1. A toothbrush/toothpaste. Usually the toothbrush, the more crucial of the pair. This is my number one offender. You’d think I would learn and pack a spare in every travel bag or something clever, but I do not. Instead, I end up having to buy a new toothbrush as soon as I hit ground.
2. To turn my phone on airplane mode. I know this is terrible. I KNOW. For some reason I really struggle with this, and open my bag shocked to find that the phone I could have sworn I turned OFF is now at 3% battery because it’s been searching for a signal at 30,000 feet for five hours. I just don’t know.
3. Shoes that require socks for walking through airport security with. I hate feet, so the trauma level is upped beyond the normal “eww this is gross” level for me. Again, you’d think I’d learn, but if the season is between April and October, you can guarantee I’m probably wearing flats, sandals, or loafers…sans socks. I am my own worst enemy.
4. To bring a spare pen to fill out my landing card. I don’t care what airport it is, 9/10 times the arrivals gate is complete carnage. Waiting in line for 45 minutes sweating increasingly heavily as you approach the desks, unfilled landing card in hand, desperately scanning the line for those little pens on chains that are dispersed at a ratio of one pen per 30 people, is no fun.
5. Dry shampoo in my carry-on. Because my hair
sometimes always is a hot mess after coming off the plane and occasionally I have somewhere to be/someone to see immediately after deplaning and “you look…like you need a hot shower” is never a good look.
6. Makeup bag. See above. Another one specific to the ladies. Because my makeup is usually the last thing I pack up because I apply it right before I leave my house for the airport, it doesn’t always make it into my bag. Oops. Sometimes I’m a little frazzled when I’m getting myself out the door.
7. To empty out my wallet of unnecessary cards and junk. No, I do not need 27 CVS coupon receipts and my gift card to Dave and Busters while I’m in Rome for the week. Nor do I need 63 pennies.
8. Adapters if you are going to a country with different electrical plugs. Nothing worse than having to hunt them down and pay extra for them on a trip when you have a jumble of adapters sitting on your desk at home.
9. House keys and metro card. The flip side of #7. Because yes, unfortunately I do need to come back home at the end.
10. To call my credit card company and let them know I will be abroad. Being stranded in a foreign country with no moolah is a bad scene. Not that it isn’t usually rectifiable by a few phone calls, but why bring unnecessary panic down on your vacation?