What’s In My Bag? The Essentials

Aloha party people!

Today’s post is about the most essential items for travel that I have with me no matter if I’m gone for a month or just an overnight. I know travel can be so unbelievably stressful so having a good base of items is so important to get you through whatever days stuck in crowded airports, messy road trip cars or metal tubes in the sky might bring. So let’s get to it shall we?

  1. A large scarf, Turkish bath towel or some other lightweight compact blanket. 

Planes are cold people! On the majority of them the “controls” are literally a dial that the pilots move in the hopes of appeasing everyone BUT it’s not an exact science. Most airplanes domestically aren’t even boarded with blankets so relying on this is a bad idea. In the winter I always either wear a very basic chick blanket scarf to the airport or keep one in my bag. In the summer however I always have a Turkish bath towel or a lightweight cotton towel that can be used as a blanket, beach towel and even a picnic blanket. My favorite one I got while in Morocco but I did find a few from an Etsy site below that look just as amazing. Amazon also has lots of compact blanket options that fit nicely into a little pouch, I even have one in my car because I’m a grown-up and that seems like something a grown-up does!

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1. Blanket Scarf 2. Cotton Bath Towel 3. Compact Travel Blanket 

2. A reusable water bottle. 

This should just be a common practice in everyone’s general life (props to you SFO!) but I swear I have saved so much money on buying water now that I am in the habit of carrying a water bottle around. Most airports have gone to some pretty awesome water filling stations now so it’s convenient to refill once you get through security. Also, who hasn’t had to make the run from one gate to another to catch a flight? You then get on the plane absolutely dying of thirst from your sprint and the flight attendants have to remain seated because of turbulence after take-off (anyone who flies through Denver a lot can attest to this scenario) thus delaying the hydration you are so desperate for. JUST BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLE KIDS!

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1. United by Blue 2. Hydroflask 3. REI

3. A portable charger battery pack.

I cannot praise this Kenruipu battery pack enough! I know they make smaller, lighter ones but this one is the holy grail of battery packs. Once charged this brick (which does take awhile to charge if it’s dead) can charge my phone 5 times 0-100% before it dies itself. It has 4 different output ports so I can be charging multiple items at the same time. My phone is a piece of garbage so between trying to find an outlet at an airport or spending the whole day exploring a new city I need a battery pack that’s going to be reliable. While the one above does fit in my purse if you’re looking for a much smaller option this Anker one is a good find but it doesn’t last nearly as long.

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1. Kenruipu Large Battery Pack 2. Anker Small Battery Pack

4. The key toiletries.

Chap-stick, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, multi-vitamins & melatonin. These are the toiletry items I would never leave for a trip without. Anyone who’s spent long periods of time on a plane full of re-circulated air and humans with questionable hygiene practices knows you need to have some defenses ready to go and these are the ones you need pack! I love Badger chap-sticks for planes, hiking, snowboarding and just in general living in high-altitude climates like Denver. It keeps my lips moisturized but without feeling like I have to reapply constantly like some chap-sticks. I trust you know why you’d need hand-sanitizer which pretty much covers a good multi-vitamin as well. I swear by moisturizer with a water jelly component and if you haven’t tried one before I’d recommend this Bliss one. Melatonin is my best friend when it comes to international flights (not working them obviously) and when I have to switch back and forth between working redeyes and early check-in trips though if you’ve never tried it be prepared for some WILD dreams on occasion.

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1. Chap-Stick 2. Hand-Sanitizer 3. Moisturizer 4. Multi-Vitamins 5. Melatonin

5. A baseball hat.

I always have a baseball hat in my bag. Do you need one? I don’t know really. If you do it should only be 47 Brand because that’s the only acceptable baseball hat brand but anyway I like having the option of throwing it on and calling it a day. I also collect hats. I also, also, hate washing my hair so it’s a bag staple.

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1. The Only Brand To Buy From

6. A Kindle/iPad.

This is of course the splurge purchase but here is the thing, they really are a lifesaver. Not every plane you get on is going to have screens, not every plane you get on is going to have working WiFi (I know I’m not supposed to admit that but… it’s true) SO everyone who can should have one of these items. I do love reading paperback books but when I’m on redeyes I like having a lit up screen so I always have at least one book downloaded on my Kindle app. I also have like 10 shows downloaded and ready to watch just in case I can’t connect to WiFi on a plane or in a hotel room. Control your own fate friends, it will make your life so much easier when things go wrong.

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1. Kindle 2. iPad

7. SNACKS!

Airports and hotels are the biggest price gauge I’ve ever seen besides sports arenas but at least they entertain you. I’m not saying you won’t spend money on a meal in an airport but throwing a few easy snacks in your bag makes you a more enjoyable person to be around (I mean I don’t know you personally but it does apply to most). When I’m working I have a full-blown lunch box of my meals for the trip BUT even when I’m flying for personal trips I always keep a few items in my bag for those just in case moments. Some of my favorites are Clif Bars, Trader Joe’s “Just Mango” dried mango slices (not the sugar coated ones) and Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels- these are clutch for filling up fast.

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1. Clif Bars 2. TJ’s Just Mango 3. TJ’s PB Filled Pretzels

8. A Sleep Mask.

I got a free sleep mask from working an international flight (if I’m being real) so I threw it in my bag. Soon after I needed to sleep during the day to work a night flight and the light coming through the blinds was killing me! I put the sleep mask on and literally have used one ever since. I upgraded to this silk one from Amazon which I highly recommend! It’s adjustable so it doesn’t crease your hair while you sleep but it stays put even when you move and the slight pressure of having something over my eyes helps me feel relaxed and ready to fall asleep. I’ve gifted this sleep mask to a few of my friend’s and they all swear by it now!

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1. Silk Sleep Mask 

9. A small but handy toiletry case.

I LOVE THIS TOILETRY CASE! It’s not too big to fit into my carry-on but it still holds all of the items I need to have with me. The patterns are super cute and always being updated. The pockets are so helpful to keep everything organized and though you might be skeptical given the $10 price tag I can assure you it’s great quality. I only had to replace mine because I stupidly left a bottle of shampoo with a broken lid in it and it exploded everywhere (maybe could have washed it out but at $10 I just replaced it altogether).

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1. Hanging Toiletry Bag

10. A shoe bag.

I am actually not a germaphobe by nature but I don’t need to tell you that the floors of an airport/airplane have seen some of the grossest things out there! I do my best to combat the unavoidably disgusting by using this set of travel bags for my shoes. When I first ordered this set almost 3 years ago the description was only for storing cloth diapers but they’ve since updated it to “pumping parts, swimsuits etc.” While I don’t use them for any of that I love them irrationally anyway! Not only are they great quality and machine washable, I can also keep shoe deodorizer in the zippered pockets… anyone who wears the same shoes every day should get some of this spray, it’s a lifesaver.

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1. Damero Wet Bag 2. Ubbcare Wet Bag 3. Natural Shoe Deodorizer

So there you have it, a real who’s who of products I’d never leave home without that I think you should probably have too!

Do you have any travel items that you swear by but didn’t make my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Kari