The night before a long trip is usually hectic for me – what with the folding of clothes, sorting toiletries and trying to fit all of it in a backpack.
Not much a ‘sorted’ packer, I usually have my ‘list of necessities’ all written down and checked off – ’cause wanderlust is fantastic, and forgetfulness should not ruin it.
So to help you have a great holiday as well here’s my list of essentials that are a ‘must pack’ when you head off:
A toiletry pouch
If your toiletry is going to be chucked into a big bag, don’t be surprised if you lose one or two things mid-trip. So, an essential aspect of packing is to put some much-needed stuff together into a small pouch.
Take this upcycled tyre pouch, for example.
Your toothbrush, paste, contact lens cases, soap, shampoo etc. can all fit into this pouch and keep you organised throughout the trip.
Are you travelling to be closer to nature? Well, let not plastic disturb you then. The toothbrush is one of the most commonly forgotten necessities. But this time around you can pack your bags with an eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush instead. So even if you forget the brush on your way back, you haven’t left any plastic trash behind!
When we used to go trekking in the Himalayas, washing hands in the ice-cold waters was one of the mini-adventures that we loved. Well, except for the fact that we were letting chemicals in the stream which flows through pristine mountains.
Don’t make the mistake we did.
Whether you are on a wildlife camp, on a trek or a luxury vacation, make sure that you wash your hands clean of dirt AND chemicals. Carry a handmade, chemical-free soap and bathe guilt-free, no matter where you are.
The foamy shampoo that nourishes your hair may also be polluting the environment. Although you must switch to organic shampoo in your daily life too, don’t forget to carry the chemical-free cosmetic on your trips. Whether a shampoo bottle or a shampoo bar is your choice but make sure your hair washing regime is devoid of harmful chemicals.
Cold nights, harsh afternoons and extended exposure to the sun can all make your skin extremely dry. And who wants to deal with skin flakes on your vacation? Carry some chemical-free body lotion with you to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised. A little before you step out and some right before bed will nourish your skin wonderfully!
While you are at it, carry a natural hand sanitiser too.
Ladies, have you tried using a menstrual cup? You should, especially if you are a frequent traveller.
Even on overnight journeys or long treks, the cup will ensure you stay clean, dry and comfortable. In emergencies, you can just use cold water to clean it and voila! Ready for adventure!
Being self-sufficient will help you travel in an eco-friendly way. Carry your own steel cutlery on your travels, so you need not ask for a plastic spoon, fork or even straw! This cutlery set comes in an eco-friendly cover, making it easier for you to carry in a small bag.
Toilet Seat Cover
Public toilets can be filthy and sometimes it’s best to avoid them. So if you are on an overnight train journey or don’t trust the roadside restaurant with cleanliness, fret not. Use an eco-friendly flushable toilet seat cover, and when you’ve got to go, you are good to go!
You can choose the number of covers to carry according to the length of your vacation, but the crucial point is to be safe. You don’t want to catch any infections.
Upcycled duffle bag
Ahh, now that the small essentials are done, let’s look at the bag you’re carrying. If it’s a short trip and you don’t want to drag your suitcase around, opt for an (eco-friendly) duffle bag instead. As stylish as any and with a positive impact on the environment, this bag made from upcycled jeans will make heads turn.
Well, you are ready for the trip now. Happy travels!
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)