Are you Afraid You Will Forget to Pack these Essential Travel Items?

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Are you Afraid You Will Forget to Pack these Essential Travel Items? Well, don’t be! Most of us forget at least one item when traveling, I know I do. Providing you don’t forget something vital like your passport, you can usually make do or buy a replacement, however it can still be frustrating knowing that you had that item back home. To make sure you pack everything you need, here are a few of the most forgotten items to add to your checklist!


Toothbrushes often get forgotten. Many of us don’t pack them the night before so that we can brush our teeth that night/the morning after, at which point we forget to pack them entirely. The same can go for toothpaste. Consider setting an alarm on your phone to help you remember these items if you think you’ll forget them. Personally, my toothbrush goes on my carry on backpack. (Also, remember to go green with a Bamboo Toothbrush! Don’t forget to buy in bulk, they make wonderful gifts!) By the way, I’m at DFW airport right now and just realized I forgot my toothbrush and toothpaste. Grrrr.

Sunscreen Lotion

Many of us also forget to bring sunscreen. Others deliberately don’t wear it (this is not advised at all). Sun cream is usually another easy item to replace, but bringing a bottle with you could save you from having to walk around on your first day unprotected. PLUS, not all places sell biodegradable sunscreens. Avoid chemicals for your own sake, and the for the sake of our oceans!


Don’t forget your shades!

Sunglasses also commonly get forgotten. This can be particularly frustrating if you had a nice designer pair at home that you were looking forward to showing off. If you are like me and need prescription sunglasses, you do NOT want to leave these at home. Make sure to put shades on your packing list to avoid buying a new pair on vacation! They can be so expensive when you are traveling.

Electronics chargers

Photo by Thomas Kolnowoski

Forgetting chargers for electronic devices can be hugely irritating. If your devices die, you’ll have no way of charging them (although it’s often easy to buy charger replacements). If you plan to leave your phone or tablet on charge the night before you travel, remember to unplug your charger before you leave. Don’t forget to pack these essential travel items.

Plug adaptor

Forgetting an adapter when you are traveling is the worst! Not all hotels will loan you one so even if you do remember to bring your chargers, you may still be unable to charge your devices in some countries without a plug adapter. This is because some countries use a different style of socket. Finding a plug adapter in these countries may not be easy so you’ll want to buy one beforehand. Don’t wait until the airport to buy an adapter, as these items are often overpriced – you can shop for cheap plug adaptors online.

Booking confirmation documents, Passport and Visas

When booking hotels, flights and cars, you may not always need a paper copy of the confirmation, but these documents are often worth having as a backup if something goes wrong. For instance, if a hotel is having technical problems and can’t access your reservation, having a paper copy of the confirmation could be important for helping you to claim your room. Paper copies can also be useful in other instances long before you pack – you may be asked to provide a paper copy of a flight itinerary for visa application purposes. There are companies that can help you get the right documents if you require this service. Always, always, always carry a picture of your passport….and don’t keep it with your passport! You can always take a photo of these documents with your phone as well. Be sure to pack these essential travel items.

A bag for dirty laundry

A bag for dirty laundry can be very useful for when you need to come back home. You may still have clean clothing in your suitcase and you’ll likely not want to get this mixed with dirty laundry. A bag will allow you to easily separate these items. Bags could also be useful to bring for general trash, for containing liquids (in case they leak) and for possibly separating small loose items like jewelry. Of course, it’s good for separating recyclable items as well!

Clothing for the cold

When traveling to a hot destination, it’s always wise to still have an extra layer that you can put on in the rare occasion that it gets cold. Some hot countries like Egypt can get very cool at night. There may also be activities such as climbing mountains where extra layers could come in handy. If anything, a warm layer could simply be useful for the airport (many airports are often air-conditioned) and for when you return back home.

First aid kit/medicine

Medical supplies often get forgotten. Unlike most of the other items on this list, this can actually have serious implications. Without a first aid kit, you may not be able to respond fast to an accident. Meanwhile, there could be important medication such as insulin, painkillers or adrenaline that you need for illnesses or conditions. Finally, there are all the handy extra items of medication that are useful to bring such as anti-diarrheal medicine, travel sickness pills and contraceptive pills (very important). Getting all these items at a local pharmacy may be difficult, so you’re best packing these essential travel items beforehand. 

So, be prepared and always put these essential travel items on your packing list. I cannot count the times I’ve forgotten one or more of these, and it is so aggravating. It can waste a lot of your vacation time. Avoid it, and I repeat, don’t forget to pack these essential travel items!

A Collaborative Post. See disclaimer on sidebar.

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Tam Warner

Award Winning Travel Journalist and Blogger, writing about Eclectic Travels in the Empty Nest! From scuba to luxury cruises to kayaking to expeditions, Tam is ready to go! Contact me at

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Tam Warner

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