I have a list of go-to products that I stash in my suitcase. Most of these products are inexpensive and can be found at Target or CVS. Many of them can even be used by both men and women. When it comes to packing for a trip, I also have a variety of tips and tricks that you may find useful. Here are some of my travel-friendly products and personal travel tips.
Wet Ones are perfect for on-the-go hand washing and they claim to kill most germs. While I still carry hand sanitizer, this leaves me feeling more clean and I can also clean items around me. You know that airplane tray doesn’t get a good wipe down before you eat off of it. Yum. The thin package can easily slip into the side of your bag. Downy wrinkle release is not as good as a traditional iron job, but can turn your crumbled clothes into decent dressing. The spray also smells fresh, so you smell fresh. Jergens lotion is a good moisturizer for most climates. I carry this lotion daily in my purse. Carmex lip balm is another great moisturizing product. Perfect for that dry airplane or mountain air. Old Spice antiperspirant and deodorant is one of my favorite products. Seriously. This stick truly keeps you dry even when running between terminals. Plus, I love the island fresh scent. While Old Spice leans towards the more masculine consumer, the Fiji fragrance can work for both sexes. This almost doubles as a perfume/cologne.
When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, I say the more moisturizing the better. L’oreal has nice products that help repair the damage caused by a long day baking in the sun or hitting the slopes. Some of their washes also claim to tame frizz (oh that Mediterranean humidity!). For hold that lasts during the day-long tour, try TRESemme hairspray. If you have long hair and want to skip a wash without looking like a greasy backpacker, try one of these dry shampoos. The powder will soak up excess oil and also give you a bit of volume. The Redken spray is unscented and works for masculine and feminine users. I prefer the Batiste tropical spray since it has a pleasing scent, but be forewarned that it is a bit on the feminine side. As with any dry shampoo, be sure to thoroughly massage the powder into the scalp or you risk having ghoulish streaks. Batiste also has tinted powders to better match your hair color. Dove bar soap is mild enough to use on the whole body, including your face. Thus, you don’t have to pack body wash and face wash. Plus, since it’s not a liquid you can take it through security without any issues and there is no chance of it spilling in your bag.
If your trip includes air travel, I highly recommend wearing smart slip-on shoes for the security check. I love my rubber-soled Sketchers. They double as a comfortable walking shoe which is essential for any type of travel. I also always wear socks – being barefoot in the security line not only looks ridiculous but is wildly unsanitary.
When I pack for a trip, I pick outfits that coordinate with each other. I usually pick a main shoe/belt/purse color – black or brown – and then build off of that. Jeans can be worn a few items without needing a wash, so one pair can last 3 to 4 days barring any major mishaps. Speaking of which, if you are prone to stains and messes, pack a small Tide pen for quick clean up. Big scarves can work as a wrap, blanket, or can be rolled up to be used as a small pillow. Some airlines don’t even provide blankets and pillows anymore. Thong sandals double as hotel slippers and yoga pants or cotton leggings double as pajama bottoms. I usually pack one hat – protects from the sun in the summer, keeps your head warm in the cold, and masks your bad hair day.
Since we can’t live without our electronics (even my mother is hooked on her smart phone), I suggest investing in extra phone
batteries or a portable phone charger. If you are traveling abroad, call your carrier to discuss a temporary upgrade to your service plan. One month of international coverage costs far less than one unplanned emergency phone call. I paid about $20 extra to cover my trip to Mexico and when my husband left his phone in a small cab near Mazatlan, it would have been about $200 to call our carrier to cancel the service to that phone. Well worth the upgrade.
So there you have it – my favorite items and some of my secret travel tips. If you are a fellow traveler, you most likely have your own packing secrets. Feel free to share your wisdom here on my website or if you are a Facebook user, check out my page and add your own insight. My Facebook page also includes weekly updates with more of my personal tips, facts, and photos. Happy packing!