With summer travel season in full swing, you might be counting down the days until your next trip — already imagining the warm sand between your toes or the stunning landmarks you’ve longed to see in person. (If you’re hoping to capture those sweet vacation memories on camera, here’s the essential travel photography gear to pack.) But impending travel means a heap of logistics to manage, and you might find your excitement is overshadowed by stress. 

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First, you’ll likely encounter pricier-than-ever airfares as you book the trip itself. After you arrange your time out of office, you have to prepare your home for your absence and make sure it’s secure. Then there’s figuring out what to pack, not to mention fitting it all into your suitcase

But although travel requires hours of planning ahead, it’s all easier to tackle once you’ve put together a clear list of to-dos. The tips below will make your vacation a walk in the park. Or, preferably, a walk on the beach.

Packing list essentials most people don’t think about

A few small additions to your suitcase can minimize hassle and maximize comfort when you’re traveling. Here are some essentials you probably already have in your home. (If you’re interested in bringing your computer or tablet on your trip, be sure to also check our list of must-have travel gadgets.)

1. Pack a reusable water bottle

With heat waves happening now, this one is a must — especially if you’re not staying in an environment where free water is easily accessible. A hydration bladder (a pouch that fits in your backpack and sends water to your mouth via a long tube) is a handy option for more hiking-oriented trips, though keep in mind it’s a little more complicated

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