“I wish I could be a minimalist, but I need like three pairs of shoes!”
A lifelong traveler, Carly Erskine has been traveling with her parents, Mexicali co-owners Pete and Kim, since she was just a baby. With 20-something years of experience traveling and a solid preference for backpacks over wheel-y suitcases, she’s gotten packing light down to an art, even when venturing to three countries with very different climates on one trip. Wherever she’s headed, however, she always has a solid carry-on bag with a handful of essential items:
- A carry-on bag that expands to hold a lot but also packs down easily is a necessary and infinity useful piece of this equation. Carly loves our reversible block print bags because they’re comfy to carry through big airports with their wide strap, can hold a little or a lot and then fold down to take up hardly any space if she wants to pack it in her backpack, and–for a bit of fashion flair–the reversible prints give the look of two bags in one!
- Comfy shoes that slide on and off easily in the airport security lines. Crocs aren’t the prettiest shoes in the world, but Carly loves their easy fit and that the holes on them drain easily when she’s traipsing through countries that have daily downpours!
- E-reader. Traditional books are wonderful and we hope they never go away, but the lightweight capability of an e-reader to bring along a whole library full of books in one slim package is much appreciated when traveling light!
- Snacks, headphones, a neck pillow, and basic toiletries. There’s nothing like getting off a plane in a new place with the fresh feeling of just-brushed teeth! Tissues are essential when traveling in countries that don’t traditionally use toilet paper. These are the little things that make a long journey so much more pleasant.
- Entertaining games. This cribbage board goes everywhere Carly goes, and she’s played with friends from and in all parts of the world. A souvenir of where she’s been as well as a way to pass the time on long train rides, she keeps a running list of where she plays each game and the scores on the back of this board.
- A smaller purse for corralling essentials. Keeping passport, cards, money, and a pen in one easily accessible place is way better than digging through that big bag constantly!
- Oversized scarf. Worn as a shawl or blanket on chilly flights, or tied around her neck to look and feel instantly pulled together when wandering in a new place, a big scarf is useful and appreciated in a myriad situations!
Whatever else Carly travels with, these essential items are always in her carry-on! What do YOU never travel without?
Stay tuned for more of Carly’s insights on packing for travels to India, Thailand, and Nepal–coming soon!