After months of being cooped up in the house, you and your family are all more than ready for a summertime getaway. You have your airline tickets, your hotel reservations and your sense of adventure ready to go. Now, you just need to pack. As you gather up your things and get organized, be sure not to forget any of the following:
1. Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card
Any family members who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should either bring their vaccination cards with them or take a clear photo of it and store it on their smartphones. That’s because some destinations, cruise lines and sports venues are requiring proof that you’ve received the vaccine. Here’s the catch: Since there’s no database of who received the shot and who chose to forgo it, the onus of proof is on you. To avoid missing out on a game, event or other fun, be ready to show your vaccination card. And if you do bring your paper copy, guard it as you would a passport, driver’s license or credit card.
2. Your Undergarments
Yes, you read that right — be sure to pack your undies. Since it’s probably been some time since you’ve last traveled, you might be a bit out of practice with the whole packing thing. Of course, you don’t want to end up at your destination only to realize you left your underwear, bras and other lingerie at home. Then again, after a year stuck at home, you definitely deserve some nice new undergarments. In that sense, consider treating yourself to some sexy lingerie and other intimate apparel, like a babydoll or bralette set, and enjoy surprising your sweetie during your trip.
3. A Portable Power Bank
Chances are you and members of your family will all bring at least one electronic device with you on your trip, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. To keep everyone up and running, be sure to pack a portable power bank that can charge each of these devices with ease. Granted, you can plug in your chargers at the hotel, but if you are out sight-seeing and your smartphone conks out, this small but mighty charger will provide the juice needed to take photos and perform other tasks in no time.
4. Plenty of Sunscreen
Sunburns are sneaky beasts — you can even develop one on a cloudy day. Of course, the last thing you want is to end up looking like a lobster; not only will this put a painful damper on your vacation, but it can also increase your chance of developing skin cancer later on. With this in mind, pack a bottle of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and that’s also water-resistant. Apply it at least 15 minutes before going outside and remember spots like your ears, neck and the tops of your feet. People with thinning hair should also apply sunscreen to their scalps or wear a hat.
5. A “Household Essentials” Pack
In a perfect world, you won’t have to do dishes or laundry while you’re away. But if your kiddo spills salsa on his favorite T-shirt or your portable water bottles are getting a bit of a funky odor, you’ll have to bite the bullet and do some cleaning. To make this process as easy as possible, bring along a new kitchen sponge, a small bottle of dish soap — you can use a refillable travel shampoo bottle — some washing machine detergent pods, and/or a stain remover pen for spot cleaning. Just be sure to toss your items into a Ziploc bag to prevent anything from leaking into your suitcase.
It’s been one heck of a year, and you truly deserve to enjoy a wonderful vacation. By remembering to pack these five key items, you’ll arrive at your destination ready to relax and have fun, rather than missing out on fun events, trying to find a place to “plug in,” and having to buy needed items at an overpriced tourist trap.