I have traveled more in the past two years than I have in my entire life. Living in Grand Cayman and being as close as I am to my family has proven difficult. So, I have made quite a few trips back to New England – 6 or 7 times to be exact, with another trip just weeks away. Before moving, I visited Cayman 4 or 5 times because my fiance lived here for close to a year before I moved. That amounted to a lot of time organizing and reorganizing luggage.
That said, I have become pretty packing-savvy. My dad would probably disagree (*lifts suitcase from trunk* – “Sheesh Kate, whatcha got in here?!”), and he’s probably right considering I tend to pack twice as much as I need. BUT, I’ve at least nailed the essentials aspect of traveling.
Here are 5 things I NEVER travel without:
I LOVE Simple Cleansing Wipes. While you shouldn’t remove your makeup with facial wipes every day, these are key for travel. You never know what kind of bathroom access you are going to have, and we all know that you shouldn’t go to bed with your makeup on.
I usually opt for the sensitive skin option because my skin has been unpredictable since I moved to the Caribbean. Going from 25 years in New England where there are 4 seasons, to year-round summer weather in Grand Cayman has tricked my skin into going nuts whenever I travel. These wipes are refreshing, very easy on the skin, and cheap!
2) Baggallini “teenee bagg”:
I think this “teenee” bag was meant to function as a wallet, but I use it to hold my passport and plane tickets. I’d been on the lookout for a nice passport wallet, but the strap on this caught my eye. With all of the immigration screenings at airport these days, it’s tiring to have to dig your passport and ticket out each time you need to show proof of your identity. Especially if you’re the type to put everything in your backpack to free up your hands.
The long cross-body strap is great for discreetly having an extra “item” when you’re limited to one carry-on and a personal item. It’s so small… who’s really going to say anything? The strap can also be adjusted to half its length if you’d rather carry it over your shoulder and tucked under your arm. This or any other tiny shoulder bag would be super useful for flying, particularly because it stays out of the way.
My sister turned me on to this tiny bar of energy and I am so glad she did! The Jackery Mini Portable Charger has saved my butt on more than one occasion! I have an iPhone 5s and a Samsung S4 and have been able to get a full charge with some power leftover using this bad boy.
It is a lifesaver for any person who travels by plane, car or train. It doesn’t take long to charge and it takes up little space in your purse (it’s slightly larger than a lipstick).
$12.99, available on Amazon
Estée Lauder (and other brands like Clinique and Lancôme) runs a special where you can get a toiletry bag filled with sample-sized products if you spend a certain dollar amount – GWP (“Gift With Purhase”). Estée Lauder is my go-to because they almost always have a miniature version of my favorite facial lotion and face wash. It’s a particularly generous amount, so it goes a long way.
Rather than traveling with the full-sized versions of my facial products, I save my GWP finds to use as toiletries. They’re perfect because they’re all under 3oz so they can easily be carried on your person if you aren’t checking a bag.
$56.98, available on Amazon and most major department stores.
Being self-employed requires me to travel with my laptop. Always. Add that to everything else I travel with and you
are looking at a lot to carry! Think about it: laptop, iPad, makeup (too expensive to risk checking it!), plastic bag filled with my important 3oz or less liquids, a book, a sweater, water, snacks, a donut pillow, etc. Sometimes I even stuff my purse in my backpack for one less thing to worry about!
Relying on a shoulder bag when you have that much to lug around is a nightmare. Not to mention the fact that it’s terrible on your neck, your purse shoulder and back. Traveling with a comfortable backpack is a must! Plus, they usually fit under the seat in front of you. If so, you can count this as your personal item (with your purse inside, haha suckers!) and carry another bag as your “carry-on” – beating the system, one bag at a time.
$49.99, available on Amazon or NorthFace
Hope these travel essentials make packing for your next trip a bit easier!
If you like reading about travel, check out some of my most recent adventures: One Night In Amsterdam or Tanzania: 11 Planes, 2 Boats, 1,000+ Driving Miles. Or, take a look at my post about how I used Credit Card Reward Points to travel to Africa for FREE.