Vacation planning can be tedious. And for me at least, it seems it’s inevitable. I WILL forget to pack something.
There are tons of things you could pack for vacation. You know the usual: comb, socks, toothpaste (you do brush twice per day, right?). But I’ve put together a handy list of my own budget friendly vacation must haves.
I’ve made sure everything on this list is affordable and conducive to the trip in some way or another. I’m not going to tell you to go buy this or that, but shopping is fun regardless.
By adding some of my vacation must haves to your packing list, you can be more organized, lessen the boredom on the road, and enhance your vacation experience.
So here goes…
- Your smartphone. Yeah that’s easy enough, but you’ll want to prime it for the road. Make sure apps are up to date. Clear out your photos so you can load up with new ones. Arm yourself with some great travel apps. Take screenshots of step by step GPS directions in case you loose signal. And add music with iTunes or Google Play for the road.
- Cooler. I always always always pack a cooler with water and snacks. It’s so much easier and faster to grab something quick without having to exit off the freeway.
- Dual car charger. You won’t have to worry about who will get to charge their phone when if you can accomate all at once!
- Road tunes. This can be a smartphone or a stash of CDs. Did you know most libraries have CDs? You could even get an audiobook to change up the pace.
- Grocery bags. You know that bag of bags we all have stashed somewhere in the house? Bring it! You can use them for trash bags, to hold we swim suits, storage or even pick up pet waste if you travel with the pooch.
- Pen & paper. The kids can do pen and paper games or draw. I bring it along with us (no kids) to keep a list of things to see and do. I always grab brochures at the travel stops and will read through and list the places we decide to see in the future.
- Blanket. For when you’re cold or decide to stop for a picnic. Or to cover valuables when you leave the car.
- Singles. Usually we know our route and we are prepared for tolls. But it’s always a good idea to have a few extra singles on hand. Tolls can always go up too.
- Cell phone holder. Especially if your phone is your GPS. This will keep things in view and out of valuable cup holders. Phone holders can be found at dollar stores like Dollar Tree & Five Below for under $5.
- Air freshener. Long trips can make your car stink. So prevention is key. Especially if any of your fellow vacationers are barefoot. Or, you know, snacking on beans.
- Stamps. Postcards are my favorite souvenir. They’re cheap, easy to find, colorful and look great on our fridge. Pack a roll of stamps to send postcards to friends, family or even yourself. I like to write what traditions we saw or a memory and then send it to ourselves from the place we visited. It will be a great reminder of days gone by.
My type A personality really wants to make this list even. So let me know:
What are your vacation must haves?