well when you’re not cooking for yourself. It’s like a double edged sword of ‘yay! I don’t have to cook’ and ‘ugh, this is all preservatives and sugar and refined carbs.’

A few nutrition bars can make a world of difference. You don’t have to wait on the flight attendant to eat and they can take the edge off your hunger until you can eat real food.

Unfortunately, healthy snack bars can be hard to find. Either they taste like paste or they have sugar or unhealthy sugar substitutes or they have more carbs than protein. I’m always trying new bars to find ones I like. My current favorite real food bars is Healthy Warrior bars. They’re small so they’re perfect for a snack, definitely not a meal replacement. You also can’t go wrong with Lara bars.

Comfy pants

You’re going to go out, have dinner, explore new towns and look great doing it!

But when you get back to the hotel it may not be time to go to sleep yet. Comfy pants are better than sitting around in your fancy clothes. Especially the first night I arrive in a new city, my favorite thing to do is find good takeout near the hotel (or room service), change out of my cute travel clothes into comfy clothes and enjoy a little tv. It’s a great way to relax before you launch into exploring a new city!


What are some of your favorite forgettable travel essentials?

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