I love to travel – I try to leave the country once a year to experience a new culture and see the world (but not too often so I can keep my carbon footprint down 😉 ) Throughout the years, I’ve been all over, from small islands around the Caribbean to Central America, Europe and Africa. Every time I travel somewhere new, I pick up new tips to make my life easier on the next trip and with the holidays coming up, I figured there was no better time to share them in a blog post. So from a self-proclaimed travel junkie- here are my 14 travel essentials that keep me sane and healthy when I’m on the go.
1.) Extra tea bags
Otherwise you will get stuck with generic black tea on the flights and in hotel rooms. Bring your favorite teas along with you so you can get nice n’ cozy.
2.) Travel snacks and meals
I always take my own meals on domestic flights when a meal is not included (which now-a-days is every flight). Veggie sandwiches, hummus, fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. If it’s a shorter flight, I usually just pack a piece of fruit and some nuts or a granola bar. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with expensive airport food ($5 fruit cup anyone?)
2A.) Not sure if you’ll be hungry? Take along instant oatmeal, instant organic bean and lentil soups, noodle bowls, etc. Just add hot water (which both your airplane and hotel will have) for a backup meal.
2B.) Flying international? Make sure to request specialty meals ahead of time. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, diabetic, etc meals are usually available but you must request them at least 48 hours before your flight otherwise you’re out of luck. When I book international flights I automatically make a calendar note and set two reminder alarms in my phone 72 hour before my date of travel to assure I remember to get my veg meals. I recently went to Europe and even though I requested one 72 hours in advance on the phone with a real person (a-hem, US Airways!) they didn’t have it (grr). Make sure you confirm.
3.) A BPA-free empty water bottle
This way you can take it through security and fill it up at the air port on your way to your gate. Every time I see trash cans full of plastic bottles, I cry a little bit on the inside.
4.) A passport belt or thin travel fanny pack
I’m not saying to dig out your fanny pack from the 90’s- there are lots of cute (modern) fanny packs and passport belts so you can carry money, passports and cards safely under your clothing while traveling.
5.) Lavender oil
Put a few drops on your wrists or on your temples and massage with your fingertips in a circular motion. Namaste.
6.) A travel pillow
Neck support on a long flight instead of awkwardly accidentally creeping on your neighbors shoulder. Enough said.
7.) Headphones or ear plugs
A lot of airlines charge for headphones if you want to watch a movie so pack your own. It’s also a way to block out background noise and screaming children- make a ‘zen’ list and hit play.
8.) Vitamins in a vitamin case and any medications.
This will keep you sane if you have any travel delays, lost luggage or overnight flights- no missed meds. Also- the vitamin case is compact and organized- much better than vitamin bottles.
Don’t pack them in checked luggage in case you need them at the airport or if you have delays.
Write write write. About everything. Your day, the trip, the food, love, life, your goals, your dreams, what makes you happy, what makes you sad. Everything.
Your seat mates / spouse / family / friends will all thank you. Opt for organic if possible. I know I know, organic this… organic that. But the less chemicals, the better. My fave are VerMints peppermints. I get them at Whole Foods at the cash register.
12.) Before you travel, research veggie restaurants near your destination that you want to try (Happy Cow and Veg News Abroad are both great resources) and look up any farmer’s markets and spice markets you want to check out!
13.) A large scarf
Wear it around your neck, wrap it around your body as a poncho or use as a blanket or pillow on the airplane.
14.) Pack vitamin C packets and a natural anti-bacterial hand gel. I know some people poo-poo against these, but you’ll thank me later if you sit on a flight for 5 hours next to someone who is coughing up a storm. You’ll also thank me if an airport or public bathroom doesn’t have soap or a sink (I’ve come across this a lot when I’m abroad).
You’re welcome 🙂 Safe travels!