Our travel luggage consists of two large rolling duffel bags, two rolling hard-sided carry-on bags, a backpack for Brett, and a large canvas tote for me. Between all of it, we are able to (and have to) pack all the things we need for clothing ourselves year-round, and ensuring a comfortable stay no matter where we go.
I’ve divided the non-clothing items we carry into two parts because there are lots of “other things” we carry. Almost all are small but necessary, to us anyway. Some items make our stays more comfortable and organized, others mean we don’t have to purchase something new at our destination, and others are things to get us started until we can find or replenish with local items and goods. Some miscellaneous items go along to make our temporary lodgings feel a little more like “home.”
All of these “other” things can be tucked into our suitcases or carry-ons without taking up much room. We try whenever possible to choose things we can share (like shampoo or vitamins, for example) rather than having one product for Brett, another for me. We will start out with a few big containers purchased at Costco (vitamins; pain relief), but those will eventually get swapped out for smaller packages that we purchase along the way. Those big bottles from Costco are very cost efficient, but some of the most difficult things to pack and we’re always glad when they run out.
This week’s post covers items we are packing for health and safety, and our personal toiletries:
Health & safety: Last go-around we carried way, way too many of some of these items, and not enough of others. For some reason, for example, we didn’t take any cold relief medicine, and we found it was quite difficult to find overseas when we needed it. We’ve also learned that we don’t need to carry much to get started because most things can be found locally (cold relief and antacids being the exception).
- Prescription medications
- Hydrocortisone cream; Lotrimin (for bug bites and other itchy things)
- Anti-bacterial cream (i.e. Neosporin)
- Bandaids; Leukotape (for cuts and blisters)
- OTC products (antacids, pain relief, cold medication, anti-diarrheal, motion sickness)
Personal items/toiletries: We try to keep these as minimal as possible to start out, and we buy and replace as needed wherever we are. Bars of solid shampoo and conditioner work great and are big space savers and last longer than travel sizes of shampoo and conditioner. Products that come in tubes are preferred to other types of containers as they are the easiest to pack and cut down on waste. We found American-style washcloths difficult to locate when we were in Europe last time and swore to never travel again without our own supply. There’s also no makeup on the list as I no longer wear any other than lipstick so it’s one less thing for me to pack.
- Solid shampoo and conditioner bars
- Curl cream (Laura)
- Body lotion (Laura)
- Facial moisturizer with sunscreen/night cream (Laura)
- Shaving cream (Brett)
- Razors (Henry’s + blades for Brett; disposables for me)
- Manicure kit
- Extra pairs of glasses
The above lists are fairly basic, but we’re mostly only bringing enough to get us started, and with only a few items travel sized, things like the mouthwash and toothpaste that we can later purchase at our destinations. We aim to shop local whenever possible.
Next week I’ll list the electronics we’re bringing, and some other items we started out not carrying but learned along the way were a good idea to have, just in case.