In Discussions, Lifestyle, Minimalism, Style

The two things you need to pack when you travel.

You can’t always find what you need to buy when you travel, especially as a woman.

I hadn’t planned for any of this to happen!

When I visited Portugal, I was overcome with serious seasonal allergies to the point where I couldn’t sleep from all the constant sneezing. They didn’t have it over the counter, and I would need to see a doctor to get some.

In France (or was it Portugal again?) I also needed some aspirin because I had a headache and I wasn’t able to find it over the counter in the store nor in the pharmacy as it is a medicated product.

In both cases, I would have needed to visit a doctor, and have gotten a prescription for it.

In Venezuela even in the capital city of Caracas, I learned from watching States of Undress that buying feminine hygiene products is near to impossible.

These products are regulated by the government and you simply cannot find them in stores. When she finally did purchase them on the black market, she paid 300 Venezuelan Bolívars which is about $30 USD for a small packet.

You need to be prepared for anything, and whatever could possibly happen on your trip.

Of course, in your hotel you can reasonably expect to find shampoo, toilet paper, and soap (you hope), but I always travel with my own because the hotel amenities always tend to dry my hair and skin out (unless I go to a 5-star hotel which I have only done once in a my life).

So what do I always pack when I travel?


(1) EXTRA PILLS AND MEDICATION

Ladies, birth control is something my friend ran out of on her honeymoon and lo and behold, she came back knocked up. 😉 I’m happy for her (and she is thrilled too ….. after realizing she didn’t even get a chance to relax and enjoy being married), but things happen.

So yeah, if you are traveling, don’t bring JUST enough for the trip, bring a few more weeks worth of medication because you never know when you may get delayed, have a flight canceled, etc.

Some basic medication to carry:

  • Allergy medication – I like Aerius as it doesn’t make me drowsy
  • Aspirin
  • Motion sickness pills / patches — I don’t do Gravol, it knocks me out, but the scopolamine patches are amazing
  • Extra Birth control
  • Extra medication

(2) CONSIDER REUSABLE FEMININE PRODUCTS

You may not be comfortable using the Diva Cup or The Keeper (menstrual cups), but this product has changed my life.

Ever since I stopped taking birth control pills continuously to halt my periods because it was time consuming, and after having Baby Bun, I started to feel uncomfortable with all those hormones in me, plus my skin was going haywire.

A lot of people are initially grossed out by the idea because you’re basically inserting a cup inside and letting it collect the uterine lining being shed along with the blood, but it is a lot cleaner than a tampon or a pad has ever been.

I can also swim in it and I feel 100% secure, although I will say that after giving birth to Baby Bun, I do find that it leaks more than usual due to the havoc having a baby wreaks on your uterus and bladder (they use it like a mini trampoline, no joke).

It is a lot neater and cleaner than a tampon or pad, and the added benefit is that it is reusable so it helps the environment as well.

Just think of how many tampon applicators get tossed in the trash!! By the way, if you can’t get on board with this reusable option, at least consider this reusable tampon applicator (about to drop on the retail market), or these awesome period panties that you can wear during your period to collect the blood, and re-wash.

I reviewed the Diva Cup here, and talked about it a few years later (post-Baby Bun) here. It takes some getting used to, and practice but I will never ever go back.

You can also use reusable cotton pads (I do not), but those are like cloth diapers — high maintenance and kind of too bulky to wear comfortably.

I am now no longer without a backup. I have one in the car, I have one in my purse, and I have one at home. I even have a little Work Kit where I keep it when I am at work.

I am NEVER WITHOUT ONE, and I will use it the rest of my life. Just remember to wash and sanitize them regularly.

What do you bring when you travel?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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5 Comments

  1. Maggie colvin

    That is a really good list! I have found a happy medium between minimal packing and having to rent a van for all our luggage! It only took me a decade. I too pack a mini pharmacy because several small pills can save your day ( headache, nausea, pain etc) and if you calculate how much you are paying to be on vacation per day, one wasted day can be a lot!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Agreed… the medication was a shocker when I went to Europe

      Reply
  2. tomatoketchup

    Handkerchief. I sweat easily and usually vacation in warmer climates, so carrying around one of those things to wipe my forehead when I get hot is really useful. It’s also good for a lot of other things and doesn’t take up much space in the bag.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I didn’t add that as a necessary item because I normally always bring handkerchiefs anyway (we aren’t tissue paper people), but that’s a good point to make it necessary…

      Reply

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