Have you ever gone on a trip, and almost immediately regretted leaving behind that one item that would have made things easier? So have I, which is why I put together this list of the essential items to remember to pack, even when you don’t have much space. (See also: 15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler)

1. Comfortable Footwear

Getting caught without the right shoes can really ruin a trip. This is not an excuse to bring every pair of shoes you own, but you do need a practical, comfortable pair of shoes that will work for a variety of situations.

Best option: A solid pair of sneakers that you can dress up or down. Of course, your fashion choices will depend on your style, but neutral colors tend to pair with a wider range of outfits, for both men and women. Try colors like black, beige, or white for the most versatility.

Comfort is even more important. You will be surprised how often the right sneakers can get you out of a fashion bind and enable you to fully explore the place you’re visiting without worrying about blisters or tiring your feet too much.

Some travelers walk 10 miles a day or more when visiting a new city. Walking is an amazing way to see a new place, while helping you keep in shape while traveling. My wife and I travel with Lems shoes, which are extremely comfortable and roll up if you need to jam them in a small space. The black version can even pass in more formal situations.

2. Versatile Pieces

When you’re trying to pack light while not leaving any essentials behind, a good packing strategy is to pick out pieces that are multipurpose.

For women, a large scarf is a great piece that can be used in many situations. You can use it as a blanket on the bus when the air conditioning is too cold. You can bring it to the beach to use as a towel or just a place to sit while having a picnic. Plus, it’s always good to have as a cover up.

If you’re going to a warm destination, you can…