Where to find things to take traveling

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Where to snag the best things to take traveling for convenience and enjoyment

The thrill of an upcoming trip tends to overshadow tasks that go with it. Packing is too often an afterthought, a last minute “What do I need now?” before heading to the airport. But you don’t want to be that person hunting through the hotel gift shop for toiletries, makeup and everything else left off the packing list. 

The good news is that you probably already own many of the things to take traveling. The best news is that several types of stores carry a full range of travel essentials and necessities. One-stop-shopping makes this errand feel less like a chore and more like the precursor to good times that it is. And if you’re going away on business, well, the convenience ensures you present a polished pro who remembered both her shoes.

Where travelers stock up

Online: If you have an internet connection and haven’t waited until the last minute to find things to take traveling, you’re in luck. Find lightweight rolling carry-ons, portable electronics and stylish clothes to look your best. Shipping is the only hiccup so be sure to choose the method that guarantees items will arrive before you depart. 

Outdoorsy stores: Before heading to the great outdoors for that much anticipated camping trip, you’ll need a number of supplies, including tents, camping stove, bug spray, sun screen and season-appropriate clothing. Stop by an army surplus or outdoors retailer for wide variety of equipment and dehydrated foods. Yum!

Going to a specialized place often results in high quality finds at affordable prices because they go through so much volume. The catch is that these stores tend to focus on serving a handful of activities per season. So if you’re planning a sailing voyage to the Caribbean in February, call ahead to make sure they have what you need.

The bigger the box the better: Big box chain stores are famous for their low prices and vast array of departments and brand selection. Whether you need a new bathing suit for vacationing in the sand or comfy walking shoes to explore a big city, grab a cart and find things to take traveling. Travel mugs, a scarf, beach towel, sunglasses – think head-to-toe and then consider toiletries and activity oriented must-haves.

Drug stores: Sometimes the things we need the most when far from home weren’t forgotten so much as never on the list in the first place. Drug stores will have less glamorous, but equally essential supplies. Grab a box of band aids, especially if you plan on wearing new shoes. In addition to vitamins and allergy medicines, you may want to grab a new face wash and other hygiene items.

Grocery store: Road trippers, save yourselves a heap of money by going to the grocery store. Sure the roadside cafes add color to the trip, but having to stop for every single meal and snack will seriously add up. Enjoying a simple sandwich at a lookout stop or while slogging through rush hour congestion will keep moods up and tummies happy.

Keep a few loaves of bread in a cooler so they stay fresh longer. Bring jams and peanut butter for a quick, substantial lunch. In summer, bring plenty of fruit and water to stay hydrated. Graze on your own trail mix with a blend of seeds, nuts, raisins and other dried fruits.

Traveling can broaden your entire perspective of the world. It doesn’t matter where or why you go, or even how you get there. Gain the most from these days away from your comfort zone. Plan ahead, make a packing list, and get your supplies before it’s check-in time. Bon voyage!

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