I really do try to travel light. Seriously I really do. Those who know me by now will have spat out or choked on their drink. I’ve gotten better over the years. My last 2 trips I decanted shampoo, moisturiser, toner, cleanser, body lotion, coconut oil etc, which did save weight and space. That though was soon replaced with my suspension trainer/trx, skipping rope, extra gym clothes and an extra pair of shoes. I really do try. It’s liberating leaving the house with just my phone and purse (American English wallet) even more if they’re stuffed in pockets and I’m hands free. P few weeks ago got me a travel/suitcase scale. I didn’t know whether to throw it at him or say thank you.
As much as I’ve learnt travelling to leave behind the non essential items (can’t think of any at the moment), there a few essentials I’ve learnt to pack that save space, weight, sanity, tight situations. I’d like to point out that aside from extra underwear and a few more tops, I pack more or less the same if I’m staying for a weekend, a week or longer.
A small pair of craft scissors. Not nail scissors. You’ll be surprised what you need a pair of scissors for travelling. Cutting out hanger ribbons, loose threads.
Plasters. Blister ones included.
Mini first aid kit. More plasters and I throw in a small bottle iodine in a zip lock bag. I’ve never used it and there’s usually a pharmacy open somewhere but you never know.
Painkillers in carry on. Painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen) are my last resort for travel migraines. I usually end up taking one no matter how much water I’ve drunk.
Tissues. I usually take a few individual packs of mini tissues. Sometimes you get caught out and I’m not talking about a blocked nose.
Snacks! I take in my carry on trail mix, dates, chocolate, banana oat protein cookies. My emergency stash, I’ve raided many times.
Fold up travel mirror. I like doing my make up in natural light. Many hotel rooms or self catering apartments only have mirrors in the bathroom with no natural light. I find my powder compact mirror isn’t very usual for full face apart from touch ups.
Travel sewing kit. These are really small. Button loose? Easy to fix.
Copy of Passport, Driving licence and ID. Just in case.
Chewing gum. To avoid travel breath.
Shower cap. Not every place I’ve stayed at has provided one. I’m the one that leaves with complimentary shower gel (if not tested on animals), shower cap, loofah, so I always have one for the next trip.
Pinky Puff. Maybe this is just me. My sister knitted for me when I was a little, a penguin I named Pinky Puff. Every trip I’ve made he’s come with me. My check list (I write one as I always forget something like to feed the cats before I leave, pyjamas), reads passport, chargers, camera, Pinky Puff.
Tea, coffee, oats, spice, loose tea strainer ball. An odd one! I find it’s easier to take my own tea. I like my darjeeling and green tea! Even when I visit family, I take my tea. It doesn’t take up much room, but every time I walk through Anything To Declare I always think will they recognise it’s tea if they pull me aside. I don’t know why I think like that as there’s usually no one in Anything To Declare. Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne) is for my Tone It Up Meta D drink and to add to oats for breakfast. I know I can buy everything but my tea when I land, but I find it’s easier and cheaper to take it. My last trip I threw in last minute, coffee. I was staying self catering and thought they must have a cafeteria. They didn’t and I ended up using the tea strainer ball instead. (Worked a treat!) You need a little bit of ‘home’ or grounding travelling and for me that’s my tea, coffee and yoga.
Lightweight yoga mat. Emphasis on lightweight yet still cushioned. Easy to roll out and no excuses to not do yoga and workouts.
Time of month essentials even if it’s not that time. Travelling can mess with our systems.
Smaller deodorant. I use an ammonium alum one which can be heavy! I picked up a travel one from WholeFoods Piccadilly London when I was last there just for travelling. Saves space and weight.
59ml/2 fl oz Dr Bronner Peppermint Castile Soap. This is a multi purpose soap that can be used for washing clothes, hand soap, cleaning make up brushes, floors, hair (not of me), shower gel (not for me), accidents that happen. Previously I used shampoo or shower gel to remove stains, wash underwear over night when my luggage was delayed. Was I a Girl Guide? For a while!
A small roll of sticky tape. I use this to tape down bottle lids. There’s nothing worse than opening a toiletry wash bag and finding something’s leaked. Everywhere.
Plastic Bags. Laundry coming back, any present that might leak.
A travel pillow. This I take on long journeys/flights. It helps with achy necks sleeping or provides extra seat comfort. Long car journeys, I take a normal pillow!
A Smile. Yes, I get cranky, tired, irritable, hangry travelling. Everybody does. But I’ve learnt, everybody is in the same boat, a sleep mask or sunglasses can block out bright lights, delays happen (if you travel later in the day expect them), the flight attendants are just doing their job, water’s over priced. I can whinge later. A smile will help me more.
Travel Tip: Put as much heavy stuff as possible in your carry on. Don’t need to explain that one!
What are your travel essentials? Do you take a lucky travel item with you? Have you ever had you suitcase checked? That happened to me on a flight coming back from Florida. TSA opened it in transit and didn’t put the padlock back on. I was more than annoyed. Not that they checked my case, but anybody could have put something in it and how would I have explained that in Anything To Declare?