Travel Essentials: What to Pack when Planning an Adventure Anywhere

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Time and time again, I am asked questions by people all over the globe about how to sustain a traveler’s lifestyle. Among the most popular, is the matter of what to bring.

What are the essentials? The bare-minimum basics that one should pack when preparing for a trip? How do you keep your pack light? How do you stay healthy?

Below I share a list of essentials that I always carry with me, no matter the destination, and links for where to buy them.*

In my Osprey Aether 60 Backpack I pack:

  • Health Supplements:
    • Grapefruit Seed Extract – Keeps your immune system strong– I swear by this stuff! At the first feeling of low immunity, I take two of these a day till I’m good as new. Nutribiotic Gse Tablets
    • Manuka Honey – Containing high amounts of methylglyoxal (MG), manuka is famous for its anti-bacterial properties, and is a supercharged anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. A teaspoon a day keeps you strong, can also be used as face mask or balm for wounds– repairing tissue by fostering new cell growth. Raw Manuka
    • Turmeric Containing bio-active compounds with powerful medicinal properties, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, increases antioxidant capacity of the body, is linked with improved brain function and has been known to lower risk of heart disease. Turmeric has been found to potentially prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and depression. In other words, turmeric is something we should all be consuming on a regular basis ! I like to mix a teaspoon with lukewarm water and fresh lemon juice first thing each morning. Organic Turmeric
    • Activated Charcoal – Helps detox and absorb toxins from your body, especially in emergency situations. Charcoal also relieves bug bites / stings, and any disorders you may experience from eating foods your stomach isn’t accustomed to. Activated Charcoal
    • Vitamin C – Very important to supplement vitamin C especially if you are not eating a balanced daily diet full of fruits and veggies. Vitamin C is a key protective element against cardiovascular disease, improving blood flow, lowering cholesterol, among other well known benefits.  Ascorbic Acid
    • Probiotics: Kefir Crystals – Probiotics are healthy bacteria that aid your gut in its natural processes. The easiest way to ensure you are intaking probiotics regularly, is by making kefir water. Organic Water Kefir Crystals
  • Essential Oils:
    • Tea Tree – A natural antiseptic, tea tree is indispensable. It is important to mix it with a carrier oil, as it is so powerful it will quickly dry out your skin. Use tea tree to disinfect and clean wounds, or your toothbrush ! The possibilities are endless. Tea Tree Oil
    • Oregano Oil – One of nature’s most powerful supplements, oregano oil is super-packed with antioxidants. It fights infection (particularly against dangerous parasites: E. coli, Salmonella), protects against harmful organisms (just a couple drops in your water bottle could save you a lot of trouble), is a source of nutrients– zinc, vitamin C and E, magnesium, as well as iron, niacin, calcium, manganese, potassium. Oregano oil is a powerful digestive aid, PMS aid, allergy support, combats cold, eases discomfort, and supports weight loss and graceful aging. Make sure you dilute your oregano oil in coconut or olive oil if applying on your body. Oregano (Origanum) Essential Oil  
    • Raw Coconut – Use as a body lotion, hair moisturizer, cook with it, mix with baking soda to make all natural toothpaste, get creative ! Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
    • Lavendar – Calming, soothing, antiseptic for bug bites, add a little to your castile soap for a lovely fragrance. 
    • Arnica – Pain relieving and perfect for injuries, mix with coconut oil and rub on sprains and bruises and watch them heal overnight. Arnica Oil Extract
    • Peppermint – This oil is great for freshness– add a few drops to laundry, or mix with lavender in a hot bath. Can also be used in coconut oil, baking soda mixture for homemade toothpaste. Pure Peppermint Oil
    • Argan – Hands down, the best oil for moisturizing your face and hair: very gentle, delivering supple moisture for face, especially eye area. Also doubles as makeup remover. Organic Cold Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil
    • Frankincense – “When in doubt, use frankincense.” This oil works wonders in so many areas of supporting your health and well-being. It is known to be an excellent antiseptic and astringent, digestive, tonic, supporting oral health, the immune system, prevents gas build-up in the body, aids skin health and makes scars fade, is a diuretic and supports the respiratory system. Frankincense also pairs wonderfully with your yoga and meditation practice. Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Water Bottle  Very important ! Always stay hydrated, especially when traveling. NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle
  • Chopsticks + Ceramic Soup Spoon Raised following a macrobiotic way of life, I prefer not to use metal when I eat. Your own choice of utensils is always good to have in your pack. 
  • Jar with lid – Can be used to store food, liquids, or to make your kefir water in. 
  • Leatherman Knife – Multi-purpose, a very useful tool to have. Leatherman Knife
  • Journal + Pen – The best way to remember your adventures is by writing them down. Also very useful for noting tips and information about destinations, as well as keeping in touch with new friends you meet on the road. 
  • Camera – As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Canon Digital SLR Camera
  • Headlamp – Always good to have an extra source of light, when camping or just searching through your pack in a dark room. LED Headlamp
  • Ipad with Books + Maps – An alternative to actual books and maps. Also a nice replacement for your phone, if you are keen to really disconnect and embrace the present moment.
  • Hammock – I am always on the hunt for the next best hammock spot to set up and nap or read in. A portable hammock is a simple way to always have a rest oasis for yourself (and perhaps a friend). Parachute Hammock with Tree straps
  • Sleeping Bag – A portable bed, providing warmth and comfort, also doubles as a pillow on long bus, plane and train rides. Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy

  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste + Floss – Oral hygiene, oh-so-important. This should go without saying. 
  • Hand Sanitizer – A pocket essential. 
  • Aloe Baby Wipes – A quick way to freshen up. Soothing, refreshing relief on a hot sticky bus ride across Costa Rica / Colombia / Guatemala… 
  • Castile Soap – Multi-purpose soap used for bathing, clothes washing, dishes, ect. Dr. Bronner’s
  • Clothes + Shoes – Try to keep this to a minimum. You can always buy more clothes (and for really cheap if you are going to a developing country in Central or South America and most Asian countries). Finding pieces you really love and can wear over and over again is the key to a basic wardrobe. A good tip when packing is to lay out all the clothing you want to bring, then halve it. You will probably end up wearing half of that, amounting to about: 
    • Bathing Suit + Sarong
    • Dress
    • Jeans / Yoga Pants
    • Shorts
    • Tanktop / 2 Dress Shirts
    • Sweater + Jacket
    • 3 pairs of Socks + 5 pairs Undies
    • Flip flops / Running Shoes / Boots

Bohemian compass road trip

What do you like to pack when you travel?

Do you have any essentials to add to the list?


*DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. When you order through my link, it helps me to continue to pursue my dream of traveling the world, and sharing it with you. Thank you, in advance for your support!

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  1. October 21, 2015

    Hey Ana! Great List, here some more things that I always pack when travelling:

    – Psyllium Husk Capsules (against Constipation)
    – Natural Antibiotics from Plants (eg. from Horse Radish and Indian Cress – when your starting to feel sick)
    – Collodial Silver (put in water to help your body fight against bacteria, put on wounds)
    – Bach Emergency Drops or pills (for mental/emotional emergencies/anxiety)
    – Astaxanthin as a super anti-oxidant to keep you healthy and help you body cope with strong sun

    – sleeping mask and ear plugs – never know in which conditions you have to sleep
    – special earplugs for the airplane – help compensate pressure
    – copy of your passport and other important documents (also have one scanned on your phone/laptop/ipad or on dropbox or something similar)
    – TRAVEL YOGAMAT! (I love the one from Manduka)
    – Inflatable Meditation cushion (great for doing Yoga/being able to sit on the ground (so much healthier than on chairs, but can be hard on your back without a cushion)/as apillow in the plane/train etc.)
    – USB-Stick, to share you music, photos and other things with people you meet (If you don’t have a computer use the internet cafe)
    – Meditation Shawl (great for Yoga/Meditation, as another blanket on your bed, to wear when its cold
    – blistering plaster (especially when hiking)

    Lot’s of LOVE, OM and SHANTI

    Gioia xxx

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