Traveling as TV crew on work assignments is fun, but physically demanding.
1) Often, I’m a sherpa of heavy camera equipment, tripod and flashpacking technology; these are the essential tools of my job. But I must also tote a stuffed suitcase and I must be prepared to live away from my home, for anywhere from a week to a month.
2) Being a vegetarian, I get sick if I don’t manage my diet well. Living out of a hotel and eating at restaurants, doesn’t guarantee a healthy or quality lifestyle. Often, I’m limited in restaurants. The House of Pancakes or a local Applebees and Ruby Tuesdays, won’t have things I can or want to eat. Finger lickin grease barrel joints are common to many states across America, but are places I avoid. Thus, having a special diet means I must pack for the possibility I may live off of lettuce.
Here’s 5 essential items I take when I’m traveling for work:
1. Space Bag vacuum locked bags.
How to reduce bulk in your bag so you can make space for other things? Space bag. I’ve been using these bags for years! Use them to compress all the air out of your bulky clothes (you can use a vaccuum or not). These bags also protect your clothes from odors and spilled liquids. Best of all, they’re completely reuseable! One or two medium-sized bags usually does the trick for backpacking.
Cost: $10-30. You can find them at Sears, Walmart, Target or you can buy order them on Amazon here
2. Ziploc bags and travel-sized containers.
Multi-purpose, re-useable and disposable is the best way to pack.
Not only do snack bags and travel containers fit the above practicals; they also help reduce the excess size or weight of normal-sized items and products. I have a bunch of Sephora sample containers that I’ve used for hair creams and moisturizer on short trips and 2-3 oz bottles help reduce larger liquid portions like sunscreen or my favorite shampoo.
Zip lock baggies are my favorite multi-tasking assistant and one of the best investments for travel! They come in all sizes and have a multitude of uses! They can separate your dirty socks and undies or help isolate your containers of liquids in the case the high altitude pressure of flights cause them to explode. They also can be used to hold wet facial wipes, acne pads, Q-tips swabs, they can organize USB cords and travel chargers and can keep your electronics semi-safe when you’re on a boat or beach. The uses are endless!
3. Emergen-C packets
I love dissolvable vitamins and Emergen-C Multi-vitamin flavored packets are my no-nonsense solution to Airborne. Not only do they flavor my dull water but I carry them in my camera bags for an extra pick-me-up!
Cost: around $24.95 for 30 count.
4. Instant meals and power snacks.
For a great pick-me-up snack or food substitute power bars are the best. As a vegetarian, I often either have to bring my own food or pack an instant pick-me-up meal options in the case I can’t find things to eat or have to chow on the run. Protein/power bars, granola, dried fruits and nuts are the quick-n-easy health snack on the run (I take them when I’m hiking, as well).
Also, many hotels offer a standard coffee maker in your room to boil hot water. Why not try toting Instant Quaker Oats Oatmeal packets (Costco offers it in a big variety box) or dehydrated soups (I like instant miso soup) where you just add hot water!
5. Flip-flops or slippers
Slippers are my second most packable footwear other than the running shoes I’m wearing when I board a plane. Four and five-star hotel or hostel, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like being barefoot on a carpet, which thousands others have walked over. For hostels, slippers are a godsend when using communal showers. Additionally, you can actually use them for casual walking.