So you have a few trips planned for this summer, between the oh-so-essential girls trips to that much-needed adventure with your partner. More power to you for putting those vacation days to work and spending some of your savings on what I believe to be one of the most important experiences in life: travel. Of course, once you do leave the comfort of your home—and possibly your country—you don’t have instant access to all of the items you can usually find when your very own closet/kitchen/pharmacy are nearby. You’re at the mercy of the travel gods, and who knows what sorts of change of plans, tiny mishaps, and large accidents they have in store for you. There’s no panic quite like knowing you’re still an entire plane ride away from remedying an uncomfortable or even painful situation. So, don’t be a plane ride away. Just be…a purse away. Or a suitcase. Here are summer vacation emergency essentials you shouldn’t travel without.
Between pool hopping, sitting in the sand, and enjoying the hot tub at the hotel, you may put your va-jay-jay in contact with a lot of foreign bacteria. Bring those cranberry capsules along and take them regularly to keep your lady parts in prime condition to fight off infections. And, really, just use your judgment before getting in any body of water.
Plan B pill
You packed your pill, condoms, or preferred form of birth control. But, you never know what can happen when you travel. Due to jet lag and chaotic plans, you may forget to take your pill a couple of days in a row…only to realize you did so after intercourse. Have Plan B with you, just in case.
Metro stations, beaches, bars, public parks: what do these things have in common? It doesn’t seem like anyone’s top priority is replacing the toilet paper in there, or making sure the rolls are fresh and dry on the rack rather than damp and all over the floor. So bring sanitary wipes so you can always clean yourself up after using the bathroom—even if the bathroom attendant didn’t clean up the restroom.
A wireless phone charger
Never is it more important to have plenty of juice in that phone than when you’re traveling. You don’t know where you are. You may not know the language. You don’t know where it’s safe to go or eat. You need access to the WiFi on your smartphone several times a day—actually per hour. But outlets may be nowhere to be found when you’re at the beach or a busy bar. Invest in a wireless charger so you’re never stranded with a dead phone in a foreign place.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more my acid reflux seems to react to just about anything. There are the obvious foods that make acid reflux worse, but then there are some surprises here and there. That’s especially bound to happen when you’re traveling and haven’t even heard of half of the ingredients on a menu. To keep tapas hour from turning into nausea hour, keep antacids on hand.
A multi-purpose wrap
You can use this as a cover-up if you’re walking into a beachfront restaurant right after swimming. You can use it as a shawl if your shoulders get chilly during sunset drinks. You can use it as a head wrap when you just didn’t get to tame your mane the way you wanted. And you can just tie it on your purse when you aren’t using it at all.
An insulated water bottle
You just never know what can happen when you’re traveling. You may miss the last train out of the city at midnight…having to sleep on a bench and wait until 4am for the next one. You may get lost on your walk and be miles from any sort of food vendor. Don’t accidentally get caught without access to water for hours on end—especially after you’ve been walking all day in the hot sun. Invest in a quality, insulated water bottle that can hold at least 16 ounces of H2O. Find one with a carabiner clip so you can attach it to your purse for hands-free carrying.
Waterproof phone case
If your phone gets wet, your trip is basically ruined. When you’re far from home—like in a foreign country—the logistics of replacing that phone may be so complicated and expensive it’s just not worth it. That means you have no mode of communication for the rest of the trip. Get a waterproof phone case and any time you fear moisture may be near, put it on your device.
A portable umbrella
There are models so compact when shut that they’ll fit in your tote. A good windproof, waterproof one will come in handy when you need shade on super sunny days or shelter from the rain when an unexpected summer storm hits.
A reusable shopping bag
For all of those charming open markets you’re going to hit. You don’t travel to go to the chain stores you have back home, after all. But those outdoor kiosks may not offer bags, so make sure to have a few sturdy ones with you.
Your antiperspirant says it will last all day—but that’s under normal circumstances. You, on your summer travels, will be walking for hours, sitting on public transportation, spontaneously running to catch a boat, and sometimes staying up for 24 hours straight. Keep compact antiperspirant on hand so you feel fresh, no matter where your adventures take you.
A rolling suitcase you can sit on
You never know when you’ll want a place to sit, but there isn’t one in sight. Like, when you’re eating at a food truck and the two benches are taken. Or when you’re waiting in the longest line ever to check in at the airport. Or when you want to catch a street show. Get a rolling suitcase that can support your weight.
Between subways, taxis, public restrooms that failed to refill the soap, and surprise treats that come your way like chocolate samples, you’ll get your hands pretty dirty, and may not be able to clean them at the opportune moment. Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times.
A drink holder
If it’s a beach vacation you have planned and you don’t always want to lug a chair but you do want to pack some drinks, get a spike drink holder. You just jam them into the sand, and they hold your beverage up and away from the sand.
The beach is rough on your skin. Between the drying, salty ocean water, the scratch sand, and the harsh sun, it can leave your skin feeling like sand paper. Invest in some good post-sun moisturizer to get those legs feeling touchable again.