10 Travel Essentials

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an extremely well traveled person, so this obviously isn’t expert advice or anything, but I thought it’d be fun to compile this list for anyone who might be travelling for the holidays, or just in general. I’m also trying to travel more, so hopefully this won’t be a stand alone post in the travel section of my blog.

Recently my family took a trip for the holidays (not to visit family or anything, but just because we’re terrible hedonists and wanted to escape the Utah cold for a week), and once I found myself sitting back in my room covered in three blankets reminiscing on the Florida heat, I also began to think about all of the things that without which, I probably wouldn’t have been able to survive a week away from home (well I probably would’ve survived, but I wouldn’t have been the most pleasant person to deal with, that’s for sure). So without further ado, here are my top 10 travel essentials.

1. A reusable water bottle

The rest of this list really isn’t in any particular order, but a reusable water bottle is at the top because it’s definitely the most important. I used to get so sick when I went on trips, and I never understood why until I realized that I would be going entire days only drinking a few cups of water. Yeah, no wonder I would feel like crap. Obviously if you have to go through airport security they will make you dump out any water you have, but you can refill it at your gate just in time to be that annoying person on the plane who makes their entire row stand up every 30 minutes so they can use the bathroom (aka me). But in all seriousness, life is so much better when you’re hydrated.

2. Sinus medication

Sinus headaches are an evil entity of whose existence I was blissfully unaware, until about a week ago on an airplane. I was just minding my own business jamming to some James Bay during landing, when all of a sudden it felt like someone was drilling a screw into my head (I don’t speak from experience, but at least I imagine that’s what it would feel like). This headache then proceeded to keep me up almost all night until my mom introduced me to Sudafed, which I could dedicate songs to, or build shrines around to worship, because it saved my life. Well at least my night’s sleep. Now if you fly a lot and you know that the altitude changes won’t affect you, then this doesn’t apply to you, but if you’ve been experiencing headaches while flying and don’t know why, taking some sinus medication before your next flight could be your saving grace, and if you’ve never flown before slipping some into your carry on before your first flight couldn’t hurt.

3. Gum

This one is kind of a basic, but chewing gum during a flight helps to ease the pressure in your ears from altitude change, and having fresh breath when in close proximity to other humans is never a bad idea either.

4. A phone charger (in my carry on)

Yet another obvious item on the list, but hey, let me explain. Up until recently I’ve packed my charger in my suitcase to bring on trips, clearly a rookie mistake. I’ve learned that it’s better to just carry it in whatever bag I have with me just in case I find a rogue outlet, or end up getting to wherever I’m going much later than I anticipated. So if you’re like me and you’re not always the brightest person, there’s a little tip for you.

5. Pens

I put pens because I inevitably lose every pen I come into contact with, but if I bring five or so with me, I might end up having at least one when I need it. Pens made the list because I noticed I needed one for everything from making a luggage tag, to signing receipts, to doodling on the way to Disney World. Thankfully I had at least twenty in my backpack with my school logo on them, because I hoard them at every event where they’re given out (I’m quite proud of myself because haven’t bought a pen since I started college a year and a half ago).

6. Comfortable shoes

I packed all sorts of cute booties and sandals to wear on this trip, but none of them ever made it out of my suitcase because every morning I would inevitably slip on my Nike’s. Honestly nothing really beats comfortable yet stylish sneakers, I don’t think I would’ve been able to do as much walking as I did without them.

7. Anti-humidity hair spray

I’m a curly haired girl, and my hair typically holds styles quite well, so I was shocked when I looked in a mirror after being out in the Florida humidity for less than an hour, and found that my hair looked like someone slapped flattened roadkill on my head. OK, so maybe that last bit was kind of an exaggeration, but it was definitely flat. I pulled it into a ponytail and was prepared to accept my frizzy destiny, until my mom (clearly the recurring hero in this post) told me about anti-humidity spray. You spray it on after your hairspray, and viola, your hair may just retain it’s human-like appearance even after you leave your hotel room.

8. My laptop

I debated bringing my laptop with me (mostly for fear of me losing said laptop), but it turned out to be especially nice to have along. I was able to work on any school assignments leftover from the semester, check e-mails, and watch Netflix in any downtime. I also didn’t lose it, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

9. Spotify Premium

I list Spotify Premium because that’s what I have, but really any music service that will let you download music to your phone will do. My brother raves about his Apple Music subscription, and my dad likes his Pandora Plus, and I still have some friends who enjoy the ancient practice of buying individual songs off of Itunes, so pick your poison. I bought my 3 month premium subscription for only 99 cents, and I was able to download about 70 songs the night before my trip that I could listen to while my phone was on airplane mode, so I was pretty happy. Most of these subscription services also have podcasts available for download as well, so lack of entertainment on long car or plane rides is not an issue.

10. A jacket/hoodie

I was frantically packing the night before I left on my trip (because why do today what you can do tomorrow, right?), and I stumbled upon my favorite hoodie. I briefly considered stuffing it in my suitcase, but then I thought to myself: I’m going to Florida. Florida is where old people live so they don’t have to feel the cold on their joints. Florida is where alligators live so they can more easily digest their food. Clearly,  It’s got to be warm in Florida. This thought process led me to forego the hoodie in favor of another pair of shorts, and boy was that a mistake. I’m not saying that it was freezing, but there were definitely a few cloudy days where a jacket would’ve been nice, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry regardless of where you’re going.

There’s my 10 travel essentials, what are some of yours? Feel free to leave them in the comments.


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