Many of us look forward to travelling every year. Whether it’s for leisure or business, every trip starts well before heading to the airport. From choosing your luggage to packing to exploring your destination, there are many steps to a fantastic holiday and a few essentials that can help enhance your experience along the way. We’ll cover the different stages in this buying guide to help you prepare for your trip.
Table of contents
Packing for your trip
Carry-on vs checked bag
If you’re travelling by plane, you need to know the difference between a carry-on and a checked bag. A carry-on is a bag you can bring with you on the plane and stow in the overhead compartment. A checked bag, on the other end, is transported in the cargo section of the plane, which means that you don’t have access to it until you arrive at your destination. You can always bring a carry-on onboard with you but you may have to pay a fee to check one or more bags.
The sizes of carry-on and checked luggage is limited by airlines, so make sure to look at your airline’s bag restrictions to find out what is the maximum size bag allowed. For example, Air Canada allows carry-ons measuring up to 55 x 40 x 23 cm (including handles and wheels). Maximum dimensions might slightly vary depending on the airline. Read our luggage buying guide to learn more about luggage options and find the right type for you.
An efficient way to pack your suitcase is to compartmentalize the contents of your bag between packing cubes. Packing cubes can make the difference between a tidy suitcase, where everything you need is at your fingertips, and a messy suitcase, where you can’t find your toothpaste. Available in different sizes, packing cubes usually also come with a laundry pouch so you can separate your dirty clothes during your trip.
Travel cases and toiletry bags are also helpful to organize your electronics and personal care products so you always have what you need handy. For makeup, look at cosmetic bags. They’re usually lined so you can easily wipe off any makeup marks.
Luggage and travel accessories
Finally, to make travelling to your destination as comfortable as possible, pack a neck pillow. Neck pillows snuggly fit around your neck so you can comfortably relax and sleep in an upright position. Look for an inflatable design so you can use it in the car or on the plane when you need it, and conveniently deflate it when you’re done so it doesn’t take precious space in your luggage during the rest of your trip.
Tech essentials to stay connected
Unlocked cell phone
An unlocked cell phone allows you to use your device with a local sim card at your destination. That means that you can text your family and use the internet to look up directions or the best restaurant in town without having to pay roaming fees for every megabyte you use. While you don’t need one if you travel domestically, an unlocked cell phone is a must-have for international travel.
Travel power adapter
Even if you have the right adapter, it’s not always easy to find an outlet to power up your devices when you need to. A power bank will give you the flexibility to recharge your devices wherever you are—whether that’s at the airport or on a trail. Look for a power bank with at least two output ports to be able to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
Visiting your destination
Once everything is prepared and your luggage is packed, all that is left to do is to enjoy your holiday! Here are a few items that will help you make the most of your trip while creating memories to cherish for years to come.
Last but not least, you’ll need a backpack to carry your essentials around. Pick a lightweight day pack with enough capacity to fit your belongings and different compartments so you can easily organize your items. Padded straps will make it more comfortable to carry around, while outside pockets will give you easy access to your backpack’s contents. Some backpacks also feature anti-theft locks so you can safely wander the streets of your destination.
Exploring the outdoors
A holiday is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature. If you’re hitting the trails this summer or are looking forward to sunbathing at the beach, consider bringing the following items along on your adventure to make the most of your time with Mother Nature.
Start your nature escape on the right foot with a GPS. The last thing you want on holiday is to get lost. A GPS will take you right to your destination—whether that’s a trailhead or a remote lake. No need to stop for asking directions. Some GPS also feature driver alerts that notify you of animal crossings or speed changes for safer driving.
GPS watch or fitness tracker
Whether you’re hiking, biking, or kayaking, you can record your activities during your holiday with a GPS watch or fitness tracker. A GPS watch or fitness tracker will allow you to keep track of your heart rate, calories burnt, and steps taken during the day. With a GPS watch, you’ll also be able to view the map of your activities, so you can trace back your route.
At the end of the day, set up camp where you want with a tent and sleeping gear. From backpacking tents to pop-up tents and rooftop tents, there are many types to choose from to meet your needs. Complete your camping setup with camping furniture and a camping kitchen for a blissful evening under the stars.
Keeping your home safe
Protecting your home while you’re away is key to a peaceful travel experience. Keep your home safe and secure with these smart home additions.
Security cameras not only act as a deterrent for burglars, but they also allow you to remotely see in real-time what’s happening at home for peace of mind. Common features include night vision, built-in sirens, and 2-way audio so you can both see and hear what’s going on at all times. Some models also come with an integrated spotlight for enhanced protection.
You might have asked a family member or friend to periodically check on your home while you’re away. Smart locks eliminate the need for spare keys. Instead, you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere. Smart locks also give you the option to create different passcodes for different people so each visitor has their own “key”.
A simple way to keep your home safe when travelling is to give the impression that you’re at home. How? By turning the lights on. Smart lights let you schedule when you want the lights to turn on and off to make it look like you’re home. To learn more ways to secure your home for an upcoming trip, read this article.
Take the next step
Getting ready for your next trip? Head to Best Buy to find the perfect travel gear for you.