16 Things You Forget on Your Vacation Packing List

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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.

You can find our printable packing list below to help you stay organized and avoid paying premiums on your next vacation!

Here Are 16 Things You Don’t Want to Forget to Pack:

1. Passport or driver’s license: Don’t risk missing your flight because you have to run back home to grab your identification. See if yours is valid with the new Real ID laws here.

2. 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. If you’re traveling abroad, follow Clark’s tips to make the most of your money overseas.

3. 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.

4. Sunglasses: You probably won’t have trouble finding a new pair of sunglasses, but you might be paying tourist-trap prices for them unless there’s a Dollar Tree nearby.

5. Sunscreen: If there’s room in your bag, take sunscreen along with you. You’ll find it’s more expensive at most beach destinations — but it’s important to wear anywhere you go!


6. Bathing suit: A swimsuit is so easy to forget, even if you’ve spent months trying to fit back into it.

7. Layers: Keep comfortable by bringing layers and you’ll be ready for any temperature on your trip. Airplanes can be chilly, so you may want to bring a jacket to the airport.

8. Booze: 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!

9. Hair ties: If you forget to bring one, you might have to buy a whole new pack for $3 or more at your destination.

10. Hand sanitizer: You’ll feel a lot better about the coughing and sneezing passengers on the plane if you take this with you. Step up your game and bring sanitizing wipes for extra peace of mind.

11. Personal care products/toiletries (shampoo, soap, body wash, tampons, razor, etc.): 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.

12. Medications (prescriptions and OTC): Bring enough medication for your entire stay (plus a day or two) to avoid wasting time and money by going to get prescriptions refilled or by having to purchase a pain reliever.

13. First aid kit: At the very least, pack a few bandages and antibiotic ointment.

14. Snacks: Stash some treats in your carry-on bag so you don’t get overcharged at the airport.

15. Chargers (phone, laptop, etc.): The good news is that you’ll be able to find a replacement phone charger at the airport. The bad news is that it may cost you $20 or more.


16. Entertainment: There are plenty of books and magazines at the airport, but consider borrowing something from your local library for free or download books, podcasts or audiobooks that you can use on your electronic device without Wi-Fi.

Final Thought 

Here’s a printable version of this list for you to use on your next trip:

Download our packing checklist
Click here to download our packing checklist

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list. Another great resource is the Pack This! Classic Checklist, which is sold in packs of 60 at major retailers for about $7.

Do you have anything to add to our list? Leave a comment below and share your best packing tips!

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