I’m traveling so much these days (often by myself, imagine that!) that I’ve created a system to make sure I always have what I need when I’m away from home. From family vacations, short two-day business trips, or longer work-based research trips, my goal is always the same: have everything I need and only what I need.
It’s taken some trial and error to narrow down to my essential travel packing list, but I think I finally have it down. Hopefully a peek inside my suitcase will give you some ideas for your own natural travel kit the next time you’re packing for a trip.
Pack Light to Make Travel Easier
Ever felt like you wear the same few pairs of favorite clothes for days on end at home but then when it comes time to pack for travel you suddenly come prepared for a fashion show and the apocalypse? I used to fall victim to that too but got tired of carrying all of the extra gear and learned to minimize.
Through systems, I learned to minimize my packing. Now, I can go almost anywhere with just a small carry-on, including a three-week trip to Italy last year. There are exceptions, of course. My trip to Finland required thick snow gear and boots that certainly wouldn’t fit in a carry on! But short of arctic temperatures, a carry-on bag is usually sufficient.
Clothing options change depending on destination and duration but most of the other things are constant. For instance, I keep a natural personal care kit already packed and in a TSA-approved toiletry bag at all times. I keep ready to pack kits of remedies and makeup as well.
Note: This post contains affiliate links to the products I use and love. The price is the same for you but helps support the blog and podcast, which hopefully is a win-win! As always, thank you for your support!
Packing List: Luggage Options
I have two main bags that I use depending on the trip:
- An ultra-light rolling carry-on bag for most domestic trips
- A duffle-style roller bag with pockets for most international trips
- Lightweight backpack for laptop and gear
- Crossbody purse that holds my camera, gear, etc. when needed
These stay in my closet and are ready to go whenever I need them (like our biannual trip to Cincinnati!).
Natural Personal Care Packing List
At home I stick to natural personal care products and I didn’t want to give this up when I travel. I created systems to make my personal care products travel ready. The advantage to DIY and natural products is that many of them are dual purpose and can take up less room!
Here’s what I keep in my ready-to-go toiletry bag:
- Skincare– I travel with Alitura Naturals gold serum, body lotion, and essential oil based fragrance. (Use code “wellness” to save 20%.)
- Deodorant– a 2-ounce container of Crunchy Betty Kokomo Cream Deodorant I keep in my travel kit and it lasts for months and months.
- Branch Basics Foamer– Not pictured but I always keep a small foamer bottle of Branch Basics in my travel kit for treating stains, removing makeup, washing my face, or even as shampoo in a pinch.
- Shampoo– At home I often use homemade but I travel with an EWG-verified natural shampoo in a small refillable bottle.
- Dry Shampoo– For ease when traveling, I keep my homemade dry shampoo in an old makeup container and use a makeup brush to apply it.
- Toothbrush and brushing blend– For compact travel I either bring the Wellnesse travel sized toothpaste or a small jar of my own homemade toothpaste.
Remedies and Supplements Packing List
Knowing that airports and airplanes are often some of the dirtiest places, I make sure to carry remedies with me to avoid getting sick. The stagnant air, plethora of bacteria, and radiation in a plane make it an especially easy place to catch something.
To avoid that, I pack some specific remedies:
- Propolis– Natural Bee Propolis Spray is my #1 go-to travel remedy. I always use this while flying and anytime I feel a cold coming on. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial substance that can be used for everything from sniffles to burns.
- CBD– Another remedy I always carry when traveling is Ojai CBD. It helps me stay relaxed and often sleep on the plane and has many other benefits as well.
- Probiotics and K2-7– I don’t take many supplements when I travel but there are a few that always make it into my bag. Just Thrive probiotics and K2-7 always make the cut. The probiotics are the most effective I’ve ever tried and I always keep them on hand for travel. It helps avoid any digestive upset from foods I don’t normally eat and keeps digestion normal. (Plus, they are histamine and allergen free as well as vegan). The K2-7 is also vegan and allergy safe and helps keep inflammation at bay. To conserve space, I keep these in small reusable bags.
- Charcoal– I keep a bottle of coconut shell activated charcoal in my travel bag for use while flying, before drinking, and if I eat anything that could be contaminated. I’ve also handed out many of these on trips where people got food poisoning or had upset stomachs from eating food in other countries.
- Skin Salve– Curoxen first aid ointment is completely natural and tests better than Neosporin and other products for killing bacteria and protecting minor cuts. I keep this on hand for any kind of skin irritation when traveling.
- Green Drink– I’d usually rather fast than eat fast food (see what I did there?) at an airport. But I’ve started carrying Organifi Green Drink packets (15% off with code WELLNESSMAMA) when I travel so I have a quick meal drink on the go when I land. They also make a good breakfast.
- Colloidal Silver– A small bottle of colloidal silver is my go-to for cleaning scrapes and cuts, for minor illnesses, and for ear/eye soreness or infection.
- Genexa Saline & Remedies– Saline spray is a long-used remedy for sniffles, cold, and flu. There’s also evidence that we’re more likely to get sick when our nasal passages dry out, and dry airplane air speeds up this process. I keep a bottle of Genexa’s saline spray in my purse when traveling to use before and after the flight. I also always have a bottle of one of their other remedies with me for jet lag, sleep, colds or stress.
- Healthy Meal Replacement- I’ve been traveling with these Ample meal replacement shakes as an emergency meal for long flights or airport layovers. They even work for going through airport security since they come as a powder in a ready to use bottle. Just add water and shake.
Tips to Stay Healthy on a Plane
As I mentioned, it’s easy to get sick on a plane. I go through my full routine for staying healthy while flying in this post, but in short these are the steps I take to avoid catching anything on the plane, if possible:
- Fast before and on the flight, especially on short flights
- Take charcoal pre-flight
- Spray propolis in my throat before getting on the plane
- Take CBD on the plane to keep stress levels low
- Slice some fresh ginger and put in a water bottle so I can add hot water at the airport for a fresh drink
- Spend time outdoors in fresh air and work up a sweat once I land
Tech Packing List
No matter if I’m traveling for business or on a family trip, I take some tech gear with me everywhere I go so I can keep up with blog stuff on the road. This list will be different for everyone, but since some of you have asked, this is what always makes my tech kit:
- Laptop, Phone, and Chargers (self explanatory!)
- Kindle + Books– I never thought I’d make the switch from physical books (which I love) to an e-reader like a Kindle. But for travel, I’ve found that the portability and convenience can’t be beat. I mostly just download research books and upcoming podcast guests’ books so I can get a lot of work done on planes.
- Oura Ring– This sleep and health tracking ring gives valuable insight like how well you slept, heart rate variability, body temperature, and activity. I’ve been able to catch a minor illness before it hit many times by seeing my body temp rising slightly on my Oura app. It’s also fascinating to see how my sleep adapts when I change multiple time zones.
- Camera– For years, I just used the camera on my phone. Now, I’ve upgraded to a compact but amazing FujiFilm X-T20 so I can shoot blog photos when traveling. Most people probably don’t need a specific camera and it takes up a decent amount of bag room, so if I’m traveling really light I still stick to my iPhone for pictures. I also keep a portable tripod in my backpack.
- External Battery Charging Bank– For long travel days without access to an electrical outlet, I keep this external battery with me.
Other Things I Always Pack
- Tactical pen (because a podcast guest recommended it and you just never know)
- Comfortable sleep mask
- Electrical tape – for covering lights in hotel rooms or taping curtains together
- Water bottle
- Lightweight scarf – Doubles as a light blanket, baby wrap, nursing cover, and even hand towel in a pinch.
That might seem like a lot of gear to travel with, but it all packs down really small and conveniently.
Your turn! What is on your packing list for travel? What did I forget?