It’s no secret that we travel a whole lot. It’s one of our greatest pleasures. You might think that by now I’ve got packing down to a science and in a way, I do. but I always use a packing list and my list always includes these travel essentials. I don’t leave home without them.
Lightweight luggage that rolls.
The best investment we ever made was in the lightest weight carryons we could find–and light weight larger bags, too. The carry-ons weigh about five pounds, which is light. In some foreign countries we’ve had to lug our bags up long staircases or move them from one place or another. Even though I think I pack pretty lightly, the fact is that if I’m headed to a cold climate or a place with variable climates, my needs always weigh more than I want to haul around. So lightweight luggage is a must. And all our bags roll.
Have you noticed the ease with which characters in old movies carry their bags? It’s clear the actor is carrying an empty bag, because we never, EVER haul our bags with such ease. Not to mention how small those old bags were. How did they possibly fit half a dozen outfits in such a small bag?
Reality bites and it bites especially if your luggage is heavy. We once had to pay $300 in excess baggage fees in Ireland. That won’t happen again.
I have a small cosmetics brush, tiny lipsticks, travel-sized toiletries and cosmetics–the weight these tiny items add is negligible and they are so convenient. I don’t always like the soaps and shampoos hotels carry, especially in Europe, where they tend to be obnoxiously perfumed, so I carry small sizes of those, too. I have a friend who carries her full sized shampoo and conditioner everywhere, even for just a few days. It’s inexplicable; she could just repackage them in a tiny portable bottle. I am not willing to add all that weight.
Tiny pad and lightweight pen.
When I’m out and about in a new city I often want to take notes about things I see in my travels. Yes, regular notes that don’t involve talking into my phone, although I do that, too. A tiny pad and pen are always in my purse.
Meds in my carryon.
It’s shocking how many people send their meds off in checked bags. They have far more faith in the airlines than I do–or far less experience with them than I do. I always carry my meds with me at all times, at least the important ones. Things like pain relievers and over-the-counter drugs usually do go in my carry-on, and are sized to how long I’ll be gone.
Chargers like crazy. And small, portable battery packs.
We are a device-heavy family, with two Kindles, two smart-phones and a laptop. Some are Apple products but not all. Plus, I love to take photos with my phone. Chargers are MUST and we carry several, as well as those small, portable battery packs that allow us to charge anywhere.
Two different credit cards
I carry two different cards and my husband carries two others when we go overseas. You never know if a card is going to be usable. In our family, we leave prepared for any eventuality.
What about you? What are YOUR must-haves when you travel?