What I Can’t Travel Without

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A while back a fellow travel blogger asked other travel bloggers what 5 things we couldn’t travel without. It was so great to collaborate and contribute to the post. Here’s the post: Upon reading other’s responses, I kept thinking “Oh my gosh, how could I forget that??” So this post is going to expand on those 5 things and just list all my favorite things to have while I travel. (I skip a few basics like ID, passport, sunglasses, toiletries and other essentials).

But first, let’s start with my original 5:

1. A scarf-I love to visit churches, so having a scarf is handy if I’m in a sleeveless top. And sometimes bathrooms run out of paper towels or I get super hot and sweaty. So yes, my scarves are gross by the time my trip is done. But that’s also why my travel wardrobe is pretty plain, simple colors that I wear over and over again and work with the various colorful scarves I’ve brought. I always make sure to pack 2-3 outfits that can use the same scarf as an accessory! I bought this scarf from Cost Plus in every color available at the time, they are perfect for mix and match travel.

sporting my favorite scarf as I’m getting ready to go into St. Peter’s, Vatican

2. Portable phone charger-after all my photos and videos, my battery is dying towards the end of the day. This is usually the case when I’m in the US and have cell service. I text my dad endlessly with photos. Maybe my phone wouldn’t die if I wasn’t rubbing it in so much…in any case, take a phone charger if your phone is your map, your camera, your wallet, your ticket holder, your life. I bought this one from Amazon but it can be a bit heavy. But it lasts for a really long time and you can charge 2 devices at once. I’m used to carrying my kindle and my journal with me at all times so the extra weight from this isn’t noticeable to me. 

3. Journal-I love documenting my day and reflecting on my experience, and it’s so useful when I’m back home writing my blog post. I am totally into Bullet Journaling. In Italy, every day after seeing the major sites or museums for the day, I’d find some place with great views (or great people-watching) to have a drink (by the time I discovered what a Spritz was and how much I loved it, that was my drink of choice) and start journaling my day. This Moleskin journal is my favorite, and these pens have been perfect-no bleeding through the pages.

I used my journal to track our cross-country road trip in 2018

4. Kindle-I love to read and carry my Kindle anywhere. When I find a cafe or bar where I want to relax with a drink, I also like to have my book with me. This is the way I also got used to traveling alone. On my work trips, I had to go out and eat alone. Room service can be pricey and honestly, I didn’t want to sit in a room by myself! So I’d find a place that was recommended, or served what I was craving (ahem, mac and cheese), or had a good vibe. I’d go in, sit down, order a cocktail (gin and tonic, please!) and start reading. 

5. Good shoes-on a most trips, I walk at least 10 miles a day. Not gonna make it through that with poorly made shoes! I have plantar fasciitis and I do not wear the shoes I should for it. So my feet hurt ALOT by the end of the day. They probably would not matter what. So what shoes do I wear? I have a pair of New Balance sneakers that I got super cheap from DSW right before I left for Italy. They are amazing. But I also hate the look of sneakers with everything. I love my Dansko clogs, but they are bulky and these were not good for the cobblestone streets of Prague. But overall these shoes are so comfortable and great for long days. These Hush Puppies Mary Janes are awesome-I wore them on both my Disneyland trips in 2018. These Chacos sandals are also great. Whatever your shoe, make sure you break them in before you go!

So, now onto the other vital travel “must-haves” based on other’s lists:

  • Podcasts, music, headphones-I love listening to podcasts while walking around exploring. If I can get a cheap deal on Spotify Premium (either a trial or 3 months for the price of 1) or Amazon Music or some other music service, I’ll usually do that before a big trip so I can make some good exploration playlists. I also love to listen to “Stuff You Should Know”-the hosts are hilarious, have a great rapport and I learn so much! It’s my go-to podcast when traveling. 
  • Flip flops-I live in flip flops….even though they aren’t the best shoes. But I can’t go anywhere without them! My favorites: Rainbow.
  • Sunscreen-I often forget to put this on, and often end up with a sunburn. I almost always pack it, but just don’t use it. Always pack sunscreen and remember to apply it!
  • Maps-I always get print maps of areas, especially if I’m in another country or may be in an area where I won’t have service. I rarely get lost when I have my print maps (I can’t say never because some cities are just impossible. I’m looking at you, Venice).
  • A good purse- my favorite is this cross body purse that has locks on it, and when my scarf was tied around it, it covers the lock. I recommend something like that. I love it; this purse was a perfect purchase for me, and will forever be my travel purse. It was a great size because I carry my kindle and journal everywhere, and I also buy a small fortune in postcards, so it was easy to carry them, and my water bottle fit. This purse goes everywhere with me now, it’s a great travel bag! This purse should actually probably be in my top 5, I just adore it!
  • I also have these small pouches that hook to my bra to carry my backup credit card and all my extra cash. I keep one main card and some cash in my wallet, but the rest I am able to hide away on my body. I take them with me most times I travel, just as a precaution. 
My scarf and purse in the same photo! Perfect travel items.

How about you? What are things you can’t travel without?

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