Packing for a perfect trip is about more than just remembering your toothpaste. It’s about making sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your travels. These ten items are small enough to fit in your carry-on, but pack a real punch when it comes to making your trip a more rewarding or productive experience.
1. Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Don’t depend on the hotel to provide you with a way to listen to music or podcasts. Bluetooth speakers are small and often battery-powered, so you can bring your favorite jams from your room to the beach without worrying about cords or cables.
2. Fitness Tracker
Wherever you’re going, there’s bound to be opportunities to get a walk or workout in. If you use a workout tracker, make sure you pack it so you can see exactly how much activity you’re getting done each day. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should ignore your health. Plus, it’s fun to see how many calories you burned walking through a museum or taking strolls on the beach.
2. Multiple-Port USB Charging Bay
For $10-20, pick up a wall plug USB charger that has one than one USB port. Not only do these let you make more use of whatever outlets you can find, but they also make sharing train or plane outlets with your neighbors much easier so you’re not fighting for some juice right before arrival.
Speaking of sound, make sure you pack some audiobooks in addition to any physical books you want. If you’re traveling solo, you’ll be able to listen to your favorite books while walking from terminal to terminal at the airport, driving along a new stretch of highway, or laying back on a beautiful beach.
5. Mini First Aid Kit
Pack a little travel bag with over-the-counter pain medicine, bandaids, and disinfectant wipes so you don’t have to spend half your vacation hunting down basic first aid items. Make sure you include anything related to your planned activities, such as bug spray for hiking or waterproof bandages for swimming.
6. Extra Headphones
Headphones break or get lost. Don’t spend a fortune on whatever replacement pair is available at your destination. Pack an extra pair from the get-go to make sure you’re never caught empty-eared.
7. Book Light
Avid readers shouldn’t depend on their hotel or home share to have adequate bedside lighting. A book light with an extra pair of batteries will allow you to enjoy your vacation reads long after sundown.
8. Extra Copies of Travel Documents
If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you keep a photocopy of your passport, visa, and any other travel documents in case you lose the originals. Lost luggage and pickpocketing happens, so make sure you have the information you need to work with your country’s embassy if your real passport goes astray.
9. Microwavable Dish
If you’re trying to save cash, pack a microwavable dish in your carry-on so you can make impromptu meals and snacks in the hotel microwave. Frozen veggies, leftovers, and even oatmeal can be cooked up in just minutes, so you can spend less money in restaurants and spend more time enjoying the trip itself.
10. Travel Journal
Keeping a travel journal with you can help you make sure you don’t forget a single moment of your trip. Even if you’re not a writer, a journal is a great place to put drawings, photographs, postcards, and receipts that will help you remember your experiences for years to come.
None of these items take up much space, but all of them make traveling a little easier or a little more fun. So next time you take a trip, whether it’s for a month or just a weekend, try adding a few to your suitcase and see how it works out.