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Essential Items to Pack for Long Trips


Miles being a gentleman and rolling our luggage to our hotel in Lake Como.

Over the years I have been improving my packing techniques from mistakes and experience.  Now I can easily pack 3 weeks into an international sized carry on and backpack.  Here are my smart packing picks.

  1. Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression set will vacuum seal your clothes to prevent wrinkles and will get them to easily fit in a small carry on.

  2. Foldable Nylon travel tote or any nylon compression tote bag will do. I bring 2 because they are light weight and do not take up any extra space.  As soon as I find my seat on the plane, I transfer the toiletries and medicine I need into a tote so that I do not have to dig for it in my backpack from the bulk head. They are useful for when you plan on shopping or going to the local market to build a picnic.  You can also bring it along in case the weather varies throughout the day and you want to bring an extra coat or scarf.  You can also stuff a cute pair of shoes with you for dinner if you do not plan on going back to your hotel to change.   They also come in handy at the end of my trips when the souvenirs accumulate.

  3. Wool socks will prevent your shoes and feet from smelling and will stay odor free longer than cotton socks.  They are also easier to clean because they dry faster.

  4. I like to bring a travel sized Downy Wrinkle Releaser to refresh my clothes so I can wear them again.

  5. Zicam RapidMelts to prevent colds. I also bring a daily multi-vitamin to stay healthy, especially since my sleep and diet is out of balance when I travel.

  6. I use Mario Badescu Facial Spray to refresh my face after long flights and before going out after a long day of site seeing.

  7. Mini sunglasses kit.  I think every time I travel my sunglasses break.  Maybe I need a new pair but when it happens I kick myself for not bringing a kit the size of my thumb.  For me it is hard to find the right pair and I like to avoid any extra costs that I can.

  8. Compact umbrella.  You cannot always count on good weather.  The umbrella fits into the side water bottle pocket of my backpack and saves me time from having to make a purchase when I am desperate for one.

  9. Travel neck pillow. To me, this is an obvious must have.  I use it for my bum for long hauls.  It is also good to have if the pillows at the hotel you are staying at are flat.

  10. Flushable wet wipes. No explanation needed.

  11. Travel conditioner for international travel.  Every hotel I have stayed at in Europe only provided Shampoo (which can actually be used as a body wash).  I did not have any  luck finding a travel sized conditioner in the pharmacies and was stuck with a full sized bottle that I had to schlep from country to country.

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