MKW Graphics
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Tips + Thoughts

To call myself a blogger feels all too millennial. Instead, I consider this portion of my website to be part knowledge library, part design magazine and part entreprenurial-digital-nomad travel journal. Hope you enjoy reading my musings!

- MKW

My 10 Travel Must-Haves for Long Trips

 

As I am prepping for my LONGEST trip since study abroad, I wanted to take the time to share a few of my favorite things I never travel without! Whether you’re a fellow digital nomad slow traveler, or just prepping for your next quick trip or vacation, these organization, tech and self care go-to’s should make it on your packing list!

FOLLOW ALONG! I love to share my travels on Instagram!
Hope you can join me over at
@mkwgraphics!


ORGANIZATION


Packing Cubes

Going to sound like a bit of an exaggeration but trust me when I say it absolutely is not: Packing Cubes CHANGED MY LIFE! Separating out my packing into cubes makes it so much easier to hop in, get what you need, and keep the mess under control without your suitcase or backpack exploding all over your hostel, hotel or bnb. I plan on staying in all of the above and am looking forward to keeping everything neat and tidy with these packing cubes in tow. I love to separate out my cubes based on similar items, one for tops, one for bottoms, one for dresses, intimates, bathing suits, etc. Soft sided ones are easy to squish!

 

Stasher Reusable Bags

In my quest to be more sustainable in 2019, I am working on creating less plastic waste in the world. I love the stasher bags because they are 1. squishy (sensing a theme here?), 2. silicone and 3. good for just about anything you’d use a plastic sandwich baggie for… Think snacks, leftovers, smoothie ingredients (they freeze really well since they are pliable), great for holding jewelry, cosmetics or whatever else is small or could get lost in a bigger bag.

 

Hanging Toiletries Bag

I am not a super freak when it comes to toiletries by any means, but I LOVE using a hanging bag like this one when I travel. Not only does it allow me to see everything I’ve got all at once, but it also frees up counter space by being able to hang it on the back of a door, towel rack, or shower door. This one carries all my faves like: Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray (NEVER travel without it), Glossier Boy Brow & Cloud Paint (Get $10 off here), and Burts Bees Face Wipes.

 

TECHNOLOGY


External Hard Drive

It is SO important for anyone, not just nomads, to back up what’s on your computer. Although you may have storage on there, it is always a good idea to have a plan B. I use a big ol’ hard drive at home (the MyBook Terabyte Hard Drive) to back up ERRYTHANG before I go, and then take this little one with me on my travels. It’s only slightly larger than a wallet, and is a saving grace for freeing up processing space on my laptop (I have a 15” Macbook Pro Retina Display). Having a hard drive is like an insurance policy against laptop damage. *Always a good idea to back up to a cloud-based service as well (I use Google Drive and Dropbox).

 

Grippy Tripod

This doo-dad has been the unsung hero of desIGn Live, my weekly Instagram Live show (WUT?! You’re not subscribed?! Do so here). I especially love this one because it was cheap (less than $10), and the legs are bendy, so I can mold it to just about anything. I will absolutely be using this on the reg during my travels as a makeshift selfie stick for photos and videos as well as a stand for more desIGn Lives!

 

SELF-CARE


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Essential Oils

I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS travel with essential oils and here’s why.

Essential oils are great for traveling because they are so multi-use. The ones I use most often are:

  • lavender - for sleep & relaxation

  • a variety of citrus either lemon or orange - for focus

  • mint - for fresh breath, cooling properties, decongestant

  • melaleuca or tea tree - for anti-fungal and disinfectant

Almost all of my essential oil knowledge comes from my good friend/client/podcaster Jennifer Hudgens over at Natural Wellness Tips! She has got never-ending knowledge and know how about all things oils and is always the first person I text for potion suggestions for everything from bug bites to stinky shoes.

 

Turkish Towels

I ADORE these towels from the Bali Market! On my past trips, I have always brought my own microfiber towel (always nice to have your own, ya know?) but I found that most utilitarian travel towels were butt ugly. These Turkish Towels couldn’t be cuter! 😍

I have two for this trip, the Navy Striped and the Beige Striped towels and the best part about them is that they are multi-use. They can be used as a shower towel, beach blanket, sarong, picnic blanket, and even a make shift-shawl for ducking into temples.

What I am most excited about is the fact that the more you use these puppies, the softer they get. I think these are going to end up as a travel staple of mine for sure!

 

Jade Roller

Really the only reason I own this is because my sister wouldn’t shut up about hers. I asked my esthetician about jade rolling and it’s benefits and she mentioned that they only real advantage to it is that it is cool on the skin, and the right weight to gently massage the face without causing damage.

I love it in the mornings for reducing puffiness, but I also know it is going to be KEY after my two long haul flights on my way to South East Asia. Some sources will say that the Jade also has healing properties, but those sources might also be full of baloney (sorry Gwenyth Paltrow, no yani eggs for me pls)…

 

ACCESSORIES


Prescription Sunglasses from Eye Buy Direct

I am actually nearsighted, so seeing things far away is like the difference between HD television and regular cable. I LOATHE contact lenses so I opted for Eye Buy Direct prescription sunglasses instead. I ordered two pair during their cyber Monday BOGO sale and I am so glad that I did. These tortoise frames are super cute and v insta-worthy.

The best part about Eye Buy Direct is that you can upload your prescription right to their website and then order glasses, blue light blocking lenses, and sunglasses without the hassle of going through your eye doctor. I am really happy with the quality of these frames and think they will be great for all the upcoming adventuring!

 

Zulu Rancher Hat by Lack of Color Aus

It should be no shocker here that my go-to travel accessories are my hats. Hats are great for long tern travel because a) you don’t have to do your hair b) you instantly feel more pulled together c) they make for great photo props! If you’re following me over on instagram, you’ll know that I made it a goal of mine to get a new Lack of Color hat (they’re a pretty penny at $129) each time I hit my monthly income goal. Instead of the ‘Zulu Rancher,’ I fondly refer to this one as my October 2018 baby. :)

Wanna help me collect more hats? Let’s collab on your project!