It’s another day, and that means it’s another opportunity to share my secrets to packing success! I have been reading several other travel blogs lately, and many of them have at least one post on packing and/or travel essentials. But many of these lists leave out some very important things that I view as absolutely essential! People are amazed at how lightly Steve and I pack whether it’s a weekend excursion or a trip of a lifetime lasting 10 days or more. The products below are some of the reasons why we can pack as lightly as we do!
1. Coconut Oil
Here’s the magic: coconut oil is solid at room temperature. This makes it very easy to get through security! I use this as my body lotion, facial moisturizer, hair conditioner (careful–a little goes a long way, but it’s a miracle after a few days at the seaside!), and its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties mean you can even use it as deodorant for a few hours in a pinch.
2. A Water Bottle
Hydration is so important whether you’re flying, hiking, or sitting around! I always take a 32-ounce refillable water bottle wherever I go, and if I know I’ll be out on a long hike or something similar, I take a second bottle as well. A collapsable bottle can save space and keep you hydrated as well!
3. A Travel Mug and Tea Packets
This is a little trick I love to use on long-haul flights or 8 or more hours. There is a hot water tap in the kitchen area of commercial airplanes, and I’ve never had a flight attendant refuse to fill up my travel mug or even act irritated when I asked for hot water. Bring your own tea packets, Emergen-C, etc., and you’ll not only stay hydrated, you’ll also feel a little more comfortable at your tiny airplane seat!
4. Packing Cubes (or Ziplock bags)
Packing cubes are great for compressing your stuff and saving space! If you don’t have packing cubes, Ziplock bags will work well, too, especially the gallon bags. Put your items inside, push all the air out, and zip up!
5. Plastic Bags
Separately, I am always glad I have plastic grocery bags on hand when I travel! I put my shoes in them to keep from getting the rest of my clothes dirty, I use them for storing laundry on my way home, and sometimes I find other uses for them, too! They take up practically no space in your luggage, so grab a few on your way out the door and wait for the opportunities to use them!
6. Power Adaptor
If you’ve never traveled abroad before, you may be surprised to learn that outlets in other countries can be very differently shaped than the outlets in the U.S.! So you will need an adaptor to use your electronics, such as charging your phone, laptop, notebook, etc. Do a quick Internet search for “electrical outlet in __________” insert the country you plan to visit. When you know what you need, you can order it online, or pick one up at your destination. Most hotels will have extras at the front desk as well.
7. A Notebook and Pen
Your phone may be great, but sometimes a good old paper and pen are what you need to get the job done. Phones die or get stolen, but paper and pen are always there for you! You can give anyone a small notebook and pen for them to draw a map and give you directions, or you can write down a list of things to do to help organize your thoughts and your trip. Your pen will also come in handy when filling out customs forms–pens are not provided by the airlines!
8. Power Strip
Sometimes there is only one outlet in your room abroad, especially in older accommodations. Or maybe you have plenty of outlets but only one adaptor. But you need to charge your notebook, iPhone, and laptop, as well as those from your travel partner! Not to fear: take a small power strip and you only need one adaptor to charge three (or more) electronics as needed. (See the picture in #6!)
Think you’ll be packing these on your next trip? Tell me in the comments section below! Love this post? Pin it for later!