The Most Important Things to Bring on Your Trip

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Last updated on July 23rd, 2023
Originally published on October 23, 2013

After forgetting one or more of these from time to time, I made a list for myself and thought I’d share it with you. These are items that are easy to overlook, especially if you’re in a hurry, and they are easy to take for granted – until you’re in Ecuador without one of them.

  • Change of underwear in your carry-on bag. So important in case your checked luggage is misplaced! Trust me on this one.
  • Toothbrush (I like a certain type of toothbrush, which will most assuredly not be available where I am going if I forget it).
  • Tickets, itinerary, passport, immunization records, and other necessary documents for the trip. Copies are also a good idea.
  • A real magazine or book for times when e-readers and mobile devices are not allowed or data service is not available.
  • Chargers (and adapters specific to the countries you are visiting) for your phone and other mobile devices
  • Medications (make sure you have a copy of the prescription as well, this will save you some hassle). Check with the American Embassy or Consulate to make sure that your medicines will be allowed into the country you are visiting. Some countries do not let visitors bring certain medicines into the country.
  • Health insurance card (either your regular plan or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
  • First-aid supplies – a small kit will usually work. You can buy special first aid kits for travel at many drugstores, luggage stores, and online.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent – it is best if you don’t have to go looking for these items once you arrive.
  • Energy bars, trail mix, and other dense, high-energy foods – I have had to live on these when the local fare did not agree with me. Way better than nothing.
  • Luggage scale – if you’re like me, you’re probably going home with more than you brought with you.  Use a luggage scale to make sure your bags aren’t overweight.
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