Thailand. Kenya. France. Norway. Barcelona. Utah. Northern Minnesota. It doesn't matter where I travel, I always bring these 9 things.
I bring a lot of other things as well, it's just I live by the "you can generally buy or find anything you need wherever you're going" attitude. If it's raining like crazy I can buy a rain jacket. If I need more shampoo, I'll hit up a store. If I lose a charger, I'll find a new one.
I try to pack for what I'm getting myself in to but these 9 are my must have's.
1. PACKING CUBES
I swear by these guys. They’ll make your life and your trip 10x easier. They help keep your clothes organized and compact.
Don’t be the person who has to empty your ENTIRE BAG just to find what you were looking for at the very bottom. When you use packing cubes, you can pull everything out and it’s still organized. I roll my clothes up to maximize space and sort my cubes by 'type' of clothing but I've seen it done by outfits too.
I ALWAYS pack a scarf. They do it all. I wear scarves so much that I recently posted a photo without a scarf and someone called me out asking where I was hiding it.
My scarves are generally oversized to maximize their capabilities. They're more functional to me than a fashion statement, I use them primarily to keep warm! Being able to cover my neck or head if it gets chilly is huge for keeping me comfortable and in a good mood. Oh come on, I'm not the only one who gets cold way too easily and crabby even quicker, right?
I also like that they can travel with me and not get in the way. I always bring it along when we leave in the morning so I have it for those cool nights if we don't return. It's usually warm during the day so I'll tie it to my purse or tie it around my waist and then wear it at night. I don't even notice it!
They're also good to be used as a shawl, blanket, pillow, and towel. I'm telling you my friend they really do it all!
Yep. Straight up sandwich baggies. I always seem to accumulate odds and ends along the way. Baggies help me keep my backpack and purse pockets clean. They're really helpful because you can see through them as well as, like the packing cubes, you don't have to dump everything you own out to find that one thing at the very bottom. You can take them out per bag and keep yourself organized.
They're also good to use when you need to protect something from water. Bring a few of these in different sizes because you never know what it might be. They take up hardly any space and weigh almost nothing. I promise it's worth it!
Finally, this is my coin purse when I travel. Instead of digging out my whole wallet or keeping it jammed with coins. I use a baggie so I can see how much I have and get to it quickly.
4. WATER BOTTLE
I always have my water bottle with me, even when I'm not traveling. I love a classic Nalgene. They're sturdy and reliable. You need know what situation you might get yourself in and having water with you is just a smart thing to do.
I'm not going to lie. I didn't know these were called carabiners until I met Scott. Still, I'd been traveling with them even before knowing him and their name. I always bring 2 or 3 with and keep them on my backpack. I use them to keep anything that's not inside of my backpack attached to the outside.
This last trip it connected my shoes and water bottle, which was in a side pocket, to a strap. I'm lucky the water bottle was attached because when we were on the scooter it flew out of the side pocket but held on because of the carabiner.
6. DECK OF CARDS
If you’re traveling with someone, it’s a good way to pass the time. If you’re alone, it’s a good ice breaker with strangers. Especially if you’re in a hostel or staying with a family in another country, break out the cards and teach them a new game or have them teach you. If you want, you can leave the cards when you go!
I use whatever's easiest and most convenient when I travel. I'm really loving our Google Pixel 2 phones. They're usually perfect for what we need if the lighting is right. They do a ridiculous good job capturing what we need. Plus for blogging and social media the photo quality is fine. If we were making prints or working for a client it's a different story, we use the Canon for that.
We also just got the wide Moment lens to go with them and we've taken some unreal photos with the combination. I highly, highly, highly recommend the Moment lens. You won't regret it!
I'm also a big fan of the Sony RX100 V. It's a simple point and shoot that takes some great photos, again, with good lighting. We don't take our 2 Canon's with us when we travel because they just get too heavy. This is what I generally use instead. It's also has ridiculous slow motion capabilities for an affordable price. It makes our travel videos look even more epic!
Finally, we do take our Canon 5D Mark IV with us when we travel. It's the best overall camera for photos and videos in our opinion. It's also what we use when we work with clients. Scott primarily shoots with this one when we travel. It's his main camera but especially when we have a photo we might want to print or low light situations.
I’m a big believer in moments and feelings and names and streets and actually putting a pen to paper and slowing down. No matter how many times I've told myself I'll remember, the truth is, I don't. Not the details at least. I always, always bring a journal and although it never feels like it's enough, I try to write down our days and feelings and all the things that happened during the day. There's something so special about going back to a travel journal years later and
I like to bring a small journal for two reasons 1. It saves space and 2. I don't feel as much pressure to write and write and write. The small journal seems manageable. Don't forget a pen or pencil!
9. JUST ONE BOOK
I trrryyyy to bring a paperback book because it’s easier to pack but it doesn't always work out that way. My advice is to only take one book when you travel because you can usually buy or trade another on the road and truthfully, you never get as much time as you'd like for reading. If you want to save on space and weight, leave the extra book.
I'll forever recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Right now I'm reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
I just finished My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
On Deck is Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
And after that Educated by Tara Westover
BONUS: A GOOD ATTITUDE, KINDNESS, AND A SMILE
Please, please, please, when you travel remember you are a guest in their home/country/where ever you are. Treat people the way you want to be treated. People are really great and helpful and kind if you are great and helpful and kind to them. Have an open mind, smile more, and thank them for sharing a bit of their home with you!
I would love to hear what your must have travel items are! Let me know!
Happy traveling my friend.
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