Packing can be a pain, am I right? Often times I end up packing by just throwing things into my luggage two days (or 1 day…or 6 hours) before my flight. Despite the haphazard method of packing, there are several items that make it into my bag every time. Here’s a few of my favorite things that every traveler should have in their arsenal!
- Packable Duffel Bag
Too many times I’ve been on a trip and bought more souvenirs than can fit in my luggage – normally along the lines of spices, scarves and home decor items. Each and every time this bag has saved my life! Or at least saved me from overweight luggage fees. I own this one:
As you can see, the bag folds up super small – never takes too much unnecessary space in my luggage – and it opens up to a full size carry-on duffel bag. The con of the bag is that it’s lightweight – because it folds up so small, there’s no structure, so be sure to pack the bag carefully when using it. I often shift my packing and put my heavier items in my other luggage and put my fragile items in the Eagle Creek bag, wrapped in clothing or towels for padding. No matter what you decide, it’s a great bag to own and definitely comes in handy! My bag is no longer sold by Eagle Creek, but you can buy other versions on their website as well as Amazon, Ebags and Zappos. The good news: the newer version seems to have more structure!
2. Wine Diapers
Don’t let the name turn you off – if you’re bringing back ANY type of bottle from your travels, these padded bags will keep them safe. I originally bought the wine diapers for my trip to Italy in 2014, but they’ve paid for themselves many times over. The “diaper” is a bag with absorbent padding inside and sealed with a ziploc-like closure. The padding keeps the bottle from breaking in your luggage, and if there is a break, the padding will also absorb the liquid and keep it from spilling all over your clothes. I recently took them on my South Africa trip and not a single mishap yet!
3. Oregano Oil
Have a sensitive stomach? Oregano oil is here for you. One drop of oregano oil under your tongue each day during your travels will help your digestion and ward off parasites . Worried about eating various cuisines or street food? Oregano oil will keep you covered. Here’s a fair warning – the taste is overwhelming and pretty nasty. Keep water nearby to wash the taste out of your mouth afterwards. While it’s helped my stomach, it’s not always a cure-all. I got sick in Peru for several days after eating in Aguas Calientes – the one morning I forgot to take my oregano oil! In South Africa, my stomach didn’t do very well even with the oregano oil. It’s been a lifesaver to me on other trips, so it’s worth it!
4. Go Girl
If you’re a woman headed to China, this could save you a lot of embarrassing mistakes! The Go Girl functions as a funnel for your ladyparts when you’re confronted with squat toilets (pictured below) or toilets that are just plain nasty and you want to be nowhere near them.
I was so glad I bought the Go Girl – it was cheap and worth it. Not only did I take it to China with me, but I take it to festivals and other events where there may not be regular toilets or I’m confronted with disgusting port a potties.
Hope this list helps you for your next trip. Once you get these things, you’ll wonder how you got along without them. What accessories do you travel with? Let me know in the comments!