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Travel in Comfort with a Few Basic Essentials

Traveling is fun, but you always need to take a few essentials with you from home for your own comfort. Your age and physical condition can suggest what to pack for that extended holiday or business trip. The length of your trip is also a major consideration.

Your Special Pillow

If you will be away from home for a week or more, you may want to take your special pillow with you. This is important if you are renting a condo or cabin. Even though it is fully furnished, it may not have a chiropractic pillow that is ergonomically designed for maximum back and neck support. This is important for people with back, shoulder and neck problems.

No matter how comfortable the bed at your destination, your special memory foam pillow will help you sleep better and awaken without pain. A natural memory foam pillow will fit into your suitcase. It will regain its shape even if it is flattened in travel.

You can also use this type of pillow on a train if you are traveling overnight. Take it with you on a cruise. Just be sure to pack it up again when you leave!

Medication and Prescriptions

You may be able to have prescriptions refilled if you are traveling within the United States. Otherwise, take extra medication with you if your trip is longer than a couple of weeks. Have all prescriptions refilled before you leave home.

Keep all medications in their original bottles and tubes. You can buy prescription medications over the counter in some foreign countries, but they may not be the same dosage, brand or effectiveness as your own. If you think your prescription may be less expensive in a foreign country, carry a copy of your prescription, or the bottle with the name and dose of the medication, to make sure what you buy internationally is the same.

Carry a copy of your eyeglass prescription. Take your vitamins and other supplements with you for international travel. Many foreign countries do not have equivalent products.

Food and Water

Keep your water bottle handy and know in advance if it is safe to drink the water at your travel stops. You may need to buy bottled water. You can also carry purification tablets with you if the water at your destination is suspect. Meanwhile, having your own water with you helps with hydration.

You can buy granola bars, health bars and other packaged food anywhere in the United States and Canada. You may find the same products in other parts of the world. Carry a few packaged items to nibble on while you are traveling.

Airlines now sell food for domestic travel, and meals may be offered for free on some foreign carriers. Your own snacks may help while you are waiting for the food cart to come down the aisle.

Most trains in the United States and Europe have dining cars. Meals are served at scheduled times and reservations are often required. Again, packaged snacks may come in handy.

Buses, also known as motor coaches, usually make stops for meals on long journeys. Again, those snacks may be helpful.


Your shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen and other necessities always come with you. Hotels and resorts offer shampoo and lotions, but you may prefer your own. Hand sanitizer is always helpful. You may want your own small soap and even a small package of laundry powder. A travel first aid kit is also good. Buy travel size items are easy to keep in a handbag or carry-on backpack.

Facial tissue and toilet paper are also handy. Take the center tube out of the toilet paper roll so the tissue will pack flat. It is often a necessity if you travel by train or motor coach in a foreign country. Not all American bathrooms are well-stocked, either. You may also want to carry a few toilet seat covers with you.

Travel Insurance

Trip insurance is helpful if you become ill in a foreign country. It is also helpful for domestic travel if your existing health insurance is limited to a geographic area.

Trip insurance also covers cancellation and interruptions to travel. Most travel insurance companies cover baggage loss and trip delay, in addition to medical coverage. The insurance will cover a long list of reliable tour operators and airlines in the event of their default.

Pack efficiently and carry a few essentials with you for a pleasant and safe trip.

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