Monday, June 4, 2012

Reflection: 7 Essentials I Forget to Pack on Vacation

I'm back after a week or so of vacation to Chicago. I've tackled the endless piles of laundry and restocked the fridge. So much for prolonging that vacation state of mind!

Now that I'm home, I've also had a few moments to revisit my packing list and take inventory of those key items that I forget to pack. Call me crazy, but I find that this exercise is helpful in preparing for my next vacation. I usually do a good job on the long-haul international trips where I have to be mindful about every inch of space. However, I tend to be less focused with my packing lists for shorter trips and make multiple trips to the local drugstore or Sephora. Here's what I'll remember to bring on my next trip.

7 Essentials for Your Summer Travels

  • Extra shampoo: One ounce is usually fine for a week since I don't wash my hair everyday. But when the husband borrows your shampoo, it can easily all go down in the drain in one shower. (And yes, he did!)
  • Shower gel: If you have sensitive skin like I do, you know the consequences of relying on the hotel soap. I ended up breaking out on my back and it wasn't pretty.
  • Travel-size liquid laundry soap: I switched cosmetic bags at the last minute and forget to bring my small packages of Tide. This item allows me to wash midweek, and, consequently, pack fewer bras and underwear!
  • Bunion pads: No, I'm not a senior citizen. But I tend to get nasty blisters on the bottom of my feet no matter what type of shoes I wear. I find that bunion pads adhere to the balls of my feet better than Band-Aids and stay put all day!
  • Makeup remover: At the last minute, I always think I can leave my trusty makeup remover at home. However, on the last three trips, I've ended up purchasing it on the road. Lesson learned.
  • Eye cream: I usually skip this extra beauty step on vacation, but on this trip I had serious under-eye issues — flaking dry skin and puffiness — thanks to an unexpected sinus bug.
  • Long-sleeve wool sweater: While this is not a beauty item, it is essential even for summer travel. In one day our weather dipped from 95 to 50 degrees. I ended up diving into J. Crew for a light-weight wool sweater that I could layer under my jacket and blazer. I was lucky to find one on the sale rack. If you're between seasons or visiting a non-urban destination, you may be out of luck!
What about you? Drop me a line and share your must-have travel items. 

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