No matter what type of trip you’re going on, you can’t escape packing for it. Some things are pretty easy and obvious – toothbrush, eyeglasses, maybe a bathing suit. A business outfit if you’re attending a meeting, or a dressy outfit if your trip involves a special occasion.
Cruises, hotels, all-inclusive resorts… regardless of where you’re going, here are my top things you probably should put in your suitcase, but that might not normally occur to you while you’re in the thick of it:
#1 Nightlight. Most hotel and cruise ship bathrooms have mega-watt lighting in the bathroom, which is zero fun in the middle of the night. A small provides a more subtle light in the room. It’s great if you unexpectedly wake up in the dark in an unfamiliar place, and can be especially helpful when traveling with kids. (A side note…for a disposable option, glow sticks work great too!)
#2 Duct Tape. Don’t laugh, but a good roll of Duct Tape could save your vacation! You can use it to tape the drapes closed; you can fix a hem with it (temporarily, of course.) Duct tape saved us last winter when our suitcase ripped while we were on a ski trip. We pulled out the trusty Duct tape, taped the suitcase up from the inside, and it made it back home just fine. You never know when or how you might be able to use it, and now that it even comes in fun colors and patterns, why not throw a roll in your suitcase?
#3 Air Freshener. Let’s face it…hotel rooms sometimes smell funny. If your family of four or five is sharing the one bathroom, it will smell funny eventually. A small, lightweight air freshener could make your stay MUCH more pleasant. I like the little flat gel ones. They come in an odor eliminating formula, and are inexpensive enough to toss in the trash when you leave.
#4 A Disposable Camera. Yes – they still make the $8 disposable cameras with REAL FILM in them! On our last cruise, I had my expensive iPhone in an expensive waterproof case, trying to take pictures while snorkeling. Needless to say, I was a wreck! I kept checking it for leaks. I kept worrying about condensation. I finally just gave up. From now on I will always bring one of the little waterproof disposable cameras with me. I don’t have to worry about it getting ruined; if it get lost I’m not out any big amount of money. And… past experience has proven that they take pretty decent pictures too!
#5 An Outlet Extender or Power Strip. This is one of those things that you won’t realize you need…unitl you need it. The reality of our iWorld is that most of us will need to at least check in, even if we’re on vacation.. Plus – if you use your phone as your camera and your music player, you’re going to want to bring it with you. Throw in your husband’s laptop and his phone, your son’s video game, and your daughter’s MP3 player and her phone, and you’re knee deep in electronics. Many hotel rooms will have you covered on the outlet front, while most cruise ships have limited outlets. In either case, it’s much easier if you can have one charging station where all your devices can be visible and handy.
These few simple and inexpensive items can help your trip or vacation be a little more effortless, a little less stressful, and a little more fun!