Happy Monday, travelers!
As you may know, my most recent post detailed what I packed for 40 days of travel in one duffel bag. However, I think this post is more important because it's what I forgot. Hopefully, my mistakes will assist you in your packing endeavors and you don't wait until 2am the morning of like I did (oops).
I managed to think about some of these items prior to my departure, but for the love of limited space, I had convinced myself those items weren't needed. Well, I was wrong and sometimes I suffered, and sometimes I decided to handle it. The main point? Don't be me!
1. Close-Toed Shoes
This is a no brainer, right? Those that know me well know that I despise socks and prefer my toes in the sand. I don't understand "those" types of people that sleep in socks at all (lol). I checked the weather, I knew I would be doing a lot of walking, but I stayed true and rocked my "old faithful's" and wedges when I wanted to feel a bit dressier. There were only a few places I was seriously dreading that choice and almost made a beeline for the shoe store. Insert: Paris Metro stations
There is a backstory to this. I was rushing to a train in DC close to Memorial Day and when I got to Baltimore, I realized that I left my umbrella in the Uber car. Since I had box braids and was going to take them out later that week, I didn't mind any frizz. Now, when I got to Europe, I didn't deal with torrential downpours but light sprinkles. Thankfully, my handy dandy scarf was always near me and I would pineapple my hair and move on. Lesson? I need to buy another travel sized umbrella and just keep it in my duffel bag.
I was super annoyed about forgetting the floss. I had literally gone to Target the weekend before to ensure that I had enough for a 40 day excursion. But remember, I was packing at 2am (so not smart) and had it in the wrong bag. I had to bite the bullet and buy some more. Sad face.
4. Light Jacket
Did I check the weather before leaving? Of course. I had packed a blazer and a light cardigan, but there were just some times I truly needed a jacket that would zip / button up. But remember, for the love of limited space, I let that dream die. I shouldn't have done it and some days I just sucked it up and dealt with being cold because I was completely over my cardigan / blazer. Now I know, I need a black leather jacket so I can really look like the Parisians and Londoners.
5. Battery Port
Had I been more conscious when packing, I would have purchased one. I relied on wifi only throughout the trip so it isn't like I was using data, but during my lengthy days in which I was only at the hostel for a few hours, I could have used that extra juice. I keep extra chargers in my office at work and my purse so I'm always around power but in Europe it was another story. I recommend that you all invest in a good battery port even though my stubborn side ultimately decided "no".
6. Eye Mask
I loved staying in hostels and saving my money on my budget flights / buses, but sometimes I would have to come face-to-face with Mr. Sun or some other florescent light earlier than I'd like to. I had never really began using eye masks until earlier this year and discovered that they truly assisted me with falling asleep on flights (something I could never do before) and ever since then I was hooked. I already sleep with a "white noise" app, so adding the blocking of the lights aided me when there was still light around me. Thankfully, while I was in Berlin, I was able to find one at a department store for €1.50.
7. Disinfectant Spray
Shame on me. Shame on me. I was in too many situations that could've used it. Did I buy any? Nope. Shame on me again. Next time I know to purchase a travel size and keep it near my toiletry kit, but not in the same compartments, because, toxic.
8. A razor
If you look at my pictures, you'll see that for the most part my legs are covered. Yes, it was chilly enough to accommodate for that, but also, that was because I hadn't shaved. Whoops. It wasn't until I was in Brussels and one of my hostel roomies said she was leaving behind grapes, crackers, and a bag of disposable razors. Look at God. ;-) Clearly, I had other priorities.
9. Sun Protection
I knew better. Between my eczema and yearly heat rash / facial sunburns, I KNEW better, but I forgot it. What makes it worse is because it costs more abroad in those specialty shops? I was praying I would find a Wal-Mart / Target like store that would save me by the time I got to the beach, but the Fairy Godmother did not grant that wish. I survived without it in Portugal but by the time I got to Italy, it was a problem that needed to be handled. Too bad I still got burned, as per usual.
10. A Travel Adapter
Silliest decision of them all with the best come up! When I was at the airport, I saw adapters for $32 and got a foul taste in my mouth. My spirit told me to wait and I am so glad that I did. When I finally got settled in my hostel in Porto, I asked around for where to find an adapter. Guess who scored one for $5 at the local convenient store in the neighborhood? This was a situation in which my last minute preparation turned out in my favor. That adapter lasted throughout my entire trip and converted to Europe and UK sockets (no, UK does its own thing, pre-Brexit).
Hopefully you gained some knowledge about what not to do on this post. The next time you plan on going on an extended vacation, make sure that you have double checked your lists and included those minor items that don't seem like a big deal to forget until you really need them. You will probably save money / stress by ensuring that you have them prior to departure. But, at the end of the day, as long as you're not going to be too remote, you will be able to find those items.
Best of luck on your upcoming travels! Have you ever forgotten something extremely important? Speak on it!