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This is not your typical list of things like snacks, a kindle or a scarf (because I've already done that), but rather (hopefully) contains things that you might not have thought about before. Not that there is anything wrong with those things because hello they are necessities, but this is for things a wee bit out of the box.
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1. A portable charger. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
I have never used one of these before and never felt the need for it. But, I've never really travelled anywhere where I would use my phone or kindle for long periods of time without having the ability to charge (i.e. walking around Paris and taking all the photos). Since it was only $12, I thought it was worth it. Turns out it was bloody brilliant. We used the heck out of it.
2. A tote bag that folds up. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
This turned out to be a better purchase than I had anticipated. I always end up carrying things when we travel - souvenirs, food, whatever. I got this bag - that folds up neatly and tucks into my crossbody bag smaller than my iphone - for those instances, for when we went to the farmers market in Versailles or had a picnic in front of the Eiffel tower. Places can charge for plastic bags, so this was super helpful. I also liked that I could fill my backpack up to it's breaking point and use this as a carry on for the way home, if I wanted to. By the by, I totally got the one with kitties on it.
3. Travel surge protector with USB thingy. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
You still need an adapter with these, and possibly a converter but I only brought things that were dual voltage or specifically for travel. I love this for international travel because we often only have one adapter, and multiple things to charge or use. So with this, I can curl my hair and charge my phone, kindle and camera at the same time. Brilliant.
4. A clear pouchy makeup bag thing. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
I know, I know, super glamorous. Here's the thing - when I travel, I carry on. So my liquids need to be a certain size and they need to be in a clear bag. I normally use a big zip lock bag, but I wanted something a bit more permanent and less flimsy, so I could use it for all my makeup as well. You can buy these almost anywhere, I wanted this specific one because of the size and compartments. Technically you are still supposed to put things in zip lock bags or something TSA approved, so I had my actual liquids in a small zip lock bag and prepared to play dumb if they said anything, but I only had to take them out once (leaving Rome).
5. A water bottle that folds up. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
Okay, I know this is a bit... really, Kristen? But bear with me. I have a crossbody bag that I use when I travel. KC uses his pockets, but more often than not, everything ends up in my bag. Including the water bottles that we always end up getting and they weigh my bag down. I know I seem like a bit of a diva, but holy heavy. I wanted to bring a water bottle because I knew that it would be expensive to keep buying bottled water everywhere we went and some places in Rome have water fountains that we could fill the bottle up. Anyway, this was fabulous because it folds up super little and tiny in my bag and holds a litre of water (almost 34 oz). We used it a bunch. I wasn't worried about filtering the water or anything, it all tasted fine and we are still alive. This was perfect for what we needed.
6. A selfie stick. I bought this one, but here is another and another.
Yes, I'm slightly embarrassed but Biana recommended it here and I impulse purchased and it was the best decision ever. Yes, we looked like dorks and people still took a few photos for us, but for your run of the mill selfie with a wee bit of background instead of wowthatsreallyclosetoyourface - they are genius. See below.
7. Cute sunglasses. These are mine, but I like these tortoise shell ones and these wayfarer's.
Yep, I went there with my vain self. I have learned from bad photos and I won't make that mistake again. You define what is cute, and hopefully you don't own any sunglasses that you don't think are cute. I have photos from travel or events where I hate the sunglasses I was wearing (why was I wearing them?) or I was squinting because I thought the photo would look better without sunglasses. When we travel, we are more than likely outside a lot of the day and the sun is too. So, wear some cute sunglasses and don't regret your photos.
8. Comfy shoes. I wore my Nike's, my crocs and these flats from Target. But these Mary Janes are super popular, and I wanted these sneakers because they are way cuter than Nikes but didn't want to buy them just before Europe.
I know, again I'm sorry with the captain obvious, but nothing ruins a trip like uncomfortable shoes. When I was younger and travelling around England and America, I wore flip flops. No big deal. If I tried to do that now, my back would hurt after a couple of hours, my knees would scream at me and my hips would need a replacement. Okay, slight exaggeration but yes I want to look cute but being comfortable is way, way, way, way (way!) more important. I went back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth and... you get the idea) on the sneakers but in the end I am so freaking glad I brought them because my feet were fabulously comfortable the whole time.
9. Travel curling iron. This is mine, but here is another and another.
You might not care about this. I didn't want to see a rats nest in all my photos, so I knew I had to bring something. This works just as well as my normal ones. I have blown up curling irons and straighteners before, so one with dual voltage is a must. I hate to sound vain but I received lots of compliments about my hair on our trip and it's because of this doodad.
Bonus! A kindle. Because how can you travel without books?!
Are any of these essential? Nope. Are they fun and make life easier? Yep.
Do you have a favourite travel accessory?