It is nearly inevitable: traveling can be stressful. However, preparing for travel days with the proper gear can sure lighten the burden on those long days. Here are 10 of our very own travel essentials!
This is an obvious one, but before you leave the house, make sure you have the proper identification. It would be terrible to make it to TSA only to find out you forgot your driver’s license!
We never know when hunger can set in, so it is always important to have a few snack bars on us at all times! The one time you leave home without ample snacks will be the one time you need it most! One of my favorite hangry moments was a travel day where we planned on eating at the airport, but our inbound flight was really late, forcing us to run to our next flight. Without snacks we both sat on the next plane starving for four hours! Sure, Southwest gave us peanuts, but having a snack bar or two in the scenario would have been a blessing!
We always carry a backpack with us on trips. Sometimes we will leave home with it nearly empty, but by the end of the day, you better believe we have stuffed it full! Inevitably we always find a use for it. Typically, we put our phone chargers, tablets, books, sleep masks, and other travel essentials inside the backpack. Additionally, we try and store these items in similar spots in the bag for easy access. Added bonus: it is nice to be able to explore and have your hands free all at once!
Carrying a few extra portable phone chargers can be a lifesaver! Most airports have charging stations now, but the last thing you want when arriving to your destination after a long travel day is a dead phone! What would be worse is having your tablet die on the airplane (gasps!)! Before we go on any trip I make sure that all 3 of our chargers are fully charged and ready to go. There is a saying they use in the Navy Seals that says “1 is none and 2 is one.” If you only have one, you are out of luck when that one dies. Having that back up charger can be unnecessary at times, but greatly appreciated when you need it!
Ok, I am not sure if this qualifies as an essential, but traveling without it is a bummer! I read a lot of books on Kindle so having my tablet with me helps keep my mind occupied during long travel days. It has come in handy when we need to research things once at our destination, too. Sometimes trying to do research on an iPhone is just inefficient for our old eyes!
Regardless of the weather of our current or final destination, it always pays to carry a light jacket. Hillary has about worn this one to shreds, but it has been a perfect fleece for traveling! Being stuck in an airport stinks. Being stuck in a cold airport can feel like torture! If you don’t end up needing the jacket, just carry it around your waist like the ultimate tourist! 😉
Who else likes when your eardrums feel like they are going to explode out of your head? Yeah, I thought so! Chewing gum during takeoff and landings helps relieve the high pressure build up in your ears. Also, if you end up having to eat nasty airport food, a nice refreshing stick up gum would go a long ways!
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people walking around the airport in the most ridiculous outfits! For us, travel days are about dressing for comfort, not style. Disclaimer: we do not recommend or condone dressing for travel days like the people of Walmart. Put on a bra, ladies! But we do recommend choosing clothes that are breathable, easy to move around in, accompanied with shoes that do not hurt your feet (This is not the time to try out those new heels!)
Purchasing a quality sleep mask is one of the best purchases we have ever made! Having a sleep mask will help you nap on long flights or in hotel rooms that let too much light in. Yes, they look a little silly (okay, they actually look ridiculous!) But if you’re flying halfway across the world and want some shuteye, looking silly is a small price to pay. Whether we are traveling to a family member’s house, or to a cool spot in Costa Rica, I always keep sleep masks in our backpack.
You know what feels bad? Chapped lips! What’s worse is having chapped lips when you can’t do anything about it. Like the other travel essentials, having a stick or two of chapstick on you can really enhance your travel experience. Enhance may be too strong a word. Having chapstick on you can make traveling suck less when you really have chapped lips! Of course, you can always buy chapstick at the airport if the need arises, but if you come prepared you can save yourself a few bucks!
Almost made the top 10 list:
About a year ago, I bought a bunch of parachute cord to keep in our backpack. My train of thought went something like this…”if we go hiking and get lost and then bit by a snake and then a huge bear comes out of the woods and then we break an ankle trying to run away from the bear, that parachute cord could come in handy!” Hillary is still wondering why the heck we have rope in our bag and I am still trying to convince myself (and her) that it was a good decision to purchase it!
There you have it, our top travel day essentials! Your travel day must-haves may differ a little from ours, but the key is to have a few items with you at all times that will prevent your day from turning into complete agony. We hope you enjoy your travels and may your travel days be lovely and short 🙂
Keep it Kinetic,
Greg and Hillary