I seem to be a on travel kick this week so I’m just going to stick with it. After putting together yesterday’s board, I decided there were a few more things that always find their way into my checked luggage. Again, I’ve spent years perfecting this list and I’ll admit, it’s never quite final.
Before I talk about these items, I want to say that I consider almost everything on my carry-on list essential. If I am traveling domestically, it’s likely most of the items in my carry-on bag end up in my checked bag anyway.
Motion Sickness Bands: This is new on the list since our trip to Maui. I’ve been known to get carsick once or twice so a friend recommended these for the Road to Hana. I don’t know if I had a particularly strong stomach that day or if these really worked but the Road to Hana was sick free. I used these in Lalibela and they definitely helped with the altitude.
Asics Tigers: I wear my pair at least 3 times a week at home and take them with me everywhere. They are really good walking shoes and you can hike in them in a pinch. My pair will not be coming home with me from Ethiopia. The sole is finally peeling and they have definitely seen better days. No regrets though because they served me well for 4 years.
Sanuk Flip Flops: I used to be a die hard Reef fan. I’d only wear Reef. I had a pair that lasted 7 years. They changed the composition of the sole/foot bed part and I’m not loving them as much. I picked up these yoga mat flip flops by Sanuk on a whim and I’m now a convert. They are REALLY comfy. Perfect for lounging around your hotel room or going to the beach. They work as shower shoes too.
Everyday Earrings: I don’t bring a lot of jewelry with my when I travel. I love these studs because they can both stand out or be understated. Again, I get a ton of compliments on them.
Travel Wedding Ring: I don’t actually wear a wedding band back in Seattle. I was given a beautiful antique engagement ring with amazing detail that I feel shouldn’t be covered by a wedding band. If I lost that ring, I’d be devastated. It’s one of a kind and really couldn’t be replaced. When I travel I wear this ring I had made which actually used for our wedding. I have it in silver. It’s actually a beautiful ring. I get a lot of compliments on it. I don’t wear all 5 bands, just 2 or 3. Sometimes when you are a woman traveling alone, you need a little proof that you are really married with drawing too much attention to yourself.
Travel Bag: If I’m taking a long work trip or going to visit family for more than a week or so, I always pack this bag from Timbuk2. It folds up nice, it’s really durable and it’s fairly stylish. You can secure it with a lock if you need to which comes in handy when we’re coming back from Christmas with the family and have more than we originally brought. It can take the roughness of being checked. As a couple, I think we own 3 or 4 Timbuk2 bags and love them all.
Born Sandals: I don’t have this exact pair but I had one very similar that I absolutely love. They are stylish, super comfy and really versatile. I wear them with a dress and nice sweater to work and then later with shorts and tee shirt. I’ve walked in them for hours a day, 4 or 5 days a week and they never gave me a blister.
REI Hiker’s First Aid Kit: It’s always good to have a few supplies and this little kit has everything I need. I take it with me on hikes at home and on weekend trips too.
Leggings: These are cheap, everyday legging from Target. They are great for lounging in or work under a dress. I’ve even exercised in them when my other workout clothes were dirty.
White Camisole: This is staple in my everyday wardrobe. Great for wearing with the boyfriend sweater and perfect for under dresses or tops that may be considered too low. I always pack a few in a couple basic colors.
A good distraction: Sometimes you are stuck on a bus, or in a hotel room with no TV or radio or you just need some mindless entertainment which is when my iphone fits the bill. I have a couple of games on it that are great distractions. My all-time favorite is Ticket to Ride for the iphone. The best $0.99 I’ve spent. Micah and I will play this on our iphones or his ipad on the plane. He’s also a fan of Monopoly for the ipad.
Good Chocolate: Theo chocolate is a must have. When you are having a rough day and don’t have your husband or dog to comfort you in the evening, a few pieces of Theo chocolate will do the trick.
Purex 3 in 1 Laundry Sheets: This is also new on the list. I used to drag around liquid detergent in a bottle but a friend introduced me to this and it’s change my laundry in a sink life. I cut 3 or 4 sheets in half, throw it in a ziploc bag and I’m good to go. I don’t have to worry about leaking and the sheets make my suitcase smell nice.
Hydration Drink Tablets: After Tikal, these are a must have. Micah and I drank 3 liters of water each over 7 hours and still were completely dehydrated after a day of hiking in the humidity. My last trip to Zambia included a few days in a rural area where there were no toilets (unless you count the ones the goats occupied) and few places to pick up more water. A couple Nuun tablets really saved me.
Quality snacks: I always pack a few snack for international trips. It’s not uncommon for me to get into my hotel after midnight and find the hotel kitchen is closed. I also like having something I know my body can handle when I’m having stomach problems. Instant soups or oatmeal are good too.
REI Raincoat: I am from Seattle, I know raingear. Believe me when I say that this is the best raincoat I’ve ever owned. It’s actually my everyday raincoat at home. I’ve tried North Face, Patagonia and Marmot and none of them come close to this one.
Long Boyfriend Sweater: This is good to have and I usually wear it on the plane to save space in my suitcase. Again, you can do a lot with it.
Columbia Armadale Dress: I know I already mentioned this dress yesterday but I have to mention it again. It is a staple in my suitcase and for me in Seattle in the summer. I have this dress in 2 colors and I’m thinking of picking up a couple more. Quick dry, UV repellant, versatile and comfy? Could you ask for anything more?
Obviously, these aren’t the only things in my suitcase but they are the ones that are always there. I might leave behind the sandals if I’m going somewhere cold and replace them with some ballet flats and tights but that’s about it.
Do you have items you always pack no matter the weather or destination?