{Japan: Plan} My List of Things I Always Almost Forget to Pack

packing

Our upcoming trip to Japan is almost a month long.  This is the longest I’ve been away from home in my life and while I’m extremely excited, I’m also quite nervous.  I am lucky to have someone like M who is happy to handle much of the pre-trip preparations (calling credit card companies to let them know we are leaving town, paying bills, remembering to turn off the water before we go, installing all the lights with timers, exchanging money/getting Travelers Checks).  But I am definitely in charge of packing my own suitcase.  While this task is somewhat of a headache, it is made easier by the simple fact that I have gained experience in packing via my previous travels.  Since this is my 4th trip to Japan in recent years, I have managed to compile a list of things that I have always almost forgotten to pack.  Here it is: 

Chargers

Yes, I can always remember my iPad and Kindle and cell phone and Nintendo DS and camera but their chargers are a different story.  The biggest problem is that I am actually using these chargers until the day that we go so I can’t throw it in the suitcase too early.

3-Prong to 2-Prong Adaptor

Most plugs that we encountered in Japan were 2-prong.  Since our laptop’s charger is a 3-prong we needed to get a 3-prong to 2-prong adaptor.  These are very cheap (approx $2) and can be purchased from Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.

Memory Cards for Cameras

In a country as technologically advanced as Japan finding memory cards in the case that you forget them shouldn’t be too hard.  But it’s still a nuisance to have to take time out of your sightseeing to go searching for them.

Medications That You Don’t Take on a Regular Basis

It’s easy for M to remember his cholesterol medicine because he takes it everyday.  But we don’t always remember to pack medications for ailments that are infrequent and difficult to anticipate.  Unfortunately, I am a migraine sufferer.  Fortunately, Excedrin Migraine does a great job of curing it and no other medicine I’ve tried has worked.   I’ve never seen it in Japan so this is a must-have.  The other medicine I need is Midol.  Without it, once the cramps hit I won’t be able to leave the hotel, let alone the bed.

Tampons/Pads

You’d think that as a woman I would never forget these.  But I have and M has always been the one to remind me.

Extra Contact Lens

I’m actually seeing my optometrist this week because I just realized that I need to order more contacts and my prescription has expired.  I wear the 2-week kind so I will put in a fresh pair the morning we leave for our trip and take along a couple extra pairs.

Eyeglasses Repair Kit

Have you ever tried to repair your broken glasses without a repair kit?  Trust me when I say that fingernails were not made to double as screwdrivers.

First Aid Kit

This one’s pretty self-explanatory.  You never know when you’ll get injured.

Blister Band-Aids

If you’re going to do a lot of walking, make sure to add some Blister Band-Aids to the First Aid Kit.  I have never failed to get a couple of blisters when going to Japan and regular Band-Aids do not cushion an open blister nearly as well as ones made specifically for blisters.

Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover

In Japan, many of our meals take place on trains as we zip from one city to the next.  Bento box + moving vehicle = food on clothes.  ‘Nuff said.

Gum/Candy for Train/Plane Rides

My ears always have trouble adjusting to the pressure change when on a plane.  Chewing gum or sucking on a hard candy can help my ears to “pop”.  I never knew that I would also be affected on a train until this last trip to Japan.  Whenever we would go through tunnels my ears would hurt like crazy.  Chewing gum very vigorously helped them to “pop”.

Photo credit: noodlepie / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA