I never thought of myself as someone who packed light. When my mom and I went touring around Italy for two weeks, we brought 2 giant suitcases plus 2 carry-ons each! Everyone told us we were packing way too much, but we didn’t listen. What we drastically underestimated was how difficult it would be to navigate the cobblestone roads of Rome, the canals of Venice or the frantic chaos of a train station in Napoli with all of this luggage.
Nevertheless, we emerged on the other side victorious – and with a few lessons learned.
I assumed after that experience that I had learned my lesson, but apparently not. When I moved to South Korea, I brought with me 3 over-sized suitcases, a laptop bag and a carry-on suitcase. Four months after that when I went back home for a short visit, I returned with 4 more suitcases. Did I mention that I was only staying there for one year? When I moved back home to Canada, I managed to fit everything in 3 suitcases and 2 carry-ons… plus a couple of boxes I shipped out a few weeks earlier. Needless to say, I didn’t learn my lesson.
Everywhere I went, whether it was for a weekend trip out of town or two weeks roaming the Scottish countryside, I always brought with me an alarming amount of luggage. I realize this sounds like it is in stark contrast to my previous post about creating a more simplified lifestyle, but I would argue otherwise. My packing is not overly complicated or filled with unnecessary items; it’s all about creating a comfortable environment that allows me to keep rocking a high vibe lifestyle no matter where I go. I don’t think I’m being irrational. I can still manage to fit everything in the allotted number of luggage without going over my weight allowance. I pack for function and comfort while still staying true to what’s important to me.
Today, as I prepare for my latest travel adventure to Halifax and Cape Breton Island, I want to share with you some of my favourite, non-negotiable items that I bring with me every time I travel. In addition to the usual suspects like underwear, a toothbrush and clothing, these are the top things that you will always find in my suitcase no matter the destination.
I started travelling with essential oils one year ago and it has been a total game changer. I use oils at home in most of my daily routines, so it makes sense to bring them with me. My favourites include a cleansing blend to diffuse in the hotel room as soon as I get in, roll-ons with my favourite remedies for headaches, immunity protection, a restful sleep and digestion and DIY products for everything from skincare to disinfecting spray.
Sometimes travelling means relaxing on the beach and other times it means exploring interesting cities, but no matter where I go I like to be active. For me, the best way to do that is to go for a run outside and explore the area. Not only do I get to spend some time taking in the local sights, but it also helps me work off some of the delicious food I undoubtedly eat while on vacation.
This is something I’ve been bringing with me ever since I was a kid. You never know when inspiration will strike. I love to keep a daily journal to remind myself of the things I saw and did, what thoughts crossed my mind and what feelings came up. I’ve brought a laptop before, but there’s something about good, old-fashioned pen on paper that really helps to get the creative juices flowing.
My own shampoo, conditioner and soap
Sure, hotels usually provide this kind of stuff, but have you ever read the labels? They are full of toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances and all kinds of things that have no business being anywhere near your skin. It’s taken me a while to find hair, skin and body care products that I love, so I make sure to bring it all along with me when I travel.
This one just makes sense. Everywhere from the tray table on the plane to the TV remote in a hotel room is crawling with germs. The best way to protect myself from threats while away is to carry an immune boosting essential oil blend to roll-on my skin and a disinfecting wipe or spray for everything else.
Vitamins and Supplements
If I were taking prescription medication, it would be a no-brainer to bring them, so why wouldn’t I bring my supplements? The supplements I take daily are a multi-vitamin, omega-3, calcium, vitamin D and an iron/B complex ampule. I also add to this a probiotic and some digestive enzymes to help my body deal with the change in food I’m eating. (*Note: I take all these supplements under the supervision and advice from my naturopath – make sure you consult your health care provider to determine what is right for you.)
Canada Flag Luggage Tag/Badge
It seems that no matter where I go, people seem to love it when they find out I’m Canadian. I guess our reputation for being polite, friendly people lives up all around the world! If it isn’t my frequent use of the word “eh”, it’s the luggage tag or Canada flag pin attached to my jacket or bag that is sure to let them know about my citizenship.
This time around, I found myself packing much more mindfully. Everything that made its way into my suitcase was intentionally put there. I didn’t overpack or load up my suitcase to the maximum weight allowed. Instead, I took the time to carefully select the items that would bring me the most ease and joy while away from home.
I’d love to hear about what your must-have travel items are! Share them in the comments below!