You can probably guess, I travel a lot; I’ve been to more than 30 countries and have spent an accumulative 3+ years traveling. Maybe one day I’ll go back and tally up all the flights and miles traveled!
Just like the phrase, “Never trust a skinny chef”, it’s equally true to “Never trust an unexplored travel agent”. What we do not only relies on attention to detail, but on personal experience and lessons learned from your desired cities and countries.
Here are my top 10 things I never, ever travel without.
Note: this list doesn’t include the standard clothes, makeup, swimsuit, camera, chargers, etc. - you know thaaaaat drill. This list is different in that it’s the unusual things that are usually the first things I pack! If you want a full packing list, download the attachment at the end of this article!
1. Essential Oils
I believe in a really wholistic view of health; I don’t take pharmaceuticals for headaches or illness or a good night’s sleep. Except for one, see number 6 below! I think the ingredients of gum and mints you can buy at the grocery store are rather shocking. I rely on essential oils to cure or aid my body naturally.
So I travel with;
lavender essential oil for relaxation and promoting a good night sleep, helping me beat jet lag
peppermint essential oil for fresh breath, additionally the rush of cold mint also helps wake me up if I ever need it
bergamot essential oil for a bright, fresh, clean scent - I use this in lieu of perfume
a proprietary blent of oil called OnGuard from DoTerra meant to support a healthy immune system which is clearly important after a flight
2. A Reusable Bag
It’s 2019 and there is no excuses for wasting single-use plastic bags, while at home or traveling. I always carry the 24/7 Bag from Flip & Tumble with me. It’s super durable and it compresses into a tiny ball for easy travel!
P.S. Use code SE10OFF so you get 10% off your purchase! This is NOT sponsored I just LOVE this product and it’s so good for the planet to use these instead of a plastic bag. Code works until Feb 1, 2019.
3. Face Care
For me, having good skin is better than having good makeup. Vitamin C Serum (the C-Firma from Drunk Elephant is my favorite!), sunscreen, and a jade face roller are always with me. I’ve been wearing sunscreen on my face, neck, and chest every day since I was 12. Thanks, mom! Protecting your skin with sunscreen, give it a natural glow with Vitamin C, and massaging it with a face roller is hugely important for longevity, but also for looking good in all of your travel photos.
4. Exercise Equipment
No excuses exercising while traveling. I always bring my yoga mat and resistance bands.
5. A Reusable Water Bottle
Just like the reusable bag, at this point in my life this is not unusual at all. It’s 2019, we should all be carrying reusable water bottles with us because plastic is horrible for the planet.
You’d be surprised how many places you can safely fill it up with clean drinking water while you’re traveling, even in developing countries.
This is embarrassing, but I’ll tell you anyways. When I studied abroad in Paris in 2012 the last night before we moved into our dorms we had a nice night out, a nice dinner at a nice Parisian cafe, in the 1st arrondissement. The next day, I had terrible, terrible food poisoning. So bad in fact sitting on the RER to our new University my friends were frightened by the color of my face. Once we arrived at our stop, I barely made it to a restroom. Barely.
From then on, I always, ALWAYS travel with Imodium and a form of electrolytes. I know I said I don’t believe in pharmaceuticals, but this is my exception. Other medicines I never leave home without are zinc, B-complex (for energy), spirulina, and oregano.
7. Dr Bronner’s Soap
I don’t usually brand drop but this one, yes. When I travel this stuff is so multi functional I use it to wash my face, hands, body, hair and clothes. Talk about multifunctional!
8. Turkish towel
I’m sure you know by now I’m all about bringing things on trips that are multifunctional. I won’t bring something I can only use in one instance. A Turkish towel is great for the beach, a picnic, post-shower, a blanket when it’s cold, as a bathing suit cover up, a skirt, a skirt, etc. etc. etc.
9. A Journal and Pen
I’m a huge believer in journaling. I journal every morning to organize my thoughts, talk through my feelings, unleash my desires for the day. But I particularly love journaling while traveling so I can take notes, remember important words, phrases, and locations, and to write down my experiences and emotions.
10. An External Battery Pack
I think these are getting far more common, but I wanted to include it here cause it would be horrible if your phone or camera died before “getting the shot” and some iconic location like the Eiffel Tower or Machu Picchu!
What unusual items are essential for you when you travel?