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Escape Hunter Planning 20 Items That Travelers Often Forget to Bring

20 Items That Travelers Often Forget to Bring

December 6, 2013
January 27, 2015

Besides the vital items like money, documents, plane tickets, which others important items are frequently forgotten by travelers?
Trust me - there at plenty, I counted twenty...

Don't get me wrong - you CAN TRAVEL WITHOUT these 20 items, but I honestly wouldn't recommend forgetting any of them!
No, I'm not talking about the passport, the wallet or the wristwatch. There are others that are not really vital, but could prove indispensable in certain situations.

Here goes the list...

#1 Copies of important documents

Copy your passport, your ID, driver's license and other important documents.
If lost, the copies will always come in handy - even if in some few situations they won't accept them, at least you'll know the codes and other data in them.
Also check my list of the most important travel documents to make copies of.

#2 Luggage locks

Protect your luggage, use luggage locks!
I never leave my luggage anywhere without adequate locks on the zipper handles.
I don't check my luggage in at airports, nor do I leave it at the hotel without having secure locks on.

#3 Luggage tags on luggage

You luggage isn't unique, you know... there are lots and lots of identical bags being put on and off of baggage carousels at ther airports.
If you don't want to lose yours, then be smart (I know you are!) and put a luggage tag on.
It's also good to make your check-in bag distinguishable (read my tips!). It adds more to loss prevention.

#4 Keys: home keys, luggage lock keys

Many lock their luggage and only while traveling do they discover that they left the keys home!
Of course, we can also forget our home's door keys...

#5 Adequate proof of travel insurance

Some companies provide travel insurance included with other services and/or products. For instance - I once had a debit card, which came with a travel insurance (wherever I travel, etc.).
But you need concrete proof of the service. So, have a printed document labelled "travel insurance" with the details of your insurer. That way, even if you're unconscious, someone will be able to find the document on you.

#6 Emergency medical items

Some have pills for headaches, but aren't prepared for stomach/digestive problems.
We can also wake up with joint pain after a twisted step and some pain relief-containing ointment would be great having.
I recommend you to view my essential traveler's medical items checklist and put together a box/bag of items that you expect using during emergencies.

#7 Small bottle of water

I usually pack at least one small (half a liter) water bottle in my large pack (which can go into the airplane's belly and won't have to throw out when passing security at the airport).
Upon arrival it feels good having a small bottle of water in there. Even if you arrive at midnight and there are no places to buy water, you will have at least that tiny bit.

#8 Chargers, cables for your electrical equipment

The chargers for the camera battery pack, the laptop/netbook/tablet charger, mobile phone charger... there are so many and forgetting one can ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip.

I love devices that charge through USB cable, via the laptop - for instance. Even though, chaging through a USB cable is rather slow, that tiny cable shouldn't be left out.

#9 Slippers, flip-flops

Will you walk in your shoes at your hotel room? Or bare-footed?
Most do either of those, but slippers are more comfy. Most of the time, one can squeeze an ultralight pair into your bag.

#10 Spare shoe strings/laces

These are extremely important. Almost no-one ever brings them. But, I do since I once had a bad experience with a torn shoelace.
Imagine this scenario when you're in the middle of a hiking trip and you can barely keep your shoe on your foot! Wouldn't a spare string come in handy?

#11 Electricity plug adapter

We forget them often, especially when we travel intercontinentally. If you don't have a plug adapter, then you can't recharge your laptop, your cell phone or other electronics...
Though, some hotels will have their own plugs and can borrow you one and you'll normally have to pay for it.

#12 Enough paper money and adequate amount of change

A debit/credit card might not work all the time and I've seen travelers whose cards were swallowed by ATMs - with all their traveling money on them!.
Bring enough cash and make sure you have enough small notes and perhaps a few coins as well.

#13 Raincoat, jacket against rain and strong winds

Rain and strong winds can suddenly appear - some destinations are more prone to bad weather. Of course, get well documented.
During my escape to the exotic island of Madeira, unexpected strong winds appeared and made me feel like in Norway. Despite the plentitude of palm trees and exotic reputation, Madeira can have terribly cold winds.

For such situations it's good bringing ultra-thin wind coats or even single-use raincoats against unexpected rain.

#14 Hat, cap

Must have at any time, regardless where or when you're traveling. It shields you from the strong sunlight, protects from rain, dust... needless to explain the importance.

#15 Map of your hotel's location

Print it out or have it in your smartphone or tablet, so that you can find the hotel easily.
With Google Earth, you can even search your way to the hotel before departing. Then, use the map you have with you when you're already there.
It's good to have a printed version on paper as well.

#16 Pocket knife

Men are more likely to have one and I happen to be one of those crazed Swiss army knife fans.

I've been in situations with friends when we bought Bacardi drink bottles and couldn't open them, because none of us had an opener. We then resorted to lamp posts and street signs sharp parts to open the bottles.

Of course, a pocket knife has a plethora of other functionalities: if it has tweezers, you can remove splinters from under your skin.

#17 Enough spare socks

We use our feet more than when we're at home. More walking, more sweating requires better hygiene and extra preoccupation with comfort.
And the issue of socks always sounds funny, but a very important one. Don't forget to bring enough with you. Which means: much more than you'd normally use when home.

You could easily use 2-3 paits of sock per day, if you're an active, conscious traveler.

I also recommend you the article about foot care for travelers.

#18 Plenty of plastic bags

Keep your things well-organized. It's easier and faster to pack in and out by compartmentalizing with the use of plastic bags.
You won't have to take everything out of your bag.
Use separate plastic bags for different types of clothes, for laundry, for food and so on...

#19 Enough paper tissues

Pack plenty of paper tissues, you'll never know what you'll be using them for. Sometimes I use them just to cleaning my laptop.
Before departing, I pack the tissues around fragile objects like camera, my laptop for added protection.

#20 USB memory stick

Comes in handy when you need to print out travel documents or as a backup for showing your voucher the at the hotel. Of course, you can also back your photos up on these gadgets.

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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