We all know that moment – when you have finished packing for your next trip, you’re on the way out the door, and the panic strikes. Did you remember your toothbrush? Did you pack the right shoes? Honestly, it’s hard to know what to bring sometimes. Here are a few vacation essentials that you shouldn’t leave the house without. I’ve added affiliate links to each section to indicate where you can find these items. I only endorse products I actually believe in, promise!

A Carry On Bag and a Day Bag

These days, unless you are going for more than two weeks you can probably get away with a really good carry on bag. Most modern airlines have pretty reasonable carry on guidelines. Luggage is being built more cleverly than ever to make the most of their real estate. The bag of choice here at The Traveler’s Lounge belongs to Osprey. I have personally taken my Osprey bag through numerous rough and tumble vacations. These include two-week road trips around Iceland and Namibia. Mary Poppins’ bag was probably an Osprey – these things can fit an uncanny amount of items! The lifetime warranty on them certainly doesn’t hurt either!

Osprey is also a great choice for a day bag. Great for day excursions around a new city – somewhere to stuff water bottles, souvenirs, a good book for the beach – a day bag is a must when traveling! I love this one in particular because it can literally stuff into itself for storage.

A First Aid Kit

I know, I know, I probably sound like your mom right now. But seriously, when traveling it is important to be prepared for anything. A small first aid kit is great to should you get a headache while flying, a blister while exploring a new city, or a few scrapes while out hiking. There are numerous brands and sizes available. I always try to bring something that has wound care (like bandaids) and basic medicine (like Aspirin or Tylenol).

Another option is to pack your own kit in a small bag. Maybe you need less bandaids and more dramamine – no judgement here. I love this small zip bag that features a lock – great if you are traveling with kids (don’t want them getting into things they shouldn’t) and can store other valuables.

Travel Adapters

This one is important if you are considering international travel. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination after hours of flying, being completely exhausted, ready to sleep annnnnd your phone charger isn’t compatible. I find it best to simply buy a set – that way you will be prepared for your current adventure and all the unknown adventures in your future!

Multi-Use Clothing

If you are like me, you have probably excitedly packed for a vacation only to realize at the end – you packed your whole closet. Somehow at the time, it made sense to pack a hoodie for that beach vacation – hey it can get cold at night! And a second hoodie, because you need options right? In reality, less can be more. Try to find items that can have multiple uses. Multi-use clothing is always on my list of vacation essentials. I love my North Face Tri Climate jacket. Its parts can be separated so you can use just what you need – a base layer for warmth, an outdoor shell for rain protection, or all of them for a combination effect. It was priceless for my trip around Iceland. Try to find clothing that will maximize your precious packing space and serve you well on your trip.

Hopefully, these suggestions for vacation essentials will help make your next packing experience a little better! If you need guidance on where to go next, check out my post about how to choose your next vacation.

— Lauren

Happy Travels Friends!

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