13 Things Savvy Travelers Never Forget to Pack

Don’t leave home without them. These are the items travelers often forget to pack, but still need for their trip.
Last updated May 31, 2023 | By Ben Walker, CEPF Edited By Rebecca McCracken
woman traveling in airport

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You’ve saved up to help pay for a dream trip and now you’re on the way to somewhere exciting. Maybe international, maybe domestic. Either way, you’re flying high (literally) and this feeling is going to last until you’re hit with a realization. You forgot something.

No matter how many times you travel, it happens to the best of us — sometimes, we overlook a few essentials. Fortunately, we’re here to remind you that these 13 items need a spot in your baggage. And we’ve got a few tricks to share so you can pack more efficiently. If you want to snag any of these products for your next trip, be sure to save money with these Amazon shopper hacks.

Cell phone charger

Amazon power banks

If you’ve been saving for an epic vacation, the last thing you want are any mishaps once you’re on your trip. And forgetting a charger for your phone could be considered a mishap. Rather than settling for your common wall charger, consider bringing a power bank as well. These can help you stay charged even if there aren’t any outlets nearby.

2-pack Miady chargers, $21.99 on Amazon

Travel adapter

Amazon Travel adapter

If you weren’t aware, electricity is used in different ways depending on where you travel. By that, I mean you might run into different types of plugs, outlets, and voltages in other countries. For travelers heading abroad, a universal travel adapter can come in handy. Just make sure you know how much power your adapter can handle (beware of hairdryers).

EPICKA universal travel adapter, $22.99 on Amazon

Travel credit card

djile/Adobe woman withdrawing money from credit card at ATM

It’s common to run into merchants that only accept cash on your travels. (Street food vendors, anyone?) But for the most part, a credit card on the Visa or Mastercard networks will be accepted worldwide. For a card with flight benefits, check out our list of the best airline credit cards. For a card with hotel benefits, check out our list of the best hotel credit cards.


Amazon quip toothbrush

It’s easy to get a new toothbrush if you forget to bring one, but one you buy at a local store might not be as convenient as something like the quip. This electric toothbrush comes with a travel cover and can hold a charge on a simple AAA battery for up to three months. And it’s just the right size for packing light.

Quip electric toothbrush, $32.00 on Amazon

Rain jacket

Amazon Rain jacket

How do you pack for something you can’t always predict, like the weather? The forecast might say sunny and bright, but a few dark clouds in the distance might say something else. Rather than thinking you won’t need one or forgetting it altogether, pack a rain jacket that’s lightweight, waterproof, and doesn’t take up much space.

Avoogue women’s raincoat, $25.49 on Amazon

First aid kit

Amazon First aid kit

A proper first aid kit should have a variety of supplies, including items to help with minor scrapes, cuts, burns, and bruises. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some over-the-counter medicine on hand to help relieve certain aches and pains. After all, just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

All-purpose first aid kit, $20.57 on Amazon


Amazon Sunglasses

You’ve arrived at your destination, it’s sunny, and… oh, it’s very sunny. A bit too bright, and your sunglasses are nowhere to be seen. If you want to avoid this situation, pack a pair of stylish sunglasses that can help protect your eyes from the glaring rays of the fireball in the sky. You’ll look good and feel good.

Classic aviator sunglasses, $13.99 on Amazon

Packing cubes

Amazon Packing cubes

Do you dread packing your bags for a trip? Are you the type of person to wait until the last moment (the night before) to get everything packed? Well, packing cubes might not change your packing timeframe, but they can at least help keep you organized. These cubes can make it much easier to sort through your belongings before, during, and after your travels.

6-set of packing cubes, $22.99 on Amazon

Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash

Amazon travel bottle set

You might not care about bringing these toiletries along if you’re staying in a hotel or somewhere that provides shampoo and conditioner. But if you have specific brands you like to use, it’s worth it to invest in your own travel set of toiletry bottles. They’re easy to fill and use, plus they follow TSA guidelines.

17-piece travel bottle set, $13.99 on Amazon


Cadence cadence capsules

In addition to your toiletries, you don’t want to forget any necessary medicine or vitamins. But do you need huge bottles of them? Unless you’re traveling for a while, most likely not. The capsule from Cadence can help keep small numbers of pills and other products safe and organized in your bag.

The capsule, $14.00 at Cadence

Ziploc bags

Amazon ziploc big bags

Ziploc bags or other types of plastic bags are real game changers for travelers. They have so many uses, such as packing food, holding dirty clothes, keeping your electronics dry, and more. As an added bonus, they’re very easy to pack since they’ll fit just about anywhere.

Ziploc storage bags, $8.65 on Amazon

Travel water bottle

Amazon Travel water bottle

You don’t want to try bringing a filled water bottle through airport security, but it’s completely fine to fill up a bottle once you’re through a TSA checkpoint. To help make your packing more efficient, a collapsible water bottle could be useful. Pop it out when you need some liquid refreshment, then stow it away when it’s not being used.

Nomader collapsible water bottle, $24.95 on Amazon

Collapsible daypack

Amazon Collapsible daypack

Along with a collapsible water bottle, you might also consider bringing a collapsible daypack. You wouldn’t likely use this type of bag until you reach your destination. At that point, you can unroll it from your luggage and then throw in whatever you need for the day, such as drinks, snacks, and sunscreen.

Cotopaxi Luzon daypack, $55.00 on Amazon

Bottom line

eggeeggjiew/Adobe Woman traveling

We can’t always remember everything we want to bring for a trip, but we can do our best to pack the essentials. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress-free your travels are likely to be. To help save money and solidify your preparations, consider using a travel credit card. 

These types of cards typically earn points or miles, which you can often redeem for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and more. Imagine seeing some of your biggest travel expenses disappear like that. For more information, check out our list of the best travel credit cards.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card


Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
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on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee



Why we like it

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.