Summertime has become synonymous with vacations and traveling. That all changed once the global pandemic arrived, which had many of us wondering if we’d ever travel as we did before. Fortunately, domestic and international travel is an option once again, even if the way we travel now is different, especially international travel during COVID-19.
With travel coming back to semi-normal, we may need to change how we pack for our trips post-lockdown. While many of the items we packed before will remain the same, it’s hard to remember every little item if you haven’t traveled in a while. Don’t worry we’re here to help. Here are a few travel essentials you’ll want to pack for all of your summer adventures.
Before we dive in, with the REAL ID deadline extension, make sure you are updating your identification and having it on you wherever you go. Review the CDC and government travel guidelines for more information.
Health and Safety
Even if you are fully vaccinated, it is still a great idea to have some masks and other PPE supplies readily available for your trip. Almost all of the national COVID restrictions have been lifted for fully vaccinated individuals, however, airplanes, trains, busses, and other forms of public transportation still require face coverings regardless of vaccination status. This is especially important for your unvaccinated children, older family members, and anyone with underlying conditions as new viral variants continue to pop up.
Not sure what you might need to pack for your upcoming trip? It never hurts to be prepared for a little bit of everything. Items such as seasonal allergy decongestants, Dramamine for motion sickness, Tylenol for headache relief, lip balm, extra toothpaste, sunscreen, and insect repellant are great places to start. However, you often don’t realize you forgot to pack these items until you desperately need them. Luckily, you won’t have to suffer through your trip if you have a delivery service app downloaded and ready to use on your phone. Based on these reviews, whatever it is you that you forgot, you can have it delivered to your hotel, motel, or campsite, etc. within the hour!
If you have any prescription medications, be sure those are packed as well, including asthma medications, EpiPens, and diabetic insulin. Better to have these essentials and not need them, than need them and not have them.
It might go without saying but packing the proper clothes for the climate in which you are traveling is crucial to a good time. Nobody wants to be stuck in the tropics with only a heavy coat or in the colder northern climates with only a bathing suit. You might want to consider more than just taking a look at the weather forecast beforehand as well. Especially if you’re traveling internationally, your home climate will likely be a little different from where you’re headed. For example, in the United States, June through August are considered the summer season while those same months in Australia are considered winter. Make sure you know what season you’re about to enter before you arrive and what the locals might recommend for the best idea on your day to day clothing and footwear.
Your travel wardrobe extends beyond what is in your suitcase. Day-of-travel clothing is just as important. Dressing lightly and comfortably can help alleviate some of the tension and discomfort that comes with travel. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off at the airport but still provide comfort and support. Whether you fly, drive or ride, sitting with too much clothing on can be restrictive and uncomfortable. Plus, wearing multi-functional clothes will limit what you need to carry around with you. Pack smart to save yourself time, eliminate stress, and leave you feeling as free and comfortable as possible.
Ways to Pass the Time
As busy and chaotic as traveling can be, there tends to be quite a bit of downtime. Make sure that you always have some type of entertainment with you. Books are always a great distraction for passing the time on a plane, a bus, or a road trip. Sure, you can browse at the airport bookstore for the latest paperbacks, but take some time to pick one out before you leave so you can read something you’ll really enjoy.
The real trick for those traveling with children is keeping them occupied. Plan for their shorter attention spans by packing travel games designed specifically for kids. Of course, you could always get a little creative and make up some games of your own as well! Having their favorite toys and games will help keep your children entertained and happy during the long travel hours. When all else fails, few essentials are as comforting as a travel pillow, blanket, and an eye mask for a nap, and that works for adults too. For more ideas, check out these accessories for your next road trip.
Even if you are looking to disconnect from the world, it’s still a good idea to pack your cell phone to use in case of an emergency. A laptop or tablet is a good idea if you’re planning on watching something while you travel, especially for any business-related activities. Just make sure you always bring along any chargers and adapters you need to keep your devices powered up and ready to use. Without a charged device, time spent listening to a podcast by the pool, or playing your audiobook on the train will likely be cut short. Additionally, make sure any entertainment apps you want to use are installed before you leave in case there’s no WiFi or the download speeds are too long.
If you aim to distance yourself from technology but still want to capture some memorable moments, make sure to bring a camera. You can still take and save photos with your phone, but for the days you do not want to be disturbed, a great travel camera will help you save all your vacation memories.
Something to Eat and Drink
One essential element of your summer adventure that might get overlooked is what you’ll eat. Sure, once you’re at a resort or other destination you may have meal plans, but what about while you’re still in transit? Road trips especially require something packed and ready to eat as this can save you time and money from getting off at an exit and spending more than you planned on. Remember, some modes of transportation might not allow you to bring food with you. Make sure that you have some extra cash set aside for vending machines so that you can grab some snacks while in the airport terminal or your hotel.
It’s also important to stay hydrated while you are traveling. Long car rides, busy days in transit, and strict travel schedules leave little room to take a water break. Activities in the summer heat can also cause you to perspire more and lead to dehydration and fatigue. Not to mention, water may differ in how it gets treated from location to location so it may not hurt to have bottled water on hand while you’re on your way to your destination, or in your vacation lodging. The last thing you or you or your family needs is to feel sick while you’re on vacation.
Whenever you travel, there’s bound to be something left behind at home. From medicines and snacks to sun hats and cameras, make sure you and your travel companions are mindful of how you’re packing. These tips will help you be more prepared ahead of your summer trips and help you pack smart for a stress-free time.
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