Travel Tips

Packing Essentials

Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Have you ever arrived at your destination only to realize you left an all important item behind? ??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️ Nothing is worse than having to shell out tons of money for a replacement or not being able to find an essential at all. I’ve definitely suffered from both scenarios, therefore, I put together this Don’t Leave Home Without It list:

Hair Products

This will be particularly beneficial to all my natural girls. While traveling, especially off the beaten path it can be frustrating to encounter everyone having one hair type (read: easy to manage straight hair) and not being able to find products that are compatible with your locks. This can certainly put a damper on your vacation since you want to look cute in your IG pics ?. That being said, make sure to carry your essential hair products in the appropriate size containers if you are only traveling with a backpack. The last thing you want is to have your products confiscated by airport security.

Cash

Usually I carry a minimal amount of cash and mostly rely on an international credit card but after my last trip around the world, I realize the importance of cash. Having cash makes it easier to exchange money on the go plus you can avoid ATM and bank fees from constantly withdrawing money. Equally as important is to have crisp, undamaged bills. In several countries some of my bills were rejected because they were folded, had small rips or had a tiny mark on them.

Antibacterial Wipes

I carry antibacterial wipes and gels with me everywhere, I even gift them to others on my travels. We all know that the food tray is the dirtiest thing on the plane and it never gets cleaned properly so wipes are perfect for that. More importantly, I’ve visited many places where there was no soap and water in the bathroom. Don’t leave home without those wipes!

Camera Gear

I mostly use my Google Pixel phone to snap pictures along my journey but while traveling with my DSLR I make sure to have my accessories. You don’t want to leave home without your extra battery, necessary lenses, charger, multiple SD cards, tripod and so on. Buying replacement camera accessories will certainly cost you a pretty penny in any country.

Polaroid Camera

I love traveling with my Instax camera, not only does it take nostalgic pics but the Polaroids are also a great gift. The first place that I took my Instax on the road with me was to Kenya and it was such a hit. I really enjoyed taking pictures for people who never had a picture of themselves. They were lining up for family photos and I just received the biggest smiles when I gave them their photo. As mentioned earlier, don’t forget to carry batteries and extra film packs for your Polaroid camera.

Battery Pack

A well used battery pack ?

A portable battery pack is a must as it keeps your devices alive while traveling between destinations. Depending on your destination the electricity might go out every now and then so make sure to keep your battery pack fully charged.

International Power Adapter

An International power adapter is a must when traveling. Power sockets and charges vary by region so most likely your devices won’t plug in to your destinations wall without an adapter. There are so many convenient travel adapters available offering compatibility with 150 countries and surge protection. Just make sure the country you are visiting is listed on the packaging and opt for units that offer multiple slots for charging.

Headphones

Wireless headphones are my everything during traveling. They can block out unwanted noise and at the same time let you enjoy a personal concert. Just be careful with wireless bluetooth headsets, I dropped a pair while going through security and had to buy a replacement for the remainder of my trip ?. For those traveling without checked in luggage, wireless earbuds are a great option.

Medication

Once you leave your home country, the availability of medication varies greatly from place to place. I always travel with stomach medication because I like to taste everything but it may not always agree me. If you have food allergies, seasonal allergies or a chronic condition make sure to carry backup medication so you don’t end up experiencing an emergency. This is also a good place to mention feminine products. Make sure to carry what you need as products vary by country.

Contact Lenses

Not only should you travel with spare contact lenses and eyeglasses but you should carry a copy of your valid prescription. Having worked as an eye care professional in New York City for more than 12 years, tourists have told me thousands of times that they can just go up to “any” counter in Europe and tell the salesperson what they want. New York State laws are different, you need to bring in a valid prescription or you have to pay to get a new eye exam. Don’t be that person that gets an eye infection from over wearing their contacts because you don’t want to pay for an eye exam. You might even find a cute pair of eyeglasses while you’re traveling, so don’t forget to bring your prescription with you.

Flip Flops

Flip flops are essential for protecting your feet against bacteria. I usually carry a cheap rubber pair that I use exclusively for showering in shared spaces and rental rooms. Don’t forget to also bring your cute pair for your stroll on the beach ?.

Bathing Suit

Bathing suit made the list because it’s an essential item that you should carry with you no matter the season. Traveling in the middle of winter to a cold climate, I still ended up going to a spa in the mountains ?. Once for a work trip I was put up in a hotel with a beautiful pool. Unfortunately, I didn’t pack a bathing suit and due to my work schedule I didn’t get out of work in time to go shopping. Now I travel with at least one bathing suit and I always end up swimming ?.

Keep the good times going by being prepared with the essentials!