I love to travel. I always tell people that I will travel anywhere except Bakersfield. One has to have standards. No offense Bakersfield. I like to feel at home when I travel, but, when you fly these days, we have luggage and weight issues to take into account. So, I came up with these 8 items that make me feel comfy whilst on holiday and that will not take up too much space.
1) Slippers. I don't care what star hotel you are in. They don't shampoo the carpets after every guest. I like to bring lightweight Dearfoam slippers (hot places) or bulky socks and granny knitted slippers (cold places) or both to wear after I return to the hotel room. If you are wearing the same shoes each day, it is also important to take them off and let them dry out (think rain or damp) and air out (think brain frying hot) until you need to put them on the next day.
2) Lightweight cotton robe. In Japanese, it is called a nemaki. I can put in on after I shower in the evening. I can put it on over my pajamas for a little more civility or in a pinch, use it to get to the sauna or as a beach cover up. Saves on wearing the clothes I may wear the next day if I don't want to wear keep wearing the clothes I spent all day in depending on what season it is and how sweaty I got during the day. It folds flat and doesn't take up much room plus it weighs next to nothing. I am sure there is a video somewhere on YouTube on how to fold a nemaki or yukata or kimono. It's easy. My Japanese grandfather could fold anything and it would keep its folded dimension. I once saw him fold and stack 4 fluffy down jackets.
3) My own shower scrubby. I don't use wash cloths at home, they are too small. I use a Salux Nylon Japanese Exfoliating Beauty Skin Cloth or what I call the scrubby towel. (I use the older ones to scrub the bath tub quite effectively.) If you frequent a Japanese or Asian grocery store, you may also find them there. For transport after use, I shake out the excess water and double bag it it in a ziplock bag unless I forget it in the hotel shower in Berlin. Even though I make my own soap, I am often very pleasantly surprised by quality hotel soap. I have also bought some very lovely lotions overseas in sample sizes. Travel is about discovering new and wonderful things, even if a teeny, tiny part of it is just lotion. So, I wouldn't bring lotion either.
4) My own brand of tea. In bags. Okay, I am a fussbudget about my tea. I am an Assam drinker. I hate breakfast tea at any time of the day. And, sometimes I like to have a cuppa in my room in the evening when I put my tired and slippered feet up while wearing my nemaki.
5) Music. I bring my iPod and an iPod portable docking device. They are low tech devices. (I am not talking about your smart phone or other tablet devices. If you are going to use one of those smart phones, make sure your phone bill isn't going to smart when you get back. I am not sure how it works, if your music is in "the cloud" or you have an unlimited data phone plan.") I know that my portable docking device weighs more than I would like it to but TV in the hotel is usually not worth watching. Bad reception, snowy screens and Murder She Wrote in Italian. My niece even questioned me about bringing it on our trip as she thought we would never use it. I did. She put one on her Christmas list after our trip. Remember to bring the power converter for whatever country you are visiting.
6) Dental floss. I. Must. Floss. Of course, I will bring a toothbrush and paste. On my next trip I will probably bring my dental rinse, too. I had an ultrasonic tooth brush but it died awhile ago and I haven't replaced it yet. Sigh. I don't think any other country is as dentally obsessed as California.
7) Shampoo and conditioner. I have hair and I want to keep it. If I were a guy, or had less hair, I wouldn't bother. I'd use the hotel stuff. I buy my shampoo and conditioner in the gallon size so I put it in smaller containers or get travel sizes for longer trips. You can buy a set of 3 travel containers at the Dollar Store, yes for one $1. They don't come in a see through reusable bag, but I use Zip Lock freezer bags in the 1 quart size. And, double bag them with the closure in opposite directions when you are flying. BTW, I would say that the bottles are fairly sturdy as I recently put my shampoo and conditioner bottles through a heavy duty fast/fast, hot wash on accident when I dumped my gym clothes and sauna towels in the washing machine and they look no worse for wear an the stuff is still in there, undiluted.
8) Stainless steel water bottle with a carabiner clip. I bring sugary flavored packets to put in there, too. I love me my sugar. Hence, the obsession with #6.
I could add a few more items but as we want to travel lightly, I will stop at #8. How about you? Any additions?