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  • Sally Schrempf

Lifesaving tips for the fussy traveler

Okay, "lifesaving" may be going a tad far. But, It's been pointed out that I can be high-maintenance when traveling. This stems from my dislike of artificial fragrances (especially on bedding) and my obsession with bringing a face towel and pillowcase from home.


So, I've decided to turn my quirks into travel tips. It may look a bit much, but I hope you'll find some ideas helpful. And who knows, you may see something you didn't think you had to have!


photo credit Shutterstock (edited)


Packing Check List

  1. An insulated lunch bag is perfect for storing toiletries and preventing them from overheating. Pop in an icepack and your lotions and potions will stay cool even on a long car trip. And if you're vacationing at the beach, this insulated bag will keep your water, sunscreen, and lip balm nice and cool.

  2. A silk pillowcase is the one item I always pack. If I have room, I'll even throw in my pillow too. But this is a large item to lug around. (Especially if you're flying.) When I have to leave my pillow at home, I'll bring a cotton pillowcase to put over the hotel's pillow–and under my silk pillowcase.

  3. A Silk travel sheet. I have to admit that I've been guilty of packing a whole set of sheets in the past. But even I realized this was getting out of hand! A lightweight travel sheet (that packs up small) is more practical.

  4. Over-sized cotton T-shirts. These have numerous uses: First as a towel for your face, then for your hair (which is less damaging than a regular towel), and finally, as a sleep shirt! As you've only used it on your clean face and hair, it's still okay for sleeping in.

  5. Turkish towel. This type of towel is lightweight, highly absorbent, and quick drying. Use it as a beach blanket, or throw it over the hotel bed or sofa for that homey feel. A pretty one also works as a shawl for cooler evenings. It's also a great buffer to put around any delicate items in your suitcases.

  6. Rubber slip-on sandals. These are great for when you get out of the bath or shower and can take the place of slippers.

  7. A non-toxic scented candle. Look for soy or beeswax candles scented with essential oils. You'll instantly make your temporary space feel welcoming.

  8. Matches for the bathroom. Trust me, this works better than any air freshener and will keep the romance alive if you travel with your partner! Just light a match, wave it around, and blow it out.

  9. And finally, healthy snacks! You don't want to be "that person" who spends all their time looking for familiar food. I like to go with the flow and try the local cuisine when on vacation. But I don't want to miss out on the healthy stuff either. I can't tell you the number of times there's been nothing to eat on the road, and my bag of cashews has saved the day!

Enjoy yourself!

After the year we've all been through, the freedom to travel will be incredible. So, whether you're a grab-a-toothbrush-and-go type of person — or one who's a little fussier (like me), I wish you happy travels!



This was named the best overall silk pillowcase by Good Housekeeping. I love that it has an envelope closing in place of a metal zipper.




If you're not comfortable with the hotel sheets, just slide into this silk travel sheet instead. It comes with a handy travel case.





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