Is there anything worse than standing in line at the airport, only to realize that you’ve somehow managed to leave your wallet, complete with your driver’s license, at home. You won’t get too far on your journey without some sort of identification, and every seasoned traveler knows that a quick "ID check" is a must before leaving home!
While there’s something undeniably enthralling about embarking on a trip without worrying too much about technology, most of us are keen on capturing the highlights of our travels. Luckily, modern smartphones typically come complete with high-quality cameras -- but investing in a DSLR can take your photography adventures to the next level.
3. Layers, layers, and more layers.
If there’s one thing every experienced traveler will tell you, it’s this: never count on the weather! You might plan for a summertime getaway along Michigan’s Great Lakes, only to find yourself in the midst of some bone-chilling freezing rain. The key to battling the unpredictability of some regions’ weather, though, is to dress in all sorts of layers.
4. Plastic bags
It might sound odd, but plastic bags are a total must-have for your travels. These simple yet practical items are multipurpose, and you never know when they’ll come in handy. From wet bathing suits to dirty laundry to a last-minute carry-on for those extra souvenirs, plastic bags play many roles for seasoned travelers.
5. Supportive shoes
We know, we know: you’ve already gotten this advice from your mother, but there’s a reason it’s so common! A pair of shoes can make or break a vacation. Flip flops might sound like a good idea when you’re heading off on a beachfront getaway, but you never know when an opportunity to hike or stroll around the city might arise. Your feet will thank us when they return home blister-free!
6. A change of clothes
In your carry-on luggage, that is. If you’re traveling by plane, it’s vitally important to plan for the worst when it comes to airline service. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced the pain of lost luggage at least once, and we’d hate for you to be stranded in an unfamiliar without so much as a change of underwear.
7. A first aid kit
Sadly, our immune systems don’t always respond well to extensive travel. The exciting adventures that accompany journeys throughout the USA often lead to illness, injuries, and other unpleasant situations. Don’t let motion sickness or a few mosquito bites keep you from having a blast on your trip.
8. One word: snacks
Human beings get hungry, and we all know what hunger gives way to: hangriness. No one wants to have an otherwise wonderful vacation dampened by a sudden onslaught of midday hanger, so be sure to keep your bags well-stocked with all sorts of snacks. After all, the occasional frustrations that come along with traveling can sometimes make us act like toddlers.
Seasoned travelers know that credit cards are, unfortunately, fallible. Whether you face an issue with using an ATM far from home or you somehow manage to lose your card on some sort of wild outdoor adventure, there’s nothing worse than realizing that you’re completely without money. Solve this problem by stashing some emergency cash in a separate bag or section of your luggage, and you’ll rest easier.
10. Basic toiletries
This might seem like a no-brainer, but who hasn’t left their toothbrush or deodorant behind? We couldn’t finish off this list without reminding you to triple check for your must-have toiletries before leaving home. Sure, most of these items can be replaced, but there’s nothing more irritating than venturing out into an unfamiliar city after a long day of travel simply because you forgot to pack toothpaste.
11. An open mind
While material items are important, the most vital element of creating a positive travel experience is maintaining an open mind. As you venture out into the great unknown, you’ll likely encounter people from all sorts of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences, some of which will challenge you to expand your worldview. Take a deep breath: if you’re ready for new adventures, they will certainly find you.