Planning on jetting off to an exotic place or spending a weekend at your grandparents' farm this summer? Maybe you’re heading for the ocean or the mountains. Either way, there are certain things you should never leave town without. After all, didn't our parents always us that it's better to be prepared?
Check out these travel must-haves you should always include in your packing list.
Your toiletry kit should include travel-sized versions of your bathroom essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush—you name it. Try to get small bottles that you can recycle for future use rather than sachets.
FIRST AID KIT
Your first aid kit should contain bandages in various sizes, wound disinfectant, paracetamol, and maintenance medications that your or members of your family take. For example, if you’re asthmatic, you absolutely should bring your inhaler—even if you haven’t needed to use it in a while. If you’re taking a long vacation and some of your medicine is prescribed, stock up—and bring your doctor’s prescriptions. Some customs inspection procedures may require you to produce these if you go abroad; even if you're traveling within the Philippines, you should get your doctor to issue a spare prescription just in case you have to extend your trip.
MOBILE PHONE / GADGETS
Unless you're planning to be untraceable when you leave the country, you need a mobile phone to communicate with your love ones, especially when unforeseen events occur, such as civil unrest in the area. Some phones are also equipped with globe tracker and turn-by-turn navigation so you can find your way out of a strange place. Other gadgets such as a netbook and handheld games can also access Google Maps.
CHARGERS / UNIVERSAL ADAPTER
Well, you can't really take advantage of your phone's or other gadgets' features if the battery's dead, can you? The universal plug, found in leading hardware stores, will allow you to plug your portable electronics regardless of the outlet and voltage.
LOCAL MAP / GUIDE BOOK
Not only will a map guide you to the local sights, but if you are having trouble communicating with the locals, you can just point your destination out to a knowledgeable local, and he or she should be able to tell you the best way to get there.
ANTI-BACTERIAL WET TOWELETTES
Wet wipes are especially useful if you're traveling with kids, especially since children love to pick things off the ground and are also prone to spill things. Towelettes can also be used to freshen up.
It doesn't matter if you're going to hit the beach or the ski slopes—either way, you'd definitely need protection from the sun's damaging rays. Make sure your sun block can protect you from UVA and UVB rays. Need some help with sunscreen basics? Check out Female Network’s guide to SPF.
Particularly important in tropical climes like ours is the ability to protect ourselves from getting rashes and irritating bites from random insects. Insect repellants also protect you from mosquitoes that can cause more serious illnesses such as malaria and dengue. But when it's too late for avoidance, know how to treat bites and rashes and such; you can check out this FN article on treating rashes, bug bites, and jellyfish stings.
EXTRA POUCHES / SHOE BAGS / ECO-BAGS
That afternoon in Paris was memorable, but surely you didn't want the street dirt on your clothes! The extra pouches can come in handy so you can store your wet or soiled clothes separately from your clean ones. Some countries impose a levy on plastic bags, so save those few cents and practice eco-friendly habits by refusing plastic or paper bags. Eco-bags also make a sturdy emergency hand-carried bag.
HAND-CARRIED OVERNIGHT BAG
You'll need a bag with the bare essentials—especially if you have the rest of your stuff checked-in. Pack a couple days’ worth of clothes just in case you have arrived in Denmark while your luggage is on its way to Darwin. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to spend money on clothes that you’d rather spend on visiting fun tourist hot spots or on high-quality lodgings. Even barring the rerouting of your luggage, you should still carry an extra set of clothes with you when traveling, especially on long-haul flights.
(Photo source: sxc.hu)