Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our Best Travel Items

Happy Hump Day!
Can you believe we're already halfway through the week? My summer break is flying by!

We booked our trip to Europe just in time to ask Jolly old St. Nicholas for some goodies. Luckily, Santa our families fulfilled our wish list and loaded us up with some awesome stuff that made traveling abroad so much easier [and safer]! We narrowed down our favorite and most used items below. Just click the photos to shop!

1. Compression Packing Bags

I researched the heck out of everything related to traveling abroad before our trip. This is the one hit-or-miss item I noticed on all blogs. People either loved them or hated them- there was no in-between. For us? We LOVED them. I was so doubtful at first. I mean, how can a bag help us save space, when all it was doing was taking up more space? Silly, Lauren. It compressed our clothes like an elephant sitting on an ant. This may be a turn-off for some who don't want to iron or steam, but for us, it worked perfectly. I checked all of our AirBnB's before we left, and each location had an iron, so we were golden. I knew that if necessary, then we'd have that option. To be totally honest, though, most of my clothes were just fine. It was just one of my dresses and John's polos that needed ironing, but that was it. 

Highly recommended! Because, although we took a large suitcase and carry-on, just know that we COULD have packed two weeks worth of clothes in just two carry-on suitcases instead. You and/or travel buddy will appreciate the smaller [read: lighter] luggage.

2. International Travel Adapter Kit

These are obviously a no-brainer. You have to have a converter for different countries, and this pack was nice because it came with 5 different options. They worked great & we had no issues. Just be sure to check which converter you need for where you're traveling to. I was worried that I would accidentally pack the wrong one, so I brought them all. Rookie mistake, but oh well. It wasn't that big of a deal. It comes with a travel bag, so you don't have to worry about losing any of the pieces.

While we're chatting about converters- Ladies! Make sure you check to see if your hair appliances will work abroad. After researching, I found out that my straightener would have basically exploded, but my wand was A-OK! I just Googled, "US straightener/wand in Italy," and I found the specific numbers that you need to have on your appliance.

3. Magnetic Wallet
Y'all, I almost fell victim to it. I heard stories. I was warned. I KNEW better than to leave my purse behind my back. But it happened. And now that I've almost been pick-pocketed, I totally get why fanny packs were once a thing! Ha! [Side note: Did you know that fanny pack translates to "bum bag" in British English? I had no idea!] We were about to get on a train in Rome, when two people grabbed me and started yelling in Italian. My heart stopped and I'm pretty sure I just froze. The two [very sweet] people were trying to tell me that someone was unzipping my bag. Thank God they didn't get it open, but HOLY MOLY, I was on high alert for the rest of the trip. John, of course, eyed the gentleman down until he got off on the next stop. I yelled at him, because honestly, what is that going to do? But he was angry, I get it. I was angry, too. And scared. My eyes started to water and I immediately wanted to be back in America. I felt so violated. I leave my purse unzipped all the time [which I know is TERRIBLE]. It's just not something I think to do all that often. But I learned my lesson quickly! And after I got my emotions under control & we entered the Colosseum, all was right in the world again.

All of that to say, this wallet was a life saver! It's certainly not the most fashionable, and our coins would stick to the magnetic piece at times, but the comfort of knowing that the wallet was attached tightly was priceless! John could keep it clipped in his pocket, I could keep it clipped in my purse, or we kept it in the backpack. No matter where it was, there was added security knowing that if someone got into our bag, they'd have to pull pretty hard [which we would feel] to get it loose. When it was in John's pocket, the magnetic part was so tight, that if I tried to lightly pull it out of his pocket, he immediately felt it.

4. Back-up Phone Chargers

I feel like this is another no-brainer. If you're traveling abroad from the US, you're likely going to explore all day & take pictures all day. If you're anything like us, we downloaded CityMaps2Go and used that to get around every city. So using a map + taking tons of pictures = your phone battery will die. This charger was great because it's the size of a lipstick, so it fit nicely in my purse or our backpack. Our only gripe was that if John wanted to carry it in his pocket, our personal charging wire was too long. This one was our favorite because it had a small, built-in wire and was thin like our phone, so it easily slid into pockets. But unfortunately, someone left it in our AirBnB in Rome. Not naming any names, though! ;) 

5. Travel-sized Board Games


I LOVE playing games. Board games. Card games. Video games. I'm the first to admit that I'm a sore loser when I play with John [I really need to work on that before kids come along], but I love a little healthy competition.
With 10+ hours of flight time and endless train rides, we knew we wanted to bring more than just the iPad with us. Our new favorite game is Qwixx. It's a fast-paced dice game that definitely keeps you on your toes! But the ones we played on the trip most often were Sequence and Uno. Uno Splash is awesome because you don't have to worry about protecting the cards - drinks, sand, pool - nothing can ruin them!

6. Dry Shampoo - Travel Size

Obviously this item didn't make John's list. But I needed to share, because 2 weeks abroad with small blow dryers made this girl never want to wash her hair. I have a TON of hair and the blow dryers in our AirBnB's just didn't cut it for every day hair washing. Batiste is my favorite dry shampoo - and I've tried at least 10 different options over the past 6 months. You can also get it at Ulta if you have one near you.

7. Laundry Bags

I'm a Virgo. I like organization. I also like for my dirty clothes not to touch my clean clothes. OCD? Maybe. But these little guys were perfect for travel! This one is super cute, too. It's not a laundry bag, but can still be used as one and still folds up to the mini travel size.

8. Cord Case

This case fit all of our cords: 2 cell phone chargers, 1 iPad charger, 3 back-up phone chargers, 2 sets of headphones, and 1 headphone splitter. It kept us organized [hello, Virgo, nice to see you again!] throughout the trip, and made changing cities every few days so much easier!

Whew! I know that was long, but I hope it was helpful. I had quite a few friends reach out to me asking questions about our trip, and instead of doing a full packing post, I decided to break it down instead.

Enjoy your day, loves!

Be kind. Choose love.



  1. Loved this post! My fiancé and I are traveling to Paris in the fall for our honeymoon. Great idea to pack some games with you! :)

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