If you’re like most people, then you gladly (for the most part) work through much of the year for that memorable chance to go on vacation – either by yourself, with your significant other, or with your family. Traveling only ever has one drawback, and that comes from lack of preparation: make sure you bring the essentials that every destination requires.
Whether it’s a beach in Tahiti, or a mountain backpacking expedition, there are certain things that you simply should not do without. It’s a good thing that superstores like Walmart and Target exist; these are a one-stop shop for any travel essentials.
- Don’t Run Out of Juice – The Power Bank
Although mobile phone batteries are becoming ever more sophisticated and capable of storing more energy; you’d still be hard-pressed to get a full day’s operation out of the most conservative ones. Not to mention, your kids could be playing games and using apps on them, further draining the energy. Be on the safe side and grab several power banks; one for each phone, along with perhaps one extra for emergencies. Target and Walmart have mobile power banks of all sizes and at competitive prices. Also on the plus side: power banks get smaller each year – all while retaining the same (or more) amount of juice.
- Bathroom Essentials
No matter where you go, you’ll, of course, need to wash up. Both Target and Walmart have all the toiletries that you and your family will need on your impending vacation. Grab some inexpensive plastic, waterproof pouches to go with your toothbrush and toothpaste purchases. There are travel-sized shampoo bottles, soap and shaving cream, too. In our family, we have these all packed away throughout the year so there’s no rushing or forgetting; Target always has sales on these items.
- Casual Wear – Sandals, Shorts
It’s a vacation after all, right? As such, make sure to bring along some relaxation supplies – especially if you’re headed to a warm region. This includes sandals or flip-flops to give your feet some breathing room for the all-day walking/traveling you might be doing. There are, in our experience, more name-brand flip-flops at Walmart; but the cheaper (less expensive, that is) ones are at Target. Make no mistake, though – you can certainly locate some generic rubber flip-flops at Walmart for less than a $5 bill (before taxes).
While you’re at it, you can grab some inexpensive towels – which we’ve found to be useful for more than just bathing. The hotel provides the thick ones, anyway; extra clothes can be used for almost anything.
- USB Cables for Mobile Devices
Now that you’ve got your power bank, don’t forget the USB charging cables. Since most power banks have at least two outlets, you should get two cables per power bank so that you can multi-charge several devices. They are about the same price at both Target and Walmart, which is cheap; even better, they tend to come in packs of three.
Since Android and iOS devices use different charging mechanisms, you cannot use the same cables for either device. If you’re taking laptops with you, be sure to obtain a magnetic charger for an Apple device and an electric one for Android or Windows. Both superstores have these for under $20 for a generic brand; quite a bit more sometimes for the official extensions.
- Laundry Accessories
You’ll have to wash clothes even if you’re taking a short vacation of just a few days. In the most economical situation, you’ll want to at least have laundry bags into which to place your dirty clothing; many hotels have a laundry service included in the residence price. Peruse the Walmart or Target aisles for these in advance so that you’re not stuck with the increased prices that holiday season sometimes brings. Grab a few of the cheap ones for your socks and underwear; perhaps a sturdier one for your outerwear.
There are quite a few other things that you should consider picking up for your family vacation; most of these tend to be exclusive to the particular type of vacation that you’re taking. If you favor the colder regions, for example, then it’s a good idea to invest in some thin insulating material and microfiber blankets – the latter can be had cheaply at Walmart or Target. If you generally only head towards warm weather for travel, then check out travel websites or magazines for the types of things that people take for those destinations.
You will save a few dollars on some select items at either Walmart or Target; they each have their strengths. The good thing about the above examples is that they are applicable for a trip anywhere.