Traveling is at the top of my “favorites list”. Jetting across the country, seeing the U.S.A by car or flying overseas I have a list of “must haves” and it is imperative I don’t leave home without them! When you travel do you haphazardly pack and throw things together at the last minute or do you calculate each step of the way? I admit and it could be considered a bit screwy, but I am a calculated packer! When I travel the last thing I want to find myself doing is rushing off to the nearest drug or grocery store to locate one of my necessities. I absolutely do not want to find myself having to locate a place to pick up an item I could have easily packed. Are you on board with me?
When I travel I do enjoy engaging with locals whether it be in Paris, Philly or Phoenix. I find that there is much to be gained from talking with local folks with respect to great places to eat, off the beaten path places to visit, local music venues to check out, backroads to venture down…you get it! An unforeseen illness or accident could prompt a visit to the local pharmacy, grocery or department store. There have been occasions where I’ve had to hunt down medicated eye drops, meds for a yeast infection, a skin rash, a sudden bout of Montezuma’s revenge, socks, bandaids, and motion sickness tablets. Traveling with kids certainly means you are more likely to leave home without every item needed – especially on a trip abroad. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pack for my daughters so this post is in regards to just me and what I consider “travel necessities”. It seems since we’ve become “empty nesters” we are finding many more travel opportunities. This my friends makes me very, very happy!
Here is my list of “must haves”:
Nail file/emery board – one of the last times we traveled going down the escalator with my bags a rambunctious little girl bumped my bag and in my effort to keep it from tumbling down the escalator I broke a newly manicured nail. Thank goodness I could at least file it neatly while waiting to board the plane.
Water – Again, airplane cabins are so dry and can easily cause us to dehydrate. I drink tons of water and only water, with an occasional ginger ale while flying. I always have a bottle of water in my car too!
Hair clip or elastic – Some days it’s just nice to get those strands out of your face. Also comes in handy if faced with windy days or zooming around on a motorbike or boat!
Socks – For cold airplane cabins, or over air-conditioned car travel, it’s nice to snuggle into a cozy pair of socks. Secondly, when I stay in hotels I wear them to walk around on the icky carpet – there are tons of germs there – you know that – right? These are my favorite socks right now – thick and cottony, comfy and colorful!
Moisturizer – Once more, to help my hands and skin stay hydrated in a dry airplane cabin and because I wash my hands a million times to prevent spreading germs.
Moleskin – If you’ve never carried this with you while traveling you must! It is a total life saver for preventing blisters. It is also great at helping to break in new shoes!
A shawl or large scarf – Not only are these great for polishing an outfit but they come in handy as a cover on chilly planes, in cars or if you’ve gotten a bit too much sun.
My current read – I find this is my best time to plow through numerous chapters and pass the time while traveling. I just finished this book about Josephine Bonaparte – Napoleon’s wife! It held my interest from cover to cover. Full of historical fact and an interesting peek into the royal way in which they lived.
Phone, iPad & Laptop chargers – Obviously! I also like to carry a small portable one in case my phone goes dead when I am not near an outlet for charging.
Pen & small note book – For jotting down names of places we visit, a great wine I stumble across, or brilliant thoughts I come up with when I am on holiday.
Dental floss or toothpicks – Need I tell why I carry these?
Prescription meds & OTC pain relievers, antacids, & bandaids – Self explanatory necessities. I put a variety of OTC pills (Tylenol,Aleve,Advil,Excedrin) in a small container for the occasional headache or achy, tired feet.
Pocket size sewing kit – contains safety pins, a needle and thread and a small button or two – you never know when you’ll pop a button or a have hem fall out. Sewing is one of my least favorite tasks – just ask my adoring husband! But in an emergency I can handle it.
Baseball cap – for bad hair or lazy days. Also great for sun protection and wind control for tossed locks.
Small cross body purse – Great for hands free shopping, digging out the drivers license at TSA security check, keeping my valuables close and safe, and it fits easily into my “second” item when boarding the airplane – leaving me with one carryon and one personal item!
In the photo below you can see my cross body wallet – it doesn’t look great to see that lovely white strap across my body – but it kept my money safe while in Europe and most of the time it was completely under my clothes. This is not the bag I am referring to above but I do recommend one of these while traveling internationally as pick pockets are virtually helpless when trying to get their sticky fingers on my money and or passport. Also; note the orange shawl – I even used it as an umbrella when we were caught in a quick Paris downpour.
All of the items I’ve listed easily fit into my luggage and backpack. Below I’ve condensed the list so you can print one for your next vacation! HAPPY TRAVELS!
NAIL FILE/EMERY BOARD
HAIR CLIP OR ELASTIC
LARGE SHAWL OR SCARF
SMALL PEN & NOTEBOOK
PRESCRIPTION MEDS & OTC PILLS
SMALL CROSS-BODY PURSE