Travel Tips: Packing Essentials

Essentials. When packing for any trip it’s important to always start with the essentials. Everyone’s list of essentials is different but here’s some of my own suggestions:

  1. Wallet: complete with identification and a mixture of paper and plastic money [quarters are good to have too for toll booths and parking meters]
  2. Smart phone: provides important communication with other travelers in your party as well as a GPS, camera, and calculator [unless you seek a location “off the grid”]
  3. Camera: capture every important moment of your trips for the purpose of bombarding social media and torturing your eventual children with a multi-day slideshow
  4. Large capacity memory card or film: see item #3 and it wouldn’t hurt to have a spare
  5. Chapstick
  6. Itinerary: I prefer to always have a plan but that method isn’t for everyone or every trip. Some people prefer flying by the seat of their pants
  7. Map(s): Sure, your phone has GPS but sometimes you can’t beat a good, old-fashioned map. I have several atlases (duh) but my midsize Rand McNally goes along on all our domestic road trips
  8. Spare keys: this one should be obvious but here’s an example why – Beth’s father, Ken, really should have had a spare set on one trip to visit the family cabin in California. He had a very long walk on a hilly gravel road on a moonless night [key policy imperative for road trips, less so for air travel]
  9. Toiletry kit: everything you need as an individual. Mine for example includes supplies for use of contact lens
  10. Weather appropriate clothes: you don’t need to pack for every possible weather anomaly you may encounter but a light jacket makes sense even if it’s Summer and my car has a Winter hat and gloves in the trunk for emergencies all year long
  11. Comfortable shoes: you may spend a decent amount of time in the cramped car or airplane seat but there will likely be plenty of opportunities to sightsee along the way (at least on a worthwhile trip). Beth and I walked 74 miles around London and Paris on our honeymoon and I can’t imagine how my feet would feel in leather dress shoes
  12. Lightsaber [will be deemed essential once re-invented on Earth]
  13. Snacks: I don’t hunt or live off the land so delicious treats are always required. Their nutritional value is appreciated but not always required
  14. Music: it is important to have music along on your journeys in whatever form works for your mode of travel (CDs, MP3 players, smart phones, actual instruments, etc). When we travel by car I like to have CDs along and Beth relies on her phone and an auxiliary cable. That being said, I really enjoy sampling local radio stations as we travel. I like to hit ‘seek’ and see what we find. One time in New Mexico we heard an uncensored version of Cee Lo Green’s “F@$& You” likely coming from across the border
  15. A companion or two: I’ve never traveled alone. I love travelling with my wife, and on our most recent road trip, our dog Maeby as well. I might one day enjoy the opportunity to lose myself on the road but I haven’t experienced it previously. I’m pretty sure he prefers it. I guess you could argue, then, that this item is optional as opposed to essential. I guess I agree but I already typed out the whole thing. Deal with it.

Travel Tips: Start Planning –>

Travel Tips: Budgeting –>


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One thought on “Travel Tips: Packing Essentials

  1. Pingback: Travel Tips – Start Planning | Mixed Knuts Travel Blog

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