It is the season for gearing up for summer travel, and it is easy to get too ambitious, overpack, or travel with way too much stuff with you. However, there are some items that are absolutely essential to have for your trip and before you get to your destinations.
The list could be a long one, but start with this general guide to must have travel accessories for your summer vacation.
Travel is a lot tougher if you do not have good luggage, and having good luggage may mean making some investments. There is some inexpensive luggage out there, but it does not hold up over time and can actually break in transit, a potential disaster for your vacation. Here are some things you need for sure.
- A Good Purse: With most airlines, you can carry on one personal item like a laptop bag or purse, and one carry on piece of luggage you must stow away. While you want a high-quality purse, you also want one you can hold easily on your lap or stow under the seat in front of you.
- An Airport Security Friendly Laptop Bag: A good laptop bag is essential if you are bringing a computer. An airport security friendly bag will let you breeze through security without having to remove it.
- The Vital Carry On: Your carry-on bag should fit in the overhead bins, yes, but it should have lots of pockets and places to stash everything you might need in case something happens to your checked bag. If you are on an extended vacation, have at least one or two outfits in your carry-on luggage just in case.
- The Checked Bag: This bag must be the right size, but also the right weight. You don’t want to have to pay for overweight or oversized luggage.
If you travel as a family, consider splitting some items up to make the trip more pleasant and give everyone equal room in their luggage for personal items.
Cords and Chargers
Whether you are flying, driving, camping, or whatever method you use for your summer vacation, your electronics will need charging. If you are in areas out of cell phone range, you might want to have a charger for your camera that is compatible with your car. If you are going to need to charge computers and other devices, an inverter is a good idea to have as well.
Remember, forgotten cords can be costly. Cords in an airport or tourist location where you have no other places to shop can be costly, nearly double what you would pay at home. So be sure to double check that you have them, and if you are flying, ensure they are in your carry-on luggage.
There are portable batteries you can use to charge your devices if you are not near a power source. If you do not have an inverter and are not sure about where you will have power, these can be extremely helpful. Many can give your phone 100 additional hours on a single charge, and can even power your laptop or other devices for 24 hours.
Don’t go the cheapest route, but instead go for quality. Brands like Mophie, Belkin, and Motorola all make quality products.
A Good Camera
A good camera is essential. If you are not a professional, a DSLR may not be the answer for you, and it may be too heavy for you to carry around all the time. Fortunately, there are a number of camera options available.
- Your Cell Phone: Your cell phone probably has a better camera than you might think, even if it is a couple of years old. The Apple iPhone X, the Google Pixel, and some of the Samsung phones have decent cameras that let you take some really quality shots without carrying an extra device at all.
- Mirrorless DSLR: A more compact alternative to a DSLR, a good mirrorless DSLR will have similar quality of photos, but will be easier to carry, and still has interchangeable lenses.
- Point and Shoot (POS): Consumer POS cameras have gotten better just as cell phone cameras have gotten better. For around $100 you can have a pretty good camera with a lot of memory that can even Wi-Fi photos straight to your computer.
- GoPro: Go Pro and other wearable cameras are better than they ever have been, many are waterproof and come with some pretty tough cases that will withstand whatever activities you might have planned on your trip.
- 360 Degree Cameras: The next wave of video and photo will have everything to do with virtual reality, and a 360-degree camera helps you take both photos and video that are compatible, and Facebook and other platforms even let you post those kinds of photos to your social media.
When you get home, there is no way you will remember all of the moments from your trip, and having them recorded on video or in photos will help you remember and share those memories with others.
This may not sound like a travel accessory, but it is, and it can save you a ton of money on your next trip or vacation. Explore rewards programs through hotels, flights, and even rental cars to save you money and to prepare you for the next time you go out of town.
Just be aware that while some rewards programs will last, others will expire, and you need to be sure you will use them before they are no longer valid. Still, a rewards program can make your vacation more affordable, making it possible for you to do more fun things or even to stay longer.
Be prepared for your summer vacation in every way you can, and it will go more smoothly, and you will have a much better time. Get these must have accessories ahead of time, and be truly prepared for your summer vacation.