September 22, 2019

Five Items I Never Travel Without


Portable Tripod

Sometimes you just want to be in front of the camera, instead of never in a pic because you’re the one behind the camera.  If only you had a tripod.  A traditional tripod just is not practical for most people. It’s large, cumbersome, and not always convenient to have on hand.

This is where Gorillapodcomes in. Attaching your camera to a Gorillapod, bending the legs as needed to attach the whole gizmo to some object, and setting the self-timer on a camera weighing up to 9.7 oz puts you in the picture.  This particular item, with articulated legs and standard 1/4-20 screw, allows most any object to become part of the ‘tripod’.  It’s a perfect travel accessory.

Travel Alarm

A lesson hard learned is not to depend on external factors for a timely wake-up, including in-room alarm clocks and front desk wake-up calls.  Bring your own travel alarm clock…and extra batteries.  There are dozens of options from which to choose and prices from reasonable to you-gotta-be-kidding.  Any travel supply vendor will offer many with various and sundry options.  The key features, from my perspective, are a nice big LED display that can be seen well in dark, light or half light, and some sort of clock protection.  The whole bring-your-own thing is nullified if the clock gets crushed in routine travel.

While you’re putting together your packing list for your next trip — domestic or international — be sure to include a travel alarm.


“Always be prepared” is sound advice for anyone traveling. Whether a travel novice or accomplished globe hopper, travel can be hard on the constitution, sometimes. Changes in time, water or food – even travel stress -  can manifest in  uncomfortable physical ways.  Be ready to combat intestinal distress by carrying your own supply of an anti-diarrheal. I prefer Imodium, but choose whatever works for you.

Never assume you’ll be able to find an over-the-counter remedy wherever you are. Count on yourself and pack a small amount, just in case.  Better to have it and not need it than the reverse.

Sleep Mask

If you’re anything like I am, it’s a challenge to sleep when there is light around you. Yes, you can throw a pillow or jacket over your head, burrow into your elbow, or throw your arm over your eyes, but those seldom work for long. The easiest, most portable solution to the too-much-light problem is a  sleep mask.

Travel is unpredictable, and a little rest makes whatever may not go smoothly a little more manageable. Whether catching 40 winks in a airport, or dozing on a bus, or trying to sleep in Alaska at midnight in July, a sleep mask will filter out the light and help you to get that much needed rest in an environment that is not generally rest conducive.


Having  moleskin on hand has saved my life — more specifically, my feet — on more than one occasion. Moleskin is a soft cotton fabric that is cushy on one side and adhesive on the other. Moleskin applied to a heel, a toe, the ball of the foot creates instant relief the next time a shoe has to cover that foot. A little proactive moleskin placement is really the best way to avoid growing a blister from walking for hours, but it will also provide protection for a second consecutive day of extensive walking.

Moleskin comes in various sizes that can be cut to size.  If you’re not checking luggage, you won’t be carrying scissors with you, so a little pre-planning by cutting pieces of various relevant sizes could be a good idea.

Note from author: Affiliate links included in post.

Photo credit: Webb-Zahn