Before we begin, let me be explicitly clear on one thing: I am not a light packer. My suitcase is always…ALWAYS over 50 pounds. I get excited when I road trip because I know that I have no limitations, and I normally end up bringing 2 or 3 bags full of Â clothes and shoes. I think on my last vacation, I took 8 pairs of shoes…and wore 1Â pair.
How was this list formed? Â I travel. A lot. Over the years of traveling, I have found some items to be completely invaluable. At one time or another, I found myself without these items and thought that I was going to die. Okay, maybe not die, but really, really suffer.
Do you need to bring these items on a trip with you? Nah. But your trip will suck if you don’t, and I won’t feel bad. (Compassion is not my spiritual gift).
A small spray bottle
Keep it empty while traveling, andÂ fill it up when you arrive. In Maine, I used a small spray bottle every morning to smooth out my crazy bedhead that comes from the fact that I literally never brush my hair. Additionally, a spray bottle proves to be extremely useful when you are someone who hates ironing and will do everything to avoid it. A few quick sprays and some smoothing out, and your shirt will be at least wrinkle free enough to not look like you’ve slept in it for 5 days. .
Nyquil cough medicine
If you’re staying in-country, you can get this anywhere. But if you travel abroad like I find myself doing, I promise you, this is a MUST. It doesn’t matter if I feel under the weather when I depart, I will always have Nyquil with me. Why? Because when you’re in another country for a few weeks and suddenly come down with a cold, you will not, I repeat WILL NOT find any medicine that does what Nyquil can do. (Unless you purchase crack, which is highly frowned upon and overall not recommended). I once found myself desperate in South Africa, scavenging the store shelves end-of-the-world style for something that would make me stop coughing. I finally found an anti-cough concoction, and was excited to finally get a good nights sleep. Little did I know that the cough medicine in Africa that tastes like Satan’s piss. And I had to drink Satan’s piss every night before I went to bed. I never left the house without Nyquil again.
Tip: make sure you triple Ziplock the the crap out of it. I once had a bottle explode in my bag, and everything smelled like cherry death for four weeks. Which sucks, but is better than Satan’s piss.Â
Let’s be honest: I am outdoorsy but not a survivor…not to be confused with Destiny’s Child Survivor, which I most definitely am. When I first decided that I wanted a knife, I thought about getting a machete. What the HECK am I going to do with a machete besides probably accidentallyÂ cut my hand off. I did some research on amazon and finally settled on a perfectly adorable pocket knife. It’s multifunctional and the blade is short enough that I wouldn’t damage any major organs if I ever accidentally stabbed myself.Â I’ve used this knife to cut stuff open, peel apples, carve my name into stuff, and once (without luck) tried to throw it at a fly. You know, survival stuff. But seriously, knowing that I have a knife when I’m in the backwoods of Acadia National Park helped.
3 Garbage Bags
If you’re staying in a hotel, sharing a room, doing dirty stuff (like hiking, rolling in mud, swimming in a swamp) then you MUST take garbage bags with you. Here are my recommendations: Garbage bag #1: dirty clothes. Garbage bag #2: wet clothes. Garbage bag #3: any stinky shoes that you put on and take off. Â I suggest a sturdy bag. You will be moving this around and stuffing clothes in it. No paper bags- only plastic. It keeps the smell and grossness inside. Your roommates will love you for it. You will thank me. And if applicable, your travel mates will thank me as well.
“One can never have too many pairs of panties.”Â I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
I cannot tell you how many torrential downpours, salt-water nightmares, mud pit excursions and overall bad luck moments that I have found myself in where I have been so thankful for a pair of dry, clean underwear. Clean undies can take you from feeling like Kylie Jenner in 2009 to Kylie Jenner in 2015. They’re that good. And way less expensive and annoying.
Fiber Bars or supplements
There is a condition that I suffer from called Shy Colon Syndrom (SCS). I find that if I’m on a long flight or at someone’s house crashing on their couch, I have a hard time pooping. I don’t know if it’s the lack of comfort that I would find in my own potty or what the deal is, but my digestive system gives me a really hard, “Nah, bro” and I’m stuck (literally stuck). Fiber One bars are a lifesaver in these instances. Now with my gluten free dairy free diet, I can’t eat those anymore. Another amazing product that I’ve found? Smooth Move. It’s an all natural tea and tastes like chocolate. And let me tell you, it will move. And it will be smooth.
So, I’m not the final word on travel must haves, and I realize that I didn’t put anything glamorous on here, but I promise, you’ll use all of this crap. And it will help. Man, it will help.