I was not always a girly-girl. Growing up, my father made sure that my sister and I absorbed the same Boy Scout preparedness that he had received in his youth. On the trail, we were often mistaken for young boys due to our gender-neutral camping attire. We learned how to gather kindling for fires, dig our own latrines, pitch tents and name various flora and fauna. For a pair of slim, bespectacled girls – we were tough.
Fast-forward two decades, and anyone who knows me would dispel any rumors that I was once the “outdoorsy” type; a closer parallel would be to housewife-turned-troop leader Phyllis from the 1989 film Troop Beverly Hills. But hey, camping in five-star hotels doesn’t sound bad, does it? #TeamPhyllis.
Yet, I have retained some of my father’s lessons in traditional camping. Those trips we took were my first authentic travel experiences, and reflection is key for all of one’s travels.
As Generation Y travelers, we may not always have the luxury or, more commonly, the preference of staying in hotels. And with the multitude of accommodations worldwide, such as hostels, Airbnb, and Couchsurfing, it is important to always be prepared. In essence, travel is about adaptability. While I may prefer 800-thread count sheets, Bliss toiletries and 24-hour room service, I must work to dispel the notion that hotels are always synonymous with comfort.
The lessons I learned on the trail can easily be applied to a cosmopolitan lifestyle, so here is a short list of items that will make it easier to rest your head in any location:
Silk Sleeping Liner – because sometimes you would feel more comfortable with another layer shielding you from your hotel/hostel/host family’s sheets.
Hanging Toiletry Bag – because sometimes you do not want to place your razor, soap or washcloth on the ledge of the tub. (Sensing a trend?) And other times, you may not even have a tub to do.
Backpack Duffel bag – traditional suitcases are often impractical unless you are staying at a hotel. Mine, the Osprey Porter Travel Pack, is about the same size as a carry-on suitcase, but can convert from a backpack to duffel for ease and versatility.
Microfiber Towel – If you are packing your own towel on your next adventure, why not opt for one that’s fast-drying and can roll-up to the size of your foot?
Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap – All-purpose, all natural soap. ‘Nuff said.
This story was curated by Erica Bibby