One of the best perks of being self employed is being able to make my own schedules and in turn, fit in more traveling than would be possible if I only had two weeks of paid vacation a year. That’s kind of the upside of not having typical benefits or insurance through my job! I have gotten to go to so many cool places either for my job or because of the flexibility it allows me and I love that!
Through all of the traveling lately I’ve come to realize that there are certain travel “essentials” that make the process go a little bit more smoothly! I’m kind of a planner at heart, so I love being prepared for whatever might happen!
Pouches and Baggu bag. I try to compartmentalize my packing as much as I can so that smaller items aren’t just floating around inside of a larger bag. Believe me, digging around in your bag for Dramamine right before your plane takes off is not fun. I keep all of the things related to sleeping (my sleep mask, Unisom, earplugs, headphones, etc) in one pouch along with any medicines (I pack chewable pepto, dramamine, Aleve, tums, and blister bandaids). I actually leave all of this stuff in that pouch when I unpack my bags at home too, because I rarely have a need for them there. That makes it really easy when it comes time to pack again! I also pack all chargers (phone, laptop, etc) all together in a separate pouch. Pouches have made travel a lot less chaotic for me. Clutter stresses me out and gives me anxiety!
I also keep a baggu bag in my suitcase or carryon for those extras that you seem to pick up when you’re traveling. I used to use a thin reusable grocery bag (which is a totally acceptable substitute if you don’t have a baggu bag) but I love how this durable little bag folds up tiny into its own little case.
Moccasins. I always take my Minnetonka Moccasins when I travel! They’re comfortable but still cute. They can be worn in your hotel or on the plane as slippers, or you can always wear them out and about. I don’t even road trip without these!!
Go Toob Travel Containers. These are my favorite travel containers because they don’t leak. I like to take my own hair products when I go on trips and these are so great because your expensive shampoos don’t end up in a puddle inside of your quart sized ziploc. I’ve had bad experiences with cheaper bottles, but these have been awesome. They’re easy to fill and clean and they don’t leak. I buy the one oz sizes so that I have more room for a variety of products.
I also love the Go Tubbs they make. I have a small one specifically for my ear plugs so they’re easy to find and another one for medicines. They’re really great for corralling any super tiny items!
Extra contact lens cases. I put my foundation and other liquids that I don’t plan to use a ton of while I’m away in contact lens cases. For the most part, these cases are somewhat leakproof because they are meant to carry saline solution and contact lenses, so they’re ideal for transporting things like small quantities of hair cream or moisturizer. I’m all about trying to fit everything I need into my 3-1-1 ziploc! Bonus tip: bring extra ziploc bags in case things leak or your bag breaks.
Compression socks. I became a big fan of compression socks as a distance runner. When I was training for my first marathon, I found out the hard way how painful fluid build up in your legs can be. I tend to swell a lot when I travel, so I’ve found that compression socks are somewhat of a must have for me. I bought mine on Amazon.com.
Mophie charger. I got this for Christmas and I love it! I’m constantly draining the battery of my iPhone when I’m traveling, so having a Mophie in my purse is awesome because I can charge anything that charges via USB, like my Kindle or iPad. And I can share it with a friend if I need to, as well. This is one of the reasons I opted for the power bank instead of the bulky mophie phone case.
Sleep mask + Ear plugs These two things ensure that I can sleep just about anywhere! When we got to Italy last year there was a big party happening outside of our hotel room and I just put my ear plugs in and drifted to sleep so easily. I don’t go anywhere without these!
Mini Perfume Atomizer
If you’re really trying to max out your 3-1-1 ziploc, you’ll want to pick up a couple of these. You can put all kinds of things in them and they’re super tiny!! I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Evernote is great for travelers because it allows you to save PDFs and it makes them searchable! I like to use it to save copies of important travel documents and of course, my Passport in case something were to happen and I lost it. And you could use it as a travel journal if you wanted to, which I think would be really cool. I also use it to make exhaustive packing checklists. I make a packing checklist for my personal item and my carry on so I know exactly what I need to pack. It helps me know what I have, too, so I don’t leave things behind when heading somewhere new or going home.
So, there you have it! A few of my favorite must-have travel items. I’m constantly adding to this list though, so maybe I’ll do a part two in the future! Happy travels, friends!