Travel essentials + off I go

See you, peeps. I am off to Germany today!!!

This is my birthday present to myself. I get to celebrate with my (twin) sister this weekend, which was my biggest wish and I think is more than appropriate this year.

I’ve decided a few weeks ago that I really needed to spend my birthday with my sister this year and so I made plans and looked into flights and here we are. I tried to plan ahead and there will be some scheduled posts while I am gone. In the meantime, just think of me and my big fat smile on my face.

Right now, I am sitting at the airport (with coffee and a book! Living the dream!) waiting for my transatlantic flight and that’s a good time to talk about my travel essentials.

I think you could say that I am an experienced international traveler what with my semi-regular visits back home to see my family. I’ve somewhat become an expert in packing my suitcase (especially ever since they lowered the weight limit to merely 50 lbs, which is ridiculously little for longer travel ) and carry-on bag. I  have definitely learned over the years to be mindful and particular about the items I deem worthy to take along.

I try to travel as lightly as possible, because there is nothing more annoying than schlepping stuff around airports. I don’t know about you, but I am usually a sweaty mess as it is when I arrive at the gate. I really don’t need to lug around more stuff than necessary. Still, I – like everybody else, of course – have some travel necessities.

Here are my must-haves for (longer) airplane trips:


Comfort/personal care

Grove Hand Sanitizer – I don’t travel with hand sanitizer in your purse. There are plenty of opportunities to be exposed to germs when you travel and why not protect yourself as much as you can. I use this hand sanitizer (It’s from ePantry and it’s my favorite!) that smells like blood oranges and it’s just lovely.

Makeup bag – yes, I have this beautiful red polka dot one. Some of the essential items that are in my make up bag – in travel size, if available – are deodorant, a good moisturizer, a travel toothbrush and/or mouth wash, makeup basics for freshening up your look, hair brush and bobby pins.

Blanket scarf– I don’t go onto a longer flight without a blanket scarf. It looks stylish (if it’s cold enough to wear it), comes in handy as a blanket, shoulder wrap or pillow on your flight.

Socks – You never know. I am one of those people with notoriously cold feet and I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to carrying a second pair of socks.

Neck pillow – (I have a cheap inflatable one from Target – it does the job). Originally, I thought that neck pillows are kinda silly, because you can just roll up your sweater and rest your head against the window, right? Well, unless you don’t have a window seats and ever since I intentionally book aisle seats on longer flights (because I like to be able to get up whenever I want without bothering a stranger in the aisle seat), I’ve come to love the neck pillow. 

My wallet (+ passport) – of course. 



A water bottle – I hate not being able to take along a bottle of water when I travel and buying stuff at the airport is so expensive. So, lately I’ve been carrying this water bottle with me when I fly (and elsewhere) which I take empty and  can fill at a water fountain after I went through security.

Almonds – My favorite nuts and they always hit the spot.

A piece of chocolate/candy – I get a queasy stomach sometimes and having a piece of chocolate candy usually helps to calm it. Twix is my favorite.

Pretzels – It’s good to have something salty, too.



iPhone + headphones –  That’s a no-brainer, right? Nobody leaves their house without their smartphone and headphones. It’s like these things are a given. 

External battery + charging cable – Duh! Besides the fact that my iphone 5s is slowly but surely deteriorating in the battery department, it’s always a wise idea to bring along an external battery  (I have this one) when you travel. You don’t know how long you’ll have to be away from a power outlet and being able to use your phone might be vital.



Knitting – Well, you gotta have something that keeps your hands busy. Knitting for me.

Nook – (Yes, I still have the “old school” Nook Classic 2. I still don’t have a tablet. Nope, this eReader works just fine.) I downloaded a few books from the local library, so I should be good for the time that I am gone.

Sudoku – I am one of those people who enjoy a good puzzle when I travel. I almost never do Sudoku (or other) puzzles at home, but when I travel, I always have a Sudoku book with me.


What do you bring when you travel? Anything that you’ll put on your list after reading this? Anything I forgot?


  1. YAY!!! This is amazing! You’re going to have such an awesome time! Have a wonderful and safe trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it. :) And happy birthday to you both!

  2. Have fun and enjoy your trip (sorry, somehow my caps are locked – and I can’t unlock – whenever I try to comment on your blog nowadays…..)
    happy birthday to both of you!

    1. that’s funny, it doesn’t even publish the comment in all upper cases – confusing :(

  3. I love posts like this! I haven’t done any super long/cross-the-ocean flights, but I absolutely agree on a small snack, bonus points if it isn’t smelly to disrupt neighbor passengers, a big cozy scarf, extra phone charger, and empty water bottle. And the hand sanitizer/travel tooth brush/paste are ESSENTIAL. Essential.

    Have so much fun!
    Also, I don’t think I knew you were a twin! Me too! WOot woot!


  4. Aisle seat all the way! I book them for the very same reason. Most times my bladder runs on its own clock. ;)

    I pretty much pack similar items when I travel to Germany. I always carry lotion with me because my skin gets extremely dry during travels.

    Other things that I stuff into my carry-on bag: change of underwear and shirt (just in case I get stuck somewhere), a light jacket, my laptop, and a power adapter.

    Have fun in Germany! Happy birthday!

  5. Oh how wonderful to treat yourself with this birthday gift Enjoy your time in Germany.
    I usually end up in the middle seat when traveling as hubby needs the aisle seat more than me. And a blanket scarf is definitely a must have. I always freeze no matter the temperature. And I also love doing crosswords and puzzles on travel. Funny.
    Happy birthday weekend, Tobia

  6. I hope you are having the best time at home and that the time isn’t passing by too quickly! My travel essentials are similar to yours! I always wear comfy clothes, like yoga pants, and I wear layers because I get cold easily but I can get warm walking through airports so it’s nice to have a layer to shed! I try to bring a eye mask to block out the light if it’s an overnight flight, but besides that my packing essentials mirror yours!!

  7. I travel with kids so 95% of what I bring is for them! Healthy snacks, water bottles, sanitizer (I need leave home without it!), some new toys and books. I try to pack a book for myself in case they happen to sleep at the same time (they never have!), and I always have a notebook and pen on hand – and that’s about it. I always make sure I dress super comfy – my husband totally judges me, but I have “travelling pants” – basically just my favourite pair of yoga pants. He doesn’t think I should leave the house in them but whatever ;)

  8. Loved your list! I’m so into these kinds of posts lately. Hope you have a wonderful time in Germany for your birthday! :)

  9. Love that you got to celebrate with your sister. I think I forgot that you have a twin! Happy belated birthday to you both.

  10. Have fun in Germany!! I always try to pack my handluggage light, but I always end up with too much stuff! :D

  11. I just invested in my first neck pillow, and oh my yes. I take back all my eye rolls and snarky thoughts I had about all those people toting those things around the airport. Definitely a must!

    Hope you’re having the most wonderful time!

  12. How wonderful, happy birthday to you and your sister :) I hope you’re having a great time in Germany. I have a trip coming up later this year and I’ll definitely need to put a battery pack for my phone on the list and I never thought about taking my knitting but that’s a great idea too. I usually have ear plugs stashed away in my carry on as well.

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