Please sign in to post.

So what did you wind up having to buy once you got here

I’m wrapping up a trip to London and Paris. And I thought it might be fun for us to focus on the things we forgot to pack in our push to “pack light”.

In my case halfway to the airport I realized my raincoat was hanging on the back of the closet door, Where it was not going to do me any good. I did not have time to Uber back to my condo and back to the airport so I sucked it up and went to Uniqlo in London and bought a raincoat, I actually do like it

I also have never packed shoelaces. Day 1 one got caught in an escalator. They were much harder to find than I expected. I still won’t bother to look pack these however.

Otherwise I did pretty well.

Posted by
4232 posts

Only once (on a 6 week trip) I forgot to pack my glasses, although I wear contacts most of the time. I know I had them in one of my hands, with something else in the other hand…… and the hand in charge of the glasses fell down on the job. I just managed without, but haven’t forgotten those since. Lol.

Posted by
4924 posts

A small note pad and ball point pencil one time and deodorant another time. Just a brain burp.

Posted by
2814 posts

Carol, glad the new raincoat worked out. And who would have thought about spare shoes laces. I'm glad you didn't fall and get hurt when you caught the lace in the escalator.

I have a wonky stomach. Many years ago I could buy Maalox in tablet form in the US. Not any more. Two years ago I found it in France, so I bought a pack. Works great. Last year I stocked up in Germany. I still have some left. Hoping I can find more in Italy this year so I don't have to pack more than a couple emergency tablets.

Last year I forgot the charging cord to my power pack. Fortunately my phone stayed charged throughout the day so I didn't need it. I've since bought a credit card size power pack to carry during the day, actually two of them. Saves weight and room in my extra small daily purse.

Posted by
330 posts

Yeah, the battle with the escalator was a little interesting. Luckily the shoelace broke because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

Just in case anybody ever needs shoelaces in London there’s a Sainsbury’s grocery in South Kensington and if you go in the door, there’s a shoe repair place and guess what he had? I had found a pair someplace else, but they were much too short for my shoes, and I had basically tied two shoelaces together to try to make it work, but I was really grateful to find a pair that actually worked.

Posted by
193 posts

A heel sander - I didn't stop to think how dry my heels would get with all the walking. Found a great, thin paddle shaped one in a pharmacy in Florence that I still use almost daily.
Sunblock - totally forgot it and it was really fun to decipher the French to find a good one

Posted by
10255 posts

These were irreplaceable: two times I left on a trip without my notes of Forum answers, the recommendations and knowledge that I had been jotting down the previous months. These were left on the desktop of my home computer and not printed out or transferred into my phone. I asked a few Forum questions and looked some things up. Now, I make sure my notes travel with me.

Posted by
8542 posts

I once had a packing cube fall behind the chair while packing, and ended up without some socks, underwear and a couple of t-shirts. At first chance I shopped for replacements in a German department store, and that was actually an interesting experience. The clothes I got there have lasted a long time, too.

Posted by
215 posts

I seem to have wobbly ankles and don’t always pay strict attention to the cobblestones. I now have a collection of European ankle wraps.

Posted by
330 posts

Stan

I got to Paris, and discovered that I had left the packing cube with my underwear at home. Let’s just say French women don’t tend to have the same breast size as women in America do. It was an adventure finding things that worked. I’m now paranoid about that one.

Posted by
2471 posts

I bought mouthwash at a pharmacy in Paris, and was delighted to learn that it’s called ‘bain de bouche’ in French.

Posted by
163 posts

A repair kit to reattach the crown on one of my husband's molars.

Posted by
4574 posts

Nail file in Ecuador, talcom powder in Seville, tensor bandage in Canary Islands, deodorant in Portugal....they don't have stick deodorant. I haven't used a roll on in decades. Blister bandaids in Bangkok. Most stuff is small toiletries that I either forgot to pack or needed due to injuries or running out. I am a plus size woman. I triple check all clothing is packed and in good working order.

Posted by
11302 posts

We ALWAYS have to buy a wine opener as they are not allowed in carry on bags. Then we leave it in the last hotel as we head to airport to fly home.

Posted by
2205 posts

We seem to do pretty well (famous last words) getting everything out the door with us, although eye makeup stayed on the counter one year. We’ve had more trouble once we’re on the road. Last year, after my husband had been up most of the night trying to reconfigure our onward travel, his only belt broke. He discovered he was not the demographic for most of the shops on Oxford Street in central London. I don’t think he ever envisioned shopping at Zara.

Posted by
9733 posts

A couple of summers ago when i went to Copenhagen, I forgot to take shampoo. And we were staying in a cheapy hostel/hotel, so they didn’t supply any. Luckily my sister-in-law was staying the same place and was able to get me through until i could get somewhere to buy a small bottle.

Posted by
1946 posts

One time, I forgot my meds for cholesterol.

I was at the airport early morning and needed to take my meds but could not find the ones for cholesterol. I looked though everything over and over again. I looked all over the airport thinking they must have fallen out of my bag. After all I had all my other meds.

People were looking at me looking for my meds and I finally had to give up.

I guess that i could have gone to a ship doctor for my meds but that would have cost a lot and I just went without.

Luckily I was not gone but a little over a week.

And yes, they were home when I got home. And my cholesterol did not go over the moon. I am still here to talk about it.

My meds are now one of the first things to pack and I check them more than one time before traveling.

Posted by
106 posts

Forgot my scuba PADI dive card showing certification...on a vacation that we went on so that we could scuba dive.

Posted by
549 posts

The fabulous BHV department store in Paris has the most comprehensive selection of shoe laces I have ever seen; a large range of colours and sizes. I bought some navy ones there for future use and excellent quality. So for future reference….

Posted by
7365 posts

We have come a long way from being newlyweds & my husband left his suit for his work interview hanging on our closet door! Fortunately, we landed at Portland, Oregon (flew from Iowa) with enough time to buy one at a mall! And he did get the job!

In Europe, my husband forgot the RS guidebook for our first tour - back when the guide referred to lots of info for arrival cities by page number. He has also needed to purchase deodorant & socks.

I forgot a tube of lipstick. I certainly refer to my packing list and check off each item as I pack it - helps a lot! I do remember glancing at the list when I started traveling after the 2020-2021 Covid years & thinking, “I know I would have forgotten to pack these two things!”

Posted by
193 posts

Fun thread!! I think Mary wins the day with "kit to reattach husband's molar." I have added several things from this thread to my Pactor list - but not that one - ha!

Posted by
19119 posts

In 2007, I was on my way to the airport when I realized I didn't have my pocket Langensheidt German/English dictionary with me. It was on my list to take with me, but when I was packing it was right there with all my other stuff, so I checked it off then instead waiting until it was actually in my pocket.

I'm basically fluent in German (i.e., I don't have to translate everything in my head; the German words I use have meaning to me), but there are a lot of German words I don't know, so I keep a dictionary with me.

No problem. When I got to Munich I found one in a bookstore at the Hbf. just as well, my old one was twenty years old, and they had sinced changed some of the German spelling (like ß to ss), so I really needed a new dictionary.

Posted by
1407 posts

Going to Europe, I don't think we've ever forgotten to pack anything. We are more likely to pack the same thing twice. On U.S. trips, we have absolutely failed to pack all kinds of stuff, and for a plane trip to Victoria in Canada ONE of us forgot both passports. But we have had to buy many practical things in Europe for our rental apartments, such as an electric tea kettle, knives and corkscrews to replace the many Swiss Army knives that have gotten confiscated at the airport, cutting boards, a large enough tea mug for my tea (tea in an espresso cup is just ridiculous), scissors, sun hats, gloves, rubber gloves, sewing stuff for mending things, additional suitcases, and umbrellas.

Posted by
2514 posts

•. candles and disposable lighter to set the mood in a room with a seaside view

• AA batteries back when there were cameras that weren't phones, but before batteries became exclusive to a brand/model.

• mustache scissors ( I actually found some peri-natal baby scissors and still use them to this day )

Posted by
715 posts

The worst was when my mother thought that I had put my suitcase in the car, and I thought that my mother had put my suitcase in the car. We didn't realize that my suitcase was missing until we got to the airport 70 miles from home.

I have bought a few jackets and sweaters on various trips, more in the US than in Europe. (I had no idea how cold June could be on my first trip to San Francisco.)

I like to take zinc tablets at the first sign of a cold, and I learned the hard way that it's pretty much impossible to get zinc tablets in Lecce, Italy.

I intentionally packed almost no toiletries on my last trip to Turkey so that I could stock up at a local store after I arrived. They carried the same brands as in the US, except that everything was much cheaper, and the writing was all in Turkish. When I returned to the US, looking at my bottle of L'Oreal moisturizer or Neutrogena sunscreen written in Turkish was a pleasant reminder of the trip.

I have had to buy acetemenophin and/or antibiotics more than once on overseas trips. (But I never forget the Pepto Bismol, which is very difficult to find outside the US.)

I have also bought underwear in Turkey simply because I was too lazy to do laundry one day. It was fine.

Posted by
1491 posts

IN 2017 I was in Sweden. I had a new Pixel phone. It was my first type C charger phone. I had a charger with 2 USB ends, but I didn't have a converter for a wall plug. I made sure that my phone was fully charged when I left the plane. Later in the day I went to a phone store and was able to purchase a wall charger with the European prongs. I have continued to purchase Pixel phones and continue to use that charger when I go to Europe.

I always need to purchase body lotion wherever I go because I need more than 3 ml.

I once bought wireless ear phones at my home airport.

Posted by
9733 posts

Marie -- leaving the whole suitcase at home certainly would seem to pose a challenge !!!

And Nancy, I have also bought mugs for tea -- I too get annoyed if the one in the hotel /apartment isn't decently sized

Posted by
1340 posts

Had to think on this a bit. But it was a challenge for my granddaughter and I to describe to the pharmacist in Paris that we wanted electrolytes and also a decongestant for my GD’s cold symptoms. They were very gracious and patient with us - oh, and it helped that we showed them the label of what we ran out of. My GD was good to go the next day after some good rest our second night in Paris.

Posted by
1340 posts

Oh, I forgot this one.

In Portugal recently I purchased a handkerchief. My eyes and nose water when ever there is the least bit of wind or cold in the air, so I need an old fashioned handkerchief in my jacket pocket at all times. I don’t like the paper dust that Kleenex gives off.

Posted by
1401 posts

Carol, I am so glad only your shoelace broke! Yikes, that must have been a frightening moment.

As for what I needed to buy, on my most recent trip I had to buy ibuprofen and hydrocortisone. The first because I had given some to a friend who needed some and then promptly needed more for myself. The latter because I forgot my mosquito repellant wipes and of course got bitten. Fortunately another friend had mosquito repellant which I could use. The now superfluous Italian hydrocortisone is safely tucked in my liquids bag for the next trip.

Posted by
578 posts

I take a basic first aid kit with some OTC meds but we always seem to need something over and above the basics. So I’ve bought cough suppressant in Prague, antihistamines in Cong, Ireland, miralax (or equivalent) in Strasbourg and cough drops in Zurich airport.

Posted by
1666 posts

At the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, on our way to Ecuador, I realized I had forgotten to pack my nail clippers when one of my fingernails got a snag in it. So, DH and I looked all over the airport, trying to buy nail clippers, and we couldn't find any. We gave up, and went to sit on a padded bench. Lo and behold, there on the bench was a package with nail clippers in it. The package had been opened, so they had probably been used, but I wiped them with an alcohol wipe and used them before tucking them in my toiletries bag.

For the rest of that trip, we kept saying, "We need to find a million dollars. We forgot to bring a million dollars." However, we must have used up all the magic manifesting the nail clippers, because no million dollars appeared.

Posted by
2 posts

A divorce attorney. My wife at the time told me not to go to Rome without her.

Posted by
908 posts

In 2013 I forgot the cable that connected my camera to my Mac. I went to the Apple Store near Oxford Circus to buy a cable but the nice "genius" saved me a good chunk of change by sending me to Maplin a couple of streets away. The cable from Maplin cost 9 pounds, whereas the Apple Store cable cost closer to 20.

And last year I had the right adapter but the wrong cable (or vice versa, depending on how you look at it) for charging my phone. A trip to Boots and a helpful clerk got me what I needed.

Both of the cables now live in my suitcase!

Posted by
2441 posts

I had to buy some clothes in France when my luggage did not arrive with me. And again we bought clothes in South Africa for the same reason. But these were nice souvenirs and the travel insurance reimbursed us. Like Mary, I had to buy something at the pharmacy to reattach my dental crown in Peru after chewing on sticky coca candy. My dentist recommended denture cream in case this ever happened. That worked pretty well. Otherwise we don’t forget anything as we are pretty well organized.

Posted by
20 posts

We check our bags, so I planned to bring a small sheathed knife to New Zealand. I forgot, and when I couldn’t find any in the supermarkets, managed to find a department store in Napier with a kitchenware section. On the way home, I forgot to put the knife in my suitcase, and it was confiscated from my personal item.

We do carry-on luggage on the trip over, but buy a suitcase to check when we fly home. This gives us a whole bag to pack our souvenirs into.

I've also had to buy shampoo and conditioner in Italy. But found out...I like theirs better than ours.

Posted by
330 posts

We ALWAYS have to buy a wine opener as they are not allowed in carry on bags. Then we leave it in the last hotel as we head to airport to fly home.

As long as it does not have a foil cutter, it is allowed. I fly just about everywhere with a wing type wine opener.

Posted by
10 posts

We didn't pack enough over-the-counter medicines for our 3-week European tour. My husband forgot to pack the Aleve he takes each day. It is not available over-the-counter in any of the nine countries we visited. Thankfully, a nice fellow traveler gave us a baggy full. Also, I didn't pack cortisone cream. I never use this at home, but I had a terrible rash on our trip. It took me 3 countries for a pharmacist to allow me to have it. When I did get it, it was 1/4 the strength of the one from home. It turns out I was allergic to the material on the bus seats. Who knew? I added both of those medicines to my packing list.

Posted by
729 posts

In 1988 we stayed at in a cabin on a farm with horses in the Clinch mountains for a week before eventually heading to Nashville. Unfortunately I discovered I had weirdly forgot to include any pants in my luggage. We had to make a trip to Knoxville to purchase jeans to last me several weeks. A good memory was meeting Skeeter Davis backstage at the Opry and Jim Reeves' widow Mary at her museum. I discovered a stack of jeans sitting on my bed when we got home.

Posted by
2108 posts

Marie--We have never forgotten anything on our European trips, but in the US it has happened many times. During a move from GA to NY, my husband was loading the SUV and my duffel bag was left behind. Not just that, but we actually ran over it with our tow car, and we both commented that we didn't see a speed bump. Sure enough several hours later at a rest stop, we realized the bag was not there. I used a pay phone and called the hotel and they had it, and shipped it to our new address. In the meantime, I showed up to upstate NY in shorts, and it was snowing with quite a bit of snow on the ground. Not fun, lol!

I have also accidentally packed only our son's hiking pants and not our daughters for a backpacking trip. She was about 10 and did not think it was nearly as funny as I did;) On that same trip I forgot to pack our dinners. We didn't starve though.

Posted by
420 posts

mosquito repellent - last trip to Japan at the last minute I took out my mosquito repellent thinking we’ll be in the city and won’t need it. We needed it in city parks and other green spaces. I bought 2 different Japanese brands. They lasted exactly 20 minutes and then you would need to re-apply. The brand I usually buy last until you wash it off and you don’t even have to apply it to your whole body.