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10 Essential Must-Haves to Thrive (And Survive) While Traveling

July 16, 2015


The Australian aboriginals believed that a walkabout was a right of passage – a time to journey into the wilderness to explore, transform, and then to return home.

The items that end up in your suitcase represent more than just items you’re taking on a trip; they represent the things you truly believe you need in life.

Leaving behind that extra pair of shoes is not just packing light, it’s living with a sense of freedom and unattachment. It’s living with lightness in your heart. So before you find yourself saying, “I can’t live without…” take a gander at some tried-and-true travel essentials for your walkabout.

10 Essential Must-Haves to Thrive (And Survive) While Traveling

 1. Bonny & Clyde Mat Bag

This isn’t any old mat bag, the will be your favorite carry-on… your partner in crime… the Bonny to your Clyde.

Traveling light will help keep the riff-raff of unnecessary items out and there’s no better way to spread the love of yoga than living it when you travel. You may even have the added bonus of receiving some outrageously funny looks from the TSA for daring to choose a mat bag as carry-on.

If you’re looking for a new travel mat as well Manduka eKO Superlight in “Thunder” is a pretty rough-and-tough color.

2. Indian Jones Hat

Remember Indian Jones? Besides his whip, what was the only thing he risked his life for? His favorite hat.

How else will you cover you eyes on a plane, escape from the incorrigible sun at the equator, or hide crazy yoga hair during your travels?

Just make sure you choose one capable of withstanding being dropped, crunched and dusted off again to keep up with your journey.

It’s like your very own “WILSON” from the movie “Castaway.”

3. Jack of All Trades Scarf

When you’re on a walkabout, the uses of a jack-of-all-trades scarf are pretty much endless.

A shawl. A towel. A sling for market fruits. A cover up for entering temples and markets. A strap for your yoga practice. A sun protector. A new outfit. A dust protector. A pillow… (feel free to insert your own uses here)

Go for a scarf that is light, patterned and at least partially cotton, it will help you to hide the wear-and-tear during your explorations.

4. Essential: Essential Oils

Take along any scent, any fragrance, but choose one that makes you feel at home, wherever that roaming home may be. Whether a couch, an airport, a cave or a yurt, essential oils will help you endure the unique (and occasionally unpleasant) smells of wandering the world.

There are so many wonderful essential oils to choose from, including DōTerra in Eucalyptus.

If you douse your bag on the inside before your travels, it will slowly permeate all your clothes during your wandering.

5. One Fav Accessory

Yep, only one! See if you can pick just one favorite accessory for each trip. It may not be easy, especially for those who are used to traveling with an entire jewelry bag.

The best part is, you’ll end up with some amazing memories tied to that piece of jewelry. When you return home, every time you wear that necklace, ring, or bracelet, you’ll be transported back to your adventures. And remember, it’s a walkabout, you’re off to discover, and who knows what you’ll pick up along the way for your next adventure.

Rope the Moon Jewelry has some gorgeous wanderlust jewelry.

6. No-Nonsense Journal

You might not think you’re the “journaling” type but take one anyway.

When you finally escape the stress of life, the depth of your creativity may surprise you. Not only will it immortalize the sprinkled memories from your journey, but it will also remind you to reflect so that you’ll move forward with more direction and clarity.

Super Important: Find a pen that feels like it was actually meant to live in your hands to help inspire the transition from head to paper. Comfortable, smooth, easeful.

A Soulful Journal/Day Planner like The Desire Map Day Planner is a Map Day Planner that helps you uncover the potency of your visions and desires and offers mindful steps to bring those dreams into reality.

7. Comfy No BS Shoes

Sandals are great for the beach, they’re great for chillaxin’ and they’re great for letting the little piggies breathe, but they’re not always the best of airports, dirty traveler bathrooms, and busy train stations.

When your journey takes you to unexplored places, it never hurts to have a tried and true pair of leather or canvas footwear. Heels may be great for a night out, but wandering isn’t about being concerned with impressing others, it’s about exploring yourself, and for this, let those sexy Jimmy Choos have a vacation of their own at home. Don’t worry, they’ll be there when you return.

TOMS make some thoughtful, practical and incredibly comfy shoes and moccasins perfect for Walkabouts.

8. Obvi-a-Camera

This one is pretty obvious, but a nice camera will change your trip from a personal experience to a shared journey with your friends and family.

You don’t need a $5,000 snapper, but investing in a nice camera will be a purchase you’ll never regret.  If you’re wondering how you’re going to get these photos onto your favorite social media sites, check out Apple’s Camera Connection Kit.  It’s a small device (the size of an animal cracker) that allows you to transfer full-resolution photos & videos from your digital camera to your Ipad.  You can easily then edit and upload straight to your FB, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or other favorite site to share your adventures.

Skip the tripod, skip the bulky camera bag.

There are amazing small lightweight camera covers skins available and well worth the lighter explorer experience.

USA Gear’s makes a great light & rugged DuraNeoprene FlexArmor Sleeve Case.

9. Sweet Ambassador Candies

Remember how your parents told you not to take candy for strangers?

Well, that’s not always true when traveling.  Small wrapped candies are the #1 way to connect with the ‘lil locals and also a great way to simply bridge the gap of language barriers.

You may not be able to say “It is nice to meet you” but a small candy and smile are universal for saying just that.

When you’re traveling, it’s always important to remember that you may be a new and curious sight and your ambassadorship may change the way people forever perceive foreigners in their country or town.

Jolly Ranchers are one of the best since they don’t melt and are individually wrapped.

10. The 3 C’s

Your Confidence. Your Communication. Your Consciousness.

Explore. Wander.  Roam. Let your WILD SPIRIT FLY.

But always be confident, communicative and conscious.

Try to remain aware of your surroundings, let at least one person know where you’re staying, and wander with confidence.

Traveling light isn’t just about traveling without “stuff,” it’s about traveling light of heart and free in spirit, the only things that truly make for a memorable and soulful walkabout.

Travel Light. Travel Free. Just Travel.


Liz Corwin is a world-traveling teacher whose workshops, online videos, and social media inspirations nurture the basic human desires for adventure, curiosity and freedom. Her wandering-spirit and Walkabout-lifestyle drive her fresh and challenging flow sequences, perfect for those who want to expand and explore during their unique walkabout of life. Wander with her on Facebook & Instagram or visit

Liz is an ambassador for Kira Grace Yoga, The Give Back Yoga Foundation, Warriors For Healing, and Cover Model of Beryl Bender Birch’s new book “Yoga for Warriors” (free copies for military). As a former Navy F-18 pilot she is usually inverted on her mat and also offers Seva classes to military members.