Monday, October 13, 2014

My Top Five Travel Must-Haves

When I’m shopping I can’t help going into the travel aisle, wherever I am. There’s so many cool new gadgets out, like USB chargers, inflatable pillows, and vacuum-pack bags. It got me thinking about some of the things I have to have when I travel. I have quite a few things that I always pack in anticipation for a trip, but here is my list of the five things I’ve found to pretty invaluable, both in the air and on the ground.

Ready for takeoff! 

# 1 Extra Underwear

I can’t tell you how many times I've been on a trip and ended up staying longer than anticipated. Maybe you’re one of those people that doesn't mind wearing underwear two days in row—but I’m not.

That’s why whenever I travel, I count out how many pairs I’m going to need, and throw in three or four extra, just to be safe. I don’t want to have to be washing mine out in the hotel sink with some soap and water (I’ve done that before and it’s not fun!). It never hurts to travel with a few extra pairs, it’s not like they take up a lot of room in your suitcase, either!

# 2 My Neck Pillow

I didn't want to be that stereotypical “neck-pillow lady” from that Saturday Night Live skit, so I avoided them for a long time. However, after a rather rough and tumble flight to San Francisco from St. Louis (where I threw up not once, but twice! The second time must have sounded awful because I think I scared the flight attendant) I was looking for something to make my return flight a little more comfortable. That’s when I stumbled upon the neck pillow. For some reason, the thought of cuddling up into that thing on the return flight, all drowsy from the Dramamine (a real miracle drug, I’m telling you), was just heaven. So I bought it, and the nice lady working the counter at the store at SFO even took the tags off of it for me.

Settling in for the plane ride back to St. Louis with some Dramamine, my ipod, and my neck pillow made for a much more comfortable and less “pukey” flight home (I didn't throw up once!). I would definitely recommend buying one if you have a long flight or like to sleep during flights like I do. Just don’t wear it around after you get off the plane…then you MIGHT be that lady from the SNL skit.

# 3 Extra Washcloths

This is one that I learned in Ireland. I’m a washcloth person, I like to have them to wash my face in the morning or scrub off the grime of traveling from my arms on those days I couldn't shower. They weren't big on washcloths in Ireland, so I was really glad my mom had suggested that I pack a few, just in case. Turns out, in this instance, listening to your mother worked out!

In America I've found most (if not all) hotels provide you with washcloths and will be more than happy to bring you more, but I always pack them, just to be on the safe side. Also, I wear some pretty thick eyeliner and most of my personal washcloths are stained and I hate to do that to the nice plush ones the hotel provides, I’d rather re-stain mine for taking off my makeup and use the plush ones in the morning to wake me up.

# 4 Snacks

Sometimes on a trip, you never know when you’re going to get fed, or when you’ll be too tired to venture out of your hotel room and find a decent restaurant. So I always stuff a few granola bars or a few packets of Pop-Tarts into my suitcase. It doesn't hurt to stock up on the peanuts or Cheese Nips your airline provides either! I found a packet in an old purse from my flight to Houston just the other day!

# 5 Plastic Bags

I use plastic bags for all kinds of things on my travels. The most useful thing I've found to use plastic bags for is to hold dirty/wet laundry. Nobody wants dirty clothes and sweaty socks mixed in with their clean(er) clothes. If you place them in a plastic bag you can keep them separate from all your other clothes and keep everything else in your suitcase from getting wet. Many times hotels will provide you with a dry cleaning bag, since I’m not that fancy, I usually swipe that to put my dirty jeans in, along with some larger articles of clothing.

Also, you know from #2 that I’m not the best flier at times. While I love flying, my body doesn't always feel the same way. The most brilliant stroke of genius I ever had on a flight was to ask the flight attendant for some ice, put it in my plastic sandwich bag and put that on the back of my neck. Talk about an instant cool-down, having the cold from the ice on my skin made me feel so much better and way less queasy. Just remember that ice melts and if your plastic bag isn't sealed you could have a mess on your hands…or down your back…

So there you have it, my top five must-have travel companions. What are some of yours? What’s the one thing you can’t bear to travel without?
Thanks for reading!

As always you can comment here or on Bloglovin and Tweet me at @calleysofalley


Up Next: #TBT Caernafon Castle

TBA: Thursday, October 16

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