My New Favourite Travel Gear
Before every big trip I think “I must have everything I need. I don’t need to buy anything.” and yet every time, I buy stuff. Usually it’s clothes. Sometimes it’s gear. Often it turns out that I didn’t really need the things I bought. This time though I actually made my travel ife easier with these new purchases. If you’re doing some traveling soon and haven’t yet refined your gear list down to the essential must-haves, let me show you what worked for me.
Merrell San Remo sandals
24 days, endless miles, not one blister. I didn’t break in these sandals the way you’re supposed to before I took them on a big trip. I packed band-aids figuring I’d be in for a little pain since I broke the cardinal rule of traveling with new shoes. I have since walked miles upon miles upon miles and my only complaint is that the footbeds are getting a bit stinky. These are the most comfortable sandals I’ve owned and they still have some style to them. I could wear them with a sundress and get away with it. In fact, I have. Even after a dunk in the Adriatic Sea they look a little bit worse for wear but the beauty of these shoes runs more than skin deep.
I’ve never been one to stay in hostels and my hotels have always provided towels so I never traveled with my own before. I had beaches in mind when I bought this one and then the owner of the travel store mentioned all the other things I could use it for which sealed the deal. This towel dries quickly, soaks up water like a sponge and doesn’t take up a lot of space in my bag. It can also double as a blanket or pillow on airplanes. I only wish I had the longer size so that more of me would fit on it when using it as a beach towel. I’m tempted to also pick up a smaller one so that I can sit on one and dry myself with the other at beaches or wrap my hair up after showers. Wet hair on my neck seriously drives me.
Before now I’d always either stuck my dirty laundry in the top pocket of my suitcase or I’d stuff everything into a shopping bag. Lovely, eh? For this trip I bought a breathable, foldable laundry bag and it’s great. Anything damp doesn’t get musty like it would in plastic and it’s infinitely more stylish. When it’s laundry time I just dump the whole thing, bag included, into the washer. No sticking hands into suitcase pockets to fish out dirty socks. That alone was worth the money to me.
Not all public washrooms will have toilet paper. Sometimes pineapple juice runs down your hand. Sometimes you just really really need to blow your nose and have no tissue. I hadn’t traveled with wet wipes in my purse before but now I won’t go out without them. The anti-bacterialness of them was a bonus when dealing with washrooms but otherwise, any wet wipe would’ve done. I’ve actually started keeping a back in my purse all the time, at home or abroad. You don’t need to cart around a giant container of them either since many brands have travel sized pouches of them.
The first time I saw the Grit-It on Pinterest I knew I had to have it. It’s a lifesaver for keeping cords and chargers in order. Easy to pack, easy to find. Just slip your things under the elastics and they stay put. No more untangling masses of cords that look they’ve been getting it on in your carry-on when you weren’t looking. The Grid-It makes it so much easier to pack since you have this one neat rectangle and there’s less chance I’ll forget a cord somewhere. There’s also a zippered pocket on the back for things like SD cards, USB drives or any papers you might want to keep handy.
Honourable mention: Compression sack
I bought a compression sack for my trip to Costa Rica when all I took was a backpack and needed to maximize space rather than weight. This was the first time I decided to use it with a suitcase. I put things like undies, pjs, camis and bikinis in it. Things that, if they wrinkled, I wouldn’t care. The sack kept the inside of my suitcase neat and freed up some space. Weight is usually my problem though so I had to be careful that I didn’t use the sack to load more than 50lbs of stuff into my suitcase. Even if you’re not backpacking I’d recommend these for the neat factor alone.
What’s your experience with pre-travel shopping? Do you get carried away like I tend to or do already have everything you need?