Planning a vacation is exciting! Deciding where you will go, what you’ll see and even how long you’ll stay can take several days to several months. In the midst of your planning, you will undoubtedly begin to think about what you’ll take with you. Here are five must-have items for your upcoming vacation:
1. Great Shoes
It may seem like common sense, but all too often, people pack for style and not function. Depending on where you’re going, you may end up doing quite a bit of walking. Even if you are planning on staying at an all-inclusive resort, what happens if you sign up for an all day hike into the wilderness or a major shopping excursion? Packing a great pair of walking shoes or sandals will ensure that you can keep up with the pack and not suffer joint pain or terrible blisters; either of which can literally ruin your trip.
2. A Functional Bag
Travel experts will tell you that a cross-body bag is the perfect choice for travel. Not only are you less apt to leave it sitting somewhere but it is always close to your body and, therefore, more easily protected from potential thieves. Be sure that the bag you choose has plenty of pockets and is large enough to carry a bottle of water or two and any other essentials you’ll need to carry for the family.
Credit cards that earn reward miles or even give you cash back are a necessary travel item. Put the cash you have saved for your vacation into an account and use it to pay off your credit cards when you come home. An advantage to credit cards, particularly when traveling overseas, is a lower exchange rate on currency. If you aren’t sure that your credit card is set up for international use, simply phone your provider and ask; they’ll be happy to tell you.
This is another no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many people forget their identification. Passports and driver’s licenses should be kept with you at all times. If you are traveling with children be sure to have a current photo in your purse or stored in your mobile device. We don’t like to think about it, but accidents to happen and children do get lost. If you’re children are very young you can order a pet identification tag with your contact information and pin it to the inside of their jacket or coat. It sounds crazy but it wills save you time from having to write on a dozen clothing labels.
Even if you are traveling to a warm weather climate, the temperature can take a turn for the worse. Don’t pack for one temperature! Pack several layers of light clothing for each member of your family and don’t forget socks and a pair of tennis shoes for each. If you get stuck in a rainstorm or the temperature drops in the evening, you’ll be happy that you packed more than you thought you’d need.
Planning for your vacation can be fun but it also needs to be smart. By packing correctly, you are more apt to enjoy yourself and not worry about the little things. From comfortable shoes to lots of layers, packing smart will enable you to have a great vacation and will save you from having to spend extra money when you reach your destination.
Author Jessica Stevens is a financial consultant and content contributor for wisebread.com, a site offering reviews on some of the best travel credit cards and great money tips for living large on a small budget.