I’ve been meaning to post something practical like this for a while, and I can think of no better time than tonight, when my shit is scattered all over a bedroom floor in Stockholm and I’m really tired of talking about myself. This is not a sponsored post: I genuinely use and love these things. Yes, I am a girl, so some of them are girlie, although in my opinion, everyone should be free to exfoliate or wear stretchy yoga jeans. Do you have any gadgets, lotions, potions or clothing items you don’t travel without? Please share!
I carry two pairs of these – high and mid-waist, both black. Equally perfect for going out somewhere nice, airline travel, or daytime exploring. Would I actually do yoga in them? No, but whatever floats your boat. Bonus: they’re Canadian-made.
2. Luggage Separators
I only got these a few months ago at Kathmandu (Australia/New Zealand travel store/paradise,) and I’m not sure how I lived without them. No more tearing through your bag to find that one pair of undies: now, you'll find them in the undies separator, with all your other undies, bras, and your bathing suit. As if the wheel weren’t invention enough.
3. Sunscreen Stick
I use this All Terrain Kidsport Face stick (28 SPF) but any kind will do. It’s light, leak-proof, not liquid and if you’re desperate and are out in the middle of nowhere with no sunscreen – not that I would ever do such a thing – can be used on almost any body part.
4. Coconut Oil
It’s not leak-proof or light, but it does work as a body moisturizer, hair treatment, makeup remover, antibacterial ointment, and you can cook with it. In fact, you should cook with it: it’s healthier to fry or bake with than olive oil, which is best consumed raw. You can use it for your teeth, skin rashes and probably a thousand other things. Also, it smells nice.
5. Exfoliating Glove
What can I say? I like having soft skin. And I don’t like weighing down my bag with an extra jar of body scrub. This baby is long-lasting and can also be used on your face every so often, although I’m sure the beauty purists would gasp at such a suggestion. Usually comes in pairs, in case you leave one in an AirBnb shower – not that I would ever do such a thing. Until you leave the other one at another AirBnb shower. Then you buy two more. Also makes a great impromptu gift for a new travel buddy. “I was thinking of you today at the chemist’s so I bought you this exfoliating glove!” You’re welcome.
6. Icebreaker Merino Cardigan
My brother calls this my “funeral chic” cardigan but I love it. Black: goes with everything. Long: can look fancy. Wide: can be worn over a dress. Wearable 4 ways: you can pretend it’s 4 sweaters instead of 1 (always a bonus when you’ve got a limited wardrobe.) Merino: super warm and cosy and good quality (doesn't pile or shrivel.) Drapy: can use as blanket/eyecover/full-body-don't-fucking-talk-to-me-cocoon on planes. Need I say more? Mine is no longer available at Icebreaker this season but I’m sure you can find a similar one somewhere.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a photo of me not in this hoodie in any colder climate. Mine is Roots which I love because it’s a not-so-subtle way of telling the world I'm Canadian, but also because it’s good quality and long-lasting. Because you’ll be using this puppy a lot. (Not the actual puppy - I have no idea who that is.) The hood section is essential as you can also use it as an impromptu eye mask on a plane, plus the extra fabric makes it a cushier pillow when camping without a pillow, not that I would do such a thing. Also great for covering up bed hair or beach hair. I've used mine so much that I get anxious when it’s not nearby, like Linus and his blanket. Beer and stubbie-holder not included.
8. Soft, sporty cotton shorts
Because they can be used for working out, yoga or as pyjama bottoms, or to dry your hair.
9. Lavilin Deodorant
I have sung the praises of this product to everyone I am on deodorant-discussing terms with. You use it once every few days, so it lasts forever, and still weighs less than your average stick of deodorant. Before using it the first time, though, you have to go without any deodorant for 3 days, so perhaps best to do that when you’re on a silent meditation retreat, or perhaps sharing a room with people you don’t like.
I hate Amazon as much as the next guy, but the idea of being able to carry around a small bookshelf’s worth of books in my shoulder bag, or buy English books in a foreign country is an offer I can’t refuse. iPads are great but if you don’t want to blast your face with blue light before going to bed at night, an e-reader is not backlit and is also a lot lighter to carry.
Again: if you have travel shizz you can't live without, I want to know! Share in the comments or on my Facebook page.