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What To Pack For A Vacation With Friends

12/01/2015 04:13 EST | Updated 12/01/2016 05:12 EST
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USA, Washington, Bellingham, Portrait of young women having fun

It's the time of year for my annual girl's trip south. It happens annually the same week each year, and the four of us talk about the last time and the next trip at the same time.

This year we have a new girl joining us. She asked us what she should pack, and I had to think beyond the bathing suit and suntan lotion for an answer.

My answer applies to all vacations. These are things you just need to have. Period.

Earplugs

Unless you are used to sleeping with the person you are sleeping with; their sleeping habits are going to be different. Maybe they move a lot in the bed (even in separate beds in the same room would cause you to hear them), maybe they get up two or three times a night. Maybe they snore or talk in their sleep. Earplugs are mandatory when sharing a small space with others (like a hotel room).

Not only will you need earplugs for sleeping, sometimes you just want (or need!) silence during the day. Regardless of how social you are, everyone needs a little down time, a little me time. Going on vacation with others doesn't always give you that opportunity. Sometimes alone time comes while sitting on the beach and NOT listening to the steel drum band. Earplugs can help with that.

An e-reader

Loaded up with many different book choices. I love my new Kobo Glo HD. I can easily read it on the beach (unlike my iPad which is impossible to read on the beach or in the sun), and I can read in bed at night without the light on. I need to read at night before I go to bed, and when I need to turn the light on for that, it naturally disturbs others. The Kobo Glo has it's own built-in light that doesn't shine so bright it keeps others up.

I'm also not a great sleeper, so if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can easily just read myself back to sleep. This is a must have on any vacation, girlfriends or not.

Pajamas

Just in case you don't normally wear pajamas, please pack them. Nothing sexy, nothing revealing. Something that you can lounge around in and feel comfortable. You may be comfortable with your nakedness, but it doesn't mean your friends are. Your girlfriends will thank you for it.

And as I've discovered on my girls trips in the past, everyone likes their bedroom a different temperature. Pack a pair that will keep you warm (or cool) enough for you.

Air freshener spray

Face it, sometimes not everything smells great when you are on vacation, and the need to make a room smell better will be necessary. Better to spray than to avoid using the bathroom (the consequences are much larger in that case).

A snore guard, if necessary

Not everyone will think to pack earplugs, and your room mates might not appreciate your snoring. I don't snore normally, but when I travel with my girlfriends, I pack one anyway - just in case. I would be mortified if they told me in the morning that I was snoring all night. Then you can be sure that I wouldn't sleep any other nights in case I was snoring and disturbed them.

Better safe than sorry.

While there are a million other things to pack (passport, toothbrush, etc.), these are the things that affect your roommates more than they affect you. We are a world filled with people that only think about themselves. Don't let that be you -- think of others and pack with them in mind!

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