Tuesday, June 15, 2010

La Vida Expatica #3: The Essential Items for Travel

In the last post in the Expatica series, I talked about the random, sentimental, and often times impractical items we expats insist on hauling halfway around the world and back. You guys had some fabulous contributions, by the way. Teapots, teddy bears, books and more books. My favorite, however, was shared off the blog by my friend S., a UK expat living in Mozambique, who said that her 5-year-old daughter most certainly qualified as 'impractical'.

This time, however, I'd like to touch on the practical, ultra-useful items that are at the top of the list for any trip, long or short. As expats, we (hopefully) learn to travel light, to use products that have multiple functions, to bring clothing that transitions easily from day to night. I'd imagine we have some awesome tips to share.

As I get ready to pack yet another suitcase (we're going on a little jaunt to the Houston-area for a friend's wedding), I'd like to invite you to share the top five items you absolutely must have in your suitcase, be it for a weekend trip or for a year-long posting.

Mine are:
1. large pashmina-style scarf (I'm always cold)
2. earplugs
3. pair of ultra-comfortable ballet flats (my faves are Born brand)
4. havaianas (gets you through beaches and icky showers)
5. mascara (favorite is YSL)


Stacie said...

My top five are:
My camera
REI Convertible Pants
Daily prescription I have to take

My most frivolous item that I have to have as a number six would be my Latte Whip (coffee freak here)

--jenna said...

Ziplock bags (for travel sizes, potential leaky items, wet swimsuits, etc)

Conditioner (doubles as shave cream and hair styler if you're curly like me)


Tide pen. I take them EVERYWHERE!

Empty water bottle. Since you can't take liquids through airport security, I take empty bottles so I don't have to pay outrageous prices for bottled water in the kiosks.

Jo Ann said...

Does my computer count?
I am packing for a Parisian escapade and the Wally is the only thing I can come up with!

Ali la Loca said...

~Stacie - I used to have a lovely, worn-in hoodie that I'd take everywhere...but it didn't make the cut to bring back to the US because it was stained. :(

~Jenna - I wish I'd read this earlier. I am going to hang onto the now-empty $7 bottle of water I bought in the Oakland airport so I can fill up for free on the way home.

~Jo Ann - Of course it counts! I used to take mine everywhere, but the blackberry has rid me of that necessity.

Linda said...

My camera-although in hand held luggage
Jogging shoes(inside plastic bags in case they get dirty) and one set exercise clothes
Sweater for if it gets cold
An extra book in case I run out of reading material
Sun screen

Jody said...

My absolute favorite shawl, pair of red ballerina flats, black ann-taylor dress that looks flattering no matter the time of day or how bloated I may be, melatonin, and bottle of fresh cannabis rose for the occasional, yet necessary, "parisian bath".


Claudia said...

Top 5:
- Pashmina & Fleece socks (I feel the cold like you Ali!)
- Bose Head Phones (never fly without them!)
- My teddy Snowy (often think that he'd be the first to grab should the plane crash... my very own 'Wilson' equivalent if I'm alone on an island)
- My Jimmy Choo flats (for fear of them going missing in my suitcase)
- Underwear in case there's any overnight delays

I'm also never without essentials - creams, creams and more creams; camelback water bottle; jewelry; a ziplock of snacks (cereal bars, nuts, chocolate etc for the emergency munch); and of course... makeup for landing! Oh and highly addicted to Dermalogica Travel size Antioxidant Spray for face and neck!