Stuff I Always Pack

September 27, 2017

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Megan and I are off to Iowa next weekend to meet Tara for tailgating and football Go Hawks!  I was going to show you what I'm planning on bringing, a 'packing like a minimalist for a weekend getaway' post, but come on, anyone can pack minimally for just a weekend trip.  I'll save that for when John and I go away for 10 days in November.  Instead, I'm sharing my list of what I always bring with me, whether I'm staying over at someone's house for only one night or going away on a longer vacation.

I keep a travel bag packed with these essentials.  Not that I truly 'travel' all that often, but I do watch my parents dogs when they go out of town multiple times a year, and I stay at their house when I do.  The minimalist in me wants to just keep one of all of the following items and pack them up when I leave my home, but I've forgotten these things at least once and paid for it, so now I just keep a separate bag all ready to go.  It seems to be the opposite of my 'declutter everything' personality, and it is, but I really just enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having this bag ready.  (It's one of those areas that I valued 'stress free existence' over 'truly minimal,' which is the point of minimalism to me anyway.)  Here's what's in that bag:

Extra Contacts.  I lost one once, on the last day of vacation to the Bahamas when I was in high school.  It was a pain in the ass but thank goodness it was the very last day.  Before that moment, it didn't even occur to me to bring extras, even though I'd been wearing contacts every day for like 5 years by that point.  Now, I always have a back up pair.  And guess what?  Have never lost another one since that trip, 15 years ago.  But the peace of mind is priceless, so there's always a spare in my bag.

Contact Case and Solution.  Seeing as how I've been wearing said contacts for 20 years now, you'd think I wouldn't forget these two very important items, but I've done it.  So many times.  It's not a huge deal to go buy these things at a convenience store if I left them behind, but that's such a waste of time and money.  I just keep an extra case and then a travel size of the solution, which I refill from my main bottle when it gets low.

Lip Balm.  I've already mentioned how I cannot leave the house without this.  So there's one always living in my purse, but even though I logically know it's in there, I pack another one in my travel bag anyway.  It's an addiction.

Hair Tie I always have one of these in my purse, and I always have my purse, so it seems like overkill to have this extra hair tie but I tell ya, I've used it.  I actually don't wear my hair up often, my ears are too big, but I do need to pull it back when I'm washing my face and using moisturizers, which I do every night obviously.  Being caught somewhere without this always bugs me, so now I just keep it in the travel bag.

Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste Tabs.  I use the Sonicare toothbrush and my own toothpaste at home, but anyone who has one will agree that they're a pain to travel with, even though it comes with a carrying case.  It's too bulky and I always forget it when I'm packing.  So I keep the travel toothbrush in the bag, which is battery operated so it still vibrates like the Sonicare.  I also keep the tooth tabs from Lush in there because they're super easy to travel with.

Makeup Eraser.  I mentioned this as a product I regret buying because it just doesn't clean off makeup that well, but it does well enough that I just keep it in my travel bag.  That way I at least have something if I manage to forget my usual oil and cloth combo that I use to remove makeup.

Socks.  This is ridiculous, I know, but I keep a pair of socks in the travel bag as well.  If I go anywhere in the summer months when I only wear flip flops, it never even crosses my mind to bring socks, but I hate having cold feet.  So if I get somewhere and my feet are cold, or if I'm in a hotel room and don't want to be barefoot, I get super crabby that I forgot my socks.  It's just easier to keep a pair in there!

Tweezers and a Nail File.  Better safe than sorry.  I wouldn't normally think to pack them but when you need it, you really need it.  Obviously I've experienced that enough that I just keep them in there now.

Other things that forever live in my purse so they're with me anyway?  Dog treats, dog poop bags, hand sanitizer, tissue.  Totally essentials.

Anything that you always have on you, no matter how long your trip is?


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