29 January, 2015

Russ' 15 Travel Essentials

I am always excited to go on new adventures, but I dread having to experience travel nightmares. I know of stories of friends who lost their luggage while on a trip, missed flights, was robbed in Barcelona, got ill in Vietnam, badly sprained an ankle in Hong Kong ( um, my Mom ) and the list goes on. While I love spontaneity, a little bit of preparedness never hurts. You'll never know what could possibly happen. Traveling's supposed to be fun, right? Aberyas ( hassles ) are last stuff that I want to deal with regardless how petty they are. If triggered, it usually does this domino effect. I'm quite lucky that I rarely find myself in travel booboos. The worst, so far, happened back in 2009 but it was a force majeure kind of situation that left my friends and I stranded in a town for 2 days because of the flash floods. We laugh about it now, but I remember how scared we were back then.

These days, traveling has become easier for most of us. There are a lot of innovations that have led to better, more pleasant experiences. Through the years, I've evolved as a traveler from the teeny-bopper ala Clueless pack rat to the yuppie adventure-seeker and to the travel smart + travel light wanderer that I am now. I constantly discover new products, sites, and services that make and will make my travel life happier — e.g. my most recent discoveries, which I hope to try this year, are AirBnB and RelayRides ( I'm planning to write a separate post about them in the next few weeks ).Ü Eventually, I think these two sites will be part of my favorite travel staples like Rome2Rio, Booking.Com, and TripAdvisor.

And since we're already on the topic of travel, preparedness, and traveling smart, I'd like to share my  fifteen travel essentials . These are items that I always make sure I bring with me for a trip, whether local or outside the country. Countless times, they've saved me and have always proven to be most useful.
Travel Essentials


A. Maxi Dress
It's a very versatile piece of clothing that's lightweight and does not eat much space. For girls like me who don't wear pants that much, a maxi dress makes a safe OOTD when visiting countries that are conservative e.g. Brunei. Trust me, it also looks great in photos?Ü [ Read: Brunei Darussalam in 40-Something Hours ]

B. LBD
The LBD is another versatile piece that every woman should bring with her when traveling. It does not require much effort + it most certainly looks good with almost anything. It's easy to dress it up and it can be worn with flats, sneakers, and even strappy sandals. It's also easy to spruce your entire OOTD with minimal accessories and wear it to a chic restaurant for impromptu dinners.

C. Shawl
This is one of my favorite travel best friends. I can bring several pieces and they still won't take up luggage space. I usually have one with me because I get cold easily. Aside from using it as a "plane blanket", it also makes an awesome fashion accessory and cover-up when there's a need to cover the shoulders when in places of worship. Sometimes, I use it as bandana to protect my tresses from the heat of the sun — see here.

D. Sunnies
These need not have an explanation.Ü I sleep in the plane wearing my sunglasses. Do you do that too?

E. Music Player
This does not need an explanation, too.

F. Tablet
The tablet is one of the greatest inventions of our time. It's compact. It's very convenient because I no longer have to bring my laptop with me. If there's a life and death matter at work that needs my immediate attention when on a vacation, I can easily check my email from my iPad. Also, this is where I keep digital copies of my travel documents for reference. And most importantly, this amazing piece of technology saves me from boredom.

G. Small Day Bag
A small day bag is perfect when you're going around town and sight-seeing because it won't call attention. It's light and will require you to just bring the essentials needed for the day.

H. Red Lipstick
Red Lipstick is like the LBD. You don't have to bring your entire makeup stash. A nice, bold red lip color usually does the trick and can make you look fab in an instant.

I. Comfortable, Multi-Purpose Neutral-Colored Footwear
I limit myself to bringing max of 2 pairs of shoes. Your comfortable, multi-purpose neutral-colored footwear can be a nice pair of sneakers or a lovely pair of flats that will go well with your maxi-dress, jeans, shorts, and even your LBD.

J. Pen & Small Notebook
I love to write and half the time, my head's always bursting with ideas.

K. A Good Book
Best boredom killer during airport lull times and long flights :)

L. A Good Foundation / Concealer
Octard's been my favorite since I discovered it. I works well as a foundation and as a concealer. I'm usually good with just this and my red lipstick.

M. Mobile WiFi
Ah, this is my local travel best friend. My country's still a bit behind when it comes to the Internet and I've had bad experiences with hotels ( yes, even big ones ) that don't have a decent connection inside the room. I've learned to not complain and just have something reliable with me at all times. I'm using Smart, most reliable of 'em all even if you're not in the city.

N. A Powerful and Reliable Point-&-Shoot Camera
While DSLRs are okay, they're not-so convenient when traveling ( at least for me ). They're heavy and it will hurt a lot of if they get lost. Lol. So, I'm all for powerful point-and-shoot digital cameras. I've been using an Olympus Tough for almost a year now. It doesn't disappoint and I would recommend it. It's waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and still takes great photos.

O. First-Aid Kit
A first-aid travel does not need to have much and mine usually has the following: my thyroid meds, insect repellant, band-aid, anti-bacterial cream, paracetamol, anti-histamine, and loperamide.



You've seen my list, now it's time to hear from you. What are your travel essentials? Passport, travel documents, cash, itinerary don't count. We all know that everyone shouldn't go on a trip without these non-negotiables.Ü ☮..Peace + ❥_Love + Spreading Lots of Travel Vibes. RUSS.

60 comments:

Fiona said...

Great travel essentials Russ. I really need to invest in the mobile wi-fi for my travels this year.

Krystal said...

These are great! I never go on a trip without my tablet.

Michelle de Guzman said...

With airlines charging extra for luggage now I try to keep with the carry on and a backpack/purse. This article really gave me some great ideas for my upcoming cruise. I had nor remeber my maxi dress and it is perfect to dress up or down with my favorite shawls.

Diane Sullivan said...

I love lists like this. I always forget to pack something when I am going on a trip! Mobile wifi is always a must!! Thanks for the reminder. Diane

Liz Mays said...

I always have my mobile hotspot with me too. I never thought to bring along first aid supplies, but that's smart!

Nina Say said...

A scarf is definitely needed when traveling. You never know when it is going to get really chilly.

kat b said...

I would have to say that my cell phone and laptop are two of my main travel essentials. I can't go anywhere with out them..well I could but I'd like them with where I go most places, especially if traveling on vacation.

Jennifer Juro said...

Your list is pretty much identical to my travel necessity list. I love that maxi dress they are so comfortable to travel in.

Miranda Myrabev said...

I know what you mean about travel nightmares but we have advanced now and things are much better than before. I carry the same things as you except the ipod as i use my phone for music etc

Fiona said...

I need that mobile wi-fi in my life. Anywhere I stay never seems to have any wi-fi and that's so annoying for me.

Masshole Mommy said...

For me, as long as I have my portable iPhone charger, blistex and my flat iron, I am good to go. I can't leave home without any of those.

Tami Q said...

This is a great list of essentials. I'd go crazy if I didn't have my smart phone on the plane and a camera to take pics.

Fajar Harpha said...

Right, Traveling outside the country will be more challenging, especially discover. I love it. I always carry a tablet and everything is mine is there. Nice post Russ

Michelle Hwee said...

This is an excellent list of essentials! I typically over-pack and such so this will definitely come in handy! Thanks for sharing!

Catherine Sargent said...

This is a great list of essentials. Sunglasses and a first aid kit are always on my list.

Blessing said...

Waoh, what a great list. Makes me want to travel asap but the airlines charges sometimes put me off from taking a lot while travelling.
Enjoy lady.

Alissa said...

These are great tips. Mine would be the same too but I think I'll maybe add a powerbank to keep my phone alive

CourtneyLynne said...

What a great list!! I also sleep on the plane with my sunglasses on! My hubby thinks I'm nuts for doing it lol....

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

A good foundation and concealer is a must for me - each and everytime!

Coolmoms Cooltips said...

What a great and complete list!
This is all the basics to go discover the world

Kori said...

That is a great list of essentials and I think you've got everything covered. I always try to bring extra sunscreen and aloe vera.

Andi said...

Great list and many of the items are also my must-haves! Especially scarves, I bring a lot of dark colors and brighten them up with scarves. I have tons of digital items but also love my moleskine that I travel with all the time!

Heather Jones said...

I don't go anywhere without my tablet and I comfortable shoes would be a part of my list.

mail4rosey said...

I'm looking to get a tablet for travel that will take pictures. I think it would be way more convenient to carry then the laptop.

Echo A said...

Great travel list! I always travel with a small med kit, my electronics with chargers and coffee, just in case!

JOJO VITO said...

Great list...I totally agree on the tablet....I usually update my blogs everyday and in some of my travels I found bringing my laptop quite difficult because of its weight.

Tammilee Tips said...

This is a great list of essentials!! I have to have an extra back up charger for my phone I would be lost with out it.

Sherrie Bama said...

When I travel I usually just take what I need. I use to over-pack all the time. I have found it is just a bunch of unnecessary things I didn't even use. I know do somewhat like you talk about.

Samantha Crowned said...

We have a very different list! Mine would include a lot of flashlights, tents, and sun protection. Haha

Franc said...

I guess with today's technology. Mobile Wifi and iPads can really keep you connected even on vacation.

Lynndee said...

Yes for the sunnies, the lipstick, the flats, the iPad, the bag, the first-aid kit and the sunnies. Not unless the trip calls for a dress, then I include it too. For my husband? As long as he has his book, then he's good to go. :)

Chrystal Mahan said...

Pen and a notebook is a must for me. I use my iPad when I travel to read on as it is much easier to carry than a bunch of books. But I tend to bring a book too just because I love the actual feel of a good book in my hands.

Lisa Rios said...

A great list of essentials for sure to plan a perfect trip. The Wifi device is the only thing I am missing. Usually, I always have a habit of noting things in a notepad to make sure I have packed them all. Thanks for sharing.

MJ Jacks said...

This is exactly what my travel bag looks like! I kid you not. Down to the brands for so many of these items. Love it. I need to read Gone Girl. It's on my list.

Yona Williams said...

I will say that I have been lucky not to go through a travel disaster before. I have had a few minor things happen to me. I got my luggage delayed twice (one time was kind of scary because they misplaced my carry-on that they insisted they check under the plane – it had my house keys and jewelry in it). I also flew stand-by to and from Las Vegas using a Buddy Pass, and spent 2 extra days trying to get back home. I am soooo happy I did not get sick or injured…oh wait…I did break a tooth on a salted pretzel while stuck in the Las Vegas airport, and scraped my foot on coral in Hawaii that left a nice memory scar, but other than that, I think stomach distress and food poisoning would be the worst. As for travel essentials, I can't wait to put my new Kindle Fire HDX to good use.

Marie Imperial said...

If I had to choose one thing I can't leave home without, it would be my tinted lip balm. I'd go gaga if it's not with me. ^_^

Mommy Peachy said...

This is a great list of travel essentials! I always carry a pen and notebook with me when traveling too.

Stephanie C. said...

I love this list! Some great reminders on here for traveling! We are headed to Italy Summer 2015 and I love this list as a reminder of what I'll need.

theresa said...

I am not really a travel junkie but I agree with most of the items in your list. Especially the book,it's a must!

Adrian Ann said...

What a great list. I love how simple but comprehensive it is. I couldn't live with out my first aid kit and my shawl. Everything else is variable! :D

Pia Thought said...

Love it! Personally, I can't travel without shades and camera! But love your list, realistic and a reminder to us all. ♥

Suzanne said...

These are some great tips! We will definitely use them when we plan our next adventure. Well, I will at any rate, LOL.

Pingerrain * Priscilla said...

I have additional things though. One of them is a ziploc bag.
I read my books on my phablet, so that also axed the tablet. Also wet wipes. Those are really useful.

Kylie wenn said...

With a list like this, nobody will forget anything or left anything behind. Such a great list of must bring!

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

I always try to bring a book with me when I overseas, but because of the blogger status, I will end up working on my laptop instead of reading. It's bad, but no choice!

Raymond Vasquez said...

Yeah, wifi, notebook and pen, camera are really essentials for me. Well, okay, you can include the ipad.haha But sometimes my phone would suffice. :-)

Franc said...

Cameras would really document vacations well. Being away also gives you more time to appreciate books.

Loudthinkin said...

Those are really the essentials!I like to travel light and this list helps in prioritising.

Mia Foo said...

Wow, you sure pack quite a lot into your luggage! I used to bring a book when I travel too, but eventually I realised its just dead weight. I usually will not have the time to read, or will be too tired to.

Jason P. said...

Definitely agree with all these travel essentials especially the scarf, shades, and camera! Haha! :D

May De Jesus-Palacpac said...

My husband tries to convince me to leave my lappie behind and bring the tablet instead, but I just can't adapt to it yet, haha.

papaleng said...

My wife will not definitely agree with some of the items you posted here. She is not used to bringing in too many luggage.

Vanessa said...

I love all types of shawls, and I consider them a necessity when travelling. They are not only a fashionable accessory but protect you in case of unexpected windy or sunny weather. A cam is also a must!

Eliz Frank said...

I love your list of travel esentials. I've traveled a lot in my life and those items make a bug difference. Another thing I always bring is sweater/jacket/shawl to keep warm on the plane and in cold settings. Thank God, I've been spared from travel nightmares.

Katrina Centeno said...

I don't bring B, E, H, M. I bring food. :) chocolates, biscuits and dried fruits. Somehting to eat if in case I am stranded somewhere with food I am not very familiar with.

Mazino Oyolo Kigho said...

Some of these travel essentials are feministic. But for me the tablet or laptop rocks. I cant do without that.

Fred Hawson said...

What a list you came up with here! Travelers could come and adjust the list according to his personality. Will be rereading this prior to my next trip.

Ron Leyba said...

M and O essentials are the most important for me. It will greatly help in case of emergencies. Thanks for your tips!

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

A camera is always a must - though it is something I usually tend to forget, lol!

Badet Siazon said...

Great tips you have here. I'm travelling with my family so I'm bringing more things than usual.