Travel Essentials


As someone who now considers themselves pretty seasoned in the travel community, I feel that I finally have this whole “packing thing” down packed. It definitely took some time, some experience and plenty of forgotten items before I was able to get this thing under my control.

First thing I realized was that I had to be organized in not only my packing, but also my planning. Some people do well in that “pack a few hours before mess,” but me on the other hand, I usually need a week minimum to prep. I’m talking lists, sticky pads, reminders…the whole nine. Obvi you don’t have to be as detailed as me, but there’s a method to my madness and it breeds results.


Arrival @ Cuban airport with carryon on luggage, backpack, purse, neck pillow and Adidas tennies

I first look at where I’m traveling to. A ski trip in Colorado may not necessarily need booty shorts and my trip to Egypt may not warrant a winter jacket, but South Africa in November…do I need a small jacket? Shorts? Does it get chilly at night? These are all things I ask myself and do research on before I make my list. Weather can vary from day to day and depending on when you booked your trip or where you’re going, you may not really know what climate to expect so it’s essential to do your homework.


Kalyn in LA in mid-Summer ’15

After figuring out what attire is appropriate, and not only for the weather but also the culture and customs that I’ll be emerging myself into, I make a list of what to packs. This list includes under garments, which I typically pack between 3-4 days extra just in case. I always, always, always bring a light jacket with me, because you never know…my North Face rain jacket and/or workout slim fit jacket from Old Navy have been travel staples.


After the attire, I then pair what shoes make sense for the trip and match the most with the outfits I’ve picked. Along with always bringing a light jacket, I always wear my Adidas tennies (tennis shoes) to the airport so that I always have a comfy pair of sneaks to lean on.


Circa 2010, before I got my packing strategy down

After I figure out what I’m packing, I decide where I am going to pack it. I have two overnight/weekend bags. One I got from my trip to Cuba and another is a Vara Bradley duffle, which I love. When going on an actual trip for multiple days, I chose between either of my hard case full range rollers, either carry on or bag for checking depending on how many days I am packing for. I purchased both of these suitcases from one of my favorite stores I hate to love, Marshalls. Pictured below are the two suitcases with brand names in the caption.


Another way I ensure that I carry all of my essentials is by being organized. I have my suitcases and overnight bags, yes. But within those, I have my bag for hair supplies, makeup and body supplies (soap, lotion, perfumes etc.). This way everything is organized and I take the time to individually section out those items and make sure they are accounted for…. This method also makes it easy for me to be sure I don’t leave any of my valuables wherever I am!


Never Forgets:

  • Passport

Whether I’m traveling domestic or internationally, I always bring my passport with me as well as keeping photocopies in my luggage as well as a picture sent to my designated emergency contact.

  • Cash

Even if you’re someone whom always uses a credit/debit card or is traveling in the continental US, I still suggest carrying some cash on you, at least $100 dollars. You never know what situation you may find yourself in so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Phone Charger

There is nothing worse than being stranded, than being stranded with a dead phone! My portable charger has been amazing for short and long stays because I’m never caught off guard with the inability to keep my phone juiced up.

  • Neck Pillow

I mean, of course, a crampy plane for multiple hours, how do I expect my neck to survive this ride without a comfy, soft, luxurious neck pillow from Marshalls. ($7.99 for micro bead neck pillow)

Packing should not be the most stressful part of your trip, in fact, your trip should relieve  stress so take the necessary precautions to make this a reality!

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Make your lists 
  3. Pack Early (Not the night before, though I am overly ambitious and pack at a minimum a week out)
  4. Be organized 


One Comment on “Travel Essentials

  1. Pingback: Travel Tips: Newbie Traveler – Weight Loss. Travel Gains

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