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How to Deal with 4 Things You Forget to Pack

What to Do When You Forget to Pack Something

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My son just had his braces removed the day before we left for vacation. As anyone who has had braces knows, a retainer must be worn full time for the first few months or the teeth are likely to shift. Guess what we forgot to pack? Luckily, my mom was able to go to our house and overnight the retainer across the country so my son would have it for our week-long vacation.

I feel like I am a proficient packer, but there have been many trips where I have forgotten an important item. It is all a part of traveling, but here are some suggestions if there are things you forget to pack.

How to Deal with 4 Things You Forget to Pack


Toiletries are easy to forget but fortunately also easy to replace. Call down to the front desk. It is comforting to know Hilton hotels often offer complementary basic toiletries for anything forgotten.

If it is something outside of a standard item, check the hotel gift shop. I left my mascara at home and was able to find a replacement in the hotel gift shop that turned out to be my new favorite.


Leaving an electronic item or charger at home can make a big impact on the trip. Most airports carry electronic accessories at kiosks or stores. If it is something very specific, Amazon can always come to the rescue. Ask the front desk for the exact shipping address and how it should be addressed. Hotels sometimes request for it to be addressed to the bell desk, or to your room directly.


Unbelievably, I have forgotten underwear on a trip. After laughing at my mistake, I realized I had a few options. I have hand-washed clothes in the bathroom sink, and I have also used onsite laundry facilities. In this case, I went to a local store and found replacements to get me through the week.

My husband forgot his swimsuit for our beach vacation and decided that a pair of athletic shorts would work just as well. Shopping or doing laundry can solve forgotten items, but simple substitutions will also do the trick.

A Japanese company, Uniqlo Co., recently added clothing vending machines to select U.S. airports. The machines will carry seasonal items like jackets or other warm items in the winter.


Important documents can easily be forgotten. My husband left his driver’s license at home, and he didn’t realize it until we arrived at the TSA agent. Luckily, he was cleared through other forms of ID and we made our plane on time.

I store confirmations and electronic tickets in a single folder in my email account so they are on my phone at all times. I also print out documents that I need and place them in a folder with separate sheet protectors. That folder goes in my carry on bag.

Download airline smart phone apps for electronic boarding passes. I also use the Hilton Honors app to have my hotel reservations with me at all times.

How to Prevent Forgetting Items

Packing lists can be effective for general items, but I used to forget to bring the little things. My strategy now is to have a travel box. I have a large container that stores all of my travel items. All of my travel size toiletries, chargers, headphones, packing cubes, travel pillows, travel purses, ponchos, and any other accessories are stored there. Every time I travel, I pull out the box and everything I need is in one place. Items can also be stored in your suitcase or a drawer. The idea is just to have everything in one place instead of having to go to multiple places for items and easily forgetting them.

Forgetting items is easy to do. There are plenty of ways to solve the problem, but if all else fails, just relax and remember: at least your’e on vacation!

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How to Deal with 4 Things You Forget to Pack

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 14 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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