In honor of my upcoming departure for eight weeks in Asia, this month’s “Check It Out” list is devoted to my travel must haves. Each year I leave my home and travel abroad 4-5 times. With each trip, my packing changes to meet the climate and needs of the overall agenda while I’m away. There are a few items though, that are a part of my packing requirements – the “must haves” for all trips.
1.) My Travel Bible & Journal
I try to never go overseas without my Bible. It’s the most important thing I own and has gotten me through some really tough times. I also have great ambitions of recording all my adventures in a written format and with such, I always bring a journal. I rarely write in it, but I always bring it. Don’t judge, I’m trying. One day I’ll find the magical journaling discipline.
This is the most recent addition to my adventures, and although it’s only been on one trip with me, I can’t imagine not having it. So tiny and absolutely perfect for capturing video footage and photos.
3. Baby Food
Yes, you heard me right. Baby food. I don’t bring a lot, but squeezable pouches are perfect for travel and when I find myself in the middle of a jungle and need some easy nourishment, these are my go to. I have tasted many brands and all sorts of flavors, these two are some of my favs – Earth’s Best Organic and Beech Nut. And generally my go to flavors have mango or sweet potato.
4. Beef Jerky & Slim Jims
Usually I just plan to eat whatever is provided, but somehow over the course of my 14 years of missions travels, these two items have not only become my comfort foods, but also a necessity. Plus sharing these items is a great way to make friends – trust me.
Just trust me on this. Every once in a while you may have to pee in a Cambodian field or deep in the Amazon Jungle. And I can speak from experience – these two particular locations do not have toilet paper readily available. So you better be prepared with your own. Worst case scenario, I suppose you could find some leaves, but I do not recommend this method.
6. Sleeping Aids
I have often been asked, how did you manage to sleep the entire 15 hour flight? Every once and a while, it’s honestly from sheer exhaustion. The majority of the time, it’s because I never leave home with out some sleeping aids. These are awesome to help get you re-adjusted to time when suffering from jet-lag.
7. Bug Repellent
Aside from my cell phone, this is the one item I literally can’t survive without on a missions trip. I was blessed (or cursed) with blood that can draw mosquitoes from miles away. I swear, at times I can be standing in a group of 50+ people and be the only one eaten alive by mosquitoes. I guess you could say that I’m really “sweet”… Get it? Sweet. Cause my blood tastes so good to mosquitoes. Okay, laugh. It was cute.
8. Dry Shampoo
This right here, NOT YOUR MOTHER’S CLEAN FREAK REFRESHING DRY SHAMPOO. This has literally been a game changer and saved me more times than I can count. Does it actually clean your hair? No, but it does remove (or canvas) the natural oils that make hair appear “greasy” and give it a refreshed look. Of course, given the option, I’m a “wash your hair every day” kind of girl. Sometimes schedules and location don’t allow for that. So this comes in real handy. I love this stuff. Seriously.
9. My Trusty Ball Cap
This baby and I have quite a history together. When I saw this ball cap sitting unworn on a shelf in my baby brother’s bedroom, it was like love at first sight. He willingly gave it to me and we have since travelled the word together. This cap has protected me from the elements, served to block out light as I slept on planes and completed disguised my bad hair on those days when the dry shampoo just wasn’t enough.
10. Pocket Knife
Last but certainly not least, is my amazing pocket knife. This baby has cut through fresh fruit, boxes and even a water bottle (that, was an accident). I’ve sanitized it and used it for a make shift surgical tool on some pretty nasty bug bites… Please note I am not a trained or licensed medical professional and do not recommend you take out your own pocket knife to start cutting open bug bites – do not try this at home. Regardless, it has served me in more ways than one and goes every where with me.
***Remember this item cannot go in a carry-on. be sure to pack in a piece of checked luggage so yours isn’t confiscated. It would be terrible to arrive overseas without it.
While my suitcase normally has several other items, like clothing, for instance, these are a few of my most essential items for overseas missions work.
What are your “go to”, “don’t leave home with out it”, “must have” travel items? Comment below and let me know. Who knows, maybe some of your ideas will change the course of history and my packing list. 😉