I took my first plane ride as a baby and my first solo trip when I was twelve. Whether I’m heading out for a day trip or preparing for a semester-long abroad, these are the things I can’t leave home without.
Vapur 16 Ounce Flexible Collapsible Water Bottle (Orange): This water bottle is fairly inexpensive, travels well, and fits anywhere. I can easily dump it out and roll it up for my carry on, and fill it once I get through airport security. It’s flexible, so it only takes up space when it’s full and easily fits under a shallow sink faucet. The carabiner isn’t indestructible, and where it hooks to the water bottle is subject to wear, but overall this water bottle has held up phenomenally well during my travels.
Moleskine Plain Pocket Notebook (Orange Yellow): I know that many believe paper and pen to be a dying art form and for the most part, I agree. However, as you go on tours, you may not want to look like that person- the one perpetually texting (even if you are taking notes). Keeping a little notebook like this around is a great way to jot down details, without seeming rude. I also have a habit of writing down all my confirmation numbers in my notebook. That way, if there is a problem, I can feel more comfortable handing my notebook over to the clerk than my phone (which normally goes to sleep on the attendant anyway).
Nike Cyclone Vapor Women’s Running Jacket: I didn’t pay full price for this item, and I’m not sure that they sell it anymore. That being said, this is one of the best travel items I’ve ever had. It easily folds up into the little pouch built right into the jacket (which I’ve also used as a small pillow on trains). It isn’t going to withstand a torrential downpour, but it’s perfect for those morning drizzles, windy afternoons, and chilly evenings. It fits neatly into my travel bag and always gets a few comments.
Osprey Questa (Candy Orange): I use this as my college backpack, but when I’m not toting textbooks, it operates as my primary travel bag. A majority of my trips are short- ranging from 3-14 days. I use this bag, in conjunction with my canvas bag, as my only luggage. Durable, with extensive organizational pockets, this backpack still fits under my seat on an airplane. That means 100% of what I travel with is within arm’s reach at all times. I’ve also had to carry this backpack for long days while traveling, and the padding and adjustable straps have performed well for my needs.
Sweet Pineapple Tote from Forever 21: While I am in love with this particular design, I really picked this because a canvas tote bag is a perfect traveling accessory. It is fairly unassuming and generally quite spacious. Most people won’t be able to tell if you’re a tourist or just a grocery shopping local when you use this as your primary handbag. I also love it because you can simply throw it in the wash if it gets dirty, or toss it when it gets tattered (my bag was $4 and lasted me 4 years and 10 countries, so don’t underestimate their durability).
K&Company Smash Folio: Okay, I don’t always take this with me on my trips, but I would be remiss not to mention it, because it plays such a big part of my cataloguing. It comes in a variety of styles (I own three), and the pages are beautifully pre-decorated. All I do is glue in my receipts, tickets, and itineraries, write a few captions, and put it back on the shelf. It represents my travel so well, and is a really innovative, simple way to scrapbook.