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our packing essentials

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

If you read our last blog post, you'll know that we're no longer traveling full time. However, even at our home base in Colorado, we're always scheming up our next trip -- whether it be a road trip to New Mexico or a month long trip to Europe. Here are ten items that we always bring with us no matter where we're going:

Now that we've tried out these glasses, we can't not pack them in our bags. With all of the blogging and social media we do, we found that our eyes were constantly strained, dry, and red. Baxter Blue glasses are designed for the digital age to filter out the harmful blue light from digital screens. The lenses also look great while reducing glare and providing increased contrast. Our favorite part about Baxter Blue is that for every pair of glasses you order, they work with RestoringVision to provide a pair of reading glasses to someone in need.

This is our #1 recommended product to long-term travelers. This little magic bag makes hand-washing laundry in awkward situations so easy. We used this wash bag every week for 15 months and it still looks like it's brand new. Basically, you put a few clothing items into the bag, add a little bit of laundry soap, and fill it halfway with water. From there, you deflate the bag and let your clothes soak for a few minutes. Then you scrub your clothes, rinse them, and hang to dry. The bag has small rubber pieces on the bottom of the bag that create a washboard for removing stains, stench, and sweat. At $55 USD, this may seem a bit steep, but it will save you hundreds of dollars at the laundry mat.

3. Natural Skincare Products

Daniel and I will be the first to admit that we haven't always been the best about skin care. We used to forget the sunscreen 9 out of 10 times. Within the past couple of years, we've recently committed to taking care of our skin. Traveling in sunny locations and spending countless hours on airplanes and boats has a way of drying skin out and causing breakouts. We religiously used True Botanicals products out on the road. We used the nourishing cleanser, nutrient toner, pure radiance oil, and SPF coverage. About halfway through our travels, we ran out of our trusty products and went as far as having replacements shipped to us in Australia. True Botanicals focuses on pure, potent ingredients that are good for people and the planet. Although pretty expensive, we realize that taking care of our skin shouldn't have a price attached to it. Recently, we opted to try out a local Colorado brand called Pangea Organic. Their website states that, "Pangea Organics was formed in 2001 from a simple concept: we and the earth are one, and in that oneness, the earth gives us everything we require to maintain our health, vibrancy, and youthful glow." So far we are loving their products! We'll never leave home again without an all-natural skincare line -- especially with SPF!

4. Hair Products

This may not apply to everyone, but when you have thick curly hair like I do, I recommend taking your own hair products. I am an avid DevaCurl user, and these products are impossible to find anywhere else in the world. I brought enough sulfate-free products to make it about a month, but struggled to find quality products for the remainder of our travels. My hair quickly got damaged from all of the sun exposure, hard water, and sulfate-full products I was forced to use. If you're going on a shorter trip, pack whatever products your hair is used to.

5. High-Quality Swimwear

Depending on where you're traveling to in the world, chances are you may be in a swimsuit every single day. I can't recommend enough the importance of packing high-quality eco-friendly swimwear. A few brands I love are Lilly & Lime, Albion Fit, and Demalou. I recommend packing a variety of styles, including at least one one-piece for surfing and other water sports. Lilly and Lime is specifically designed for women who are blessed with curves. This company was started by two friends who realized that their swimsuits were so boring compared to their small-busted friends who had fun, stylish suits. With many colors and patterns to choose from, you really can't go wrong! My suit (the blue suit in the photo) is made of durable material and will last for years to come. Demalou was started with the idea of creating eco-friendly swimwear to be worn specifically for surfing and other water sports. These swimsuits truly feel like a second skin. The fabric is made from 100% post-consumer materials. How incredible is that? Also, the suit that I ordered is reversible, meaning it's essentially two suits in one (the tropical leaf print and yellow). Although I'm not a surfer yet (it's still a lifelong dream), this suit is perfect for any situation. I know that it's going to stay perfectly in place and that it's not harming the planet.

6. Water Filter

Our one and only regret from our travels was not packing a water filter. We're both very eco-conscious people who focus on our sustainability every day. We considered purchasing a water filter before we left, but struggled to find the perfect product. There are many more options for water filters out there now, so do yourself and the earth a favor: BUY ONE! You'll save hundreds of dollars by not purchasing water, and, more importantly, you'll do your part to keep those Southeast Asia beaches clean! Anyone who has traveled Bali or Vietnam knows how bad the plastic pollution can be.

These sandals are comfortable, an easy slip-on style, and can be worn with pants or dresses. Such a classic that always find their way into our bags. Pro tip: don't be afraid to rock the 'socks and stocks' on airplanes to keep the drafty air off of your toes.

8. A Small Bluetooth Speaker

This is an important item that provides a soundtrack while lounging at the beach, hanging in your hotel room, or sharing music with fellow world-travelers. We have a Braven speaker that we've enjoyed for years.

9. Hydration Tablets

While exploring in hot, humid areas or at 14,000+ feet in South America, our hydration tablets saved us. Our favorite brand is Nuun. They offer Nuun sport, Nuun immunity, Nuun vitamins, and Nuun calm. You never know when some electrolytes will be necessary on the road. Always a great item to store away in your bag.

10. Playing Cards

Right before we left the United States, my mom left us with a deck of Colorado playing cards and they were beat to death by the time we returned! Sometimes, traveling can be lonely with long hours on buses, planes, etc. Daniel and I played cards just about every day. We often played with new friends and enjoyed showing them the photos on the cards of our home state.

What gets packed in your bag that you can't leave home without?

** Some of the above products are sponsored, but most are not. We don't earn income by mentioning the above products and we only represent brands that are ethical and authentic.

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