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- Journal & tape! Ticket stubs, interesting food wrappers, and other such things are a great way to make a mini scrapbook on the go of your travels without taking too much time or energy. Dates and places and highlights throughout the trip are really easy to forget once you get home, & bullet entries & business cards can help keep memories fresh. It can make it something joyful to return to that simultaneously jogs your memory. I also recommend adding language to your entries (see boring recommendations below)- & writing out contact information, addresses, and b&b entry codes etc. Just in case your phone dies then you have the codes/addresses & aren't stranded. (This is a safety consideration for me, too. )

- Do not fill your suitcase to the brim on your departure. Put in what you need, and then fill the extra space with bubble wrap/tissue paper/newspaper. (I got this one from my Mom.) If you end up buying souvenirs that are fragile, then you have bubble wrap to pack them in, & if not then you still have some extra space for anything else you would like to bring back. I also brought my vitamins in their large & bulky containers instead of putting them in labeled bags because I can do that on my return trip, and this way they take up more space on my way there. (How to have a full suitcase without having a full suitcase.)

- Picnic pack! This is the biggest one I learned from my mom that I use ALL the time, even on hikes & day trips- mine includes a set of utensils, reusable silicone bags/ plastic bags, salt & pepper. I also either bring or plan to buy a cloth napkin(or tea towel), & reusable tote for groceries etc. My mom started this tradition in our family, & we now have tea towels + napkins from various trips that make wonderfully usable souvenirs. Herbs & oils also make great souvenirs and are useful during the trip itself. Having a small list of recipes like simple pasta and sandwiches etc. (for when you have kitchen access, or not), Plus this picnic pack (always useful even when no kitchen) cuts down on the cost of eating out, which can be one of the highest daily costs of travel.

- Permanent marker to label things

- Laundry detergent sheets (sometimes you will have access to a washer, but no detergent & this prevents me from having to buy an entire bottle of something, & can also be used in the sink for hand washing.)

- If you are going somewhere and plan to be swimming, bring two suits at a minimum. Even in dry places, it's hard to get your swimsuit completely dry from one day to the next and this ensures you don't have to put a wet suit on (sensory yuck) or have a higher risk of mold/ bacteria in your suit.

- When picking a purse/bag, I go for one that is hands free with an over the body strap (some theft protection) that isn't too big because I'll fill it up with heavy stuff. I like to be prepared so I bring sanitizer, safety pins, bandages, single wipe, rubber bands, hair tie, etc.


- Take a picture of your passport information just in case it gets lost & you need to get a new one while you are out of country. This makes the process SO MUCH easier, & only takes a moment.

- Have a hard copy/written out mini dictionary of your own making. Write out the correct spelling as well as phonetic spelling of common phrases (like thank you, good day, may I have ___, etc) in your journal, & add to it as you go about your trip. Google translate is amazing and very handy these days, but in my experience, if you can show that you are trying to learn the language at least a little bit, it lets the locals know that you respect their culture and are not a stereotypical entitled American tourist.

- Try to pack clothing like a capsule wardrobe- where everything matches everything else, and you have one or two statement pieces that can be moved around for different looks. I love this as a fun practice, but I recognize that other folks do not derive joy from personal fashion. (Though, maybe I can help you with that??)

- Invest in a universal adapter or location specific charger before you go, so that that you know for sure you will be able to charge any and all of your devices. (For me, this is also a safety consideration.)

- Put an extra pair of undies/shirt in your carry-on just in case your suitcase is delayed.

-Download audiobooks, playlists, podcasts, shows before you go to the airport while you are still on Wi-Fi (also recognize that some of your downloaded materials will not be available after you turn your device on in certain countries because of legal restrictions. This has happened to me for video streaming platforms, but I have not experienced it with purchased audio books etc.)


- Uncomfortable shoes (Not only is mobility a safety issue, but I find that single occasion footwear is a waste of space. Though, I also pretty much only wear my Bedrocks anyways...)

- Clothing that is difficult to wash or care for properly. (I already don't have much of this to begin with, as it does not work so well for the mobile lifestyle in general, but for me as a menstruating human this also includes period underwear- which I do not use while traveling.)

- Bulky single occasion clothing (whether it be jackets or statement pieces, only things that pack well & are versatile- this was especially difficult this trip because I had just thrifted this spectacular leather jacket; But knowing I would only use it once or twice the first week, I knew that I would have to exercise some patience and self-control in this department. It's the final day of my trip, and I was right.)

Remember travel is a practice in self-trust. It is a temporary set of conditions. Whatever you have, you can make it work.

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