travel essentials

i just got back from a 4-day trip to the atacama desert (so cool. can't even describe. alsdkjghkasjg) and i'm in the middle of a 10-week stay in santiago, chile, so i thought i would make a post about all the little things i like to have with me when i travel!

#1. snacks

^that was all the food i brought with me for this weekend, for approximately 82 hours away from my apartment. it basically filled my backpack. i'm all for checking out the local cuisine, but when you're just starving after hiking around a crater at 3 miles above sea level and don't feel like shelling out like $8 for an empanada, it is super handy to have snacks. since all our excursions and tours for this weekend were really expensive, i tried to spend as little money on food as possible and it turned out really well! :)

what i brought:

  • multigrain bread
  • laughing cow cheese (slightly weird tasting, but doesn't need to be refrigerated!)
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • peanut butter (which i FINALLY found in chile the day before we left)
  • pretzel bites
  • apples
  • [i would have brought avocados if i had not packed in about 5 seconds]
  • granola bars
  • cup of noodles
  • instant vanilla lattes (soooo yummy, and no need to lug around milk and sugar for coffee!)
  • fruit cups

with all this, i was able to save my money for cool trips, souvenirs, and unique local food, like a llama meat & onion kebab!

i also bought a huge bottle of water once i arrived (since the tap water was very mineral-rich and not recommended for drinking in large amounts) and used it to refill my smaller bottle throughout the day. 

i brought everything in a lame grocery bag, but i am absolutely loving this adorable bento box from anthropologie. early birthday present, anyone? 

#2. comfy clothes
i basically lived in leggings and sneakers this weekend, but any trip requires comfortable clothing. i always check the weather forecast before i go anywhere and plan outfits accordingly, placing them in the proper order in my bag so i don't have to dump everything out to find that one sweater i was going to wear. sweatpants are never really a thing for me, but i do love oversized sweaters, leggings & stretchy pants, and comfy booties. 

dressing in layers was especially important for me for this trip, but it's always a good idea when traveling since there is not always time to go back to the ho(s)tel and change as the weather changes. this weekend, since i was in the desert, the temperature change from morning to evening was crazy. i would start out with thick leggings under jeans, a t-shirt, sweater, fleece jacket, and coat on top, and end up wearing the bare minimum. those pictures ^ were taken on the same day!

since our hostel was super cold at night & in the early mornings, i slept in the sweater i was planning on wearing the next day so i could expose as little skin as possible to the freezing air when getting dressed.  i did wear some amazing fleece pajama bottoms though, which were a total lifesaver! if you're looking for something a little more lightweight, i love these pajama shorts from anthropologie. so cozy! 

some specific recommedations: 
  • h&m leggings (the thick ones! i literally wore them every day for the past 4 days...oops)
  • smartwool socks 
  • madewell sunglasses
  • bdg jeans (sold at urban outfitters)

#3. google docs
y'all don't even understand my love for google docs. i use them for everything. grocery lists, keeping track of owing people money and my own finances, ideas for classes i want to take......everything. so it should be no surprise that i love using them for traveling! i have tabs for accommodations, transportation, and everything else, and i can share them with people i'm traveling with so everyone can be on the same page and contribute. 

odds & ends
  • you see ^ that purse? it is perfect for day trips. it has a great size, sturdy shape, and lots of pockets so finding things in it is an absolute breeze. my mom gave it to me last-minute before i left for chile and i am so so grateful! [boop]
  • chapstick and moisturizer. airplanes (and deserts) are extremely dry, so bring a little something to keep your skin and lips looking nice and soft. i use this aveeno moisturizer, which also has spf 30!
  • makeup removal wipes. sometimes when i travel i am way too tired to go through my whole face-washing routine every night, so these are a really good alternative for keeping your face fresh and clean! prat has recommended the burt's bees facial cleansing towelettes and i'm on the lookout for some of my own.
  • multivitamins. i read this tip on lauren conrad's blog and it makes total sense -- when traveling you might not be eating super well (read: my dinner last night of "lomo a lo pobre" which is a mountain of french fries with steak and a fried egg on top...beautiful) so vitamins are a really smart way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
& that's all i can think of! i hope you're all enjoying your summers and going on lots of fun adventures :)

<3 maria

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