Hi Shitters. I probably don’t need to tell you that it’s been an extremely distressing few days (highly recommend that link for a very good listen). After reading and watching and listening and feeling genuinely agitated not only by what’s happening abroad but also by certain things on the internet, my (broken) brain has decided to get stuck somewhere in the first few lines of Gia Giudice’s Sad song: “Waking up in the morning… thinking about so many things…. I just wish things would get better.” Me too, Gia. Me too.
This all is perhaps not the best intro to a newsletter about getting ready for a summer of good clean vaxxed fun, but it’s on my mind, and likely is on yours too.
I’ve been doing this a lot of this distress-ing out of my grandmother’s guest bedroom in New Jersey, while going on week four of being away from home. Now that we’re entering this magical time between vaccinations and return to work (“spring break forever”), some of you may be doing the same, which is why I wanted to talk about some shit I bought and have loved having during extended travel.
These are lifesavers and luxuries that have made time away from home easy and comfy for a homebody at heart like me. Here’s hoping they do the same for you, wherever your vaxxed/mask-less (!) adventures take you:
- Pillbox organizer: I love having this at home and while I travel. If you take any kind of medication, supplements, probiotics, etc. this is the only way I’ve found to make sure I take mine every day/don’t accidentally double up. There are some things my brain can be relied upon for, but tracking my Allegra intake is certainly not one of them. When traveling for a longer time, I keep a pouch with my pill bottles in my luggage and refill the organizer at the end of each week to keep the bathroom countertop situation slightly more organized.
- AirPods case: I do not need to explain why AirPods are a travel essential, but a CASE is necessary to tell them apart from everyone else’s pods! It’s a $6 investment, comes with a little clip that attaches to keys, and there are a bunch of fun colors that you can spend way too long trying to pick from (I got hot pink because my coworker Juliet had it and it looked cool).
- Charging block: If you’re not big on devices, that is great for you, but there is a 4-in-1 charging stand on my desk at home that doesn’t even include the iPad. If you’re traveling with more than one of said devices, swap your 8 million chargers for a block with multiple USB ports/charging cords. Basic tip, but it minimizes outlets required, keeps everything in one place, and makes packing up so much faster.
- Parachute robe: Hear me out. Bringing a robe when you travel is a game changer. It is so much more comfortable and gives you so much more mobility while getting ready than wearing a towel does. And if you are traipsing around a shared space, there is much less likelihood of a wardrobe malfunction. Huge! Trust me on this one, it’s lightweight, cozy, and packs down so easily. You’ll be happy to have it, I promise.
- Victorinox Duffel: This (well, a 15-year-old version of this) was “borrowed” from my parents and has yet to be returned. It isn’t as pretty as other options out there, but it’s so roomy and SO durable. It’s held up against years of domestic and international travel and at least eight of my moves, so your summer shenanigans should be no problem. Just go with a dark color because checked bags get tossed around like trash.
- LARQ bottle: It’s a splurge, but it’s a good one. A self-cleaning/purifying water bottle that’s handy for sus public water fountains, travel abroad, or when your Airbnb doesn’t have a Brita. She’s versatile! There’s a slightly cheaper version that isn’t insulated if you don’t need that, but I’ve found it nice to have during the summer months.
- EltaMD sunscreen: This is more of a summer essential than a travel essential but there’s a reason every single derm, esthetician, skinfluencer, etc. recommends this sunscreen. It’s mineral-based (as opposed to chemical), contains niacinamide (a calming ingredient that’s good for sensitive skin), has a great texture, won’t leave a lasting white cast on your face, and will not break you out. Sun protection is not something to experiment with. Especially now that vaxxed folks have the go-ahead to ditch masks in most scenarios! This. On your face. Every single day. Especially in the summer. Fin.
My last recs are tips rather than products, but they have served me very well, especially recently:
- Tip #1: UNPACK. Getting your shit out of your suitcase and onto hangers or in a drawer is the only way to actually see your clothes/not wear the same sweatpants and waffle crop at all times. You will definitely notice a difference between when you do this and when you don’t.
- Tip #2: Divide your bags. Clothes/ toiletries/ basic things in checked bags. Nicer shoes/ jewelry/ otherwise expensive stuff/ an extra outfit in your carry-on. Spare yourself an expensive lesson and keep the stuff that would be hardest to replace (or the most annoying to be without if you were stranded sans luggage for a bit) as close as possible when you travel.
That is all! Take this and run with it. Send back your travel essentials and tips! And if someone sent this to you, a) they clearly like you a lot and b) they probably want you to sign up to get this sent to you directly next time: shitiboughtandliked.com. Here’s hoping you all get a temporary reprieve from our not-always-so-great reality in the months to come.
Take care of yourselves,