I try to be smart about packing, and have learned over time to leave some of those “just in case” items at home. Whatever I do pack has to earn its keep. But I’m not about making travel an ordeal either, so like to pack a few little luxuries, essential travel amenities that don’t weigh me down.
My 5 Essential Travel Amenities
Wrapped in comfort…
Even during the warmest months, I always include at least a lightweight cashmere or cashmere-blend scarf or wrap in my carry-on. I find the temperature in airplane cabins can swing from tropical to frigid within a matter of minutes, so it’s always good to have a scarf on hand that I can wrap around my neck or drape over my shoulders. It can also serve as a blanket in a pinch.
Why cashmere? It tends to combine softness with light weight and warmth. If you are sensitive to animal fibers, a modal-silk blend is an option. (It may not be as warm as cashmere, but is breathable and can at least block drafts and provide an extra layer.)
In cooler seasons, scarves are a great way to add color and visual interest to your travel wardrobe. Don’t limit yourself to just one! 😉
If you rely on your smartphone or tablet while traveling to take photos, get directions, read books or guides, stay in contact with your group, or store tickets/boarding passes, the last thing you want is that “low battery” warning halfway through the day. (I’ve learned this lesson from experience! 😫) It’s worth making room in your day bag or pack for an extra power source. The one I’ve used for the last couple of years is bigger/heavier and not as powerful, so I’ve just ordered this one to try.
To sleep, perchance to dream…
I don’t fall asleep easily on planes, or in any situation where there’s ambient light. I’ve found one of these silk eye masks can make all the difference when trying to grab a few hours of sleep on long flights. (Earplugs, too.) And at your destination, they’re also great to have handy if your travel companion likes to stay up late to read, or those “blackout” drapes don’t quite block the street light right outside your window… 😬
I like silk because it doesn’t irritate my skin, and doesn’t cause creases. It can also be hand-washed if needed. (These make nice gifts, too, just saying…)
I always wash my face before bed to remove any makeup or dirt/sweat from the day. In some regions, hotels may not always provide a washcloth. Some people pack their own washcloths, but I prefer to bring a konjac sponge. It’s gentle but very effective at cleaning, and will dry out overnight when hung. I use with my cleanser, but some people use without. (I like this “hydrating clay” version, but there are other varieties for different skin types and needs.)
A little night music
While there are always headphones for individual use, le Monsieur and I both like being able to listen to a little music in our hotel room to relax. There are lots of fancy bluetooth speakers out there, but I’ve had this one for a few years and am still quite happy with it. It doesn’t take up much room, weighs almost nothing, and runs for hours and hours on a charge. And the sound quality is quite good too.
(And one necessity…sanitizing wipes! I’ve developed the habit of wiping down my armrests, tray tables, and any handles or other surfaces on the plane I’m likely to come in contact with as soon as I sit down. While they don’t kill viruses, at least I’ve got a fighting chance against bacteria.)
What are your favorite travel amenities?