Common things you forget to pack

No matter how carefully you prepare, there always seems to be something you forget to pack. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned travellers occasionally forget to pack an extra camera flash card or a spare pair of thermal underpants.

And while it may be easy to pick up bits and bobs at the airport or once you’ve landed, it can be a real bummer when you know you have a perfectly good rain jacket at home and you’re now having to fork out for a new one to get you through the next seven days.

Here’s a list of the five most commonly forgotten items to pack, so you don’t make the same mistake.

Toiletry essentials
So, you’ve packed your deodorant, toothpaste, maybe some earplugs and a few cotton buds, but what about your hand sanitiser and your medicine?

Believe it or not, many people who regularly take prescriptions leave theirs at home when they go on holiday. This can really ruin a holiday, especially if you’re in some remote place, deserted island or in the jungles of Asia. Hey, it happens, but here’s a tip: buy a few bottles of hand sanitiser, keep one in your toiletries bag and never take it out, and keep one in your suitcase, too. You could do the same with your medicine, assuming it has a long shelf life.

Booking confirmations
Some travellers spend a lot of time planning and booking their holiday, then take off and hit the ground completely unaware of the address of the hotel in which they’re staying the first night. It’s not uncommon for people who do all their organising on a computer to leave their travel plans, booking confirmations and itineraries at home. When you finally confirm a booking, hit print (or send it to a trusted friend who can), and keep a copy of every hotel, flight, tour and booking receipt in a zip-up plastic pocket. It’s also good to leave a copy with someone you know, just in case you lose yours on your journey. If you’re not a fan of hard copies, take a photo with your phone or email confirmations to your email account.

Contact lenses
You can’t go sightseeing if you can’t see, and yet spectacles, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses are often left at home. This happens mostly to people who leave for an early morning or late-night flight. If you wear contacts, keep some extras in your toiletries kit, suitcase or carry-on bag. If you have a spare pair of glasses, keep them in your suitcase. If you only have the one pair, leave them out in plain view with your housekeys, wallet or purse so you don’t forget them.

Passport
Go on, laugh. But we’ve all heard the horror stories of those who get to the airport only to find they’ve left their passport on the bureau at home. Your passport should be the very first thing you pack. If you’re going on an international holiday, pack it in the front pocket of your suitcase now, otherwise, slip it into your carry-on bag.

Rain jacket
A lightweight rain jacket is a traveller’s best friend. It’s less bulky and awkward than an umbrella and if you’re going to a cold destination, you can simply layer up the windcheaters underneath to stay warm and dry. A rain jacket is also super handy if you have a connecting flight in a wet part of the world. If you don’t already have one, pick one up, roll it up and stick it in your carry-on bag. You’ll thank me later.

What’s the most important thing you’ve forgotten to pack for holiday?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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