Travel Makeup Bag: What To Pack

By Sara | August 23, 2016

Every traveler packs a little differently, but most travelers need some sort of travel makeup bag in their pack. We posted a robust packing list already, but didn’t delve into what female travelers should pack in a makeup bag. Packing light is hard, and I struggled to find posts on what to bring when I initially packed for my trip. Now, I travel with a small sized packing cube that I keep all of my “girl stuff” in, and know what my must-have items are. Here’s what I brought on my round-the-world adventure, and what I regretted not packing.

1. Ponds Face Cream

Keeping healthy skin is very important to me, and I’m sure to many other women. I’ve used Pond’s face cream for years and re-packaged a large tub of it into 100ml tubes for this trip. TSA compliant!

2. Norwex Face Towel

This was a christmas gift from my Mom and an item that I use every day. Norwex is a product line aimed reducing chemicals in the home. Their towels have microfibers in them, which pick up dirt much better than regular towels. In a pinch, you can even use these without soap; the fibers will grab the dirt from your face!

3. Vaseline or Chap Stick

I always carry some mini cocoa butter vaseline cubes with me, and they’re great for travel because of their size. Carmex lip balm also does the trick to keep lips from cracking, and both of these items are so small that you can easily fit them in a travel makeup bag.

4. Acne Remover

Particularly in hot climates, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent breakouts. Though drinking enough water, eating well, and washing your face every day helps, sometimes skin just has a mind of its own. For breakout situations, I carry one small tube of Clean and Clear topical gel to put on my face at night. Though it’s a strong solution, it clears most problem areas up by the next morning.

5. Q-Tips

I didn’t bring q-tips initially and regretted it every time I had water in my ears after a shower. Luckily, they’re an incredibly common product and super cheap, so you can buy them pretty much anywhere. I put a handful in a plastic ziplock and keep them in my travel makeup bag.

6. Foot Exfoliator

This is another item that I neglected to bring and had a hard time finding later in a compact size. Travelers walk a lot, and there’s no helping the dirt and dead skin that’s bound to accumulate. Having a small exfoliator makes the hugest difference in how your feet feel, and makes the beach more fun!

7. Deodorant, Toothbrush, and Toothpaste

Obviously, please pack these.

8. Razor

The girls I’ve met while traveling all do this a bit differently. Some prefer to go au natural and just let their leg hair grow. Power to ya. I have a pet peeve of hair on my legs, so before the trip I began using the most generic razor brand possible. I’ve been able to find the same style razors around the world and keep a few in my travel makeup bag. This gets me through several months at a time, but everyone has their own preference. Find what works for you, whether it’s skipping shaving, buying disposables, or getting detachable blades.

9. Feminine Products

Again, everyone does this differently. In most countries, standard pads and tampons are easy to find, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I have met a few female travelers who swear by the Diva Cup, so if you don’t want to worry about finding products in another country, it may be worth looking into.

10. Small Travel Makeup Bag

There’s a reason I put this last. I stopped wearing makeup almost a year ago and really, you don’t need any to travel. However, there are still times where it’s nice to dress up a bit to go out, so having a few of the essentials in your travel makeup bag can be beneficial. The only products I brought with me were:

TLC Foundation – I like this foundation because it’s oil-free, doesn’t clog pores, and has light coverage

Bobbi Brown Concealer – I love all things Bobbi Brown, and all of the skin products that they make feel light and moisturizing. This corrector is good for under eye and problem spots.

Bobbi Brown Blush – Same as above, the blush from Bobbi Brown shows up very light and looks natural. The colors look much more vibrant in the case, so don’t be afraid of choosing a bright shade!

Maybelline Waterproof Mascara – I’ve used this mascara for years, and it’s great even when swimming.

NYX Nude Eye Palette – This palette rocks because you can choose a shade as light or as dark as you like and play with the palette to create different looks. I use the darker shades as eye liner as well, rather than carrying a pencil.

Lip Gloss – If you’re going to bring lip coverage, choose a darker shade. The lip balm from the list above works as a nude gloss, so I keep a darker lip gloss for when I want to dress up to go out.

With these six items I’ve been able to look ready for night out, a job interview, and every day exploring. Unless you’re a luxury or beauty traveler, makeup really isn’t a priority, and outside of the U.S and the U.K., girls don’t wear much, if any makeup anyways!

That’s It!

Travel quickly teaches that you don’t need much to feel well. Again, every traveler packs differently, and the most important thing to bring is what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. My hope is that for those lost as to what to pack, this list will help make things easier, while keeping you feeling clean and pampered on the road.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase any of the items from a link in this post, we get a small commission to help keep this blog running at no extra cost to you.

The Ultimate Travel Packing List

By Sara | June 23, 2016

Anyone who is planning a trip longer than a few weeks will want to pack differently than if they were going on a standard vacation. Living out of your backpack long term is much different than packing a big suitcase for a short trip. Depending on what type of travel you plan to do, your travel packing list will vary in content. Below is our suggested travel packing list for long term round-the-world travel with a carryon sized (40-50L) backpack.

The Lists

No matter how long you plan to travel for, you really don’t need much more than a week to 10 days worth of clothes. The trick is to pack items that you can mix and match to create a large variety of outfits. When choosing clothes, try to pack things that roll up small. This way, you can pack more items and have more outfit choices on the road.

Men’s













Women’s
















Medical Kit

You’ll want to pack a small med kit to have minor emergency items on hand. Everyone’s med kit will be slightly different, so pack what you think you’ll need most. Below are some suggestions of common medicines to include. We suggest only packing small amounts of standard medicines, and if you get sick buy the medicine you need in whatever country you’re in at a pharmacy or drug store.

Please note that we are by no means health professionals, and the suggestions below are not dosage recommendations. Always seek advice from a doctor on what medicines to take.

Medical Kit






Bathroom Kit

Again, your travel packing list for a bathroom kit will vary hugely depending on what your skin and hair care routine is. The best suggestion we can give to save space in your pack is to be as low maintenance as possible. Below are the items we suggest and use when traveling, but you can tailor it and substitute them out to fit your own needs. Don’t forget that most products can be found all over the world, so unless you have a very specialized product that you can’t live without, standard bathroom items can easily be purchased.

Men’s Bathroom










Women’s Bathroom











Electronics

There are some standard electronic items you’ll want to have with you, and some you’ll only need if you plan to photograph or video record extensively. Check out our post on the Top 8 Electronic Items for Travel for a more in depth review of the products below and links to our favorite travel electronics.

Essentials



Photo & Video






General Tips

Now that you have an idea of what to pack, here are some tips on how to fit everything into your bag.

1. Roll your clothes instead of folding them

Rolling clothes instead of folding them will save tons of space in your bag. Almost every full time traveler we know packs this way – for a reason!

2. Use packing cubes

Packing cubes are the holy grail of things to have on a travel packing list. By putting your clothes and other items in cubes, not only does your backpack stay organized, but you can fit much more into your pack. We use and love these Ebags packing cubes.

Tip: Order a few sizes and experiment to see what fits best in your bag. When you pack, bring an extra cube or two – it can come in handy down the line for laundry, souvenirs, etc.

3. Lay out everything you plan to pack, then cut back

Before you put things into your backpack or suitcase, lay everything that you plan to bring out. Then start removing items that you don’t really need. When we first packed for our trip we had almost double of what we ended up bringing with us. Your back will thank you later!

4. Choose your backpack first

The best way to avoid overpacking is to not even give yourself the option. We bought our bags* before we even made a packing list, so that when it came time to pack we were limited to those constraints. We have no regrets using this approach and have never needed more space.

*Our backpacks:

Tortura Backpack 44 (Greg’s backpack)

Osprey Farpoint 40 (Sara’s backpack)

We hope that this packing list was helpful, and if there are any items you love that aren’t in this list, we’d love to hear them! Comment below your must-have items for a world trip.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we make a small commission to help keep this blog running if you purchase any of the linked products at no extra cost to you.

8 Must Have Travel Electronics

By Sara | May 17, 2016

Before we started traveling, Greg and I did a ton of research on what travel electronics to bring. We factored in the space they’d take up, the overall usefulness, and whether they’d work all over the world. Here is our list of the top travel electronics we can’t live without.

1. World Adapter

This is the most useful travel electronic device that anyone can have, no matter what type of travel you’re doing. The outlets and power voltages are different depending on what country you go to, so having a device that can adapt anywhere is a lifesaver. We’ve had excellent success with the Orei M8 Plus all across mainland Europe, the UK, and Africa.

2. Mini Outlet Expander

Almost as valuable as the world adapter, this travel electronic is for anyone traveling with more than one device. In most hotels, hostels, and even Airbnb’s there are only one or two outlets – and even then, with only one power converter, the need for multiple ports is great. This mini expander is perfect with three charging spots and two USB ports. We’re able to charge all of our electronics at once with no hassle.

3. Portable Battery Pack

This is another life-saving travel electronic. Your phone will get a lot of use while you’re traveling because it serves as a navigation lifeline, connection to the rest of the world, currency converter, and language translator. The down side is that the battery drains quicker than at home. Having this light, portable charger in our day pack has helped us out many times over again and we never leave without it.

4. Headphones

Let’s face it. Hostels can be noisy, busses can be loud, and sometimes you just don’t want to talk to that stranger next to you on an airplane. Whether you choose the smaller earphones that came with your phone or a nice pair of headphones, this is one travel electronic that you won’t want to not have.

5. Memory Cards

Whether you’re going on a one week vacation or a two year trip, photos are priceless. For many travelers, the 8GB memory cards will not be enough to store an entire trip, and if you’re taking video, the space drops even more. We recommend getting a 64GB memory card for both your camera and GoPro so that space is never an issue, or at the very least will last a while before having to move footage and photos elsewhere.

6. Spare Batteries

While most travel electronics no longer run on batteries, some still do. A great investment is a set of rechargeable batteries. Also, if you plan on vlogging or recording any part of your trip, a GoPro is a great accessory to bring. We quickly learned however, that the GoPro battery isn’t meant for all-day recording, so having backup batteries is a must. We bought these after we began our trip, but won’t start another on with them.

BONUS: The SmaTree batteries (linked above) come with a charging port that works with the GoPro brand batteries as well, so you can charge them all overnight for a set of fully charged batteries the next day.

7. SIM Card Holder

Depending on your phone plan overseas, you may be switching SIM cards a lot. Those things are tiny. Tiny things get lost. Don’t lose SIM cards. This holder is small, light, and easily stores international SIM cards so you can switch them out with ease.

8. External Hard Drive

Last but definitely not least, a backup drive. The worst thing can and does happen – hard drives fail. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Bite the bullet and get a backup drive. Use it regularly so those precious photos from your travels are a forever keepsake.

We hope that this list helps you get all the travel electronics you need to travel to whatever part of the world you choose. Have a must-bring electronic item we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Choosing Travel Shoes

By Sara | April 9, 2016

When we began researching what to pack on an extended world trip, one of the biggest questions I had was what type of shoes I should bring. Should I go the “try to fit in” route and pack my flats? What about the comfort of tennis shoes? Is that too touristy? Maybe I’ll need hiking boots. And flip flops. Should I pack my boots too?

These were all questions that went through my head as I searched for a definitive answer to my travel shoes debacle. My hope is that this post will help you decide which shoes are right for your travels and save you some of the hassle we faced. For a full round the world packing list, click here.

Step 1: Determine Your Travel Style

We didn’t have a set list of counties picked out when we planned our world trip, but we had a rough idea of where we wanted to visit. If you’re planning to go everywhere, this step isn’t a huge deciding factor in the shoe department. However, if you’re planning to only go jungle-trekking, camping, surfing, skiing, or chasing summer, this will have a major impact on your decision.

For camping and hiking as the main activities, hiking boots are your best option. For some, tennis shoes might work fine but for true hiking you’ll need something with more ankle support and grip.

For summer chasers, choose a comfortable pair of sandals and/or flats that you can walk in for a long time. Chaco’s are a great option if you plan to be in a lot of hot weather countries. You could stick with just tennis shoes but may get hot and they definitely look touristy with a pair of shorts or a sundress.

If you’re planning to mostly walk around and explore cities, a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of sandals or boots are great as travel shoes as long as they’re comfortable.

Step 2: Put Comfort First

A great way to ruin your trip is by not wearing comfortable shoes. Greg and I walk on average 10 to 15 thousand steps per day, and your feet, knees and back will get sore at times even with the most comfortable shoes. Bring footwear that feels right on your feet and that has good support.

Step 3: Seek Style

It’s hard to find travel shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, so if you can do this, congratulations! If not, you can begin to make your shoe choice based on deciding whether to choose a shoe that matches your clothes or that’s most comfortable to wear.

Step 4: Factor in Space

If you’re packing everything in a carry-on sized backpack like we have, there’s not a ton of room for shoes. However, if you have a bigger bag then there are more options. It all depends on how you travel. A general tip is to plan to always wear your bulkiest shoes when you’re traveling to a new place so that you never have to pack them.

Step 5: Try Shoes On

You’ve got to try the shoes on in order to know if they’ll work for you. Take an afternoon to spend time in a shoe store and walk around in a few different pairs. It’s also worth experimenting with different insoles. There are many different insoles that offer heel cushion, arch support, etc. but you’ll want to test these out in person before buying.

Our Choices

I was able to pack one pair of nice black flats and a pair of cheap flip flops into my backpack, and wear my Nike trainers with heel support insoles on travel days. I started off carrying a pair of boots as well, and realized my mistake before we even left the states. The boots are no longer with us. Most days I wear my Nike’s, and I’ll switch them out for flats when dressing up a bit.

Greg opted not to buy flip flops until he needs them and packs his Nike 5.0 shoes in his bag while wearing a pair of Aldo dress shoes most of the time. This combination has worked great for both of us so far.

There is no one pair of travel shoes that is best because everyone’s feet and travels are different. Taking some time to think about what will be best for you based on your location and travel style will make the choice easier. What shoes do you travel with? Comment your favorites below!

Why You Need Packing Cubes

By Sara | January 12, 2016

When Greg and I decided to travel the world we researched anything and everything that there was to know about long-term travel. One of the best tips I read and used was the beauty of packing cubes. For those who aren’t familiar, packing cubes are thin, flexible zipper bags that hold anything you want to pack. Depending on the brand you choose, they can be made of mesh, plastic, or a sturdier material. Regardless of the size and style, here’s four reasons why you should invest in a set of packing cubes before traveling.

1. Bring More

Packing your belongings in multiple set spaces allows you to fit more things in your bag by keeping everything compact. Try rolling your clothes to save extra space, and choose lightweight items that don’t take up a ton of room.

2. Stay Organized

It’s easy to lose items when traveling, but organizing your travel belongings into cubes keeps your backpack or suitcase neat and organized. By sectioning out various items into different compartments, it’s much harder to misplace things.

3. Easy Access

Packing cubes come in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes, so it’s easy to tell where all of your belonging are. Say goodbye to the struggle of trying to find that one favorite sweater by knowing that it’s in a small cube with the rest of your shirts.

4. Extra Storage

because packing cubes are small and don’t weigh much, it doesn’t hurt to throw an extra cube or two into your backpack. We’ve used our extra cubes as laundry bags, extra separation for electronics, and as a way to separate our swimsuits if we have to travel with wet clothes.

There are many ways that packing cubes will come in handy during your trip, and we highly recommend using them when packing for extended travel. To purchase a set, the best place to look is any outdoor store or on a shopping website like Amazon.com. We use eBags cubes when we travel, and find that for most situations the medium and slim cubes work best. For a detailed packing list for long term travel, check out our post here.

 

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