10 Things You Need To Take With You On Your Vacation
It's summer again. Students are now counting down to the beginning of their summer vacation. Adults stuck in their offices are dreaming of leaving office and spending some time under the sun or out of town. Whatever vacation plans you may have, here are some important things you should never leave at home.
Photocopies and Print Outs
It's the electronic age wherein all your bookings are done online and tickets and receipts are printed out. In order to make sure that you won't encounter any hassle getting into your room or getting on the plane, better have a hard copy of your tickets and reservation details. In airports, for example, last minute changes of one's baggage allowance can mean waiting for the computer to update. And, during the peak season, hotels may suddenly give away your rooms and you might end up needing to fight for it. Also, if you are aware that you are going to be late for your check in time, the receipt usually has the number of the hotel and you can give them a call so that they won't give away your room.
Another thing that you should remember to print out is the address or map of your hotel so that you can easily show it to the taxi driver. This is very useful when you are travelling in countries which have a different system of writing. In Thailand, for example, it's best to have a print out of the address in English and Thai since most of the people there cannot read English text.
Lastly, if you are travelling to another country, make sure that you've got a copy of your passport and visa. This way, you'd be able to prove your identity in case your passport is stolen.
Credit Cards, Travel Insurance And Other Forms of Identification
Your credit card isn't just for spending. It's also used for verifications especially in airports. When you check in, you are usually asked for your credit card in order to verify that you were the one who purchased the ticket.
And, when you bring your credit card with you on your trip, make sure that you've got a photocopy of it as well as your bank's contact numbers. In case your credit card gets stolen, you can immediately call your bank in order to have it blocked. Having a photocopy can make it easier for you to relay credit card details to the bank representative who will be taking your call.
Having other forms of identification aside from your passport may also be useful when you rent things. Sometimes, the company where you rent your transportation from may prefer to keep one of your identification cards in order to make sure that you return what you've rented. And, of course, when you rent a form of transportation, you'll have to make sure that you've got the license to use it and you've got it with you.
Another important document that you should carry is your travel or health insurance details. Should an emergency occur or should you need to seek medical treatment during your trip, you won't have to waste a lot of time calling people to get your details.
A Belt Bag
It's very important to have a thin money belt that you can put around your waist and easily concealed by your pants or skirt. In countries where pick pockets and bag snatchers are quite rampant, having a secure location to put copies of your passports, travel checks and cash can give you a bit of security during your trip.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket! You should have some money and a credit card in your purse or wallet. And, you if you have a spare credit card, you can put it your money belt along with most of the cash that you are bringing along for the trip. In case your purse or wallet gets stolen, it won't be the end of your vacation.
Zip Lock Bags and Waterproof
If you haven't noticed, everything that we need for our trip can be ruined by water. Our electronic gadgets, travel documents and even money can easily be destroyed by a sudden down pour. For this reason, we should protect our things by stuffing them in zip lock bags or any form of waterproof casing that can keep them from getting damaged. Right now, there are many forms of waterproof bags and casings for electronics. If you don't have the time to purchase them or they're a bit too expensive, then getting a box of zip lock bags from the supermarket can be your best bet.
Our clothes can also be ruined if any of the liquid things we brought end up getting spilled during the trip. It's best to put them in huge zip lock bags that will keep them from getting soaked or damaged during the trip.
Unless you love walking in the rain, taking a waterproof with you is the best way to protect yourself from the rain.
Electronics and Chargers
It's funny but nowadays our bags consist mostly of electronics. Most people would at least have a camera and an android mobile phone in their bags. Some would even throw in a Kindle or a game console to keep them occupied during long queues or long bus rides. Others may even have an IPad or Netbook with them. Whatever electronics you're carrying with you, do not forget to bring your chargers. It'd be a shame to bring your Kindle to catch up on some reading just to find out that it's not charged.
First Aid Kit, Medication, Vitamins and Supplements
Having a first aid kit which contains an elastic bandage, plasters and medication that you may need can be a good idea. In your first aid kit, you should have something for fevers, colds, pain relief and diarrhea. Ladies who are prone to menstrual pains on their moon days should definitely make sure that they've got Midol or any form of pain relievers that their using. Cramps can definitely ruin a vacation. And, ladies, stuffing things you may need for your moon days in your first aid kit or purse is definitely a good idea.
In this age where vitamins and supplements are quite popular, one should have a pill case that will help in making sure that these are taken regularly during the trip. It's advisable to pack and seal them in small packs (one for the AM and one for the PM and so on...) which are clearly labelled if you don't have a pill case.
Of course, if you have any form of disease that require medication like diabetes or heart problems, make sure that you've got your tablets or injections in your carry on bag. People with asthma should not forget their inhalers. And, in order to avoid being harassed by customs officers, make sure that you've got a prescription with you.
Sunnies, Sun Cream and Mosquito Repellents
You'll definitely be needing some sun spray or some sun cream if you're going to be outdoors most of the time. Bring your favorite sunnies too. Remember -- Sunnies aren't just for accessories. They also protect your eyes from the sun.
If you're going to an area that's overrun by mosquitoes in the summer, do bring some mosquito repellents to keep them away from you. Since they can cause certain illnesses that will put a stop to your trip, you definitely don't want to get bitten.
Guide Books, Maps and Travel Plans
Don't forget to pack your guide books and maps so it'll be easy for you to find your way around the area. Bringing them doesn't mean that you don't have to read them beforehand. Going through your guide books before your departure can give you an idea of what you're going to do during your trip. Since most trips usually last only for a week or two, knowing which places you're going to visit can save you a lot of time. Add screaming children to that and you'd definitely want to have a well-planned vacation.
Flash Light and Batteries
Anything can happen. Your rental can break down while you are driving back to your hotel in the night. A power failure can occur in your hotel or guest house. So, it's probably wise to carry a small flash light that can light your way during such instances.
Change of Clothes and Toiletries
This is at the bottom of the list since this is something that's not easy to forget -- Your clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste and your preferred shampoo, conditioner and body wash (if you're a girl). Yes, you don't want to use the hotel shampoo and end up with a bad hair day. Make sure that you have your trunks, bikinis, bathing suits or board shorts if you're going to be swimming. If you're finicky about wearing goggles, make sure that you've packed them too. And, lastly, don't forget to pack some clothes that you would need for your trip. This is another reason why you need to know what you're doing before you go on a trip. You'll know exactly what to pack.. Something for a nice dinner out? Something for the beach? Something for trekking or hiking? A respectable outfit for visiting temples in Asia (No shorts or revealing tops for the ladies)?
This is a fool proof check list of things that you need to bring with you when you go on a trip. Should fellow readers have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to post them in the box below. Thank you! And, have a safe trip!
What's your ideal vacation like?
© 2012 Shanti Rose