10 Travel Essentials for Your Next Day Trip

10 Travel Essentials for Your Next Day Trip
20 Jan 2023

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Photo by Lum3n

When you’re planning for a day trip, there can be a lot of unknowns. It’s easy to get caught up on questions like: What will the temperature be like? How will I handle last-minute changes in the plan? What do I do if it rains?

Unfortunately, you can’t see into the future. What you can control is how prepared you are. When you pack these 10 essential items on your next day trip, you can rest assured knowing you can handle whatever might come your way, and adventure on with confidence.

1. You’ve got it in the bag

One of the first things you need to consider is the type of bag you bring along. If you are planning to be quite active during your trip, you’ll want to choose a smaller bag that’s easy to carry, like a backpack.

If you do carry a purse, opt for a cross-body bag, particularly in highly populated areas like cities where your purse strip might otherwise slip off your shoulder, or where theft could be a concern. Bags with zippers provide an extra layer of protection, and bags with different pockets and compartments can be helpful for organization.

2. Layer it up

To accommodate unpredictable weather, it can be tempting to bring along a bunch of different types of clothing options. This can lead to overpacking, however, and leave you toting around an oversized bag filled with clothes you most likely won’t wear. Instead, dress in layers, like simple, fitted shirts paired with overshirts, sweaters, and a jacket. That way, you can add layers or remove layers as needed without having to bring along your entire closet.

Comfort is key. Since you’ll likely be moving around a lot, you want to wear clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in. Since you’ll also be walking more than usual, pay particular attention to picking out comfortable shoes when picking out footwear for the day.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

3. Fashionable and functional accessories

You never know what surprises your next adventure might have in store; that’s part of what makes traveling so fun. Since you want to pack light, you should pack a few versatile accessories that can be dressed up or down depending on where the day takes you. Consider items like fashion-forward scarves and gloves, that can pull together any outfit and serve the dual purpose of keeping you warm.

One of the most versatile travel accessories is a good hat. There are so many elegant, stylish hats for women that effortlessly elevate any ensemble, and can help hide windblown or travel-mussed hair.

Photo by Belle Co

4. Rain gear

You can never predict the weather with 100% certainty. For this reason, it’s best to bring rain gear along on any day trip, no matter how slight the chance of rain.

Opt for a small, travel-sized umbrella over a full-size one so that you can carry it with you in your backpack or purse. If you’re tight on space, consider bringing along a foldable rain poncho that will take up minimal space in your travel bag, and save you from being stuck spending the day in uncomfortable, wet clothes should you run into a rain shower.

5. Skincare and self-care items

When traveling, it can be difficult to adjust to being thrown off of your regular routines. No matter how wonderful the destination, any disruption to your schedule can be stressful for the mind and the body. That’s why it is so important to remember to practice relaxation and self-care techniques, especially when you’re on the road.

Set aside a few moments to focus on yourself and your wellness by engaging in rituals that are good for both the body and mind. Practices as simple as lighting a scented candle, taking some time for meditation, or treating yourself to a face mask can go a long way in making sure you feel your best. Convenient face care kits are great self-care hacks for on-the-go and can help prevent those pesky travel-related breakouts.

6. Health and hygiene essentials

When you travel, you only want to bring good memories back—not nasty germs and bugs that can cause sickness. When you venture out to a new location,  however, you do run the risk of exposing yourself to new germs that could make you sick. Typically, the best way to prevent illness is to frequently wash your hands, although this can be difficult on the go when you don’t always have access to a convenient wash station.

This is why packing hygiene essentials like hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes are key. Particularly if you are using public transit or are in large crowds, use hand sanitizer frequently and avoid touching your mouth and face to minimize the chance of sickness.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya

7. First aid supplies and medicine

Let’s face it—no matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. When packing for a day trip, you should always include a small first aid kit complete with medical supplies including bandaids, antibacterial cream, painkillers, gauze, burn cream, a thermometer, and antiseptic wipes. Be sure to include any medications you regularly use and travel medications for motion sickness or migraines.

8. Healthy snacks and refillable water bottles

If you’re going to be on the road for more than just a couple hours, make sure you keep your energy up by keeping a selection of tasty, healthy snacks on hand. It can be convenient to carb-load at fast food restaurants or street vendors, but eating out can get pricey. Plus, snacking options that are easily available on the road typically aren’t the healthiest choices and can lead to energy or sugar crashes later on.

Putting small portions of your favorite veggies, fruits, granola and trail mixes in baggies make your favorite, high-energy foods convenient to take with you, and can help keep you clear-headed for a full day of adventures. Pre-packaged foods like energy bars and yogurts are also great snacking options for day trips.

9. Clean water

Hydration is king. If you’re going somewhere where you will have access to water taps and fountains, bring along a refillable water bottle. If not, make the space to pack an extra supply of clean water, just in case.

10. Document your adventures

Years down the line, you’ll want to look back and relive your adventures. When packing for a road trip, consider packing items to document your journey. Keeping a travel diary is a must for every explorer, and elegantly engraved journals can provide a special place for you to preserve all of your most-treasured traveled memories.

Disposable cameras, too, are great for capturing unique travel memories and adding a vintage, nostalgic, touch to your pictures. At the very least, make sure to pack a few extra phone chargers and portable chargers so you can snap a few pictures with your cell phone.

Embrace the unexpected

When packing for a day trip, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between packing light and making sure you’re adequately prepared for your travels. With these travel essentials at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about where your adventure might take you and can focus on more important things, like sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.

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