Exploring 101

Making Packing a Breeze: My Must Haves for Traveling

Written by CaitlinG

The best and sometimes the worst thing about traveling is having to live out of a bag. Coming from someone who has a love affair with their walk in closet, it actually feels nice to downsize for a while! Being limited to only what you can carry with you for several days or even weeks means that what you decide to bring can be very important. This can turn packing into an extremely stressful experience only for you to realize later that whatever you forget you can usually find a replacement quite easily no matter where ever you are headed. Worrying about what to wear can be a headache, but again chances are you probably won’t wear half the clothes you decided to bring anyways!

Traveling is not meant to be easy and that is part of what makes it great. You are striking out into the largely unknown, but how then are you supposed to know what you will need? I would like to share with you some things that I have found and items accumulated overtime that make a travelers life much easier so you can spend more time focusing on what is really important… planning your adventures!

Tep Wireless: This device is a must have for international travel. It is a small personal wifi-hotspot that easily fits in your pocket or day pack. It allows you to stay connected everywhere you go, so you never feel out of touch. With 8 hours of battery life you can use it to connect your devices for work on the go, staying connected to loved ones at home, or making sure you are heading in the right direction on your adventure! Using a Tep is quick and easy and can make solo traveling feel much safer!

GeekPro Voltage Converter, USB Port Charger, and Power Adapter: This amazing item does so many things and is conveniently found on Amazon. The GeekPro acts as an extension cord/power strip for you to charge multiple devices all at once. Since most of our devices now require a USB adapter, this item conveniently has 4 USB outlets built right in as well as three regular sockets for other charging devices. Importantly, this item also acts as a power adapter and voltage converter making it an excellent choice for international travel. Of course you must check the proper conversion needed for where you are headed but the many adapters included with this device makes it versatile for many destinations. Best of all? It comes in  convenient travel case so that you can keep everything together, organized, and easily transportable for those who are on the go.

Travel Sized 2-in-one Straightener/Curling Iron: there are a lot of options out there when it comes to these so you may have to do some research to decide what is the best choice for you. Regardless, having a small 2-in-one device like this is an amazing time and space saver when traveling! I used one in while traveling in Europe and I was very glad to have it.

REI MultiTowel Lite: This towel is great for camping, traveling, and backpacking! If you are going somewhere that you are unsure will have a towel or simply prefer to use your own when you travel then this item is for you. This towel comes in several different sizes to fit your needs. It is extremely thin and light for packing ease and comes with a convenient packing bag, yet it is extremely absorbent and designed to be quick drying. I cannot say enough good things about this towel. It was a saving grace on my backpacking trip through Thailand!

Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Liquid Soap: This soap is a must have for any travelers who suffer from sensitive skin and find themselves needing to do laundry on an extended trip. As someone who is allergic to many soaps and fragrances, I can tell you that it is difficult to deal with when you and traveling either at home or abroad and need to wash your clothes. If you have the option of having your laundry sent out, it might come back clean but give you grief when you wear it again. Using this mild, fragrance free soap to launder your own clothes either while camping in the backcountry or backpacking abroad will save you money and save your skin!

Luggage Lock: While you are out exploring and enjoying your well deserved adventure time the last thing you want to worry about is the safety of any of your important items left behind at the hostel, hotel, or wherever you stay. A quick and easy fix is to get a luggage lock and protect the things you can’t stand to loose such as your back up debit/credit cards, extra cash, electronic devices, passports, and travel papers. One of these locks can be found for cheap almost anywhere and getting a TSA proved lock is recommended.

Dry Bag (or zip lock bags!): While adventuring, weather can be one of those things that is hard to predict! If you know you are going somewhere during a rainy season or will be doing lots of water related activities it is on your best interest to invest in a dry bag to keep your valuables and electronics safe and dry! There are many options available at outdoor equipment stores or online. If you aren’t necessarily worried about lots of water but still want to be safe? A few zip lock bags can go a long way! I used them numerous times in Thailand to keep all my day pack items safe from sporadic rainfall.

Picaridin Insect Repellent: There are a lot of opinions out there about what repellents work the best. I highly recommend a spray with Picaridin. It is an alternative to DEET sprays and is claimed to last longer. Another upset is that it will not eat through your gear or clothing because it is intended to be less abrasive.

I sincerely hope that some of my recommendations help to reduce some of the stress of packing for you right next adventure and also allow for you to have the most enjoyable trip possible!



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