17 Essential Travel Items – That Most People Forget To Pack

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Almost every traveler has been there. They arrive at their destination and discover they have forgotten one or possibly several items at home.

Travelers can often find many last-minute items in airports and such, buying what should have been packed in the first place feels wasteful. Plus, people overlook and forget what should be essential travel items for their trip. To avoid these mistakes, note some of the most common forgotten items to make your next vacation less stressful.

1. Band-Aids and Bandages

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No one wants to anticipate or think about the possibility of an injury while on vacation. Still, being prepared will always prove helpful. The last thing someone wants is to cut themselves or strain something and have nothing to ease the pain.

Obviously, a doctor should treat any severe injury. For small scrapes, pack Band-Aids, and for minor muscle strains, pack bandages. Your body will thank you later.

2. Plug Adapters

Plug Adapters
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A lot of people forget to pack the various plug adapters needed for foreign countries with different plugs. In this day and age, when we rely on electricity to charge our phones or plug in our hairdryers, it’s essential to remember these adapters for any overseas trip.

Keep in mind what countries countries require them and what adapters you might need. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry than risk being without cell phone power.

3. Extra Socks and Underwear

Buying socks in drugstore
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A good rule of thumb is to always overpack certain essential clothing items. Yet travelers often forget to do so. At the top of that list are extra socks and underwear.

It may seem extreme to pack more than needed, but it’s important always to think ahead, especially when considering your destination. What if it rains or you ride a theme park water ride? What’s worse than walking around in wet socks or undergarments? The discomfort and possibility of illness should make packing extra a given.

4. Nail File and Clippers

Nail Clippers
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Nail care may not be at the top of everyone’s priority packing list, but it should be for one simple reason. Breaking, tearing, or cracking either finger or toenails can happen quite easily. Traveling only increases the chances.

While unpacking or repacking a suitcase or rummaging through a purse or backpack, one can easily snag or break a nail. Without a file or clippers, you’ll be left with a sharp or jagged nail that will only get worse.

Vacations can include a lot of walking, which can wreak havoc on toenails. It may not be pleasant to think about, but it’s just another reason to pack these, just in case.

5. Extra Shoes

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How often do travelers fail to pack one or two extra pairs of shoes? It’s easy to forget something you already are wearing!

Though you may not need them, packing other pairs could be practical and even fashionable. Suppose something happens to the pair you’re wearing. What if one’s outfit requires a different style of shoe? Whatever the reason, packing more than one pair should always be essential.

6. Hair Ties and Clips

Hair clips
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For anyone with long hair, forgetting hair ties, clips, and barrettes can be a nightmare. Go anyplace windy, and your hair will be a bigger problem than you expect. You might as well have never bothered to brush your hair at all.

Pulling hair back can be a lifesaver from the heat if there’s a beach, pool, or other warm place. Since hair accessories are small, forgetting them can be easy.

7. Chargers and Cords

Portable powerbank and cord
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Rarely does anyone go somewhere without a phone or tablet. While countless travel accessories such as portable fans, hair tools, speakers, and more have become cordless for our convenience, there is still a lot of tech we need to charge while on the go.

Remembering to pack portable chargers, USB cords, and other things saves the inevitable stress when power runs low. With so much on our phones, such as tickets, running out of charge can cause needless problems.

8. Sunglasses

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Sunlight can be both lovely and deceptively damaging. People often neglect to protect their eyes from sunlight most of the time, let alone while traveling. No matter the location, dealing with eye strain, headaches, or other ailments from overexposure to the sun can put a damper on an otherwise pleasant trip.

Travelers can avoid all of these things by remembering to pack sunglasses. Two pairs might be smart thinking in case you lose one pair.

9. Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Buying toothbrush
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It may seem impossible, but many travelers forget these very crucial items. Can you imagine enduring an entire vacation without brushing your teeth? It would be unpleasant personally and for any companions.

People brush their teeth before leaving the house, which can cause some to forget this at home. While most shops have toothbrushes and toothpaste, most travelers would like to avoid unnecessary spending — even for something so innocuous and inexpensive.

10. Medicine

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One of the most forgotten but imperative travel essentials would be medicine. Small items we use daily can get overlooked in the hoopla of packing, especially if packing quickly.

Travelers often take their health or comfort for granted and assume they’ll feel wonderful during their trips. However, life can be unpredictable, so one should remember over-the-counter things such as Advil, Tylenol, Tums, and Imodium.

For those who take necessary medications every day, forgetting them at home could be potentially dangerous. That’s why checklists matter.

11. Deck of Cards

Deck of Cards
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Boredom will inevitably set in during plane rides, road trips, and hotel in-between times. With many possible games and distractions, why not choose a classic, tried-and-true option?

A deck of cards takes up little space in luggage and offers multiple games for all ages. Travelers often forget to throw a deck or two into their bags. Many need to remember that downtime will occur.

12. Pajamas

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Although forgetting pajamas happens less frequently, it does still occur. Those who sleep in very little or do not own much sleepwear are the most forgetful.

On the other hand, not every store sells pajamas. Remembering to pack T-shirts, sweatpants, or leggings will be the way to go if you don’t want to sleep in your clothes from the day.

13. Chapstick

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Being without proper lip protection while traveling can lead to a lot of discomfort. In hot and cold weather conditions, lips can become dry, cracked, and sore. Relief will be difficult with anything other than some form of Chapstick when this happens.

Vaseline can also work in a pinch. The important thing is not to forget this small but significant item.

14. Razor

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Like toothbrushes, forgetting things we use before departing for trips can be easy. People will shave and absentmindedly put the razor back because it’s second nature. Razors will be available in most places, but will they be the same quality?

15. Laundry Bag

Plastic Laundry Bags with dress
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An oft-overlooked but significant thing to pack will be laundry bags. While many hotel rooms include these, there’s no guarantee you will find them.

If washing dirty clothes while on vacation seems unappealing or unnecessary, laundry bags are crucial. People will want to keep their clean clothes pristine, after all. These bags will likely be for shorter trips, but their importance should not be underestimated.

16. Sunscreen

Woman wearing sunscreen
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Travelers will frequently think they do not need sunscreen. In truth, the sun can be much more brutal and damaging than many believe. Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than a bad sunburn or sickness.

Travelers can easily prevent such things by simply remembering to pack and use a strong SPF sunscreen. Even those who think they do not burn easily should remember this travel essential. Sunscreen can save a vacation.

17. Snacks

Snacks mix
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Another item travelers will neglect is snacks. Depending on the travel destination, this may seem unnecessary. However, comfort foods, especially small portable snacks, can be lifesavers.

Snacks will be more than necessary when traveling with children who do not want to eat anything available on a plane, restaurant, or hotel. Any parent will likely never forget to pack snacks again when a meltdown happens. Pack some goldfish crackers, gummy bears, and other treats, and you will be golden.


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Marianne Paluso

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