Maybe it’s about time for your next vacation! You’ve scored screaming deals on a flight and hotel thanks to Clark’s tips on the radio and TV. And, of course, because you’re willing to follow the #1 rule of cheap travel!
Now, all you have to do is throw some clothes in your suitcase and you’re off to the airport, right!
Not so fast.
Packing for your trip is too important to put off until the day before you leave because if you’re rushing around, you’re more likely to forget things that will cost a lot of money to replace during your trip.
Here are 18 things you don’t want to forget to pack:
1. Umbrella: Don’t get caught in the rain. Even if the forecast looks nice, you never know when there may be a sudden shower or thunderstorm.
2. Phone charger: The good news is that you’ll be able to find a replacement phone charger at the airport. That’s no problem. The bad news is that it may cost you $20 or more.
Read more: Warning: Do not buy these iPhone chargers
3. Laptop power cord: A must-have item if you’re bringing your computer along for the trip.
4. Prescriptions: Bring enough medication for your entire stay (plus a day or two) to avoid wasting time and money by going to get prescriptions refilled.
5. Sunglasses: You probably won’t have trouble finding a new pair of sunglasses, but you may be paying a tourist-trap price for them unless there’s a Dollar Tree nearby.
6. Sunscreen: If there’s room in your checked bag, take sunscreen along with you. You’ll find it’s more expensive at most beach destinations.
7. Long-sleeve shirt: Have you ever gotten goosebumps during the summer because a place has the air conditioning on full blast? That’s why I pack a long-sleeve shirt just in case.
8. Bathing suit: A swimsuit is so easy to forget, even if you’ve spent months trying to fit back into it.
9. Belt: You might decide to skip a belt at the airport in order to breeze through security, but always remember to pack one in your suitcase.
10. Personal hygiene products: One time I was stuck paying $3.99 for a trial size of hair product. Check with your hotel’s front desk to see if they provide complimentary toiletries.
Read more: 14 things a hotel will give you for free
11. First aid kit: At the very least, pack a few bandages and antibiotic ointment.
12. Passport or driver’s license: Don’t risk missing your flight because you have to run back home and grab your identification.
13. Reading materials: There are plenty of books and magazines at the airport, but consider borrowing something from your local library for free.
14. Painkiller: You never know when a headache will come on.
15. Hand sanitizer: You’ll feel a lot better about the coughing and sneezing passengers on the plane if you take this with you.
16. Wine: Carefully pack a bottle or two in your checked luggage to save a few bucks. Here’s how you can keep the bottle from breaking in your suitcase for just a buck!
17. Snacks: Stash some treats in your carry-on so you don’t get overcharged at the airport.
18. Cash: You can avoid possible ATM fees at your destination by withdrawing enough cash before you skip town. Remember to bring along some $1 bills for tipping.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list. One great resource is the Pack This! Classic Checklist, which is sold in packs of 60 at major retailers for about $7.
There are also a lot of great lists that you can print from Pinterest, including the Pack This! Classic Checklist.