Items You Should Never Vacation Without

You've packed your favorite shirt and a good book, but you can't travel without these essentials!

You have your flight booked, and you have already made those hotel reservations. What’s next? Packing your bags, of course!

There are some items you should never travel without. Whether it’s just a weekend escape or a longer getaway, these are the things you just can’t forget! Your suitcase won’t be fully packed without them.

Passport and ID

passport on map

First and foremost, never ever leave without your passport and ID! You won’t be going very far at all without proper identification and any required visas. This is the first thing you should check, too. I know someone who recently had to cancel a long-awaited trip because she didn’t make sure her passport was up to date!

Comfortable Shoes

Always bring a pair of trusty walking shoes. Even if you’re planning on being barefoot on the beach the whole time, you should still pack a pair of comfortable sneakers. You never know – you might end up doing more walking than you thought! And bring a pair that you have already worn, because brand-new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet might cause discomfort or blisters.

Related: Best Comfortable Walking Shoes for Traveling

Travel Power Adapter


If you are traveling out of the country, you definitely need to bring yourself a travel power adapter. You can find one for relatively cheap, and they often have a few different international plug adapters built in. Other countries have different power outlets and voltages, and the adapter will save you from not being able to use your electronics.

Portable Battery Bank

Even if you bring a travel power adapter, you might not always be in a spot where you can plug your devices in. Your phone might die while you’re miles away from your hotel or out in the middle of a hike. This is even more likely to happen if your phone is constantly searching for service or wifi, which drains the battery even faster. With a battery bank, you will be able to charge your phone or other devices anywhere.

A Watch

Watch and hands

Most people use their smartphones as more than just phones; it’s also a clock, a camera, a flashlight, and more. But what happens if your phone dies? Knowing what time it is will be particularly important if you need to be somewhere at a specific time – like if you have a scheduled tour, or you need to catch transportation. Always travel with a trusty watch!

First Aid Kit

First aid kit on light wood

Hey, no one plans on getting hurt while on vacation, but it definitely happens. It’s best to just be prepared. You can buy a small first aid kit or put together your own. Make sure you also pack a pain reliever so that a headache doesn’t ruin your trip.

Hand Sanitizer

Maybe I’m a little bit of a germaphobe, but I don’t travel anywhere (not even to the grocery store) without hand sanitizer. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need to sanitize your hands, but you don’t have access to water or a bathroom. Personally, I like the small ones I can hang on my bag. They’re always accessible, and I don’t have to worry about them leaking on my stuff.


Outside of trips to the beach in the summer, people almost always forget sunscreen. Yes, you need it in the winter and on overcast days, too. The risk of skin cancer and sun damage is always there, making sunscreen a vital part of your daily routine. Throw sunscreen in your bag, no matter where you are traveling to.

Reusable Water Bottle

refillable water bottle

Carrying your own reusable water bottle ensures you stay hydrated throughout your entire trip while also being more eco-friendly. You can easily refill it whenever you need to without needing to seek out bottled water to purchase. If you are flying to your destination, pack an empty water bottle so you don’t run into problems with airport security.

Stain Remover

Many of us don’t have access to laundry services when traveling – at least, not without all those extra fees. So, what happens if some of your lunch accidentally ends up on your shirt? Having a stain remover pen on hand will definitely save the day!


In general, it’s always a good idea to have at least some cash on hand. If you are traveling to another country, you’ll want to exchange the currency. This might come in handy in case you need to tip at a restaurant, pay for a cab ride, or purchase something from a cash-only vendor.

A Smaller Bag

Girl with backpack looking at phone and mountain

You’re packing all your items into a bag, but you aren’t going to be hauling around a huge suitcase during your trip. Always pack a smaller bag that is comfortable to carry all day long, like a backpack. This way, you can carry around your battery bank, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, and more. Those items won’t do you any good if you leave them back at the hotel.

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