When planning a trip or vacation it is important that you pack the essentials and prevent over packing. Some things to consider when deciding on what to take on your next trip is the weather at the location you will be traveling to. It is also necessary to take into consideration that type of traveling that you will be doing. If you are going to be spending time in the outdoors it is a must that you pack the proper gear and other essentials. Things like sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, a rain jacket or poncho, travel tubes, packing cubes, warm clothes, headlamp, water bottle, hiking poles, hiking shoes, hiking socks, a comfortable hat, first-aid kit and my personal favorite a Leatherman multi-tool.
You may find that your own list of essentials is quite different and contains items like your favorite book, or your tablet or mp3 player. I do have to recommend that you keep the creature comforts to a minimum. There is nothing like the feeling of traveling light especially if your vacation takes you to numerous destinations. Some of the items I have mentioned above may be familiar to you and others may not. I will briefly describe some of the items and why I think they are essential to pack for any outdoor vacation.
A good pair of sunglasses will definitely come in handy. My eye doctor told me that if you find yourself squinting when your outdoors that means you should be wearing sunglasses. For a really great pair of sunglasses I recommend these from Maui Jim: They have high light reduction for rich color and contrast, made with super-thin glass for best scratch and solvent resistant, wipe 99.9% of glare, 100% UV protected and polarized. I like these cat-eye (butterfly look) sunglasses because they are fashionable as well. Most of their sunglasses can be prescription sunglasses.
Okay you have your eyes protected now you need protection from the rain. For that I highly recommend a packable lightweight rain jacket from Red Ledge. Trust me there is nothing like getting stuck in the rain with out proper protection.
AprilMarin is a womens clothing and accessory company that focuses on one size fits all knits. They have some great styles for fall/holiday. Since all of their items are one size, they make great gift items!
This is AprilMarin’s City Ruffle Shawl and I must say it’s a great travel accessory! It is a one size fits all shawl/wrap that is easy to wear and very versatile. It perfect to keep you warm on the airplane or dressed up for a dinner. It is machine washable and dryable and does not wrinkle. It comes in over 15 colors and retails for $89.
I took my AprilMarin shawl to my friend’s July 4th party and when it got a little chilly at night before the fireworks (we were in Long Island) I took out my shawl and got cozy and warm while other guests didn’t bring anything.
It also kept my girl warm while she wrapped herself cozy waiting for fireworks.
I look forward to also bring my shawl to my airplane travel and wrap up myself instead of using the airline’s filthy blankets Lol.
When it comes to packing I like to keep things organized and in place. I don’t like it when my socks get all mixed up with my shirts and things are flying around in my suitcase. For that reason I started using packing cubes from eBags. Check them out and trust me you will love the cubes once you start using them. They keep all your things organized and easy to get to. Packing cubes from eBags are very durable, come in a set of 3 different size packing cubes and retail for about $26. And check out this video – it will show exactly how packing cubes look. On the topic of packing you should also have a good lightweight backpack (below)
You also have to consider taking your favorite shampoo & conditioner and lotion. You may not be able to find these things at the place you are traveling to. I suggest using Silicone Travel Tubes. They have wide opening for easy filling and no plastic, BPA free and Airline carry-on approved, leak and spill proof.
If you are going to be outside and the weather will be warm you must bring insect repellent. For this you should try All Natural Wildwood Insect repellent from Carpe Insectae.
To further protect your eyes and hair or for those days when your hair is messy definitely bring a hat! One of my favorites is from a company called “The Real Deal.” They make hats, bags, backpacks and other items from recycled tarps taken from Brazilian cargo trucks. Now that’s keeping things sustainable, while looking stylish!
The next item that I never leave home without is my Leatherman multi-tool. Once you click on the link you will know what I am talking about. It is a knife, pliers, can opener, saw, screwdriver, file, bottle opener, and more. Just think of it as a Swiss army knife on steroids.
When you’re out an about whether it is in the city or back country, a good pack is very important. I recommend the new Thule Stir Backpack. It is lightweight and not too bulky. When not in use it can easily be folded down and put inside of your suitcase.
The one that I’m wearing is Thule Stir 15L in Orange color. It has 1 inside pocket and very light weight.
When you travel, you obviously must take lots of photos. Most people now take their gorgeous photos from their smart phones. I purchased the Love Handle As seen on TV Ultra Slim secure phone grip and I’m loving it! It’s compatible with any hand-held device, adheres to the using a strong 3M peel-n-stick adhesive and enables the user to securely hold their devices without the risk of dropping. I even used my phone on a rollercoaster, taking a video of my thrill ride. I really like the Love Handle phone grip. It is great for texting too and works great for holding your coffee while holding your phone with the same hand. It is pretty inexpensive too. I purchased mine for $7.95 on Amazon.
When you travel and hiking or doing some activity, what if it’s a little hot out? Bring an instant cooling towel! The one I like to use is from Dr. Cool. It’s an instant cooling towel, stays cooler longer, free of polymers and topical chemicals, and does not lose it’s effectiveness after multiple uses. EASY TO USE. Wet towel with water. Wring out the excess moisture. Grab towel on both ends and pull hands apart snapping the fabric to active the cooling technology
Lastly, if you travel abroad, don’t forget the Plug Adapter. There is nothing like being in a foreign country and not being able to power up your gadget because you have the wrong plug adapter. Thankfully, this convertible wall adapter / USB compatible charger solves that problem. As a travel blogger, I need to continual access to my documents and other devices on which they are located, and the power to keep those devices in operation. Thankfully, this adapter serves as my “passport” to the electrical outlets of the world! And the colorful flag design is awesome!
You may also want to bring your favorite hair styling tools, only to find out the the voltage is different and your flat iron doesn’t work in another country. For this reason I will recommend to bring the Conair 2000-Watt Travel Smart Converter/Adapter Set. It automatically selects low (0-49 watts) for electric shavers, battery chargers, etc. or high setting (50-2000 watts) for irons, hair dryers, etc.
If you have any questions or comments about any of the items suggested in this article please post a comment.
Disclosure: My recommended items above are the ones I personally use and like. They may contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and The Big Apple Mama will receive a small referral fee. Thanks for your support.