You’re getting ready to pack up for your vacation, and you need a little help? Start by making a list about 2 weeks before the trip. Carry the list with you during the day, and write down ideas as they occur to you. Add to and edit the list as necessary. There are a few things that might not occur to you which you might want to remember…
Bring a clothespin or large safety pin to close drapes that might not meet in the middle or even for clamping closed a bag of snacks you have in your room.
A corkscrew is helpful because most countries will produce their own wine and you may have a bottle in your room. A corkscrew will be helpful for a drink before dinner.
Bring water along, especially if your flight is longer than 3 hours. Take a small spray bottle of water for your face. It is refreshing, soothing, and your only source of humidity for the entire dry, flight.
A pocket calculator is helpful to figure exchange rates in foreign currency…and hopefully avoid getting ripped off.
Most overseas hotels do not provide washcloths, so come prepared with a few of your own.
You never know when there will be a screaming infant on your flight or an all-night disco in your hotel, so bring along some earplugs. Your suburban ears may not let you sleep with the city noise.
Many hotels only provide a small packet of tissues, if any at all, so bring a large box along. Keep a handful in your daypack for toilet paper also.
Take a small stash of trail mix, dried fruit or nuts in case you get hungry on a tour or at night when the restaurants are closed.
Make Xerox copies of all your important travel documents: passport (picture page), tickets, ATM card, credit card, driver’s license, traveler’s checks, etc. If they get lost or stolen, you will know exactly what you’re missing and have the numbers handy. Obviously, keep this paper separate from the items you’ve copied!
Finally, take along some individually wrapped candies – not chocolate if you’re going someplace warm. Offer these to hotel staff, taxi drivers and others you’d like to be nice to. It’s a great way to break the ice and meet new people.