Whether you're traveling for work or for pleasure, these comforts of home will help you feel more comfortable in new surroundings. If you're prepping for summer travel, keep these ideas in mind to bring with you.
White Noise or Ear Plugs
The next items on the list will also help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep while traveling. Depending on where you normally sleep, you are probably either used to hearing street noise, a buzzing fan, or absolute silence during the night. Experiencing any noises other than what you are used to can cause you to have trouble falling and staying asleep. This is why I’d recommend packing either white noise or ear plugs when you travel.
White noise is becoming much easier to bring with you on trips. There are a number of apps that provide white noise from a gentle hum, to waves crashing on the beach, to forest noises. Download a few different apps to your phone or device and try them out before you leave for your trip. Once you get used to the white noise in your own home, it will be much easier to use that same noise to help you fall asleep in your new location.
If you are used to sleeping with absolute silence, you might want to forego the white noise completely and simply opt for ear plugs. You can buy a small box of ear plugs for relatively little money at your local drug store. They won’t block out all the noises, but they should dampen street and building noises just enough to help you fall asleep. Sometimes a good muffling of the noise is all you need to help you concentrate on nodding off.
When I was in college, I studied for a month in Ecuador. There were about 20 students from the Midwest who were on this trip together, and I still distinctly remember the woman who brought an entire carryon of food. She was so concerned that she would not find anything she would be willing to eat that she literally packed a month’s worth of Oreos and peanut butter. While her choice to bring a suitcase full of snacks was based solely on her picky eating habits, it can be beneficial to pack your own food in certain situations.
I’m a firm believer in eating like the locals when traveling, but sometimes that’s just not possible. For instance, if you have food allergies, you may need to be more cautious when eating in foreign countries because you can’t effectively communicate your allergies. Or, if you have celiac disease and can’t process gluten, you may find that some parts of the world (and even the US) are nearly impossible to find food without gluten.
If you are ever concerned that you won’t be able to find safe food when you travel, it’s worth the time and extra luggage space to pack at least a few items. Then, eat as much like a local as you can, but use your packed food when you can’t find anything else that you can eat. As someone who can’t eat gluten, I almost always have a stash of bars and snack mix in my purse. If I’m going to a conference where lunch is provided, I still take my own food just in case I can’t eat what’s available. There’s not much worse than being at an all day event that is only providing foods that will make you sick, so pack a few foods you know will pull you through.
Kid’s Lovey, Snuggly, or Blankie
The final item on the list is completely kid focused, and that’s the Lovey, Snuggly, Blankie, Best Friend, whatever you call it. We as adults can typically adjust fairly quickly to new locations, but kids might need a little extra familiarity to be comfortable in a new space. By packing their favorite soft snuggly friend, they can have a little piece of home with them wherever they are in your travels.
Now, although I’m not a parent yet, I do realize that there is an inherent risk to taking the beloved best friend on a trip with you. If that friend gets lost or left behind, your child’s world may just fall apart. What I’ve seen some of my friends do is break in a new snuggly or two before you go on your trip. That way you can have one snuggly who is going to watch your home while you’re away, and one that is going to go on an adventure with you. If these snugglies are small enough, you might even want to break in an identical backup to go on your trip. Traveling can be chaotic, and it’s not uncommon for some things to get left behind. If you have a spare hidden in your luggage, you can potentially avoid a week-long meltdown in the middle of your trip.
Whether for work or pleasure, traveling should be a good experience. To make it that way, make sure that you are pack an item or two that you know will get you through the toughest of travel situations. These comforts of home may not seem like a big deal when you’re packing, but they can be a real lifesaver when you’re away from home.
Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home. Follow me on Facebook for more tips.