We've all been there.

No matter how many times we've taken a trip, invariably something gets left behind and that's just no way to start off your trip, is it?   LET'S GET YOU PACKED RIGHT THIS TIME!

From SOCKS TO SUNBLOCK, here is my Top 15 "Don't Forget to Pack" LIST in no particular order:


  1. Voltage converter. make sure that your converter is the appropriate one for the country you are visiting.  Just because your converter worked in London does not mean that it will work in Bali.
  2. Power cords.  This means not just your phone, but your laptop, your tablet or anything you might be using that requires a recharge from time to time.  
  3. Extension cord.  this is a very handy item to have no matter where you are traveling or for how long you will be gone.  Turn that one, hard-to-reach airport or hotel room plug into three or four easy-to-reach ones.
  4. A backup battery charger.   If you're an iPhone user like me, you know that your cell phone battery life is a joke.   don't forget a backup charger!   especially if you enjoy using your social media accounts for uploading photos as you move about.
  5. sim cards.   i use these for my "good" camera and my video recorder.
  6. a copy of your passport.   always make a copy of your passport and leave it back home with a friend or family member just in case.   also, pack a couple of extra copies for yourself and bring them along, stashing them separately from your official passport of course.  i cannot emphasize the importance of this simple step.  it can save you a lifetime of pain and misery in the event your passport is lost or stolen while traveling.  no, it has not happened to me, but i did witness firsthand two american tourists in pisa have all of their cash and cards stolen, along with their passports, while they were browsing for souvenirs.  the italian police could not have cared less.  i hope those poor folks made it home okay.
  7. prescription medications.  For me, this means valium for flying because of course.
  8. Swimsuit & sunscreen.   whether it's a geothermal dip in the blue lagoon in Iceland or a quick dip in the hotel pool, toss your swimsuit inside a ziplock bag and throw it in your suitcase.  It's a great way to store it, especially if it's still wet when you're packing.  of course, sunscreen is always a good idea.   even if you never go near the water, slather some on your face and arms.  and don't let those cloudy skies fool you. 
  9. ​umbrella & raincoat.   just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you will have sunny skies every day you are away.  getting caught in an unexpected downpour without the proper gear is never a good time.
  10. socks & underwear.   preferably clean.
  11. cash.   it's always a good idea to keep SOME GOOD OL' americaN currency on you, but it's also a good idea to take a little foreign currency on you for whatever country (or countries) you're visiting, if possible.  for me, i've found that grabbing some cash out of the airport atm after landing is a great way to go.   if you're ever in budapest, they will often change currency of almost any type for free, or nearly free.  budapest is awesome.  get to budapest before you die.
  12. toothbrush & toothpaste.  even if you forget yours, most accommodations will provide you with a free toothbrush and/or toothpaste, but there's just something about having my favorite toothpaste when i travel that makes my mouth happy.
  13. rfid credit card protector.   protect your money and your identity at all times, especially abroad.  especially in busy, public places.   especially in well-traveled placed like paris and london and even disney world.   theses may be some of the top destinations in the world for tourists, but they are also some of the top destinations in the world for professional pickpockets and thieves.
  14. a completely collapsible extra tote bag.  no matter how carefully you plan, you will come home with too much stuff.   and, unless you want to buy a brand new bag for your brand new stuff, save yourself the grief and pack an extra tote to bring home your new goodies.  you're welcome.
  15. glasses &/or sunglasses.   you can't read what you can't see.  don't forget your glasses or, in my case, readers.  as for sunglasses, even if it's not sunny, i look cool in my sunglasses.  also, sunglasses allow me to stare at people without getting caught.

This page is still under construction.


Soon, you will be able to download my suggested packing lists for a variety of climates and itineraries.   Just print, pack and go!


Additionally, I will list suggested reading materials for destinations and trip types.


So, check back soon.   this will be fun!

SEE.   I TOLD YOU I LOOK GOOD IN MY SUNGLASSES.

Stay Weird.  Go Sandy.​

  • Taking Chances2:24

The Sandy Papers