Four Fixes for Forgotten Packing:
I travel a lot and, over the years, I’ve developed all sorts of strategies for making sure I don’t forget essentials. I have lists, I have places where I keep my ‘travel’ stuff together ready to pop into a case and I always try to pack the night before I am travelling because right in the middle of the night I’ll wake up and remember something that should be in my case.
Of course, it never works perfectly. I’ve been abroad without various toiletries, without a swimming costume and without my sunglasses. It can get expensive!
1. Contact lenses
Contact lenses are one of those things I DREAD not taking with me. So much so that I keep a couple of pairs in my hand luggage, just in case my checked-in bag goes astray. I do always pack a pair of glasses too, but I hate the idea of having to wear them on holiday. There’s no way I can swim wearing glasses and I don’t have sunglass clip-ons, so I have no way to protect my eyes from the sun if I’ve forgotten my lenses and have to resort to glasses.
What I didn’t realise was that I really have no reason to worry. I buy my lenses online from Vision Direct. It’s a quick, easy way – generally, they turn up within 48 hours and I don’t have to go and wait in a queue to pick them up. But I had no idea till Vision Direct contacted me that you can order lenses to be delivered overseas – the service works in exactly the same way in most European destinations. And, the lenses will arrive within two to three days.
First off, even if your hotel doesn’t provide free shampoo, conditioner or toothpaste, it’s worth asking at the front desk. Quite often there will be a stash of items to help visitors who’ve just forgotten something. It can be a lot easier than going out to shop. Even if they don’t have complimentary items, they will be able to tell you where to go.
This one varies from country to country. Firstly, if you are dependent on your medication, you should make sure you always carry a medical portfolio – a sheet of paper which lists your illnesses and details what medication you take. I first came across this concept when my mother developed diabetes and I’d recommend it for anyone who regularly needs medicine. I keep my travel insurance details and EHIC in the same place too. If you’ve forgotten something, it may be worth finding a local pharmacist and asking – in some countries more items are available over the counter. If that doesn’t work you’ll need to visit a local doctor. If you are in Europe and carrying an EHIC card this should be free of charge, elsewhere you may need to claim from your travel insurance.
I’ve often turned up somewhere and realised I have completely the wrong clothes for the weather. Or, just haven’t packed enough. My own policy is to rejoice in the fact that I’ve been given the perfect excuse to buy something new. I go shopping. Sometimes, knowing that I’ll only need the item for that holiday, I buy cheaply from local street markets. I’ve bought cotton trousers in Oman for instance when I realised that I’d be comfier wearing something that was loose and covered me up properly. Other times I’ve gone for full blown retail therapy. In the past I’ve sometimes spent a lot on items that simply don’t look right when I got them back home, so now I take care to consider whether I’m buying just for the holiday or investing in something that will be useful when I get home.
Of course, all of this is common sense – but, for me at least, when I arrive somewhere tired from the journey I tend to panic. And, at least with Vision Direct there’s no need to do that again if I forget my lenses. To find out more about Vision Direct’s delivery service (and to see more of that cute little pug), check their video here
Disclaimer: I have received a small fee from Vision Direct for writing this post. All content is editorially given.