When you’re caught up in the planning and excitement of going on a trip, things get lost in the mix. Don’t leave the house with that nagging feeling that you've forgotten something important and look over this list of items we advise you to take on your next student trip.
Many, if not most, traditionally recommended travel products can now be conveniently carried in your pocket. A watch, alarm clock, compass, camera, GPS, etc. Smartphones are amazingly versatile and, yet, surprisingly fragile. They make everything easier but risky if you are clumsy like me, so be sure you have a protective case (Otterbox phone cases are great for even the clumsiest of people) for your phone and a portable charger. You don’t want our tech buddy to conk out on you when you need it the most. An extra, fun accessory you might want include is a clip-on camera lens, perfect for those of you who don’t want to spend the extra money on a fancy camera but don’t want to settle for basic iPhone pictures.
It doesn't matter if you’re going to Miami Beach or Juneau, Alaska, the sun can still burn your skin. Take along a sun hat, or baseball cap at least, sunglasses, and sunscreen. After all, you don’t want to be left looking like a lobster in your group photos. This may seem basic but that just means these items are easy to forget. On the upside, if you do forget them, it’s simple enough to pick some up at your destination. A healthy alternative to sunscreen is coconut oil, and it does wonders for dry skin, under-eye bags, and sunburns.
P.S. drink lots of water to combat heat exhaustion. Purified water bottles like the Brita water bottle are good for hikes, day trips, or hanging at the beach.
In-Flight (and Road Trip) Comforts
Since airlines decided to cut back on costs and punish us faithful flyers, you've been missing out on the simple comforts you enjoy on long flights. Take along a travel pillow and blanket set where the blanket masquerades as a pillow. This saves room and money. Also, to pass the time, you may want to splurge for an e-reader or a tablet. They weigh less than a paperback book and you can carry your whole bookshelf in your lap. The Kindle Fire and Apple iPads play movies, music, and games to make your travel time go by faster. Just be sure to bring along headphones so you don’t disturb others while you’re watching Pretty Little Liars.
You never know what will happen on vacation, but there’s no reason to stress. Have everything you need at the ready with a multi-tool kit and a small first aid kit. You never know when you’re going to want an aspirin or need to cut through those annoyingly thick plastic packages, or a bandage after you try to tackle that sucker bare-handed. Also, to combat pick-pocketing and to protect your information, think about getting a money belt to go under your clothes. It may look like a flat fanny pack but don’t worry, no one can see it.
There are fun things that may make your trip a little more bearable and there are products that are basic necessities. Here are some simple tips:
1. Always pack a toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on in case you have a long layover. It may be prudent to just take on a small toiletry bag as well.
2. For those short day trips, roll up a small tote bag into your carry-on or luggage so you don’t have to lug around a big ole’ bag while you walk around Disneyland.
3. Backpacks make great carry-ons and have a lot of extra little pockets for knickknacks.
4. For long flights or road trips, take a sleep mask and some Evian Mineral Spray or an equivalent to combat jet lag and those pesky under-eye bags. Lotion or coconut oil is also good to have, as is a small pack of tissues and spot cleaner for us messy eaters.
5. If you have young kids in your group, take along some snacks and coloring or puzzle books to keep them occupied and happy (aka quiet). That tablet will come in handy here.
6. Don’t carry all of your cash at the same time or in the same place. This seems simple enough but if you lose that one bag or wallet, you’re out for the trip or until you can get your parents to wire you some more.
7. There are literally hundreds of travel apps from self-guided tour itineraries of the Met to guidebooks to tips on finding the best local food joints. If you have a smartphone, why not utilize its genius?
Traveling is an exciting time even though we know how stressful it can potentially be. But as long as you have your necessities and your friends, why stress? Have some fun and leave the planning to us.