You have just hung up the phone, finishing an exciting phone call with your best friend. That call revealed an invitation you had not seen coming: a weekend away from all cares and concerns!

But, there is a dilemma that must be handled first: what should you pack with less then an hour to go before your ride arrives? Hopefully, you have enough clean underwear otherwise a quick trip to a department store at your destination will be required. In any case, there are a few things that you absolutely must bring whether your trip takes you to the lake, beaches or to the mountains.

1. Sunscreen — Yes, break out the tanning lotion. Only thing, it is called sunscreen these days. And do not think that you will not need any if the weather is cloudy and cool. As the sun goes further up in the sky, the rays become more intense and you may get burned.

2. Medicines — Prescription medicines should be brought with you especially if they are “must take” daily medications. Also bring with you a first aid kit or at least supplies such as bandages, ointment, an ice pack, and aspirin.

3. Dressy and casual — I know what you are thinking: you are not planning anything fancy while you are away, so shorts, tee shirts and other casual clothing will be just right. Think again. Your plans may suddenly change and may include a dockside boat with catering, necessitating a change to better clothing. Do not limit yourself by what you will be doing by what clothes you have bought with you.

4. Jacket, sweater and long pants — It is nearly 90 degrees today, but where you are going the weather conditions may be much cooler. If you head to the mountains, over night temperatures in the mid-40s may stun you. Even at the beach cool mornings are possible. Bring what you think you will need and then some.

5. Personal effects — Imagine going to the boardwalk and your hair is a mess. Sure, put on a cap to hide your fluff, but you will still need a comb when you make your return. Bring every personal effect you think that you will need over the next several days. It may seem like more than what you need, but when you are away you will be glad that you brought all that you did.

6. Bedding and towels — Unless you are staying at a hotel, you may find that either the bedding is substandard or the towels are non-existent. In any case you may feel better bringing your own. Some people are attached to their pillows, so bring that with you or whatever else makes you feel comfortable.

7. Cell phone charger — One person’s cell phone is another person’s smart phone. whatever you call it, it will need to be recharged at some point. If your trip is a wilderness excursion, then forget the charger — bring a back up battery instead. A lot of good that will do you, however, if you are out of cell phone range.

8. Identification. You have your driver’s license and it is up to date, right? Even so, you may need other forms of identification. These include your health and dental insurance cards, debit and credit cards, and a passport if you plan to step over the US border at some point while you are away.

Quick Packing

Once you get your main items together, you can pull together everything else. Bring with you comfortable walking shoes, flip flops, a hat, pajamas, swim wear and an extra set of clothes just in case. Rain gear can come in handy including a folding umbrella that will not take up much room.

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