Travel Essentials

by Maggie Griffin

We are non-stop. We have been nomadic. And so it continues. Whether it be a week or a weekend, Byron and I have managed to not forget anything, to pack together on several occasions, and to pack it all back with souvenirs. Today, we'll show you some of our favorite luggage, share some packing tips, and tell you about how we keep sane on road trips and plane rides. 


Favorite luggage:


Byron and I both have Eddie Bauer duffel bags. For me, this bag has journeyed to Africa, three times over, once to France, and to both domestic coasts. It is probably time for a replacement, but she does me so good. Byron's bag is in a little bit better shape and is the one we opt for when joint-packing. For both plane rides and car trips, I pack a carry-on with electronic essentials and snacks and books and a small thing of toiletries and when flying, an extra outfit. My favorite carry-on bag is the gem below. My father-in-law always refers to it as "the bowling bag," but this vintage American Tourist carry-on is so much more. I found this beauty among the records section of a local antiques store. It was love at first sight. For his carry-on needs, Byron opts for his camera backpack. Classic choice. The 'personal item' I am toting around these days was purchased on our 2nd summer trip to Portland! I adore the Wood & Faulk leather/canvas bag. So great. 

 I LOVE THIS BAG! You can snag one on etsy or ebay!

I LOVE THIS BAG! You can snag one on etsy or ebay!

Packing tips:

We are no experts. Before mission trips, I have seen countless demonstrations on how to roll, condense, and release the air to make packing super simple. I have completely disregarded this. Always. My main packing tip, which I have learned through experience, and still not totally conquered is DON'T OVERPACK. Yes, ladies, you want options. And yes, boys, the weather is always changing. So, pick some wardrobe basics that you already mix and match with tons of stuff and take those over the outfits that you can only wear by themselves. If you can't wear something twice, leave it behind! 

--Side Story: Before today I only looked at the "Home Decor" and "Food & Drinks" sections on Pinterest. I happened to look at the "Women's Fashion" section today, and sure enough I find the little treat on the side of this segment. I love it!--

As for packing...fold everything first, in stacks. Bottoms on bottom. Tops next. Pajamas on top. Swimwear and outwear go last, in the empty spaces on the side or on top. Toiletries in a bag in the middle. (I could go on and on about my two monogrammed toiletry bags.) Essential and perfect. Boys--dop kit. 

It's all about the carry-on. Seriously. Let's say mid-flight you get cold. You packed all your sweaters in your checked bag? Silly you! I say always bring a jacket/sweater/sweatshirt in the carry-on. What else do you bring? Anything you could possibly want to cure the ails of plane rides and people. Crying baby? Headphones. They aren't handing those puppies out like candy anymore. :( Bumpy flight? You're not going to want to read, bring something to do with your hands--a Rubik's cube or something awesome. Popping ears? Do not forget your gum! Hungry? Pack snacks! Be the person who asks a million questions beforehand, answer them yourself, and pack accordingly!


Road Trips:

Our most recent discovery--20 questions. It is literally all fun and games. Pick something. Ask 20 questions. Guess it or lose. (Don't get too tricky or your partner will get mad and not want to play, i.e. picking Arnold Palmer, the person and the drink, and answering for both. Womp womp.)

Reading to each other. Byron and I picked up Brian McGrory's "How Buddy the rooster taught me to be a family man" and have enjoyed reading it on our travels. However, if the A/C is blowing too hard, your throat will get dry very quickly, like one chapter quickly. Hydrate!

Food and drinks are a plus. Recently, I have been timing our road trips so that my pit stops align with a nearby Starbucks! Works like magic. 

On our last trip, I had a project to do that involved, cutting, assembling, and tying. It took 6ish hours and the trip flew by! I highly recommend having something like this. Knitting also works wonders for passing time.  

My trick for staying awake: boy bands. Byron doesn't love this, but catchy songs and sing-a-longs can keep me awake for hours and re-energize me. Personal favorites: T. Swift's "22" and One Direction. 

I sense many more travels in our future, and I hope that you are able to get in a car, plane, train, boat, or ferry,and see a new part of the world, too! With our tips and tricks, you are sure to do so without stress!


Much love & Happy travels!

-The Griffins