2 Travel Products That Will Change Your Life
I’m about to change your life. Or at least your least favorite part of traveling: PACKING. No one likes the physical act of packing. I’m not talking about the excitement and anticipation of an upcoming trip that may come along. I’m referring to the time you must put into figuring out what you’re going to bring based on the weather and activities for a set number of days. Is it supposed to rain? Am I going out for a fancy dinner? Will I be hiking in the rainforest?
What makes it even worse are strict carry-on policies and baggage weight limits. If you’re not a seasoned traveler, packing can be quite stressful. Although I can’t be there to hold your hand and make sure you don’t forget your underwear, I can share my favorite products that will bring a little relief to this painful process.
1. Packing Bags
Packing bags are essential. We can all thank my grandmother and mother-in-laws for these handy packing tools. A few years ago, we were on a two-week trip through southeast Asia moving accommodations every three nights and my suitcase was a mess whereas my husband’s (then boyfriend) was perfectly organized. He was using packing bags! He had one for t-shirts, underwear and socks, dressier outfits, and shorts and had no issues finding the appropriate clothes for our activity while I was throwing things everywhere trying to find my sports bra.
I only wish I had known about them sooner. Now, I don’t travel without them, no matter how long the trip or which suitcase or weekend bag I use. I always know exactly where each item is located in my suitcase and I can easily move from place to place because my suitcase is always packed neatly. I find it's easier to pack by concept, category, or activity when using the bags because I'm forced to make piles before putting my items in them. Plus, your clothes don’t wrinkle as much! They’re also a great time saver for those early morning wake ups when you’re a zombie at 4am trying to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Ok enough, have I convinced you yet?
Here’s what I suggest purchasing:
- 2 Smalls for underwear, socks, bras, bathing suits, and accessories
1 Medium for nicer tops and sweaters perhaps
1 Double Medium for your everyday: shirts on top, shorts or pants on the bottom
1 Large for when you’re going on a longer trip. Also great for dresses, so they don’t wrinkle.
LL Bean also has a nice 3-piece set. I prefer to mix and match my own though. My other pro tip is to always bring a laundry bag, so your dirty clothes don’t mess up your packing game.
Not all packing containers are created equally. Everyone loves to bring their favorite beauty products on vacation, so they turn to refillable bottles to fit the 3.4oz/100 ml bottle in a 1 quart bag rule. But how many times have they leaked or they’re made of that harder plastic so you can’t really squeeze them and nothing comes out? Let me introduce you to the world of Muji’s packing containers. They have bottles of all shapes and sizes. With pumps, sprays, screw tops, or squeezable openings. They have pots for creams and even a great bottle for hair serums or foaming liquids. Whatever your preference, they’ve got it.
And the best part? They sell a refill tool set for easy transfer and cleanup and a nicely sized clear case where you can store your liquids in your carry-on (thanks Abby!). Yes, you can use ziplock bags, but this one is much neater and sturdier, so it will last longer. Plus, it has a nice zip closure, so your liquids are secured tightly without the risk of the ziplock opening.
Here’s a breakdown of what I use with some additional ideas. Make sure to look out for the more opaque bottles (here’s an example), because those are the more easily squeezable ones. Pro tip: I use refillable bottles for almost all of my liquids, because even if the original bottle fits, I know I won't be using the full bottle and it would be taking up valuable space.
From left to right:
+ 30 ml PE Cylinder Bottle with Snap Cap - perfect for my moisturizer
+ 50ml PE Cylinder Bottle with Snap Cap - great for face wash, shampoo, and body lotion (far right)
+ 30g Cream Case - I use for my thick conditioner. Great for thicker moisturizers or creams
+ 30ml PET Cylinder Pump Bottle - for hair serums and foaming products
The clear case fits all of my Muji refillables, makeup, and of course sunscreen!
A Bit About Muji
Have you heard of Muji? It’s a Japanese household and consumer goods companies with quality made and efficiently designed products at affordable prices. (No, this post isn’t sponsored. I just needed to share my love for Muji.) I was introduced to the company a few years ago when its only US presence was in New York. I worked at Gap’s headquarters in San Francisco and my coworkers would bring back the BEST colorful pens and highlighters from their trips to Hong Kong. Years later, I discovered that not only do that have great stationary, but they have amazing travel gear as well.