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Airbnb (with this link you can get $40 off when you sign up and make your first reservation!) – I love Airbnb. If I’m going somewhere for a few days, sometimes even just one night, I’ll look at Airbnb over hotels. I like it if it’s for more than a day because i can usually use the kitchen to make food and sometimes the hosts will even invite you to have dinner with them. They might even let you eat half of their pan of brownies. I always like seeing how other people live (is that creepy?) and enjoy just seeing in houses and apartments since I’m always curious anyways. It’s a great way to get a new perspective on a place.
Packing Cubes – These are a godsend for anyone traveling anywhere. I didn’t understand them, and then I bought them. I use them ALL THE TIME! Literally. Gone for two days? Packing cube! Two weeks? Packing cubes! Two months? Packing Cubes! They let you separate all of your things, like shirts in one cube, pants and shorts in another. This way, you can just take one out of your backpack instead of everything when you just need that pair of shorts.
Sleeping bag liner – You’re bound to end up in a dodgy hostel at some point where the floor looks much more appealing to sleep on than the sheets. Not anymore if you have a sleeping bag liner! I only used it a few times, but I’m glad I had it with me.
Waterproof headlamp – Headlamps are perfect for hostel dorm dwellers. They let you pack in the middle of the night, into your quiet packing cubes, without turning on the lights to wake everyone up. It’s perfect for walking at night on beaches or in places where power outages are frequent and unexpected. They even double as a book light if you’re not using a Kindle. I used mine all the time, I even do at home on occasion.
Turkish Towel – I got a new travel towel before I left for Taiwan and I hated it. Then, also before I left, I decided to get a Turkish towel and I love it! It doesn’t take up much room, they’re gigantic, super absorbent, and come in lots of fun colors. I think they are perfect for traveling for all the reasons, and they can double as a pillow/blanket.
Edens Garden Essential Oils – I’m officially on the oil train. I ordered some Eden’s Garden Essential Oils after hours of research on different companies. I liked the company, how they work, what they stand for, all that good stuff. They can be used for all kinds of stuff, like cleaning, health, beauty products and are the perfect size for traveling.
Solid shampoo – I was skeptical of this, but fell in love with it very quickly. It smells heavenly, I get the Jumping Juniper, and works very well. Mine did get stuck in the tin though, so watch out for that. I also used it as soap because I didn’t want to carry more things.
STERI Pen – I got this instead of water purifying tables or drops. It kills bacteria with UV light making tap water safe to drink. I only used it a couple times, but I didn’t get sick when I used it, so it has been successful so far. On one set of batteries it can purify up to 150 liters of water.
Hydroflask Insulated Water bottle – I LOVE this water bottle. Love it. Yes, it’s a little bulky, but after living in the desert for six months, it’s going to be worth it. Hydroflask water bottles are insulated and keep your water cold, or hot, for pretty much ever. Ice will stay in it for a day or two and the water is always perfectly chilled. They come in super fun colors, too.
Macbook Pro – While I have an older model, I would like to upgrade soon. It’s not too big, it’s not too small. It’s perfect for editing photos and doing everything I need. It’s not too heavy, but still has a CD drive, unlike the air. I like that for now, but who knows, maybe that will change someday.
Kindle Paperwhite – This is my favorite thing and it goes almost everywhere with me. It’s perfect for reading in the sun or in the dark and you can change the brightness to your liking. And they can hold approximately one zillion books.
iPad Air – If you don’t work online when you travel, this is perfect. It’s (fairly) small and lightweight. This is what I used in Central America. It was good for web browsing and planning ahead, but not blogging. That’s when I wish I had Dear Sweet Patrice (My laptop). I would suggest a 64GB one, as my 16GB one is pretty much full.
iPhone 6 – Can you tell I like Apple products? I got this right before my trip and love it. It’s a little big, but worth it. The pictures are awesome and it syncs with my laptop and iPad. I don’t have a super fancy heavy duty case, just a regular one and it’s faired pretty well so far. Knock on wood!
Canon Powershot ELPH 130 – Again, I used this in Central America. It takes good pictures as long as you don’t need to print them wall sized and it fits in pretty much any purse and even (most) girl jean pockets. It’s also pretty user friendly.
FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 – I don’t have one of these, unfortunately, but I’ve used them and love them! They’re a little bulky, but super fun. I would have been willing to take up valuable backpack space with this. For a smaller option, try the Polaroid Snap. I do have this, and it took a bit to get the hang of it, but it’s just as fun to have to print pictures out right away.
Sorel Tivoli Boots – I just got these boots for the winter and already love them. They are warm. They are comfortable. They are tall enough to keep snow out, so far. And they look good with jeans and leggings. Can’t go wrong with that. The price was pretty nice, too. I was expecting to have to spend a lot more on boots, but at $100, it was hard to say no.
Minnetonka Slippers – These are more of a home thing, but if you have cold feet all the time or live somewhere cold, they are wonderful! I wear mine all the time, even in the summer, and my feet are always toasty. I have these, too and LOVE them. I found them at TJ Maxx and couldn’t not get them. I can wear these most of the day without my feet hurting, which is awesome. And I’ve wanted a pair of these for yeeeears. Maybe this year. or next year.
North Face Apex Bionic 2 Jacket – This wind-blocking jacket is also perfect for winter. The price is a little high, but pretty average as far as jackets go. I would definitely say it’s worth it. It keeps the wind out and keeps me warm. What more could I ask for?
Swagbucks – I’m starting with this because it can earn you Swagbucks for gift cards to places like Amazon, where you can get the stuff down below! You can answer surveys, buy stuff, watch videos, play games and just search the Internet (with their search engine) all for Swagbucks. I don’t qualify for most surveys, but with the search alone I’ve gotten one gift card already and I’m on my way to another. It’s an easy way to earn money and things. I don’t want to sound salesy with this, but I really do love using it.