Ask the Concierge: 13 Necessary Items Vacationers Always Forget

Despite the saving, planning and prepping that goes into vacations, travelers still often forget the most basic and essential items on packing day. Since forgetting your phone charger or not packing enough undies could be enough to derail an upcoming vacation, here are 13 essential items vacationers often forget and how to remember to pack them.

Ear Plugs

Sleeping in close proximity to all family members in one hotel room is enough to drive even the most patient of vacationers crazy. Trying to get a full night’s sleep in that packed hotel room while surrounded by snorers is sure to bring disaster. Always pack a few pairs of ear plugs to minimize noises both in your hotel room as well as the inevitable slamming doors and loud hotel guests outside the room. Avoid forgetting to pack ear plugs by always keeping a pair in your suitcase’s side compartment.

Electronics Chargers

You may have remembered to pack your phone charger, but did you remember the camera charger? Electronics can’t function for long without being recharged, so be sure you’ve packed every charger needed for the trip. Charge all electronics the night before your departure and place the chargers in the suitcase the following morning as you unplug each electronic. Grouping all chargers together in a sealable bag keeps them safe and easy to find.

Emergency Contacts

Today, most people rely on their cell phone contact lists to find important numbers. However, if you happen to lose your phone while traveling, your emergency contact list would be lost right along with it. As an added precaution, write all emergency contacts on paper before the vacation begins and store the list in a secure place while traveling. This backup plan could save you a great deal of stress if a vacation disaster occurs.


Getting lost is often easier than assumed in unfamiliar places. While your smartphone may be equipped with GPS services, the service could malfunction or you could lose the phone at some point during the vacation. Pack a guidebook or write directions to your main places of interest before leaving home for easy navigating even if your smartphone fails.

Good Books

Few events are more frustrating than hoping to relax poolside only to discover that the book you’ve brought on vacation is a dud. Rather than picking up a few vacation books on a whim, select classics or top hits on the current bestseller list. This ensures you’ll always be ready to relax with a good read from the airport to the beach.

Hair Styling Essentials

From humidity to dry conditions, many elements affect your hair’s behavior while vacationing. Avoid the flat-effect by packing the proper hair styling essentials based on your destination’s climate. If you’ll be traveling to a humid environment, select anti-frizz products. If a dry climate is your destination, go for moisture-enhancing products. Also, remember to bring along an adapter for your blow dryer and curling iron if you’ll be traveling abroad.


Vacationers often forget their medication bottles on the countertop after taking one final pill before leaving the house. Avoid this major mishap by setting the morning’s pill on the bathroom vanity the evening before your departure and then immediately place the medication bottle in your suitcase.

Proper Clothing

Pack for your destination’s current weather, not for the climate you’re leaving behind. If your destination boasts sunny and warm weather, stock the suitcase with shorts, t-shirts and sandals. However, one often overlooked outfit is the clothing you’ll wear to the airport on the vacation’s final day. This clothing should match the current weather you’ll be greeted by when returning home.


Food is often one of the largest vacation expenses. Line the suitcase with granola bars, fruit and other snacks to avoid the major markups on these items in tourist hotspot convenience stores. The snacks will then fuel your energy whether you plan to drive all night or while you’re waiting for a delayed flight. All snacks should be packed in a sealable bag to avoid messes.


Whether you plan to visit a tropical destination or somewhere a bit cooler, sunscreen should always be worn while traveling. Since climates vary, avoid sunburns by choosing a higher SPF than you would normally purchase. A small bottle of sunscreen is often sufficient for most vacations and should be packed with other lotions and skin care products in a sealable bag.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush

While toothpaste and toothbrushes would seem to be the easiest items to remember on the packing list, they are often left behind on the bathroom counter. Remember to pack your tooth-care items by purchasing travel-size products that can be kept in your suitcase between vacations. By doing this, the toothpaste and toothbrush will already be packed before you begin.


You may have remembered to pack undies, but did you pack enough for the entire trip? Running low on underwear at a vacation’s halfway point isn’t a situation anyone wants to face. To avoid this unpleasant situation, pack one and one-half times as many pairs as you would normally wear.

Walking Shoes

While you may wish to look styled and primped at all times during a vacation, high heels don’t mesh well with daylong site-seeing adventures. Pack at least one pair of comfortable walking shoes for any vacation to avoid sore feet or broken ankles.

Vacations are often derailed by the smallest of oversights. Avoid common packing disasters by knowing which items to bring on vacation and also by knowing how to best remember to pack them.

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