Full Proof Travel: The Essentials Bag

My favorite part about flying is the relief I feel when my bags are checked and I am on board. There are no thoughts about what essentials I forgot to pack. There’s no lugging all of my things (over-packer here!) through the airport terminal to my gate. The pilot couldn’t say it better: It’s now my time to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

Up until that moment though, I’m generally an anxious traveler. I make packing lists so I don’t forget anything and I overpack on outfits, not knowing what I’ll want to wear at the moment. I run through essential items over and over again in my head to make sure they are packed. I even make an extra trip to Whole Foods to look through their travel size section and see what other goods I should include in my essentials. All this and I tend to do the packing very last minute, like late the night before an early morning flight. Mom, if you’re reading this, maybe one day I’ll take after to you and pack my things a week in advance!

I wrote this on a flight to Vancouver, B.C. for Fit Approach and Lorna Jane’s EMPOWER Retreat. 15 women, mostly fitness and wellness influencers, meeting for a weekend of sweat, style, and fun, but you can read more about that here. As I sat there, I had some deep thoughts on how I need to get my act together and lock down how a full proof packing plan to make pre-travel a lot less stressful, and it all starts with the essential items bag that will live in my suitcase from now on.

Full Proof Travel: The Essentials Bag

I am convinced that this essentials bag, which will always live in my suitcase, is going to be key in saving time and reducing any pre-travel stress. I’ve developed a list of items that I need in flight and during trips to keep me sane, clean, healthy and feeling my best. Travel tends to really throw me out of any and all routines, so having a set of items that keep me feeling somewhat “normal” is key.

Here’s what I’m packing in the essentials bag:

  • Amazing Grass Superfood Effervescent 
    • As a vegetarian (and a human) I need to eat lots greens every day. They not only supply me with much-needed vitamins and nutrients (iron, B-vitamins, antioxidants, etc) but also with digestion support and an overall healthy feeling. Airports, planes, and new destinations usually screw over my greens-intake which is why I always have the Amazing Grass Superfood Effervescent on hand. I swear by Amazing Grass’ Superfood Protein Powders, but smoothies are not as easy to take on the plane or across the border. The effervescents, which are packed with so many greens like Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Kale, Spinach, and the list goes on, and Vitamins B1 and B12, all support my energy and digestion. And all I have to do is drop a tab into a glass of water, let it fizz away, and then enjoy the berry or citrus flavored superfoods in my water. Plus it forces me to drink more water and stay hydrated which is another one of my travel downfalls. I can’t stop talking about Amazing Grass, so you should probably get on that #feelamazingeveryday train and use the code SweatPink2017 for a whole 40% off (WOAH). 

  • Victory Band Headband
    • The last thing I want to deal with on my travels in my unruly hair. That’s why I braid it up, as usual, and throw on my Victory Band headband – the only headband that will not budge once it’s on. It also wicks up my sweat and keeps my ears warms when needed. A headband that stays put through all my sweaty adventures is sure to top the list of travel essentials.

  • Wotnot Face Wipes 
    • It doesn’t take long for the air in the airplane to feel stale, and my face is the first part of me to feel the effects. Refreshing and cleansing face wipes like these are the perfect remedy to the stale-face feeling.

  • Dr. Bronner’s lavender hand sanitizer 
    • I’m not what you would call a germaphobe, but airplanes and airports always make me feel dirty AF. Hand sanitizer is not in my general daily routine except when I travel. This spray hand sanitizer from Dr. Bronners is less messy than gels and it smells amazing. I usually have strangers on flights ask for a spray when I use it in-flight.
  • The basic toiletries 
    • Deo, toothbrush and paste, q-tips, tissues. Again, these are necessary because traveling makes me feel dirty AF.

  • Extra pair of underwear and socks
    • I’m all about feeling fresh after a long flight. Anyone else love the feeling of putting fresh socks post long flight? Lately, I’m all about these socks from Tabio.

  • Pen and notepad
    • Once I’m out of my regular routine, exploring, or even relaxing, the ideas start flowing. Having pen and paper on hand is so key otherwise I won’t remember any of it after the trip.

  • Ginger Chews
    • Spicy and sweet. The perfect little sugar boost I need while flying or traveling. The ginger helps settle any in-flight/car nausea as well. Win, win!

I’ve decided that these items will live in a compartment of my usual travel suitcase. When I get home from a trip, I will replace any items that are running low. This is my commitment to my stressless pre-travel routine.

There are also a few items that I use every single day that I will pop into my carry on luggage the day before travel. This includes:

  • AfterShokz headphones. Bluetooth and wireless, these headphones go everywhere with me. They’re perfect for in-flight podcasting and great for solo-travels when I want some running/adventure tunes. I cannot recommend these headphones enough. They are a life-essential.

  • prAna outfit. I like to travel comfortably, but I also don’t want to look like I’m wearing pajamas. prAna always has the perfect pants and layered tops so that I can fly and then hit the ground running on my adventure. I pack a backup outfit if I have a long day of travel and need some fresh clothes to wear for the day. Use the code FANR15 for 15% off when you shop at prAna.com.


What are your travel essentials? What are some other ways you take the stress out of your pre-travel routine? Send me all the tips!


This post was sponsored by Amazing Grass and prAna, but all deep thoughts (in overalls) are very much my own! Gotta love the brands that support the sweat-loving Sweat Pink community!

8 thoughts on “Full Proof Travel: The Essentials Bag

  1. This is genius, I used to be a packing ninja in my early 20s but have since become a nervous nelly. I love the idea of packing an essentials bag and just leaving it in my suitcase. Totally stealing this idea!


  2. I have an essentials bag in my suitcase, which is funny because I never even realized it until now. And like Alyse, I was also a packing ninja once upon a time……but I often manage to overpack these day because I am always packing so damn last minute and have no time to think. It’s just stuff everything in and hope for the best. It would be so much better if I didn’t do this…. haha


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