The ‘What’s in Her Bag’ section is admittedly, my new favorite thing to both write and to chat about with the rad women who’ve taken part in it so far. Each week, I’m featuring the everyday/gym/race day/sport-specific/food bag of an athlete that I love, or sharing what’s in my own bag. We started with my everyday bag, and last week, pro cyclist and RD Lori Nedescu of Hungry for Results shared her favorite stuff. This week, I’m looking in my own travel pouch—it’s the small bag that goes with me on every trip and has a few staples that make travel flow a lot smoother.
What’s in my travel kit?
Small pouch: You probably already have a small pouch lying around somewhere—it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but I like having this stuff in its own specific bag so that I can transfer it from my backpack to my tote bag or whatever I’m using instead of transferring each individual thing.
Snack: I keep some small bar in here always, so that no matter what other snacks I have packed, I have something to fall back on if I eat all my snacks, have a hangry friend, or just don’t feel like eating what I brought. It’s been a lifesaver on a couple of flights / drives where snack stops were few and far between and I had decided to be ‘good’ and not have any tasty treats packed. (These vegan chocolate protein bites might be my next pick!)
Eye mask + ear plugs: I never used to be so precious on planes, but holy crap, what a difference a pair of ear plugs make! I can’t believe how loud planes are without them in, even when you’re not trying to sleep. Also ideal for making it clear that you’re not interested in conversation with your seatmate.
Eyemask: Again, for drives or flights, I can’t believe what a difference this made. But even more important, it’s really great if you’re at host housing or an AirBNB that’s just super bright—sometimes, you can’t turn off exterior lights or there’s just a lot of stuff going on around you in the case of host houses, and an eyemask can help keep you calm. (This is the 3-pack I’ve bought a couple times now, because the 3D form doesn’t squish my eyelashes into my eyes!)
Burts Bees balm/stain: My lips get super chapped on planes and on car rides, and I always used to end up spending $5-8 on lip balm at gas stations because I’d forget mine. Now, I always have this one with me and it keeps my lips from cracking … and in the event that we’re going somewhere direct from our travels, like dinner or to a talk or meeting, I just use this as my makeup, since it’s lightly tinted. It’s not much but it feels a bit more pulled together.
Earrings + necklace: Similar to the lip stain, I like having just a couple pieces of jewelry in this bag because what I’ve realized is that even if you’re wearing sweatpants and a hoodie on the plane, you can instantly make an outfit feel a little more dressed up by adding a couple of pieces of jewelry. Because this is always in my purse, it’s helped me out in a few cases where we ended up having to drive straight from our travels for the day to a dinner with people, and it was nice to feel a bit more pulled together without scrambling.
Headphones: Even though I also have headphones in my regular bag, I have a secret second pair stashed in this pouch because a) headphones break or get lost, b) I might forget my other pair or c) Peter will forget his pair.
Tissues: IDK about you guys, but planes and cars both make my eyes water like crazy after a few hours. Sometimes, a handkerchief just doesn’t cut it and you need something that you can wet a bit and then actually wipe your eyes with. Also good for blotting your face if you’re like me and travel makes you feel oily! You can also be someone’s hero by handing him or her a tissue when needed.
Tea bag: I love a ginger tea when I’m flying or driving because it settles your stomach, aids digestion, and can just be a really refreshing change from coffee (and if you’ve been on the go for a lot of hours, trust me, it’s much more clean tasting than yet another cup of coffee or black tea. It’s not quite brushing your teeth level but it is close!).
Salt packets: It sounds weird but I really, really love salt. Peter carries a couple of hot sauce packets, but I just need simple sodium. I’ve found it’s amazing what a difference a bit of salt can make—and when you’re on the road, sometimes it’s nice to make your quick grocery store salad with a pinch of salt without needing to buy a salt shaker. (Same applies to making hard boiled eggs SO MUCH BETTER.)
Worry stone: This smooth rock is one I grabbed at the beach a few years back and it comes everywhere with me now. I’m not really a nervous flyer or anything, but I do find it really soothing to just have something I can fidget with. My mom was really into worry stones when I was a kid, and it rubbed off on me!
Other extras: Not pictures, but I also keep a small baggie with a couple of Pepto Bismol and Tylenol capsules, a couple of bandaids (for cuts and for nipple covers in the event that I need to turn a bralette into a more lined bra option), a few safety pins (for clothing fixes and for race day emergencies!), a couple of nuun single-serve tablets, and a few dollars and quarters (Canadian and US in my case!).
Let me know if you’re into these, and if you have an athlete you’d like to see featured. We just featured Lori Nedescu of Hungry For Results and badass triathlete Nicole Loher is coming up and I am STOKED!