Slow Travel: 12 Things in My Spring Carry On Bag

Carry on travel essentials for Barcelona, Spain.

  1. Travel Candle
  2. Packable Straw Hat
  3. Linen and Silk Cami sold out, similar here
  4. Palo Santo Oil
  5. Linen Trousers by Pixie Market. These are sold out, but I love this version and this vibe
  6. Tarot Deck
  7. Walkable Minimal Sandals
  8. Watercolor Post Cards
  9. Minimal swimsuit by Fortnight This is my favorite swim suit in years. Similar vibe here by Nu Swim and here.
  10. Fiction or memoir This book is both
  11. Slippers I’m a dedicated fan of this pair
  12. Sunblock can’t say enough good things about this formula

Slow travel. Vagabonding. Whatever you want to call it, these catch-all terms get to the heart of how I want to travel: With curiosity and with respect. Seeking out the spots where the locals meet. Having an experience outside of the guidebooks. Hoping to get a glimpse of what makes a place tick.

“The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

Packing well and packing light has gone a long way in making this kind of travel possible for me. But instead of trying to pack as little as possible or reach some impossible standard of packing perfection, I’ve started asking myself one simple question: “What would actually make the travel experience better for me?” And that’s what I pack.

The result?

This list of 12 essential items that are nearly always in my carry-on bag for warm weather travel.

I am super excited to share it with you. These are the tried and true pieces that I took with me on a trip to Barcelona, Spain last year. And if you’re planning any warm weather travel before North America’s winter ends, I think you might find a few ideas that help you pack your best.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into details.

Some items on the list are simply practical: The hat keeps the sun away (I have a different hat actually, but I love this one by Jesse Leone), the good shoes keep me walking pain-free, and linen layers are perfect for warm climates.

Some of these items are about more than practicality. They’re about staying sane and keeping a good head space on the road. A travel candle lit before bed helps me sleep anywhere. Blank post cards and a travel watercolor set give me a creative outlet (and friends love to get my terrible watercolors– or at least that’s what I tell myself). Tarot cards give me a little guidance when I’m feeling lost and alone (and they’re a good way to pass the time with new friends).

And once I started traveling with slippers, I never turned back.

I get it if palo santo oil doesn’t feel like an “essential” item for you. That’s ok. Do what works for you. In the past I’ve been prone to depriving myself while on the road. So, now I make sure to pack a little luxury like my favorite scent to get me through the times when travel gets rough. Cause it always does. Find what’s practical but also what brings you back to yourself.


Are you going anywhere special before summer heats up? What’s always in your bag?

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