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Don’t Forget to Pack These Travel Essentials



Congratulations! You’ve finally booked that vacation you have been dreaming about. The tough part is over, right? Or is it? Packing for a vacation can be as stressful as putting down your credit card number to book it. Here are some travel essentials recommended by Costco Travel employees to get your well-deserved vacation off to a good start.



For Travel Outside the United States

  • Passport: Leaving the U.S.? Don’t forget your passport! To keep it safe during travel, store it in a zip-lock bag. Don’t forget to check your expiration date to ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
  • Your ATM Card: For the best exchange rate, use an ATM in your destination instead of the airport currency exchange.
Image of a young lady on vacation with her electronic devices.

Electronic Entertainment and Tools

Going away doesn’t necessarily mean unplugging completely. The same devices we use for the daily grind and to stay connected can also be used to relax and get away.

  • E-Reader: Books are great ways to pass the time, but are rather bulky and unwieldy. If you invest in an e-reader you can easily carry multiple downloaded books for hours of relaxation. A tablet with an e-reader app can also work.
  • Smartphone: If podcasts are more your thing, download new episodes onto your smartphone in advance so you don’t have to use the inflight wi-fi. Music streaming services usually have an option to download onto your phone, making your favorite playlists accessible when there is no Wi-Fi.
  • Airline App: If you use the inflight wi-fi, I recommend downloading the airline’s app through either Google Play or the iTunes store in advance. Many airlines offer complimentary inflight entertainment through these apps; sometimes music, movies and other media. My favorite is the airplane tracking, as it’s nice to know how much flight you have left, but be warned that time does not speed up if you keep looking at it! (I’ve tried.)

Electronic Entertainment and Tools

Going away doesn’t necessarily mean unplugging completely. The same devices we use for the daily grind and to stay connected can also be used to relax and get away.

  • E-Reader: Books are great ways to pass the time, but are rather bulky and unwieldy. If you invest in an e-reader you can easily carry multiple downloaded books for hours of relaxation. A tablet with an e-reader app can also work.
  • Smartphone: If podcasts are more your thing, download new episodes onto your smartphone in advance so you don’t have to use the inflight wi-fi. Music streaming services usually have an option to download onto your phone, making your favorite playlists accessible when there is no Wi-Fi.
  • Airline App: If you use the inflight wi-fi, I recommend downloading the airline’s app through either Google Play or the iTunes store in advance. Many airlines offer complimentary inflight entertainment through these apps; sometimes music, movies and other media. My favorite is the airplane tracking, as it’s nice to know how much flight you have left, but be warned that time does not speed up if you keep looking at it! (I’ve tried.)
Image of a young lady on vacation with her electronic devices.

Image of luggage in a hotel room.

Your Carry On

Most airlines will allow up to two carry-ons, which is one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse or briefcase. (See your airline’s website for more information.)

  • Backpack: Make the most of this storage by using a backpack for your carry-on bag. You can even store a cross body bag inside the carry backpack.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks so you don’t have to wait for the snack cart to come by for a quick bite.
  • Power Bank: If you use your phone on the airplane, pack a power bank to ensure a fully charged phone on arrival. Some airlines offer USB charging stations right at your seat, you just bring your own USB cord. (See your airline’s website for more information.)
  • Headphones: Don’t forget your headphones, I recommend noise-canceling headphones for best sound quality.

Your Carry On

Most airlines will allow up to two carry-ons, which is one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse or briefcase. (See your airline’s website for more information.)

  • Backpack: Make the most of this storage by using a backpack for your carry-on bag. You can even store a cross body bag inside the carry backpack.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks so you don’t have to wait for the snack cart to come by for a quick bite.
  • Power Bank: If you use your phone on the airplane, pack a power bank to ensure a fully charged phone on arrival. Some airlines offer USB charging stations right at your seat, you just bring your own USB cord. (See your airline’s website for more information.)
  • Headphones: Don’t forget your headphones, I recommend noise-canceling headphones for best sound quality.
Image of luggage in a hotel room.

Zip-Lock Bags

Bags with zipper closures can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Liquids: You can pack liquids horizontally in a bag, then if there is accidental leakage at high altitudes, your clothes will be protected. I once had a whole bottle of shampoo leak on a flight to Orlando. When I got there, my clothes were all protected because of the zipper bag, and I was still able to use the shampoo!
  • Charging Cables: Use the smaller sandwich-sized bags to hold the cords for the various personal electronic devices the kids can’t live without.
  • Socks/Swimsuit: Use the larger quart-sized bags so the kids’ socks don’t “mingle” during the trip. They are also very useful for packing away that wet swimsuit when you are ready to come back home.
Image of binder clips.

Odds and Ends

  • Clips/Clothespins: If you are a light sleeper, pack a couple of clips or clothespins to hold hotel curtains closed.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Can be used to clean and sanitize just about anything, from the tray on your flight to the remote control in your hotel room, plus any little hands you happen to have with you while you are traveling. Just remember to pack it in a zipper bag.

Odds and Ends

  • Clips/Clothespins: If you are a light sleeper, pack a couple of clips or clothespins to hold hotel curtains closed.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Can be used to clean and sanitize just about anything, from the tray on your flight to the remote control in your hotel room, plus any little hands you happen to have with you while you are traveling. Just remember to pack it in a zipper bag.
Image of binder clips.

For Travel Outside the United States

  • Passport: Leaving the U.S.? Don’t forget your passport! To keep it safe during travel, store it in a zip-lock bag. Don’t forget to check your expiration date to ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
  • Your ATM Card: For the best exchange rate, use an ATM in your destination instead of the airport currency exchange.
Image of a young lady on vacation with her electronic devices.

Electronic Entertainment and Tools

Going away doesn’t necessarily mean unplugging completely. The same devices we use for the daily grind and to stay connected can also be used to relax and get away.

  • E-Reader: Books are great ways to pass the time, but are rather bulky and unwieldy. If you invest in an e-reader you can easily carry multiple downloaded books for hours of relaxation. A tablet with an e-reader app can also work.
  • Smartphone: If podcasts are more your thing, download new episodes onto your smartphone in advance so you don’t have to use the inflight wi-fi. Music streaming services usually have an option to download onto your phone, making your favorite playlists accessible when there is no Wi-Fi.
  • Airline App: If you use the inflight wi-fi, I recommend downloading the airline’s app through either Google Play or the iTunes store in advance. Many airlines offer complimentary inflight entertainment through these apps; sometimes music, movies and other media. My favorite is the airplane tracking, as it’s nice to know how much flight you have left, but be warned that time does not speed up if you keep looking at it! (I’ve tried.)

Electronic Entertainment and Tools

Going away doesn’t necessarily mean unplugging completely. The same devices we use for the daily grind and to stay connected can also be used to relax and get away.

  • E-Reader: Books are great ways to pass the time, but are rather bulky and unwieldy. If you invest in an e-reader you can easily carry multiple downloaded books for hours of relaxation. A tablet with an e-reader app can also work.
  • Smartphone: If podcasts are more your thing, download new episodes onto your smartphone in advance so you don’t have to use the inflight wi-fi. Music streaming services usually have an option to download onto your phone, making your favorite playlists accessible when there is no Wi-Fi.
  • Airline App: If you use the inflight wi-fi, I recommend downloading the airline’s app through either Google Play or the iTunes store in advance. Many airlines offer complimentary inflight entertainment through these apps; sometimes music, movies and other media. My favorite is the airplane tracking, as it’s nice to know how much flight you have left, but be warned that time does not speed up if you keep looking at it! (I’ve tried.)
Image of a young lady on vacation with her electronic devices.

Image of luggage in a hotel room.

Your Carry On

Most airlines will allow up to two carry-ons, which is one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse or briefcase. (See your airline’s website for more information.)

  • Backpack: Make the most of this storage by using a backpack for your carry-on bag. You can even store a cross body bag inside the carry backpack.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks so you don’t have to wait for the snack cart to come by for a quick bite.
  • Power Bank: If you use your phone on the airplane, pack a power bank to ensure a fully charged phone on arrival. Some airlines offer USB charging stations right at your seat, you just bring your own USB cord. (See your airline’s website for more information.)
  • Headphones: Don’t forget your headphones, I recommend noise-canceling headphones for best sound quality.

Your Carry On

Most airlines will allow up to two carry-ons, which is one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse or briefcase. (See your airline’s website for more information.)

  • Backpack: Make the most of this storage by using a backpack for your carry-on bag. You can even store a cross body bag inside the carry backpack.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks so you don’t have to wait for the snack cart to come by for a quick bite.
  • Power Bank: If you use your phone on the airplane, pack a power bank to ensure a fully charged phone on arrival. Some airlines offer USB charging stations right at your seat, you just bring your own USB cord. (See your airline’s website for more information.)
  • Headphones: Don’t forget your headphones, I recommend noise-canceling headphones for best sound quality.
Image of luggage in a hotel room.

Zip-Lock Bags

Bags with zipper closures can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Liquids: You can pack liquids horizontally in a bag, then if there is accidental leakage at high altitudes, your clothes will be protected. I once had a whole bottle of shampoo leak on a flight to Orlando. When I got there, my clothes were all protected because of the zipper bag, and I was still able to use the shampoo!
  • Charging Cables: Use the smaller sandwich-sized bags to hold the cords for the various personal electronic devices the kids can’t live without.
  • Socks/Swimsuit: Use the larger quart-sized bags so the kids’ socks don’t “mingle” during the trip. They are also very useful for packing away that wet swimsuit when you are ready to come back home.
Image of binder clips.

Odds and Ends

  • Clips/Clothespins: If you are a light sleeper, pack a couple of clips or clothespins to hold hotel curtains closed.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Can be used to clean and sanitize just about anything, from the tray on your flight to the remote control in your hotel room, plus any little hands you happen to have with you while you are traveling. Just remember to pack it in a zipper bag.

Odds and Ends

  • Clips/Clothespins: If you are a light sleeper, pack a couple of clips or clothespins to hold hotel curtains closed.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Can be used to clean and sanitize just about anything, from the tray on your flight to the remote control in your hotel room, plus any little hands you happen to have with you while you are traveling. Just remember to pack it in a zipper bag.
Image of binder clips.


About the Author: The above piece was written by Penny Anderson, Merchandising/Ecommerce Manager at Costco Travel, with the help and input from several Costco Travel employees. Penny has been a Costco employee for 23 years, 14 of these years at Costco Travel.


 
 
 
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