travel essentials: backpack edition


We have a few trips coming up between February and March; I am so excited! We are going to New York City next weekend with a few friends, and Mason has planned a couple surprise trips for my birthday in March! He originally told me the dates for when we will be out of town, but he wouldn’t tell me where we are going. Last week, Delta emailed me to let me know that we were upgraded for our flight to BOSTON!!!!! I am so excited!!!! He was so good about not telling me... Even though that surprise was ruined, it’s been fun to think about what we are going to do when we’re there; and he still has one surprise going, so not all of his plans were ruined. 

With those trips coming up, I thought I would share a few of the things that I always have in my backpack when we travel. I think that this is going to be the first in a series: travel essentials! I feel like packing for trips can be really stressful, but it doesn't need to be. To combat the stress of being away from home, I create packing lists to help me remember everything that I need. Here are some of my essentials:

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Generic travel stuff

This is the stuff that is in my backpack anyway like my laptop, my planner, a pen and a pencil, and my tide pen. I carry these things to school, work, car rides that exceed 10 minutes, etc.

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Snacks seem pretty obvious too, but when you fly with budget airlines, you frequently are not getting a lot of the amenities that come with the other airlines (like drinks and snacks), so packing your own snacks becomes an essential. I also don’t want to buy snacks in the airport because $5.00 is too much for a bag of chips. Even if we could afford to buy a $5.00 bag of chips every day, I would still protest those outrageous prices. It’s also just nice to have something to eat when you are out and about.

Some of our favorite snacks include (but are certainly not limited to😉): Cheez-its, Dried Mangos, and Oreos


I love how good the iPhone camera is, but sometimes I just want a better picture. I have loved learning more about photography over the last year! The camera that Mason and I use is the Nikon D5300. It’s pretty cheap (comparatively), and it captures great photos. I highly recommend looking into it if you are looking for a starter DSLR!

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Facemasks, lotion, and chapstick

My skin always gets so dry when I fly, so I keep one or two sheet face masks, some lip balm, and some lotion in my backpack. It feels amazing to get off the plane and know that I have a couple ways to help my skin feel better! I also need to put in a plug for the sheet masks as opposed to clay masks. I don’t worry about them not making the liquid requirement, and a lot of them don’t need to be rinsed off, you just rub in the excess liquid. Here are my favorite sheet mask options:

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Tide to Go

I know I already mentioned it, but I never go anywhere without my Tide to Go. If you are as clumsy as me, and you don’t have a Tide pen in your backpack and purse yet, you need one NOW! I cannot tell you how many times I spilled stuff on my clothes and wished I had it.

(reason 9071 why I have Tide pen in my backpack: I spilled Diet Coke on my shirt while I was on the bus going to school. It’s not going to stain! Woohoo!)
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Mini survival kit

I have this old gum container that I put in the front pocket of my backpack. I put things that I don’t usually need, but eventually might want inside it. Here’s a list of everything that I have in it:

  1. Paperclips
  2. Binder clips
  3. Safety pins
  4. Hair ties
  5. Benadryl (I’ve been developing weird allergies lately, so I always keep this on hand)
  6. Claritin
  7. Post-It Notes

Like I said: none of these are weird items to have in your backpack, but I never think to pack them unless they’re in my old gum case.


Empty Water Bottle

Mason ALWAYS makes fun of my water bottle (because I frequently forget to empty it until we are at the airport) and he ALWAYS ends up drinking my water once I fill it up. Don’t worry, he’s a good person and he refills it for me😉. I like to have a water bottle on hand at all times, but I don’t want to use single use water bottles because there aren’t always places for me to recycle them, I don’t want to throw them away, but I also don’t want to carry around 5 million water bottles when we are traveling.

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I always carry makeup wipes and flushable wipes. We have been out and about and spilled stuff, and luckily we had something to clean up the mess! I also like being able to take off my makeup if we are taking a late flight. Sometimes you don't want to go without makeup all day, but you also don't want to wear makeup on the flight. Makeup wipes let me have the best of both worlds! I usually put them in this little pink Jewelry bag (this one is old, but here's one that I was looking at) because I don’t want to carry all of this stuff around with me, but I also don’t love using a ton of plastic bags.


I feel like I should make a small plug for this backpack too... This thing is the BOMB people. It has so many pockets! Last year, I was in the market for a new backpack and none of the ones I looked at made the cut, then I started looking at diaper bags (no, I am not pregnant, nor do I plan on it anytime soon). Diaper bags are a total game changer! Some of them are super cute, and they all have more pockets than you would know what to do with. AND this one came with straps that you are supposed to attach to the stroller when you don't want to carry it on your back. Those straps work on shopping carts, bicycles, you name it; you can attach it. It's awesome!

I have been so relieved to have all of these things in my backpack at one point or another. If you want my full backpack packing list for when we travel, I will link it below!

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