4 travel essentials we’re using every day on our trip.

My family and I are in the middle of a big trip to Japan, France, and Spain. We’ve been traveling for about a week and a half now, with another three weeks still ahead of us. We’ve had a ton of adventures already, and as we get into our travel groove as a family, each day gets better (and easier), and we learn more about how to do this, and do it well.

It’s happening little by little. 🙂

There are a handful of things that have proven to be essentials on the trip: things we are using many times a day. Two of these things were items we hadn’t packed and needed to purchase while we were here in Japan, and both of those were more expensive and less effective than what we could have brought from home.

When you are in foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you do the best you can.

Here’s our current list of things that have saved our butts and/or sanity many times over:

1. Athletic tape.

Say what? Yep, you read that right. Why? BLISTERS. We’re walking between five and eight miles a day, and it’s hot here in Japan. Our poor feet have rebelled, but we are making them happy again by lovingly wrapping each toe and other affected areas with this tape sent from heaven. It works like a charm.

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2. Portable cell phone charger.

Maps, confirmation emails, and all the other myriad things you’re relying on pulling out of your cell phone are no good at all if you can’t get to them because your phone is dead. This magic device is insurance, and we’ve cashed in our policy several times so far.

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3. Antihistamine cream and bug repellent.

At last count, my daughter had fifty bites on her legs. Enough said.

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4. Road stories.

These are stories you tell when you’re walking for miles. Stories about your childhood, stories about your friends, stories about other trips you’ve taken…

Start thinking now. You’ll thank me later.

What are your travel essentials? Have any good ones to add?


  1. Glad you guys are settling into a travel groove! I would have thought to bring athletic tape, great tip! I need to get one of those handy phone chargers.

  2. My son laughs at my toe socks (injini brand) but they eliminate blisters for me.

  3. stephanie says

    Great tips. Can’t wait to hear some of those stories!

  4. Darth Chocolate says

    I would change the “Antihistamine and Bug Repellent” to “Medical Kit”. Include may common OTC things such as Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, stomach remedies (i.e., Pepto chewable tabs are good to have), etc.. A day before a recent trip, a colleague cut the palm of his hand at home and figured he would “just let it heal”. After 3 days, it was not getting any better. I shared my antibiotic cream and within a day it began to improve; three days later almost completely healed.

  5. Girly question: The grey dress you are wearing in the picture (pic only shows up on home page with post summary, but not in the actual post)–where is it from? It looks super comfy yet stylish. I am always looking for a good travel dress that could go day into night.

    • Points Pixie says

      Rachel – I LOOVE this dress. It’s from Rebecca Taylor and I got it a couple of years ago, but you might be able to find it on ebay. 🙂


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