Last updated on August 22nd, 2021
Packing Tips for Stress-Free Travel
By Sandra Phillips, Guest Writer
When setting off on a trip, you want to be as comfortable as you can and make your trip as stress-free as possible. On a recent JourneyWoman Community Call, I asked our travel-savvy women what they always pack. They offered some marvelous ideas of what to make sure to put in your bag.
1. A comfortable pair of shoes: JourneyWomen favour brands like New Balance for sneakers, and Teva, Ecco or Fitflop for sandals.
2. Swiss Army knife or small foldable scissors: These come in handy for cutting price tags or threads, eating, slicing food, opening plastic packaging, cutting nails. Hot tip for finding scissors: Shop in Chinatown.
3. Creams: Hand moisturizer, Vaseline, Neosporin, Balmex diaper rash ointment – all useful for dry hands and lips, rashes, bites, and sunburn.
4. Band-aids: The clear favourite was Band-Aid Brand Hydro Seal Waterproof All-Purpose for all those booboos and blisters. These band-aids stay on for days, even after showers, swimming, etc.
5. Fan: A paper one or a tiny electric one that plugs into a USB port.
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6. Pillow: A blow-up pillow or small airline-size for sleeping on a plane or for long rides, and/or a lumbar pillow for your lower back.
7. Printed Documents: Itineraries, your flights, passport, visas, important cards and phone numbers, just in case your phone goes dead (or is stolen). Swap copies with your traveling companion too!
8. Travel pants: With secret pockets or really loose, stretchy, comfy ones with lots of pockets. Brands mentioned include Clothing Arts, Travelsmith, Tilley, and REI.
9. Skirt or dress: The kind you can scrunch into a corner of your suitcase without it wrinkling.
10. Wrap: To keep you warm, cover you on the beach, for use as a picnic blanket, or to jazz up an outfit.
11. Walking sticks: Foldable lightweight ones. They can also be used to traverse long staircases which do not have handrails.
12. Rubber door stopper: So that no one can come into your room without you knowing.
13. Lightweight folding bag: For extra purchases, or if you suddenly aren’t allowed your carry-on on the flight (no room in overhead bins or a plane so small there are tiny overhead bins). This way, you can take out important items and papers, tuck them in the bag and place it under the seat.
New York City born, but proud Montrealer, Sandra Phillips’ stitched her name into Canada’s fabric by unexpectedly writing best-selling books. The first, Smart Shopping Montreal, set the stage for her to become one of Canada’s smartest shoppers (said Chatelaine), leading her to radio shows, a Montreal Gazette newspaper column and to the TV news (CTV, CBC, Global). She then went on to conquer the US with 4 national book awards for a travel guide: Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia. Sandra has appeared in 100’s of U.S. and Canadian media outlets.
As a JourneyWoman, she has traveled to 65 countries, every US state, all Canadian provinces and she covers her jaunts on Instagram.
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These items are all essential especially for women who travel a lot on their own. Not only for comfort when traveling but also some items can be used for protection too. Who knows what’s waiting for us in the outside world.
Thanks for sharing this. It is very helpful and serves as a reminder also.