What I travel with & how I pack

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I’m going to Ireland on Thursday for a week with family. Then I’m doing three really quick hours (36 hours each) to Budapest, Prague, Berlin. The trip is to celebrate my graduation from graduate school. I’m really excited for the trip. Especially to start really travel blogging.

I plan to share my trips while I’m out there, but I also want to do some retroactive posts soon, on my trips to Lisbon, Havana, Brussels, Mexico City. Maybe some domestic trips?

But in preparation for my trip next week I wanted to share some things that I like to travel with.

1.     Podcasts. I download a lot of podcasts before my trips because I usually travel alone and I like to listen to other people talk and pretend they’re my friends, making me feel not so lonely. I’m not into audiobooks right now, Mostly, because I prefer the conversational aspects of comedy podcasts. Right now, I’m into

2.     A good backpack. I like mine from North Face but I’m sure there’s plenty of good ones everywhere. My big requirement is to have one big pocket (with a laptop sleeve) and a smaller one with lots of little pockets, slots, zippers, etc.

3.     A small shoulder strap purse. For when you don’t want to wear your backpack.

4.     Journal to write in.

5.     Books, but more books then you think you can read, in case you’re not into the ones you brought.

6.     Space saver bags. This is a new one for me. That I’ll be using for the first time in Europe next week.


7.     Passport case. I don’t know why. It’s not especially amazing. I don’t use the other pockets inside, except for my boarding pass. But I think it helps me to not lose my passport in my giant bag.

8.     Compression socks. I have weird legs, hips, and ankles. On long flights, my left ankle swells up. Compression sucks help. I also used to bring them when I traveled for work. I would wear them after a long day of work wearing heels for a couple of hours.


9.     Shoes – I like to bring a Vans slip-on type that can be dressed up if needed but are really comfortable to walk around in all day. Mine are all black, but I just recommend picking a color that can go with a lot. I’ve also seen Dr. Scholl’s have a similar cute show. Depending on when and where I’m traveling to, I might bring sandals.

10.  Dresses with pockets. Obviously.

11.  Dark clothes so you can get away without washing them for longer.

12.  Vests – instead of jackets. Jackets and coats take up too much room in a bag and they suck. Patagonia is my favorite, they have mad pockets.


13.  Small bottles of Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap. You can buy a big (Trader Joe’s has the best price) and put them in your own little bottles. Or Target has little bottles in the travel section. But I love it because it’s so versatile; it can be body wash, face wash, shampoo, or laundry soap. However, if I’m not completely backpacking/roughing it, I bring a different shampoo and conditioner.

14.  Moleskin for blisters.

Things I don’t pack:

1.     Jewelry. Other than my Fit Bit. It’s too big of a risk that I will lose it and/or it will get stolen. I don’t do many fancy

2.     Passport pouch/hidden wallet. I probably should use this more. But my iPhone case is a wallet, so it’s fine in my pocket or zipped up purse. If I have more cash than the phone case wallet can hold, then I put it in my pocket, purse, or backpack. But I don’t carry around a lot of cash when I travel.

3.     Foreign currency. I don’t convert the money beforehand. They always rip you off. And it makes way more sense to take the money out of the ATM when you get there.