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And tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!!) I go to Europe! I absolutely cannot wait. I’m headed to Copenhagen, Stockholm and London with my boss to roll out a training program to the EMEA sales team. I’m so grateful that my job gives me opportunities like this to travel the world. I’ve been to London twice before for work. Last year it was Singapore and Sydney. This year, Northern Europe! I couldn’t be more excited. Expect some travel blog posts!

In the spirit of travel, instead of sharing what I’m “etcetera-ing” this week, I’m sharing the essentials I’m packing. These are the items I absolutely can’t live without — especially for an international trip (with a super long flight).

PACKING: FOR THE FLIGHT

I generally carry on two decent-sized bags on long-haul flights. My everyday work bag — where I can keep most of my electronics, passport, wallet, my everyday bag, and other valuables — and my Longchamp as my “Mary Poppins” bag.

The first item I always double, triple check I have with me is my Bose earbuds. These are amazing. I’ve had them for a few years and will never purchase another brand of earbuds. They’re incredibly comfy (so when I fall asleep with them, in I don’t wake up with an earache!), and the sound is amazing. Plus, they’re somewhat noise canceling. Can’t go wrong.

Sleep mask and pillow. I never understood why people always brought sleep masks and pillows on flights until I tried it for myself. My trick to combatting jet lag before it even has a chance to take hold of me is to force myself to sleep when it’s nighttime wherever I’m going. Get on that timezone as soon as I possibly can! The sleep mask helps to keep out the light (and keep my eyes closed so I can actually fall asleep) and the pillow, while it looks totally dorky, helps to keep my head straight enough so I don’t wake up with a massive kink. Totally worth it.

Speaking of sleeping… I never really take sleeping pills ever. They make me feel groggy and gross in the morning and that’s almost worse than not getting sleep. Until I found ZzzQuil. Let me tell you, ZzzQuil is amazing. Like, so amazing that during my trip to Singapore and Sydney last year, I wasn’t jet lagged at all. Seriously. It helped me sleep when I was supposed to sleep but didn’t make me feel awful the next morning. Sleeping on the flight is always a challenge, but with ZzzQuil, it’s easy peasy.

I generally hate the people who take their shoes off on airplanes, but for long 14 hour flights, it’s pretty uncomfortable to keep your shoes on. So, I won’t judge, as long as you have on a pair of super soft, fuzzy socks to keep your feet warm and cozy! These socks are my favorite and they’re definitely worth it for a long flight.

Without fail, airplanes make my skin so incredibly dry. It’s like they suck all the moisture out of the air and then you’re stuck in a recycled, dry atmosphere for hours at a time. Lip balm, hand lotion (I always get the lavender fragrance in this one as it also helps me relax and sleep), and a moisturizing face mask  (yes, I put on a face mask while on a long flight!) are absolute essentials.

Snacks! I’m not always a huge fan of airplane food (I don’t know many people who actually are…) so I always stock up on some snacks before getting on the plane. I like to bring KIND bars, an apple or two (pending room in my “Mary Poppins” bag and some almond butter packets. That way, I do have some sustenance if the only thing I can eat off the airplane food tray is the roll and butter.

Other must-haves might not be so out of the ordinary — I always pre-load my iPad with some good movies, add some new books to my Kindle app, make sure my Spotify playlists are available offline, and get ready for a long ride!

PACKING: FOR THE TRIP

Aside from some of the obvious necessities (chargers, camera, deodorant, shampoo, etc.) there are a few items I always bring on long trips.

My travel journal. As much as I love this blog being a space where I can write regularly and freely, I still keep a hand-written journal. In fact, I have several. A “once-a-day” journal, a regular writing journal and a travel journal where I chronicle all of my adventure while traveling.

Emergen-C. I don’t know about you, spending 14 hours on a plane with that lovely recycled air and strangers coughing, I automatically feel like I’m getting sick. Emergen-C is my friend! Packed full of Vitamin C and other nutrients, these little packets are my lifesavers when traveling.

Sunnies! I know this sounds pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ran out of the house to catch an early morning flight when it’s still dark outside so I don’t grab my sunglasses on the way out. Now, I’m in the habit of putting them in their case and packing them in my bag the night before.

Small purse. Instead of toting my work bag around everywhere once I’ve arrived at my destination, I like to bring along a separate purse that’s a bit smaller (and totally packable) so I can just throw in my essentials when I’m out exploring. I love crossbody bags — especially when traveling and I don’t want something loosely draped over my shoulder. If you need something a little bigger (to carry a water bottle, camera, wallet, etc.) this one is adorable.

Since I’m going to Europe in the fall, I know the weather is a bit unpredictable. Chances are, it’ll rain at least once while I’m there. So, I’m bringing a travel umbrella! This one is tiny and if it doesn’t rain, I won’t be disappointed that I brought it just in case.

 

I’m sure as I start to pack tonight, even more items will come to mind. I’m trying so hard not to over-pack this trip! Wish me luck!

 

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