I love to travel. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, I’m eager to hit the road, especially if it’s an opportunity to explore a new place. As the old adage goes, bring half as much stuff and twice as much money. I wish! Over the years, I’ve gotten packing down to a bit of a science. (My trick is starting early and that way I don’t forget anything.) And while my wardrobe changes depending on the season and the locale, there are a few essentials that I never leave home with out.
Ear plugs and eye mask
A must on the plane, but I also pull these out in many a hotel room. You never know when you’ll end up sleeping right near the elevator or in a room with insufficient window-coverings. I like wax earplugs and airplane issued eye masks. (Which I’ve saved from the odd visit to business class.) They’re not too snug and more comfortable than any I’ve purchased.
I find most airports and airplanes on the nippy side, especially when I’m traveling in summer and dressed in lighter garb. A lightweight scarf like this one keeps out the chill when wrapped around your neck. I also use it as a blanket. And at my designation, it turns into a handy evening wrap. I like the gauzy cotton scarves from the brand free to be. This one is a fun colour for summer.
Hanging toiletry bag
Bathroom counter-top space can be at a premium, especially in Europe or when you’re traveling with a partner. I can always find somewhere to hang this and the clear panels make it easy to find things. I have this one from Baggallini.
Of all the things in my toiletry bag, this one comes in handy at the most unusual times. I’ve even used it to help change a tire! It’s also good for cutting off price tags, opening packages, trimming lose threads, etc. (A small pocketknife works too.) Tweezerman makes among the best.
I’m a voracious reader and used to travel with a suitcase full of books. So when e-readers came out, I was first in line. I often hear people say “I’ll just watch TV or a movie on the plane.” Clearly, they’ve never had their screen malfunction. Not fun on a cross-ocean journey. I have a Sony eReader™ but Kindle and Kobo are great options as well. (And no, an iPad doesn’t cut it. I like to read at the beach and the glare outdoors is unbearable.)
If I don’t like the airplane food, or I wake up in the middle of the night feeling peckish due to jetlag, it’s always good to have something to snack on. As someone who tries to eat gluten free, they’re also a good breakfast option in parts unknown. My two favourites are Elevate Me bars and GoMacro bars.
Got a packing must have? Share the knowledge!
Arriving at the train station in Milan, Italy, August 2012.