Travel Tuesday :: 5 things I never go on a trip without

Happy Tuesday party people! I am getting ready to go photograph this amazing destination wedding in Mexico - and I am BEYOND excited to have myself an adventure. I am slowly checking off all the places on my bucket list, and I literally could not be more excited about it! Traveling and exploring the world lights my heart on fire and I am so thankful that I am able to experience new places. But there are definitely downsides to globetrotting……. And the biggest one: PACKING/UNPACKING.

The Conservatory of Flowers

Someone said to me the other day “I could never travel as much as you, I hate packing.”

Okay, sister. Let me tell you. I also hate packing, and getting ready for any trip can be so stressful you always forget something - amiriteeeee?! So today I’m going to share a couple of my most used travel hacks.

  • Make lists. This seems like a “duh” thing, but I make lists on my phone for every single trip and I don’t delete them - ever. I date and label all my lists, so for this trip to Cancun for the destination wedding, I have it labeled “April Destination Wedding - Mexico (6 days).” I have found that if I’m going to travel to a similar place around a similar time, I won’t have to re-write my entire list, because it already exists.

  • Call your bank and credit cards ahead of time. Also seems like kind of duh, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t think to do this. I also make sure that I swing by an ATM and grab some money before I leave. I try never to travel without at least $20 in cash, and this has been instilled in me by my dad who always made sure I had dollar bills to travel with.

  • Get my must-haves in my travel bag. I am sorrrrrt of a diva when it comes to traveling, I fly almost exclusively Delta, I do everything I can to avoid a layover, and I have my must have carry on bag ready pretty much 24/7.

The five things that always go in my carry on are pretty simple, but if you’re not an avid jetsetter, you might not think of these things. I’ve been flying around the world thanks to Torin’s job for the last eight years, so I’m pretty good at it at this point. Once I had to sleep on the floor of an airport and when that happened and all my stuff was in my checked bag, I knew I had to make a few changes. So the following five items live in my closet in a pouch ready for any trip at any time.

Paris, France destination wedding photographer

1) My eye mask

Okay so this is kind of embarrassing, but I can not sleep without my eye mask. My eyes will not stay shut without it. It is furry and super extra and I love everything about it. But it also serves a purpose! When hubs and I take a road trip, how the HECK am I supposed to get some extra beauty sleep in the middle of the day when the sky is so bright?! And at night, I hate getting headlights in my eyes. (If you didn’t know, now you know, I’m a little bit of a diva.) It’s also super helpful for any type of flight, because sleeping on a plane is a challenge. Sure, they dim the cabin lights, but I am a person who needs total darkness to sleep so without my eye mask, I’m wide awake thinking about my never ending to-do list. It also comes in handy if you are a person who suffers from jetlag.

2) Hand sanitizer

I feel like this is a no brainer, but somehow people still travel without it. I have the worst phobia about dirty hands, in particular dirty nails - gross. Either way, traveling means touching a lot of things that have germs on them, so you might as well have the hand sani to at least keep those germs at bay until you can wash your hands in a bathroom.

3) Nuun tabs

If you don’t know what a nuun Tab is, they are little hydration tabs that you put in your water to help keep you hydrated. I always get dehydrated whenever I travel, especially when I fly. Nuun tabs are so great because they not only have hydration goodness (and awesome flavors), they have vitamins to help keep you healthy too - which is a huge bonus, because I seem to almost always catch a cold from an airplane. I also always bring my reusable water bottle because I can’t stand throwing plastic water bottles away. You can order these off Amazon here. My favorite flavor is citrus fruit, but I am currently using the tropical flavor and loving it.


4) Melatonin

Real talk: I am the worst sleeper. I can’t seem to shut my brain off on a regular basis, and if I am able to, I usually wake up in the middle of the night can’t fall back to sleep. So I take melatonin to help me sleep, and sometimes it helps (usually when I am going to bed at the same time every night), and sometimes it doesn’t. But I always bring it with me because any time I travel my sleep schedule gets so out of wack. FYI: I am not packing Melatonin on this trip, because it’s not safe for me to take while I’m pregnant, so I am packing lavender essential oil and Tylenol PM for emergency. Luckily, being pregnant makes me very sleepy, so I have been falling asleep a lot better lately.

5) Some form of Entertainment 

I almost always have a book with me. But if I don’t have a book, I have a new podcast, or work related projects or research to keep me occupied.. I used to always have a sudoku book with me, but I filled mine up and it hasn’t been replaced. I try to always have at least two forms of entertainment, only because if you finish a book, the last thing you want to do is buy a book from the book store that is marked up by 40%. Last Christmas I started cross-stitching and embroidery, so I have been bringing that with me instead of a book. I like to have something to keep me busy because there is always down time when traveling, whether that be waiting for your flight, layovers, missed flights or traffic. 

Hopefully some of these tips will help all my friends that are wary of traveling. I tell everyone that I know that traveling is the best way to experience the world, but I totally get how it can be intimidating. I used to be scared to travel by myself, but now it’s like this beautiful, peaceful time for me to reflect, plan, and imagine other places that I can visit! I can’t wait to share these beautiful beach wedding photos with you all, stay tuned on the gram for stories!