Last updated on May 7th, 2022
Featured image: Have a travel-loving mom to shop for? Get inspired with these ideas! / Photo by shiwork on Envato
Eight items to help me travel and work better
By Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman
In a few days, I’ll be leaving for a five-week stay in Oaxaca, Mexico.
I learned a lot about living nomadically from my last trip to Mexico, when I stayed in Merida, San Miguel de Allende and Puerto Escondido for three months. Living and working remotely is challenging, and I didn’t come prepared with the right equipment. With Mother’s Day coming up in North America, I’ve made a wish list of the practical things I’d like to have. Hopefully my daughter will read this!
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1. Carry-on suitcase and packing cubes
As I said in this New York Magazine article recently, I’m a fan of Gregory backpacks because they are adjustable to women’s bodies. In October, I used my 70 L Osprey backpack which held three months of clothes. But it was HEAVY – and I only wore a third of what I brought.
This time, I want to try a small rolling suitcase, perhaps an Away carry-on (dare I imagine a monogrammed version?) and Away’s packing cubes. This brand has been highly recommended on our private Facebook group!
I’d also like to use Apple’s RFI AirTag to keep track of my things if I am forced to check my bag. I can put one on my daypack and track missing items through my Find My iPhone app.
3. Protective sun gear
Mexico is going to be HOT! I am terrible at keeping hats. I love them, but have now lost three in a row, most recently on my trip to the Bahamas. I need a new hat that is small, foldable and lightweight, along with a new pair of unbreakable sunglasses for sunny afternoons on Oaxacan rooftop patios.
I have my eye on a stylish bucket hat from Madewell and a pair of plastic Kate Spade square sunglasses that won’t get crushed in my bag. In our recent article on eco-friendly packing, our expert Nora Livingstone recommended reef-safe sunscreen, so I’m keen to try Badger Balm, made by a woman-owned business. (Read more of Nora’s eco-friendly suggestions here.)
Of course, I’ll have my JourneyWoman Sassy flamingo bandana with me, which is not only cute but practical.
4. Gotta have some bling!
Recently, I lost a treasured pair of earrings when my jewelry bag fell out of my carry-on. (My new travel tip is to always check the overhead compartment before you leave a plane!) Jewelry is one of those things you just can’t expect to get back.
I don’t feel fully dressed without earrings, so I’m interested in these dangly moon earrings from Amazon because they don’t have backs and will stay on when I remove my mask. Also, at $30, I won’t worry too much if I lose them.
5. Working remotely
While in Mexico, I’ll be writing, hosting our May book club on Mexico and doing TV interviews, so good technology is important. I’m hoping that the apartment I’m renting will live up to its promise of good wifi.
This one on Amazon is made of plastic so I don’t have to worry about breaking it. I’ve been using Apple headphones with a cord. I’d also love to try the new wireless AirPods, which would also help with noise reduction.
My home office (in my 500-square-foot apartment).
6. Mobile protection
I always recommend using Nord VPN when travelling to protect my data when using public wifi systems.
I recently heard of a new technology called eSim, which lets you change your wireless carrier, data, or service plan through software. This solves the pain of high roaming bills because you can have two cellular plans, one on a nano-SIM card and the other on an eSIM on iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR, or later. I’d like to try using an eSim card from Airalo, instead of having to insert a SIM card.
I am a huge fan of the Knix brand because of their body-positive approach.
I already have their pajamas, but have been wanting to try their multi-purpose period underwear, which looks comfortable, absorbent and leakproof. This also means I can reduce room by not packing as many tampons and pads. (I’m also keen to try one of the bras mentioned in our recent Travel Bras feature – hint hint.)
8. Giving back
Since May 26 is World Menstruation Day, I want to support non-profits that help with period poverty, so I’d love my daughter to make a donation to The Period Purse. Last fall, I walked the Camino last October in support of their efforts to empower women. Period poverty is real, so if you are travelling we always encourage bringing extra supplies to share with women and girls.
What are you hoping for on Mother’s Day? (Or any day!) Let us know below!
Get Ready With Even More Packing Tips and Ideas
Contributing writer Diana Eden shares her tips on preparing for a trip to Iceland from a woman-over-80’s perspective.
Diana Eden, our stylish and adventurous women over 80 columnist, shares seven practical tips to prepare for her first African safari.
These eco-friendly packing tips will help you take your packing to the next level, part of our commitment to do good when we travel.