10 Items for Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist

10 Items for Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist

I don’t know if you’ve notice, but Labor Day is right upon us, exactly a week from now, in fact.  With it, the end of summer is here, however much we may wish that wasn’t the case.  Still, Labor Day does bring with the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the change of seasons.  What’s the best method to do so, you ask?

That’s right, road trip!  Yep, I don’t know about you, but the tradition in my family is to get together on Labor Day for a fun BBQ.  I’ve already shared how my family is planning such a get together this coming weekend, and that I’m going to make it into a major trip, covering most of the week.  It’ll be a fun time, but unfortunately, it will require more than a little bit of packing to get things ready.  And in order to make sure that everything is properly gathered and packed up, Sondra and I will need to  consult a list of

10 Things to Remember For Your Travels

1. Money – Yes, let’s start with the most basic of basics.  While you are out and about, it’s usually good to be able to pay for things with cash rather than cards.  Besides help to ensure that you are always able to pay (no worries that your credit card will be denied or that you won’t be able to convert to another currency), sticking to cash will help to ensure that you stay within your preset trip budget.  (You do have a budget, right?)

2. Cell Phone(s) and/or Computer(s) – I probably don’t need to tell you that you need to bring your electronics with you to be able to contact others; it’d take much more effort to get you to leave them behind.  But while you’re packing, it’s good to make sure that you have both the electronics themselves and the needed support equipment (power cords, adapters, chargers), so you keep your electronics working right.  (You might also want to consider cloud computing to make it easier to access your files from other devices if needed.)

3. Important Documents – This is admittedly a vague item; depending on whether you intend to drive a car across the state or go around the world, your list of important documents will vary.  Heck, if you are planning to see a show or attend another special event, you might need to make sure that you have your tickets with you!  Just make sure you grab what you need before you leave.

If you don’t remember your passport, you’re not leaving the country, for example.

4. First Aid Kit and Other Medical Supplies – Alas, many things can go wrong while traveling.  To handle situations when you (or one of your travel companions) is injured or otherwise needs medical assistance immediately, be sure to keep a first aid kit readily available, along with any other supplies you might need, including:

5. Subscription Medications – There’s a fair chance that someone you travel with might have a medicine subscription (I do); in that case, you’re going to need to make sure that you have enough of that medicine to make it through the trip and back.  You’ll also need to be sure that you pack some extras, as it can be difficult, if not impossible, to fill a prescription when you’re away from home.  (Try not to take too much, though; should you lose your medicine while traveling, you want to make sure you have some waiting at home.)

6. Water – Depending on where and how you travel, you might not need to take water, should you stay within reasonable distance of water supplies at all times.  That said, it’s still a good idea to stay hydrated, and keeping some water on hand will help on that front.  (Even if ‘eight glasses each day’ is a myth, you should try to take in a decent amount.)

7. Toiletries – Regardless of where you go, you’ll need to shower, shave, and brush your teeth (among other bathroom activities), and it’ll be best for you to take your own supplies with you.  It’s good to assume you that your hosts (if you have any) won’t have what you need, and to take your own with you.

8. Alarm Clock – If you are staying somewhere other than your usual bed, it might be tough to rely on an appropriate wake-up call to get you moving.  Having an alarm clock of your own to get you motivated would be a very good idea.  (Preferably a clock that doesn’t need to be plugged in, to prevent any problems with a loss or lack of power.)

9. Clothing – We’re probably well beyond what you’ll need to take for a short Labor Day skirmish, but if you’re planning a major trip (for, say, the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays), clothing is a useful item to have.  How much and what type will depend a great deal on the details of your trip, (whether camping or a cruise, for example) but keeping your clothing supply to a minimum while still having at least 2 or 3 full outfits is a good idea.

10. Your Kids and/or Pets (If You Are Traveling With Them) – I hope that I don’t need to say this, but it’s worth a reminder: take the little ones when you travel.  In particular, make sure you grab them after leaving any rest stops.  (I won’t worry you about kidnappers; I think the worries of such issues tend to be overblown.  Still, don’t give them a chance and keep the little ones under watch.)

Now, a final note: This is far from a complete list of everything you mightneed in every tip of a trip.  Rather, this should be considered only a basic guide to what you will likely need for most of your travels, and particularly for over-the-night road trips, which may not actually be common during Labor Day weekend.  Don’t consider this comprehensive by any means (and if you need a more complete list, there are resources out there), but as a guide on where to start.

This list contains most of what you need to travel (hopefully), but do you have anything you would add?  What travel plans do you have coming up?  Do you intend to do any major traveling soon?  If so, be sure to pack well!

Picture Source: Wikimedia

3 Responses to 10 Items for Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist

    • I was debating whether to include food along with water. Like you say, it’s good to keep your blood sugar up (you’re talking to a guy whose family is diabetic, so I understand the importance). On the other hand, trying to eat healthy (and cleanly) in a moving vehicle is difficult, if not impossible, and most rest stops aren’t exactly the best place to try to feed yourself, a baby, and a dog. My wife and I usually opt to stop for a meal on the longer trips, although taking food with you is definitely a way to keep your expenses under control (which is always a good thing).

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