Easily Forgotten Travel Essentials

Easily Forgotten Travel Essentials

All my stuff got wet. I didn't know there'd be a place to swim. I can't sleep; it's too loud. Sometimes things just aren't what you expected. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a month-long trip, having the right travel accessories can make or break your experience. Let's dive into the world of easily forgotten travel essentials.


Hostels, hotels, vacation rentals, and tents all have one thing in common; you never know what the noise level will be like. Far too many nights are spent awake in a tent because of a gusty breeze, in a room with thin walls, or because of your travel partner who says, “They don’t snore.” How easily those sleepless nights could have transformed into restful slumber with a simple pair of earplugs.  Don’t let the sounds outside or the noise from your fellow travelers keep you from getting the sleep you need for long days of exploring. 

It got dark,  really dark, and the light on your phone just ain’t cutting it. While any small bright flashlight can do the trick, having a headlamp keeps your hands free and lights up anywhere you need it without a thought. Remembering this item will have you conquer the night without feeling like you're fumbling around in a horror movie.

There’s a hot tub, a pool, or a lake, and you want to jump in. Bringing along a swimsuit seems to pay off more than not, and even if you don’t need it, it’s a fractional amount of space and weight to carry along just in case the opportunity arises. 

You decided to jump in, the place you're staying doesn’t have towels, or the ones they do have are somewhat suspicious, or some of your things got wet along your journey. A travel towel is a critical item to have, and these days with such lightweight and fast-drying materials as microfiber, it’s easy to bring it anywhere and everywhere. The uses for one are endless. Use it as a ground covering, and wrap up wet or delicate items for travel. Heck, we’ve even gotten a car unstuck with one.

A dry sack is handy when you need to keep valuables dry or don’t have time to dry your swimsuit before zooming off for your flight. It can easily be rolled up small and stashed away when you don’t need it.

There was no rain in the forecast, but now it’s raining. The wind is much stronger than anticipated. With lightweight rain jackets being extremely packable, throwing them in the bag in case the weather changes quickly is always worthwhile. It’s probably the easiest to bring and a valuable extra layer you can pack to protect yourself from the elements.

You figured it would be shady most of the time or didn’t expect to be spending so much time outside. A small tube of sunscreen and spf chapstick can save you when the UV is high and you’re out longer than expected.

Your phone just died and has all the travel info on it. You can’t find a power outlet. The plane is old and there are no outlets or USB chargers. Our phones have become the most useful travel tool, making a portable charger essential,  especially when traveling to more rural countries.

Cuts, blisters, and headaches can put a damper on a trip and can have lasting impacts if not treated properly and promptly. Bringing a well-stocked first aid kit ensures you can handle most small physical mishaps.


Wi-Fi hotspots or expensive roaming charges are a hassle. Ensure you have global data to access maps, check emails, and do on-the-go research. We also recommend downloading the map of the country you're going to, just in case you don’t have any service.

Relying on the drink cart on a plane or buying single-use plastic water bottles will leave you thirsty while simultaneously wasting your time and money. Bringing a reusable water bottle keeps you refreshed throughout the day without the headache of buying and disposing of bottles. 

Oh no, never even seen a power outlet like that. An adapter ensures you can charge your devices no matter where you are. 

Here are some more items that are useful. A sleeping bag liner for hostels that may charge extra for sheets. Packing cubes for an efficient organization in any bag. Security pouches worn under your clothes help avoid pickpockets. A quality camera for the art and the memories. 

Most of these items are small and easy to pack, making them a no-brainer to bring along. But the thing is, the small things are the easiest to forget, so don’t forget to make a list and double-check it. If we missed something in this article (we probably did, but that’s kind of the point), please let us know down below. You may have been thinking, “Duh, how could anyone forget that,” “Wow, I always forget that,” or “Never thought of that.” Whatever the case, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

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  • I am always up for adventure, pack light and prepare to enjoy yourselves.

    Mattice on
  • My dad was in a hotel in NYC when there was a blackout. I guess before the automatic safety lights, he had to “feel” his way out of the hotel (26 floors?) to leave. He brought a working pen light on all trips after that. I try to remember to bring a water bottle with a filter, makes all water a bit more safe.

    KJSP on
  • I bought packing cubes last year and have yet to use them but they sound super useful. Packing efficiently has always been a struggle for me.

    Kate Phillips on
  • I am a pretty frequent traveler and a decent packer. I try to tell myself not too stress over it too much because most things that I forget, I can easily buy once there. I do a final check for passport, phone, credit and debit card before walking out of the house. Those are things that can’t be easily replaced!

    lindsay on
  • All of the above lol!

    Laura Apricot on
  • You know my friends always ask me, “How do you get your wife to go with you on these crazy adventures?” They will tell me that the have to promise things like redoing the bathroom, or painting some part of the house, or remodeling the kitchen. They say, “John how do you do it?” I comment that it is easy. I set the alarm the night before we leave for 5:30 am. The alarm goes off and i turn it off. I then roll over and nudge her. And I say, “Do you want to go on this crazy adventure with me or have sex?” She says, “Don’t forget the sunscreen!”

    John Mayes on
  • I always travel with earplugs and a headlamp. However, always check the headlamp batteries. It’s not great to be somewhere without a good light and no batteries. Made that mistake.

    Kenneth Vandergriff on
  • I like how you mentioned Chapstick. I never leave home without it. Gum is a nice item to have to reduce dry mouth and cravings.

    Kim on
  • Such great tips! I always find myself in places where I get attacked by the elements (the sun, the mosquitos, sand fleas, etc…) So, I make sure to always (in addition to the items you listed) have SPF 70 + sunscreen (as I’m fair-skinned) and a reliable bug spray in travel-sized bottles. As well as an After-Bite lotion to help ease the swelling when I do get bit.

    Rachel Mertz on
  • A bandana or scarf. You can use it for multiple things and it could be used in an emergency.

    Aadel Bussinger on

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