My Travel Must-Haves


What I Always Bring When I Travel

People are starting to say that I travel a lot. I don't always think so because I have a dad who travels for a living. Now that's traveling a lot! But I guess I do travel and I've learned some things along the way. It's gotten to the point now where people ask me questions about what to pack. So here are some things that I always bring with me when I travel. 

My "uncomfortable" bag: this bag has everything in it if I'm feeling uncomfortable. It's a zippered pouch that I keep in my purse and just pull it out and pack it when I travel. It's always with me. Inside are band aids because I'm notorious for walking until my feet bleed. Pills for pain and other things. For this I say know your body. For example, planes make me gassy so I bring gas-x and trains and busses make me car sick so I bring Dramamine. I also have one dose of DayQuil with me and chewable Vitamin C for when someone coughs on me and I know that I need to do something to fight off the sick. I also keep wipes in the pouch because if I use those tables on trains or planes they're always littered with germs so I wipe them down. And if I stay in a hotel with questionable bathroom cleaning, I wipe that down too. I also bring Chapstick because all the air conditioner makes my lips chapped, or the sun burns. And the I ALWAYS have toilet seat covers because I don't know if they exist in Europe. And while squatting is great, when you have an unreliable knee it's best to be prepared. So as you can see my uncomfortable bag is full of things to help me not feel uncomfortable. 

Hand sanitizer and lotion were a must have
with all the sick people and cold weather
Pergamon Museum, Berlin

My iPad: this has everything on it. It has books, games, travel recommendations for where I'm going, and it has my blog posts. At night when I can no longer explore the city, I write my blog posts and plan what to do for the next day. And if I get so so lost in the street, I pull out my iPad with the offline maps. This is my most treasured thing when I travel. 

Camera: I try to take a lot of pictures so that I can use them to teach. So I bring my camera. It's nothing fancy, but it's digital, has a lot of memory, and takes better quality pictures than my phone. I never leave without it. 

Charger converters: all my electronics are American which means that I need to convert the prongs into the appropriate one. And if I'm going to Southern Europe, I don't just bring their converters, I also bring the converters for Northern Europe as well. I learned that lesson in Italy where one hotel only took Northern Europe converters and one hotel only took Southern Europe converters. Now I bring options. 

Inflatable neck pillow: I love my neck pillow because it's easy to pack and I can wash the soft outside. Now that I'm learning how to fall asleep on trains and airplanes, I bring my neck pillow. It's also good for when hostels give you one tiny pillow. 

The trip where I learned about the importance
of umbrellas and garbage bags
The Duomo, Milan

Hand sanitizer and lotion: I don't drive so I take a lot of public transportation, which is nasty with all it's germs. So I am constantly using hand sanitizer to avoid being sick. But that dries out my hands so I bring moisturizer to stop me from the pain of cracked knuckles. The reason why this isn't in my uncomfortable bag is because at airports it needs to be in the liquid bag, so I keep the two separate.  

Flip flops: I don't like walking around barefoot in hostels so I bring a pair of flip flops to shower in. I keep them in the side pocket of my backpack where they don't take up any room so if I need them they're there but if I don't they're not a total waste of space. 

Garbage bags: after a really rainy weekend in Italy I have learned my lesson and now pack my clothes in garbage bags. It helps me separate the clean clothes from the dirty and it keeps them dry from the rain. 

An umbrella: even in the summer it rains in Europe. So I bring my collapsible umbrella so that I can have some reassurance. I don't keep it in my purse but I keep it in my backpack just in case. 

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