Traveling has many shapes, and forms — along with its do’s and don’ts. But traveling takes some trial and error in a way. You have to experiment to see what works for you. However, there are certain items that are highly necessary for when traveling. Due to luggage constraints when flying, we are forced to choose wisely. But when it comes to driving or taking a bus, the sky’s the limit!

But remember, traveling is this euphoric activity that melds with all of our other emotions. It isn’t all about getting to where you need to be or having all the tools that you need to get you there. It’s about the experience of exploring an unfamiliar world, or one that you know and miss when you’re away from it. But if you do forget these items below as I have in years past, you better hope that there is a twenty-four hour Walmart Supercenter near or you’ll have to sleep on the floor of that Super 8 motel. Here are a few items that I cannot go within a five-mile radius without.

Jumper Cables

You put on a suit and tie. You ate breakfast. Fed the cats. You prepared your documents for work. But you still haven’t purchased jumper cables. You can’t rely on someone to lend you their cables and help start your car. Get your life together.

A Photocopy of Identification

Ever been locked up abroad? Yeah, you don’t want to be mistaken for a serial killer because you lost your identification getting hammered at a bar in Yemen.

Cell Phone with a Portable Charger

It may be difficult to admit that we do need them to stay connected with the outside world. Make sure it’s charged, or that it can be charged anywhere. When I hear about people going out into the world without them to fulfill their hipster dreams of “Into The Wild”— just remember how that book ends.

Food and Water

Treat yourself like a toddler who gets hungry and thirsty right after you ate and drank water.

Empty Gas Canister

I’ve heard of people carrying a full gas canister around but I fear that a simple bumper to bumper would turn into a Michael Bay film. It’s essential to pay attention to your fuel gauge while spinning that new Hanson song.

Sleeping Bag

What if you have to sleep in your car after breaking down in the middle of West Virginia? Or that super eight motel bed reminds you of the film “Four Rooms?”

Neck Pillow/Pillow

My mother often took us on trips to Florida from New York in the car. One time, I forgot my pillow. I often wonder if my neck ever recovered.

Medications (Nausea, Migraine, Headache, Stomach)

The swirling of sounds and scents in the airport during peak hours are my kryptonite. Plus, traveling can lead to poor food choices. You probably shouldn’t hit up Popeyes before a five-hour flight.

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