May 15, 2015

Stress-Free Travel Essentials!

Summer is just around the bend and, judging by the weather in NYC lately, it may even be coming a little early this year! I'm going to be out of NYC this summer and while I'm excited for a change of pace, I'm sad that I'll have to leave NYC (temporarily) soon.

I'm going to be traveling by train (to Boston, for the month of June) and by airplane (to Germany, for the month of July), so here are my travel essentials for any kind of travel - land, air, or even sea!

A good book.

This one goes without saying. Even going to the doctor's office without a good book in tow is risky, in case of delays or a long wait. When you're traveling, it's still true that you can be delayed (and by much longer, trust me). But you're also expecting waits, even in the best case scenario!

If you're traveling locally, you should be at the airport at least an hour earlier (or longer, for some high traffic airports). If you're traveling internationally, that doubles to two hours! That's a lot of chapters.

Wouldn't you rather be entertained by a riveting story than stare at the floor for two hours? There's always people-watching, of course, but it's always good to have an alternate source of entertainment, in case no one does anything interesting.


Music makes everything better.

Do you have to clean your room? Pop in the Cinderella soundtrack and suddenly you're an industrious fairytale pauper just hours away from her happily ever after!

Running errands around the city? Turn on Pandora and suddenly you're a glam Carrie Bradshaw being fabulous!

Do you have to pack? Put on your favorite on-the-road songs and suddenly you're feeling inspired and excited about your trip, instead of overwhelmed by how much there is left to do!

Traveling is the same. Music just makes it better!

Hand sanitizer in a TSA-friendly under 3.4 ounce tube.

When you're traveling, you're exposed to a lot of germs. There's no good way to really avoid that - you're sharing cramped space and circulated air with at least dozens of people, likely more, and someone will inevitably be sick. Don't worry about it, because that's just a part of travel and you can't change it.

You can help minimize your risk of arriving sick at your destination, or falling sick soon after, by packing some hand sanitizer to use before your snacks and meals. The tubes aren't expensive, are really handy, and can be found anywhere from Target to your local drugstore. If you forget in advance, you can often find them with the medicine in airport bookstores! Just be prepared for jacked-to-the-sky airport prices.

So basically just go to Target before your trip.

Healthy, odorless snacks (and preferably some quiet ones, too).

Traveling can be a load of fun, but being hungry isn't! Especially if you're traveling with someone, the last thing you want is to be hangry (or to have a hangry travel buddy). Packing plenty of easy-to-eat yummy snacks can save your friendship! And your co-travel experience.

Nakd bars are a personal favorite. They're packed full of raw fruits and nuts, delivering the great nutrition you need for a healthy, happy trip in a convenient delicious package! 

They don't smell (please don't be that person who brings pickles on a plane), don't crunch loudly (in case you're self-conscious about the crunch of your apple when you get peck-ish when everyone else on the plane is asleep), and work for most ways of eating (vegan, whole foods, gluten-free, etc.). 

There's also no added sugar, so that's always great! If you haven't seen them in a store near you, you can always order them online here.

...I can't imagine a pre-internet world. It seems like we would all be hungry, naked, and lost.

Anti-motion sickness meds.

Dramamine saves the day for me! I feel totally fine when I take it, but can sometimes feel really awful without. There are versions for children (my little sister needs it even more than I do) and less-drowsy versions. 

I like the chewable version the best, just in case I don't have water with me, and because the drowsiness is a perk for me! I normally can't sleep on planes at all, but with Dramamine I can sometimes be napping before takeoff! The drowsy effects don't last long (I find that I normally nap for only about 15-30 minutes, tops, but that's pretty good considering that I usually can't nap at all). 

A travel pillow.

They look really dorky, but I'm a big fan of the U-shaped travel pillows. They're great for stabilizing your neck, so you're more comfortable whether you're sleeping or just watching a movie, and that also prevents you from nodding off onto your neighbor's shoulder.

Save yourself (and them) the awkwards and pack a travel pillow!


Even if you're traveling in summer and you've checked that both your departure and arrival destinations are summer dress weather, pretty please do not head off without a sweater. I know I sound just like your mother, but she's right! 

A summer travel-friendly outfit! Just add shoes.
Not layering is tempting the travel gods - when I wear all cold weather clothes without an appropriate way to wear less, the heater is on or the AC seems not to work on the train. Whenever I think I'll be fine with a t-shirt and shorts, the plane blasts AC like Antartica is en vogue. 

Sweaters are your friend!

Wooly socks.

These are less essential for the train, where you'll probably want to keep your shoes on thankyouverymuch, but are a definite must for long haul flights. 

Taking your shoes off and slipping on a pair of cozy, warm wooly socks instantly makes you feel more comfortable and makes it easier to feel like you're really watching the latest rom-com on your couch at home, rather than packed in between Ms. Chatty Cathy and Mr. Suit.

So that's my list! I would love to hear from you guys:

What are your travel essentials?


  1. I love your travel essentials, I'll have to stock up on some socks though. 👍


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