You Always Forget Something When You Travel

You Always Forget Something When You Travel

Something I learned early in life about traveling is that you can’t prepare for everything.  I remember my first travel experiences.  I was so nervous that I’d forget something, that I would spend most of the days leading up to my travel going through all the details again and again.  I remember pacing back in forth in my bedroom like a caged animal triple checking that I had packed my laptop, only to realize after I got to my destination, that I had forgotten my power cord. Even now when traveling with Cathy,  she’ll always ask while sitting in the driveway “Are we forgetting something?”.  My answer always is “of course we are”, because no matter how hard you try, you always forget something when you travel.

Minimize the Damage

Once you get past the reality that you are going to forget something, you can start to approach your travel differently.  Instead of being consumed about remembering everything, minimize the damage.  By that I mean, there are things that you must have that will be a “trip killer” if forgotten like tickets, wallets, passports, etc…  Cathy feels better with checklists of those trip killers and makes sure those are the first things packed.  It doesn’t guarantee you will remember everything, but making sure the trip killers are packed will at least prevent your trip coming to an abrupt end.

Plan for the Worst

Not to be negative, but it isn’t a bad thing to be thinking about what you would do if forgot to pack something for a trip.  It can be as simple as shorts substituting for a bathing suit, or knowing that your cell phone can be your flashlight because you forgot to check the batteries in your headlamp before a hike.


  • Always pack a change of clothes, toiletries, medication, other essentials in your carry-on.  Just in case the airline forgets that you wanted your bags to arrive with you in Portugal instead of Guam, you’ll manage until things get sorted out
  • It is a good idea to purchase travel insurance to recover cost of things lost, damaged, or delayed in traveling

We go with World Nomads insurance- see why

Pack a week ahead of time

Packing a week early allows for figuring out that there isn’t any more sunscreen in the house, your favorite shirt now has a stain on it or your medications are up for refills.  Waiting until the last minute to pack on a weekend when the doctor’s office is closed to refill a prescription is added stress no one needs.

You Always Forget Something When You Travel
Even with the help of the cat we forget something!:)

Put It On the List

No matter if you are a “pen and paper” person like Cathy or are dictating to Siri like me, a packing list is always a good way to avoid forgetting most things when you travel.   Personally I like to avoid killing trees, so I love computerized lists.  There are tons of apps that can make lists, share them with people, set reminders, and loads of other features.  I use Keep, since it is free and easy to use.  Unlike the “pen and paper” version, I can create and catalog saved lists for all my needs.  I have hiking packing lists, international travel lists…you get the point.

Passing Along Some Tidbits

When you are traveling, it is a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected.  Here are some things I have added to my packing list that I would always bring.   These are some of my favorite items

  1. Bestek Travel  – Nothing worse than not being able to recharge your electronics because you forgot a converter on your international trip.  I love this converter because it is also a surge protector, has 3  110V AC USA outlets and 4 USB ports.

    BESTEK International 220V to 110V Converter – Buy it here!
  2. RAVPower FileHub Plus – Love this gadget.  First of all, you can just plug your SD cards into it to be backed up, it can be your own wire mini-cloud for media sharing or a wireless travel router.  It can also bridge or extend Wifi on a secure connection and is a power bank to recharge devices.  It sells for under $50 and totally rocks.

  3. LifeStraw Water Bottle – Ever wake up really thirsty in the middle of the night but didn’t have any bottled water in your room and pretty sure you’d die if you drank water from the tap?  Well, the LifeStraw Water Bottle is a must have.  It will filter out all the bad stuff and provide gallons of clean water.  Save the planet and some cash. 

Enjoying some water from @lifestraw_ Go water bottle before climbing Barranco Wall. #kilimanjaro

A post shared by ROARLOUD.NET (@roarloudcat) on

Check out our full review of the LifeStraw products we use!

It Will Be Alright

I started the blog by talking about how I would always respond to Cathy’s “are we forgetting something” question by saying “of course we are”.  I wasn’t being flip or dismissive.  It is just my way of telling her that we will be alright and that no matter what, we can handle it.  No matter how much you try, you can always find a new way to forget something.  The latest for me was looking at my check list, getting the item listed to pack in my hand, then getting distracted and not actually putting it in my suitcase.

Last tip:

  • Never check something off your packing list until you see it physically in your luggage

With that, I will wish you all safe travels, and Roar Loud if you remembered to pack everything or if you didn’t!

Disclaimer:  RoarLoud is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, meaning we may receive a small commission on any purchases.

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One of our favorite travel items!

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About Frank

Frank is the creator of the RoarLoud website, go to guy for gear reviews and Cathy's IT guy. I know that stands for information technology but Cathy calls him her "IT" guy because he is everything! A lover of nature and a curious soul he tries new adventures eagerly. Fortunately he is also the voice of reason to level out Cathy's wildcat side.
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12 Comment

  1. Instead of water filters, I lean toward disinfecting water with 2% tincture of iodine. It’s cheaper and more compact than a filter – and often more effective. Bonus: It’s great for cuts and scrapes, and there’s nothing like gear that can do more than one thing.

    1. I’ve tried bleach in the past and didn’t care for the taste. Can you taste the iodine?

      1. Barely. Another trick I use as a workaround is to drop an electrolyte tab (like Nuun) into the bottle.

        The concentration is 5 drops per 32 ounces. Then let it sit for 30 minutes.

  2. I always stress about packing! Thanks for this!

    1. I understand completely, knowing I’ll forget something takes some of the stress off:) – Cathy

  3. Andi says: Reply

    Love the post, it is such a great reminder to have a system in place, no matter how long you’ve been traveling! I am headed to check out the Lifestraw products, looks like something I could use! Great tips!

    1. Thanks Andi, I’ll always forget something but it is reassuring to know that and get over it:) Love our LifeStraw bottles!

  4. Susan says: Reply

    My first trip abroad I was packed 2 weeks in advance and the trip got cancelled. I was so disappointed it took ma another 2 weeks to unpack. Then it was back on. I packed so far in advance because I was excited but also afraid I would forget something. I am a list maker. I don’t think I have ever forgotten anything crucial. I have lightened up a lot (both in terms of weight and stress) since that first big trip. Generally, I am not going somewhere so remote that a forgotten toothbrush would be the end. However, If I am somewhere that remote, maybe no one will notice I haven’t brushed. Lol.

    1. It would have taken me more than 2 weeks to unpack:) We have forgot bathing suits, camera batteries, lenses, dress coats…. Oh the list goes on and on:)

  5. Great post, I forgot my camera charge once when going on a cruise so no chance of just picking up another until we got to the end of the cruise so had to restrict the the number of photos to maximise battery use. So unlike me!

    1. That is horrible! I take tons of photos too so it would be very difficult for me! Thanks for sharing yours- glad we aren’t the only ones:)

  6. Great info! Couldn’t agree with you more!

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