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The Travel Essentials Survival Guide

03/02/2017 11:03 EST | Updated 03/02/2017 11:03 EST
Choreograph via Getty Images
Happy family with suitcases in the airport.

With March break around the corner, many Canadians are in the process of preparing for a travel getaway, be it an exotic vacation, a trip down south or even a staycation somewhere right here at home. Getting organized for any trip can be a daunting task, especially after a long winter when summer clothes are likely stashed away in storage, and/or you're packing for the whole family. From suitcases and carry-ons to emergency essentials, there are lots of things to remember to bring.

But with a little preparation, a dose of discipline and a few smart tips, packing for a trip can be easy -- and inexpensive. Here is our travel essentials guide that will help you prep, and pack, like a pro in no time!

Survival 101.

When you're travelling, it's important to remember that some items may be very expensive in other countries, and you may not find them easily, if at all. Avoid making random pricey purchases during your vacation -- or even have to do without -- by making sure you bring suntan lotion, bug spray and extra batteries or chargers for electronics. Also, don't overlook items such as a travel sewing kit with safety pins (for fixing loose buttons or hems), and even a mini keychain flashlight. You never know when these may come in handy!

Medicine cabinet essentials.

Whether you're delayed, have a layover or are taking a long road-trip, make sure you're prepared with a few essential medicines. This includes any prescription drugs, pain relievers, antacids, allergy and anti-nausea pills, and anything else you may need. Save room in your carry-on by bringing a labeled pill case or buy a few travel-sized packs beforehand. Long walks on the beach or in the city, and even readjusting to your summer sandals can cause blisters. Be sure to pack a few Band-Aids and other first-aid items.

Stay hydrated.

While liquids are a no-no when going through airport security, there aren't any rules against bringing an empty, reusable bottle. Purchasing individual water bottles while travelling can really add up, so consider packing a well-insulated thermos or reusable container, such as the S'well water bottle or the Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottles. Both are great options that you could even use for your morning coffee and tea. Starbucks is just one coffee shop that happens to be in almost every country and will give a ten cent discount when you bring a reusable cup. Look online for deals on quality bottles that will serve multiple purposes. It's also wise to throw a few protein bars in your purse or carry-on -- it's a healthier and less expensive snack option while travelling.

Pack like a pro.

When it comes to packing for your family, less is more. Opt for two small- to mid-size, lightweight suitcases that can fit everyone's clothes and accessories. This way, if one case goes missing you still have a few items per person to get you by. Choose clothing and shoes in a colour scheme that can be mixed and matched to create several different outfits. Pants, skirts and shorts can usually be worn a couple of times without being laundered, and changed out with tank tops, wrinkle-free tees or shirts that can be rolled up to save space. You can find these tees anywhere -- from The Gap, Old Navy or Hudson's Bay -- and they are great for a variety of occasions.

Kids, tend to get dirty faster than adults and will need more changes of clothes. As a rule of thumb pack twice the amount of shirts for your kids than you do for yourself. To stay organized, consider using packing cube sets for each person to help keep your luggage tidy and organized. It's also a good idea to pack some laundry detergent in a Ziplock bag, as well as Tide-to-Go sticks for emergency spills. Again, lightweight articles can be easily laundered in a hotel room sink and left to dry on the balcony or shower rod -- ready for reuse!

Bring a scarf as a carry-on item! It's a great layering piece for outfits but can be a great way to layer up on the plane without a heavy sweater. Better yet -- roll it up to opt out of bringing a travel pillow for the journey! Choose a lighter fabrication in a blanket scarf so it can be used in warmer climate. A fun pattern can go a long way to mix and match with many of your outfits when travelling. It can always serve as double-duty as a bathing suit cover-up or light towel!

Click here for more great tips on travel and savings.

Sari Friedman is the Marketing Director of Ebates Canada and resident shopping expert. Ebates.ca is Canada's largest cash back shopping site. As a fashion enthusiast and new mom, Sari has an eye for finding and sharing amazing deals on the hottest trends and must-have styles.

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