10 of My Top Travel Must-Haves

CONFESSION: I am obsessed with how people expertly pack suitcases. You know, those guys who can fit like 78 shirts into a carry-on bag? It's magical. The other thing that amazes me is what crucial items women decide to bring along in their purses. Because you know if I'm lugging something around on my shoulder all day, it better be important. As in- lip balm, a small book, my various forms of identification & monetary payment, and a bottle of glitter. Yep, I have a tiny bottle of glitter in my purse that I've been carrying around for the past year.

There's just something fascinating to me about what others decide to travel with. If they got stranded on a desert island, all they'd be left with are the items in their little suitcase. What things would you want to be deserted with? I doubt you'll actually find yourself on a remote island, but you may find yourself caught in a dingy airport, or all alone on a road trip, or snowed in at your mother-in-law's house. First things first though...


A Place to Stay

If I don't have a friend or family member to stay with, my next favorite venue to find a place to sleep is through Airbnb. Rent a room (or home) by the day/ week for much cheaper than a hotel would cost. Plus, it's cozier, and you can meet cool locals in the process! I've used the service several times now, and it's always been a success.


Getting There

The other most important aspect of a trip is your transportation! For those of you who need a car on your travels, RelayRides is a great rental service that's also part of the sharing economy. Basically, you go on the website to search for the city you'll be in, along with the car type of your choice and price range. You'll find a list of car options, and then you just rent your car of choice from the individual owner. Pick it wherever in the city you both specify. If flying, the other option is to use their airport car rentals. It's a fast and simple way to get around all of that crazy bureaucracy at corporate rental car places. Check it out for more details! So what are your travel must-haves?


Based on both my practical and fanciful needs, here are the 10 travel items I can't be without. Starting from top left & going clockwise:



1) Vera Bradley Weekender bag in Midnight Blues. On website for $58.

This is the perfect bag to squeeze your clothes into for a short trip or to use as your carry on. I love its fun pattern & comfy straps! Get the Grand Traveler bag size if you're looking for some extra space.


2) Conversation starter scarf in Library Card pattern. On Etsy for $44.

Because it's cold this time of year and scarfs are adorable. Nothing is worse than being unprepared for chilly weather on a trip! This scarf is also perfect, because I love nerdy nostalgic things like those book-y places called libraries that people used to go to. 


3) GUM Ortho Travel Toothbrush. On Amazon for $5.99 for 2 brushes.

I can't be the only person on earth who finds normal sized toothbrushes to be an unruly shape while traveling, right? If you're looking for a less awkwardly sized toothbrush for your makeup bag, try these. They're about half the size of a regular type, and the bristles tuck into the plastic carrier when not in use.


4) Kind Bar with Almond & Apricot in Yogurt. On website for $100 for 72 bars.

These bars are heaven for the mouth. They perk me up with energy when I'm lagging on long road trips and such. Driving huge distances, which I love, is usually filled with gastronomical deprivation- the sides of roads are often lined with crappy fast food places. Kind Bars tide me over while I can look for an awesome, local restaurant to try out.


5) Baritone Ukulele - or another fun way to add to the festivities you're traveling to! This Kala MK-B is on Amazon for $82.99.

Obviously not everyone would want to haul a ukulele around on a trip. I love to sing, and it just so happens that most of the people in my life enjoy singing too. Bringing a ukulele to play songs along to is a great addition to intimate events. Depending on who you're with, you could easily switch an instrument out for the following fun activities: a hilarious game to play, a karaoke machine, old photo albums, DIY craft goodies, or just a good ol' bottle of booze.


6) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book. On Amazon for $8.52.

This novel was written through a beautiful set of letters. If you enjoy historical fiction and a unique interweaving of stories, then you'll love this book. I personally can't go on a vacation without having at least two books to read. And when traveling during the holidays, I'm not in the mood to read a dark thriller... I want something warm. Though this is a war book, it's also filled with charm and humorous characters that I'm sure will capture your heart.


7) Fujifilm XP70 16 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD. On Amazon for $164.

I love taking pictures while on vacation- of soaring vistas, city scenes, delicious food, and my family. Cellphones are good for taking pictures for Facebook or Instagram, but if you want higher quality images for a website or to print out then a real camera is best. You don't have to splurge though! This Fujifilm that I own is perfect because it's small and light enough to carry in my purse everywhere. The huge bonus of this particular camera is that it's waterproof. I was the only person in Costa Rica who was able to take pictures on our rain forest hike while it was pouring!


8) 2015 Les Fleurs Wall Calendar as a hostess gift. On Rifle Paper Co. for $22.

Lots of people enjoy getting a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, but what if you want to give something a bit more unique? Since it's close to the New Year, give your holiday host a cute 2015 calendar to brighten up their walls. It's a small but thoughtful "thank you" for their hospitality. I would personally love to get something this adorable from a guest at my home!


9) Epic Bison Bacon Cranberry Bar. On website for $30 for 12 bars.

This Epic Bar is freaking dreamy. Delicious bison mixed with bacon- say what?! It's essentially a flavorful meat jerky, but instead of being so hard that you're about to rip your teeth out, it is juicy and tender. If you're a meat eater, I couldn't recommend this more. Though it has a lot of fat, the bar is a good snack at 200 calories. Plus, the animals are 100% grass fed and humanely certified. I eat one of these bars when I'm on the go while traveling as a nice source of protein.


10) Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits CD as my soundtrack. On Amazon for $5.

There has never been a greater CD to drive through America with than this compilation. All I have to say is "Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," and "Say You Love Me." I mean, I'm getting excited just typing a few of the songs! Please, please, please tell me I'm not the only Millennial who's obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. If you like classic rock, then this will be the perfect CD on which to find your travel anthem.


There you have it! Hope you all enjoyed my list of favorite things that I bring on my trips! Please subscribe below for more special posts and a free workbook. So what can't you live without while on vacation? Give me a tiny peek into your suitcase packing rituals. :)


Have a wonderful week,