[currently] Winter Travel Essentials

There are just some things that make traveling a bit more relaxing. Since I’m at home for the holidays, there isn’t much more that I need to make me comfortable. However, I do like to make sure that I have a few things that I just can’t bear to be without.

A good drink

I usually can’t go a day without consuming some type of caffeine, so it’s essential that I drink my morning English Breakfast Tea. My favorite brand is Twinings, and I’ve had the pleasure to drink it both via tea bags and k-cups this season. Not only does it give me a much-needed energy boost but it also provides me a warm calming feeling that lasts me through a good part of the morning. And on top of that, some teas work as a natural antioxidant and serve as a means of providing fluid intake. Honorable mention for Yogi’s Perfect Energy Vanilla Spice tea.

A good book

I have a few good books that I’m digging into while I’m home, and I absolutely recommend Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. I just started it this weekend and am nearly finished with it. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, you will definitely like this one. It’s a quick read with nearly the same amount of suspense as Flynn’s NYT bestseller.

The best part about reading while it’s cold out is knowing that you’re on an adventure and don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home. (and if you’re lucky, maybe you’re sitting next to a cozy fireplace that’s blazing nearby)

A good sleep

REM sleep mask (left) and padded sleep mask (right). Sweet dreams!
REM sleep mask (left) and padded sleep mask (right). Sweet dreams!

I am such a light-sensitive sleeper, so eye masks are essential wherever I find myself sleeping. I don’t have a particular brand that I’m attached to, but I find myself drawn to the ones that really seal out all light. Here are two styles that I have found to work particularly well. The REM sleep mask works well if you don’t like the pressing-down feeling against your eyelids and like to blink your eyes while sleeping. And if you couldn’t tell from its title, this eye mask is particularly ideal for the REM stage of the sleep cycle. The other sleep mask I recommend has a padded area near the nose/lower eye portion of the mask. The great part about this eye mask is that it REALLY blocks out all light. The only problem I’ve had with this type is that sometimes when it moves around at night, it presses down on my eyes or on my nose, making it difficult to breathe smoothly.

A good cleanser

A change in weather, air quality, or just plain environment can really take a toll on your skin. And personally, being on an airplane seems to just attack my skin. It’s like I have some sort of allergic reaction to being so high up in the air with mostly recycled air floating about the cabin. Anyways, I like to stay clear (or clear up) with my pink Clarisonic. It’s a one-minute electronic facial cleanser. I’m also partial to using the Clinique 3 Step Skincare System. Using both cleaners together leaves my face feeling soft and clean while looking fresh.

And to anyone looking to try out my “regime,” I suggest putting a pea-sized drop of the Clinique facial soap directly onto the Clarisonic and cleanse your face from there. Wipe off your face with a towel once the one-minute is finished. After, squeeze the clarifying lotion onto a cotton ball and wipe your face. Enjoy the bubbling feeling it leaves on your skin. And finally, apply the moisturizer to your face for a nice clean finish. Ta-da! You’re done 🙂

A good bag

bags

In terms of travel, it’s always a good idea to have two kinds of bags: a purse and your actual travel bag. I have a large purse that fits my laptop (among other things) that I like to take as a carry-on bag. Unfortunately, the purse is not an actual laptop bag, so it has become sufficiently worn out (RIP large tan bag). I was lucky enough to receive a new purse for Christmas from Gavin’s sister (thanks, Brittany!) from Express. It’s perfect because it’s fairly large on the inside, sturdy enough to stand on its own, has a long strap, and has plenty of zippered pouches. I also treated myself to a Christmas gift in the form of a Vera Bradley duffel. So far, the duffel has been perfect for my travel needs (it fits just the right amount AND fits carry-on code), not to mention I love the design.

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I hope all of my readers are comfortable wherever they are (and if you’re in the Milwaukee area, I hope you’re staying warm!). I’d love to hear what is essential for you during this winter season!

Yep, you read that right: -26 wind chill for New Berlin today!
Yep, you read that right: -26 wind chill for New Berlin today!