17 Creature Comforts to Pack on Your Next Trip

Posted by Katie Hamlin on December 17, 2009 at 8:00:36 AM EST | Post a Comment
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Sure, packing light is a priority for many seasoned travelers—especially if we happen to be strictly carry-on types of jetsetters. But even when every ounce counts, there are certain items we manage to fit in our suitcases no matter what, because we know that sometimes the little things make us happiest. Life's ordinary small pleasures go hand-in-hand with the simple joys of travel.

Sitting on your hotel room's balcony to watch the waves roll in at sunrise is indeed a wonderful moment, and it's even sweeter if you happen to be sipping your favorite coffee out of your favorite mug, while wearing your comfiest lounge pants and slippers. Now that's the good life.

Which of the following items, cited by travelers in our Forums as some of their favorite "creature comforts", do you tote along as well?

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1. Slippers

"I took little slippers along which I don't usually bother with. Given that my B&B had old hardwood floors, it was a nice thing to have - it kept my tootsies warm and kept any possible splinters at bay." --flygirl

2. Good shampoo and conditioner

"My favorite shampoo and conditioner. I have long hair and hate the thought of relying on what might be provided in a hotel or what I could find in a supermarket. It makes traveling carry-on only for any length of time difficult but it's well worth it." --Iowa_Redhead

3. A blanket

"I always bring a blanket. I am such a homebody gypsy if there is such a thing. I love to travel and enjoy every aspect of the new people, places, things, but I hate not having my few things, like my pillows, bed... blankets." --MomDDTravel

4. Wine glasses

"I always bring a set of Riedel O glasses to drink wine and water out of. I hate plastic cups." --rialtogrl

5. A neck pillow

"I also take a neck pillow and find it's useful for dozing on buses and trains and for support when the hotel only gives one mushy pillow." --adrienne

6. Fresh flowers

"The next time we go to London, my daughter and I have decided we will buy fresh flowers the first day for our room even if we have to stash them in a Coke can." --carolyn

7. Fuzzy socks

"I don't take slippers but I have this pair of pink fuzzy socks with grips on the soles to wear around inside my hotel room or apartment- I only ever wear them on trips, never at home." --Apres_Londee

8. A flameless candle

"I bring a flameless candle to set on the coffee table in the evenings at whatever RCI condo we're staying at. It makes our living room seem cozy and no flame to worry about if we fall asleep!" --Virgogirl

9. Coffee essentials

"A small selection of my own tea and a couple of Folger's coffee bags. It was a good thing I did in Amsterdam as the hotel thought instant coffee was coffee. Silly them. I also bring a coffee cup, it's a hard plastic mug that is the next best thing to ceramic." --LSky

10. A wool shawl

"I bring one of my large, wool shawls (about 24" x 48") which I use as a blanket on the plane (rather then that recycled, linty blanket) and it also doubles as an extra warm layer if needed (for my winter trips) and a handy "throw" when in my room reading/resting." --Margaretlb

11. A reading light

"Here is what I am going to add next time: a small battery powered reading light for hotel rooms with inadequate bedside lamps." --nancythenice

12. A silk travel pillow

"I have started bringing a small silk travel pillow with a removable cover I bought on sale at Restoration Hardware a few years ago. It is worth the space it occupies in my luggage. I was beginning to find the foam pillows at B&B's and agriturismos very hard to sleep on. There was a thread about the RH pillow in this forum, so I took the cue from many fodorites! Unfortunately I think the pillow may have been discontinued." --Gariem

13. Books and more books

"Books. I never travel with less than three. Airports, airplanes, I have to read. Also, wherever I am, I can't go to sleep without reading a few pages." --TPAYT

14. Scented lotion

"I carry scented body lotion rather than perfume, especially after my bottle of perfume was broken in my suitcase and the suitcase was permeated with the scent for the entire trip." --adrienne

15. A fleece hoodie

"Except in hot weather, I love a polartec jacket with hood - great on the plane (which tends to be chilly, and who wants to use those airplane blankets?) and a fabulous extra layer while out and about that can be stuffed into a tote bag and emerge looking just fine." --djkbooks

16. An ipod

"An ipod with several good books on tape already loaded..great for long plane rides." --jrecm

17. A husband

"Good for leaning on in the plane, getting in and out of overhead bins, watching luggage when you need to go to the airport bathroom, wearing a daybag with maps, water, camera, etc., carrying money, holding my hand, snuggling at night, running for coffee in the morning... need I go on?" --MelJ

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Member Comments (8)  Post a Comment

  • Fife on Jan 17, 10 at 10:09 PM

    For traveling in the US, I like to carry a little whiskey. It lets me avoid dreary hotel lounges where the drinks are overpriced and diluted. In Europe there's no need, since pubs and bars are lively places close to any hotel.

  • propertravel on Jan 14, 10 at 07:36 AM

    A dictionary can be usefull too. However I liked best MelJ's essential, her Husband :-)
    Happy Travels

  • hotzim on Jan 11, 10 at 03:37 PM

    We own homes on opposite sides of the country so we travel cross country twice a year by car. I usually travel with some emergency rations in case we find ourselves in the middle of no where, or are too tired to drive to a restaurant. I carry 2 unbreakable salad bowls to be used for cereal, soup or salad. I found out they also can be used as a snow shovel if you find yourself stuck in the snow on top of a mountain as we did last spring!

  • pdeb69 on Jan 8, 10 at 05:14 PM

    Where can I get a husband to bring with me on my next trip,LOL??

  • caribjourneydotcom on Jan 5, 10 at 06:33 PM

    I would recommend a small radio as well. It can really set the atmosphere on a beach if you are at a tropical location.

  • BonnieJA on Dec 30, 09 at 11:11 AM

    Take the charger for your cell phone. I inadvertently packed mine in checked luggage, and was stuck in the Memphis airport for 6 hours, with a low battery. I had to find someone with an IPhone charger and beg to get enough power to call home to say I was delayed.

  • global_laurie on Dec 19, 09 at 09:54 PM

    I take almost everything mentioned: ipod, fleece lined hooded sweatershirt, scented lotion, my own shampoo & conditioner, a pashimna, my thermarest neck pillow, kindle loaded with at least 10 books, coffee w/ cup & plastic spoon, slippers, face mask. I scrimp on clothes so there's room in my 1 duffle to take things that make life pleasurable on the road. My duffle never weights over 30 lbs.

  • SalwaJ Fodor's editor on Dec 17, 09 at 10:14 AM

    I had a very bad cold when I was flying home last year. I had packed an eye mask and ear plugs although I don't normally use either. What a difference! They allowed me to sleep the entire plane ride instead of being awake and miserable. Now I take them along whenever I travel.

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