Track Hacks | The Essentials

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I travel A LOT.  I’ve made 19 trips this year alone and it’s only September! I generally don’t dole out a lot of advice (except obviously when it comes to my true passion of recommending where people should eat and what dish they should try ) but a good friend asked me what I can’t travel without…and this blog post was born.  I promise there are no #ads and I have absolutely no allegiance to any brands.  Let me know what you can’t travel without in the comments below.

– Aheli

THE 10 THINGS I TRAVEL WITH:

1. Noise Canceling Headphones

For the majority of my life, the thought of traveling 45,000 feet in the air in a metal tube with wings has never bothered me. But back in 2013, I was on a flight back to NYC when our plane hit an air pocket and fell two hundred feet in the air. Now, this is a super common occurrence. You’ve probably experienced it before. But at this particular time, I was napping and woke up to a flight attendant (trainee, I hope) screaming. I went from confident traveler to googling “plane anxiety remedies.” Another frequent flying/super anxious friend recommended using noise canceling headphones and I’ve been addicted to them ever since. They dim the background noise and when you listen to your “super chill plane remix: #23” filled with Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Orchestra mixes- it becomes a downright mediative experience.

2. Trail Mix

I get hangry easily so I basically buy Trail Mix packs in bulk and then stick them into every spare bag and coat. Then, when those tell tale signs of irrational hunger pains, I can start munching on these bad boys until I get myself to the nearest fast food fry station.

3. Packing Cubes

Back on prime day, G scored a set of packing cubes that changed my life. Every trip—whether it’s a two day trip to DC or my ten day vacation–I bring packing cubes. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Just toss your clothes in plastic bag and it’s the same thing. And yes, that is definitely true. But I’m the type of person where my closet is color-coordinated by garment type but I also have a trail of socks around the apartment that I “forgot” to pick up.  Packing cubes make me the organized person that I aspire to be. Before I used to arrive at the hotel, pull ALL my clothes out, spend every morning hunting for that pair of stockings w/o the hole, and then spend another hour re-packing it all in. And it never EVER fit the same way. With packing cubes, I can pack items according to type— “leisure wear” or “work wear”— and pull out ONLY what I need.

4. Scarf

Planes are cold. Scarfs help. Bring a scarf. Use it as a scarf, a blanket and even as a pillow. It’s as versatile as a Swiss army knife but it’s TSA approved. ** Yes, total #dadjoke but I couldn’t help myself.

5. Facial Spray

I’ll be real with you. I’m not entirely sure what facial sprays are suppose to do (or actually do for that matter). Is it basically just colored water? Yes. Do I always feel fresh faced, like I didn’t just spend 12 hours in recycled air? Definitely not. Am I still addicted? Yes, and I feel fancy AF when I use it.

6. Vaseline

This might be more applicable than facial spray. I have super dry skin & lips. It’s also a drag to carry around chapstick, hand, face and body lotion. Enter vaseline- the imperfect cover for all your dryness needs. Chapped Lips: Vaseline. Just washed your hands with extra drying soap: vaseline. Ran out of highlighter: Vaseline.

7. Portable Charger

We’ve all been there. You start off the day fully charged, take a million photos, spend an hour trying to find that one coffee place that your friend mentioned was nearby…and then…boom, that dreaded “Battery Low” message pops up. Enter the portable charger. Some are better than others—or so G likes to tell me— but I always pick up cheap ones at trade shows, dump them in purse and I’m ready for the inevitable “I have no battery but need to lyft someplace” situation.

8. Refillable Water Bottle

Back in the early 2010s, I watched a documentary called Blue Gold, and since then I’ve made a conscious effort to always carry a water bottle. Yes, I’m partially a crunchy hippie but also I feel like I’ve saved $100s if not $1000s of dollars by not picking up water bottles on the other end of security.

9. Foldable Tote Bag

We’ve all been there. You pack for a trip and everything fits perfectly.  Then you actually go on vacation, pick up a few souvenirs and boom, you have absolutely no room. Enter, the foldable tote bag. Fold in, pack and use when you impulsively buy those perfect coasters that you know you’ll use every day.

10. Comfy Sneakers 

So I made it to the last point without naming any brands buuuuuuuttttttt…. I do have to say. I picked up a pair of Allbirds at the beginning of summer and I’m obsessed. I have never been a sneaker person (hello worn out flats), but as I have gotten “older”- the benefits of a comfy sneaker are pure GOLD.

 

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