Things to Bring on Every Trip
Greetings from Puerto Rico!
It's been one of the craziest summers of my life, and I'm very grateful for this week to recuperate and restore my motivation to make it through the next season. It's looking to be just as, if not more crazy, so I can definitely use it!
There are a few items I bring with me on every trip. Whether it's visiting the cold, windy Iceland or for a beach vacation full of sun and relaxation, I always make sure to take these things with me. They always come in handy, and so far I haven't had a trip where I don't end up reaching for them, so perhaps they'll come in handy for you, too.
When it comes to your health, it's always best to be prepared. Sure, you can buy a hat or new pair of shoes just about anywhere if you need it, but the same isn't always true when you need a band-aid or something to help with your digestion.
A couple years ago I picked up a mini first aid kit from Target for less than a dollar. I've brought it on every trip since and have needed to get something out of it every time. In fact, I just pulled out a band-aid for a blister right before sitting down to write this.
The kit came with a few bandages, gauze and an antiseptic wipe, but I also add in some Tylenol, Imodium, Moleskin and Neopsporin. Sometimes I'll throw in a couple other things depending on where I'm going, but I always make sure to have the basics with me. You'll end up using it all the time, and even if it isn't for yourself, it's always good to be prepared to help with someone's cuts and bruises.
I have never been on a trip where I didn't need sunglasses. Even in Iceland, I was wearing sunglasses almost every day. Sunglasses don't take up a lot of space and don't weigh much, but they can be a lifesaver when you're going blind from squinting at the sun or trying to cut the glare off of snow. I don't care where you're going - there's a 99.99% chance you'll need sunglasses.
A few years ago I invested in a pair of Ray-Bans, and they'be been the best decision of my life. These sunglasses have traveled to several countries with me and don't give me any headaches from cheap plastic or glass. Personally, I'd rather invest in one good pair that lasts a long time than have to always be buying a few new ones each year, which is what I used to do!
Sometime's it's a beanie, other times it's a wide brimmed beach hat, but most of the time I bring a good athletic running baseball cap that is perfect for keeping the sun off my face and the sweat from dripping in my eyes. Either way, I always bring some sort of hat with me and I always end up needing it.
Bring a hat based on the weather of where you're going (beanie for Iceland, moisture wicking cap for Puerto Rico), and bring one that doesn't take up a lot of space or add weight / bulk to your back. My athletic cap weighs nothing and scrunches down so small that it can fit in any corner. You can find these at basically any store with athletic clothing - Nike, Adidas, Under Armour...or Target and Walmart where I got mine.
Hair ties come in hand for a lot more than just throwing up my fair on a hot day or after a dip in the ocean - although that's primarily why I need them. You can use them to bundle papers together, attach things to your pack, or hold together a broken item.
Personally, I always bring a pack of these athletic hair ties that stay in place and don't slip - seriously. I'll throw my hair up at the beginning of the day and not have to fix it for the rest of the day. They're also the only hair ties I use when going to the gym or running. Plus, they're very hard to break, and that's coming from a girl with massively thick, curly hair.
Notebook & Pens
I'm a big journal-er, so I always have a journal with me to write about my experiences. I've tried several different brands and journals over the years, but right now I'm using the small Moleskine ones that come in a pack of two. It's always good to have a notebook with you, even if you don't journal, since you never know when you'll need to write down some directions, share a phone number or take notes about something. Even though you could take notes on your phone, technology isn't 100% reliable and it's good to have some backup paper.
You should also always have a pen or two with you. These come in handy all the time. Maybe you need to sign a check or leave a note for a travel buddy, but even if you don't you'll still need something to fill out those pesky declaration forms with!
What are your travel must haves? I also love taking a real book instead of just an e-reader, and you can usually find some lip balm in my bag!
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