Five REAL Travel Essentials

Dominique Granger —

I’ve traveled quite a bit in the last 5 or 6 years and more consistently since 2014. I’ve slept in more than 40 different places in the last year... I’m very used to having all of my stuff packed in a suitcase, and I’ve come to realize which items I can’t leave without. 

We often see «travel essentials» list that... just aren’t REALLY essentials. Seriously, who wouldn’t be able to travel without their banana gloss? I could have written here a passeport, panties, your IPhone, toothbrush and credit cards, but I figured you already knew about those essentials! 

Here, I decided to share with you a mini list of the things that, no matter where I go, how long I’m traveling for, and when I’m doing so, come out the most handy to me! I carry them everywhere and anywhere tucked in my carry-on or even in my handbag sometimes.  

Here they are: 

  1. A bikini! 

Of course a bikini is an essential! And not only for more summery travel destinations! My black bikini is an essential whether I’m going on a ski trip, a nice hotel in Europe, a friend’s house in Florida or a fall mountain bike trip! It doesn’t matter! I carry my bikini everywhere! And that goes without mentioning surf or kite trips where I bring more than one bikini! The last thing you want to be answering when someone asks you to come and hang out in their Jacuzzi ou rooftop pool is «I can’t I don’t have a swimsuit»... I chose to bring the black one most of the time because it’s a classic and it suits all occasions! I especially love the Jade Ebony Surf Top and the Estelle Ebony Bikini Bottom. 

  1. An eyemask 

When we travel, we want get as much sleep as we possibly can, especially when you’re traveling for work! Our sleep has a huge impact on us. During many years, I didn’t really think an eyemask was an essential, until I started  flying for hours and hours at a time and having to share a hotel room with colleagues. When I work on events, for tv shows or when I’m traveling for competitions, the last thing I want is to be tired. Having an eyemask around ensures that I can go to sleep whenever I want no matter what and that my temporary roommate can do so too without having to bother about leaving the lights turned off 

  1. Earplugs  

How many times did my earplugs save my life (or my night)? I started wearing earplugs to sleep when I was participating in a Kite competition in HoodRiver where we were 6 people sleeping in a leaving room. You can imagine the noise! A friend suggested that I get earplugs and the only ones I found were 7 or 8$ which I thought was really expensive for earplugs but she answered, ‘’yeah, it is expensive, but do you know how much a good night of sleep’s worth?’’ ‘’Words of wisdom’’, I thought. Not mentioning that they also saved me on many nights in planes where babies were balling their eyes out! 

How to sleep like a baby? Combine numbers 2 and 3! With those two, you can sleep anywhere you want, whenever you want: gold!    

  1. A travel cup 

My favorite cup is from Starbucks, it costs about 20$ and it is absolutely wonderful, but Contigo also makes some great ones! Find one which format’s you like (no need to be gigantic!), and most importantly, that is completely watertight! The good thing with stainless-steel is that it’s BPA-free, it’s easy to take care of and it doesn’t crack if you drop it. It keep beverages really hot for a really long time and I sometimes even fill it with ice cubes and bring it to the beach, the ice cubes will barely melt!  

I also often fill it with a good coffee right before I hop on a plane, and store it in my handbag until I’m well seated on the plane (make sure it is closed really tightly so that it doesn’t leak... Talking from experience!) 

But most importantly, how many plastic cups or covers are would be wasted if I didn’t have that reusable cup? It’s a good thing to think about! 

  1. A small notebook 

I love having a notebook on hand. It’s always very useful! I note all of my observations on the different countries I visit in there, recipes that a friend on the other side of the world gave me, new words I learn in along the way, my hotel address, articles ideas, postal cards drafts or even an exotic someones phone number! And if you have an artsy soul, it’s also really great to draw the highlights of your trip inside! Not only will a notebook be useful everywhere you go but it’s also gonna be an amazing thing to look through once you’re back home.  

Now that you’re ready, go and explore!