I’ve packed for Italy, I began throwing things in a suitcase a week ago and started the whittle down process tonight and actually squeezed everything into my suitcase and carry on. I know there are people who travel with just a carry on, I am not that person. My toiletries take up half my suitcase and I’m only bringing the essentials! Unfortunately, the older I get, the more essentials I need, ok, there are wants and there are needs. They’re almost the same to me. Here are my packing essentials.
- Ear buds: My phone is connected to my blue tooth speakers in the house (which I’m also bringing) and in my car so I don’t use ear buds normally BUT when flying internationally, most airlines will have tons of free movies and tv shows and they’re usually pretty current. Sometimes you they will give you free ear buds, sometimes you have to pay. #cheapasian doesn’t like paying but I do like free movies (well, free for the price of a plane ticket) when I can’t sleep and don’t feel like reading.
- Throw Pillow: I like to sleep on my side so I always snuggle with a small rectangular pillow. I also love to travel with it. I always fly on a window seat and use my pillow on the flight. I’ve tried the U shaped pillows they sell at the airport but it doesn’t prop up as well next to the window. I also take the pillow with me to the beach, not all beaches are sandy and it just feels better to have a pillow with me. Unfortunately, my last pillow didn’t survive the last washing so I just bought a new one at Ross. It’s a little bigger than my old one but will still fit in my giant purse.
- Giant Purse: I bought a cross shoulder purse to bring with me on this trip but I couldn’t bring myself to use it. I need my giant purse. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that I can fit in it, including my computer. It’s an absolute must for me.
- Ear plugs: I keep my ear plugs in my giant purse. I can usually sleep on a plane for at least an hour or two , maybe more if the sleep Gods are with me but not if there are kids or loud talkers around. To be fair, I am that loud talker when I haven’t seen Su or Nancy for awhile and we’re on a plane together. Ear buds aren’t enough to cancel out the noise but ear plugs do a fantastic job of it. Also fabulous when traveling with snorers (and if I’m exhausted, I’m one of those snorers).
- Pashmina: I get cold, often and easily. If I’m hot, then everyone else is boiling. When flying, I need my pashmina to help keep me warm. It’s also fantastic to wear in the evenings as a scarf or wrap. The hardest part is deciding which one to bring.
- Sleeping Pills: When I was younger, I had the gift of sleep. I could sleep anywhere and everywhere. Once while waiting on a flight in the Army, and we were hanging out on the tarmac. I put my helmet on and laid on the ground and went to sleep. Before joining the Army I had to do a hearing test. I had to get up early to go to the MEPs station in Seattle. They put headphones on me and put me in a sound proof booth and I pushed the button whenever I heard a beep. They came in to check the equipment because it wasn’t working. Nope, I fell asleep during my hearing test. Over the years my gift of sleep has disappeared. It really is true, the older you get, the less sleep your body needs. Wahhhh! It takes me forever for my body clock to get adjusted. In Vietnam I was waking up at 4am on a regular basis, same with Scotland. Needless to say, when the others are up and ready, I’m read for a nap. So as much as I hate taking pills, I need them so that I’m not a zombie on my first week of vacation.
- Inflatable pillow: Two pillows! What a diva! Well, I’m short. Gasp! I know, a shocker. My dad promised me a growth spurt, I’m still waiting. I use an inflatable pillow to rest my feet on. In some airplanes, my feet don’t touch the ground and that’s hell on my knees. This helps make my flight so much more comfortable. I set my feet on the pillow and it takes a lot of the pressure off of my knees and I’m less likely to have cankles when I land.
- Lip Balm: Seriously, if I was on Survivor, this would be my luxury item. There is only one specific brand that I use, DCT (Daily Conditioning Treatment). I took 3 tubs with me to Vietnam but I lost 2 of them while there. Had to buy a back up balm, I was getting so low, my lips were not happy. I’m an addict but I figure it’s not a bad addiction to have, my lips look half the age of my face. I won’t say how many I’m bringing with me on this trip.
- Backup glasses: I always think about bringing a spare pair of glasses but never did. I mean, how often do our glasses break? Well, I was in New Orleans in January and my glasses broke just switching between my glasses and sunglasses. It snapped and super glue wasn’t going to do the trick. Trust me, I tried. Luckily my sister was flying in the next day so she was able to bring me my back up pair. I won’t have the luxury of someone flying in my glasses (I looked like a rock star sitting at dinner with my sunglasses on, it was the only way I could see) to Italy so I’m packing them…just in case.
- Backpack or tote bag: I’ve gone on some trips not bringing a tote bag and I’ve regretted it. Usually on vacation, you’re going to be out for hours at a time, if not all day. It’s great to have a bag to carry your water, your camera, sunscreen and jacket in. It’s also convenient when you want to shop (in my case I like to have food in my bag).
Su has a her packing essentials list, we have different priorities. What are some of your packing essentials when traveling? I know there are more things I can add to my list but 10 seemed such a nice number.