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7 Must-Pack Items – plus a bonus

Open traveler's bag with clothing, accessories, credit card, tickets and passport, travel and vacations concept

I’m headed to Canada tomorrow, for an adventure that starts in Banff and Lake Louise, then a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies, and then an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver to Seward. As I prepare for my trip, I’m sharing my list of non-electronic items that always go with me.

Last week I shared my must-pack electronics, and this week I want to talk about the non-electronic items that are always in my suitcase – for any type of trip.

1.Eye mask. Quality sleep is so important when you are traveling. Even with a great hotel room, sunlight peeking around the curtains can wake you up at the wrong time. An eye mask is at the top of my list of must-haves.

2. Quality earplugs. Quality sleep part 2. I always carry earplugs because you never know if you’ll be at a hotel with a rowdy folks or a crying baby next door. After years of checking out earplugs, these Moldex are the best I’ve found.

3. Bathing Suit. Unless you are 100% sure that there will be no opportunity to use a pool or jacuzzi, always take your bathing suit. I don’t care where you are going – work or play – you never know when you might get an opportunity to hang out in the hot tub looking out over amazing views or just sit in the jacuzzi to relieve aches and pains.

4. Lavender sachets and a laundry bag. I found that my suitcase full of freshly laundered clothes didn’t smell so fresh halfway through my trip. Even though my clothes were clean, they didn’t smell that way as the worn-all-day-touring clothes got put in the same luggage. So now I keep 5-6 lavender bags in my suitcase, plus a separate bag to separate my used clothes.

5. Ziploc bags. Big ones and little ones, Ziploc bags tucked away in your luggage are just plain useful. Keep a big stash.

6.Corkscrew and wine stopper. A fun and inexpensive way to immerse yourself in your destination is to go to a local store and get a bottle of wine and some regional snack foods and go to a park or outside attraction and relax and soak in the atmosphere. Or, it can be handy if you are in a great wine destination while cruising and want to take a bottle of wine back to your cabin (check the cruise line rules for bringing alcohol onboard).

A corkscrew is also the perfect item to pick up as a souvenir when you are touring a winery or are sightseeing in a wine region. Make sure to keep the corkscrew in your checked luggage.

7. Snacks. I always carry some granola bars in my laptop bag. You never know when you’ll be stuck on plane that sits on the tarmac for hours or end up with a tight connection and no chance to eat. Keeping some snacks and water bottles in your bag is a good plan.

Plus, my bonus tip:

Back scratcher. Get one at the dollar store and keep in your luggage. You’ll thank me later.

I hope I’ve provided a few ideas of items that will be helpful to you on your next trip.