When packing, I start with a master list printed from my computer. As I prepare for a specific outing, I take notes on the list, crossing out items I won’t need (like Christmas gifts) and adding items important for this particular trip (like binoculars).
The following must-haves are items above and beyond the essentials.
1 – Pre-packed Travel Case – My travel case is always ready to go. I use travel-sized containers and re-fill them as necessary. Since I am allergic to most scents, I travel with my own shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
2 – Map and Printed Directions – I am not against GPS, but I am a map girl. I want to know where we are in relation to our target and why I am turning on 136 West when my destination is to the south.
3 – Water Bottles – Whether you use your own or stock up at the local grocery store, a supply of these saves time and money. Here is another hint: If you are running low on water but still have bottles, stop at a gas station, purchase a gallon of water, and re-fill your bottles.
4 – Granola Bars – A quick, easy snack that travels well.
5 – Cash – This may seem like an odd item to include, but in this day and age of credit/debit cards many do not carry cash on a regular basis. Remember to grab some before taking off. You may need it for entrance fees, tipping, quick stops, outdoor vendors, etc.
6 – Scissors – I recently added this item. They come in handy to remove price tags, snip loose threads, and cut off wrist bands worn to indicate you’ve paid an entrance fee at places like track meets. A closely related item is a knife used to cut apples and oranges or make pb&j sandwiches.
7 – Wet Wipes – Another recently added item, I use these to clean spills or wipe my hands after eating. (Remember my allergy to scented items? I purchase unscented and sometimes use them in place of soap and water.)
8 – Ear Plugs – My husband uses these to block out noise when he sleeps. I use a different kind to plug my ears while swimming.
9 – Plastic Bags in Various Sizes – Snack-sized are convenient for small items and daily doses of vitamins. Quart-sized are suitable for icing an injury. The grocery-store size is handy for wet bathing suits, dirty clothes, trash, and the occasional puking occurrences.
10 – A Good Book – Closely related to this is a card game.
BONUS – A Surrendered Attitude – Inevitably something will not go as planned while you travel. Therefore, surrender your heart, attitude, and vacation plans to God. Be ready and willing to remain calm, loving, and kind even in difficult and unexpected circumstances.
What are your must-haves when traveling? Let us know in the comments below.