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My Top 7 Travel Essentials

Let me begin by saying it's been a very busy time of the year this spring.

We have prom dresses to shop for, colleges to decide on, graduation parties to plan, and gap year travel to look forward to.

If you think I might have a high school senior in the house this year, you guessed right. It's been all about senior year shenanigans and all the things to get done and planned for before graduation in May. With that said, it was great for everyone to finally hit the pause button and head out for a week of sun and sand thanks to spring break.

I'm always thankful for a chance to plan a getaway. And boy was it needed. Especially since the sun has been especially shy this spring in GA.

However, FL was super forgiving weather wise and I chose Amelia Island, once again, to unwind, get some much needed Vitamin D, and as always, explore something new. Now, I do try to do a little research on the location of my trip and plan a couple of events to engage in. Other times, I simply wing it. But what I noticed on this trip was that some of my patterns stay consistent, with or without an itinerary. Of course, you don't want to forget the essential necessities like underwear (I take it all with me. Every. Single. One. better safe...) or sunscreen. However there were some other necessary travel essentials that I became more aware of on this trip.

  1. Classic and Comfortable Wardrobe

It can be so tempting to pack your entire closet and shoes when going on vacation. I have been guilty many times for over packing or not packing the appropriate items for my location and activities. Be mindful not just of your location and weather, but also the activities you would want to engage in and plan your wardrobe around it. Wouldn't it suck if you planned to go horseback riding on the beach and discovered all you have in your suitcase are sundresses and sandals? Also, to keep from over packing, I make sure I bring something classic and transitional, like a duster/kimono, to give even my most basic t-shirt and jeans combo a boost. A duster can take you from day to evening easily, without having to make a major outfit change. Jeans and tank top during the day, then throw on your duster for a night out or dinner in the evening.

2. ​ Present Presence

This is not a tangible item, true, but it is definitely a necessity. A reminder to be mindful as opposed to mind full while trying to unwind and engage with your surroundings. Leave worries, work, negative vibes, and toxic relationships behind. Focus on the calm and serenity offered to you on your getaway location. There were tons of it on my Island getaway. The blue skies and ocean waves were so calming, so welcoming. Inviting me to meditate with the beautiful gift that is the present. I chose an hour out of the day to check emails and social media to keep myself focused in the present as much as possible. Try to resist the urge to get trapped into posting every moment of your vacation on social media. That can become an unnecessary distraction that pulls you away from enjoying and engaging in the present moments.

3. A Good Book

A great way for me to relax while on vacation is to bury my head in a good book. On this trip, I chose to bring a book I bought over a year ago with me - Beautiful Ruins. Now, I must confess, I purchased this book solely on the beauty of the cover art. While I know you should never judge a book by it's cover (pun intended..), the look of the book's cover gave me the vibes of nostalgia and scenic descriptive views. So I made the purchase. I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint. It did give off the nostalgic vibes I predicted and the first location in the book was a small beach Island in Italy with a boutique hotel. Considering I was in a similar location in FL it was easy for me to get carried away with the book. I easily became one with the story line and colorful characters. It seems I picked the perfect book for my location getaway!

4. Hydration

I always tend to bring my own bottled water and favorite beverage with me when going on a road trip vacation. Financially, its a wise choice. I've notice affordable items, like water, can get ridiculously overpriced when at your vacation location. So rather than make desperate purchases in that area, I make sure I bring my own stash. Plus, it's good for your skin especially if you're hanging out in the sun and sand all day. Staying hydrated is necessary and yes, wine counts as bed time hydration.

5. Favorite Playlist

I believe in having a soundtrack for your vacation. It's a great way to trigger great memories after the vacation is over as well. Now, my process of creating a playlist is kind of backwards. What I mean is, my playlist gets created during the vacation, not before. My mood, my moments, the vibe of my surroundings, inspire the music I end up listening to. For example, I had dinner at Sliders Seaside Grill while on vacation in Amelia on the night they would have a live Reggae band. One of the tunes performed was Wait in Vain by Bob Marley. I was reminded how much I loved this song, especially the rendition done by Annie Lennox on her Medusa Album. Isn't she amazing?!

So I ended up downloading the Medusa album on my iTunes and listening to Wait in Vain and Something So Right on repeat. Put Your Head On My Shoulder by Paul Anka also made the list because it matched the nostalgic vibe of the book I was reading - Beautiful Ruins - and reminded me of someone special...and their shoulders.

6. Journal

There are going to be moments during your vacation that your camera can't capture. Moments that you'd like to look back on and recall at different moments in life. Moments that teach you life lessons and gained wisdom. Like calling the hotel manager ahead of arrival could have actually gotten you a room with a balcony, facing the sunset. Write. It. Down.

7. Spirit of Adventure

Adventure is out there and your vacation is a perfect opportunity to try something new. Make a new friend. Don't worry about if you'll ever see them again after you leave. Present presence, remember? Try a new activity or one you have not done in forever - like horse back riding on the beach. The last time I went horse back riding on a beach, I was 19 years old. New surroundings should inspire new moments and new experiences. Don't overthink it.

So before you plan your next trip, maybe one or two of my favorite essentials will make the list and join you on your getaway.

Don't forget your underwear.

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