Our 8 Travel MUST haves…


I would like think that that this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to travelin. I felt like I have done a fair amount of traveling, but I am still learning new stuff about it every time we travel. Big trips out of South Korea or the small weekend trips exploring this beautiful country. Here is our compiled list of things we learned (sometimes the hard way) we won’t travel without.

#1. PLENTY of cash.

This seems like a no brainer, right? BUT how do you know how much money to carry when traveling? We didn’t want to carry a massive wad of cash in case it got stolen. We already feel like walking targets since we stick out incredibly. Tom and I also completely take for granted the massive amount of ATM’S here in Korea. We have it so easy when we need to take money out. Go a few blocks and you’ll find an ATM. Most of the time you can even find your specific bank. We had grown so accustomed to easy ATM access. WELL, panic set in a little when we were shocked to find out that an ATM was no where within 10 miles- and it was known to not have “money” most of the time… we were forced with no other choice, but to take a taxi even further in search of a workable ATM. Let’s just say after many failed attemps the ATM decided to spit out some moola at us. Just in the knick of time as we didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay the taxi driver for the ride out to the ATM, and we owed our accomodation facility some dough. WHEW! It was a close call that we won’t take again. SO, lesson learned. More cash.

Malaysian currency.
photo from stockpro.com

#2. Hiking shoes.

We love hiking. We love staying active. I forsee many more incredible summits in our future whether in Korea or out our hiking shoes are a definite travel MUST have.


#3. My E-reader.

I can’t tell you how much I love reading. When Tom bought me the Barnes and Noble E-reader (the Nook Color) as a gift it was love at first sight 😉 I had almost ANY book I wanted right at my finger tips. I love it for traveling as I am often reading more than one book at a time, and it is compact/lightweight. This past trip I finished the book The Boy In The Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and The Fault In Our Stars  by John Green (loved them both!) Currently reading: A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving.

photo from engadget.com

#4. Toilet paper!

So.Yeah. This one. I should have known since many places in Korea there is none. BUT how annoying is it to pack a roll of toilet paper when you have limited space in your backpack? Next time, small tissue packs will do..please and thank ya.


Finding hand soap in Malaysia was just about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Again, shouldn’t have been a surprise. For a gal who wears contacts which requires touching my eyes to take the contacts in and out… let’s just leave it at- hand soap is a must have for all the contact wearers’ of the world. 

#6.Our awesome (and new!) backpacks. We are totally official backpackers. They are the real deal.

Here is Tom’s:

Tom's new hiking backpack- name TBD

Tom’s new hiking backpack- name TBD

Mine is very similar only smaller and it’s red. Her name is Rosita.

#7. Plastic Bags

One of my favorite things we travel with AND oh so amazingly handy. For wet clothes, stinky clothes, to keep things dry like our cell phones or a map, to store bathroom cosmetics. Seriously, amazing. Tom thought of this one. We had and used quite a number of them this past trip. It’s important to note that we don’t buy new ones we save bags/reuse bags.


Again sounds simple. This one we learned the hard way. There was no small shop in sight when we got to the river for our safari. We learned that our last safari trip on the river would be one where we would have a non working camera since our nikon runs on 4 double A batteries. SHOOT! I told myself that we would never be “those people” who ran out of batteries on a trip. Luckily, we met a Malaysia native who was on a business trip, and she SO kindly gave us her spare batteries. She mentioned she could go buy more later. After thanking her over and over we made a mental note to always have a spare set or two of batteries. I am so glad we found her because the next safari Tom spotted the wild orangutans!!!!

photo from drivesouthafrica.co.nz

What are your travel must haves? Do you travel with plastic bags too or are we just that weird?!

About Elicia Shepard

I'm unique just like you. I've learned every person has a story which makes us who we are. One minute I am here..then I am gone. Discovering unknown places and people is an addiction I am proud of and will be an endless journey of mine. Smiling is not a pastime it's what I do. I live for moments that take my breath away. Falling in love is the greatest feeling-and the biggest risk. I thrive off of risks.Challenges. Adrenaline rushes. Making others smile. Art is all around and in ourselves. I love taking an unknown path not knowing where it'll lead. Mystery is beautiful. Compassion, kindness, and love- things I will always strive for. Know what you believe in. Stand up for it. Never be afraid to feel. Time waits for no one.Ever. Children inspire me. God fires me. Happiness is being with those you love.I am really blessed. I think God is love and forgiveness and I think he wants us to be good people and love EVERYONE. Figure out who you are and what that means to you-It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (and you deserve it.) Live frugally on surprise. Breathe. Be who you are. Be an outcast...If you wanna find me I will be where the wind blows...Wherever that may take me.

6 responses »

  1. I totally agree!! I would add band-aids, gravol, and tylenol to the list. You just never know when a random blister or a rocky bus ride comes around with no pharmacy in sight.

    • AH! Hand Sanitizer. I miss that… I can’t find it in Korea…especially not the really good smelling stuff that we find in the states. Our water bottles (which I didn’t include on the list) we do usually take.. I brought my nalgene from the states, but I sometimes forget it when packing for trips. I love filling it up with water and not having to buy bottled water 🙂 AND the almonds. That is perfect. We have also been trying to bring along small healthy snacks so we don’t need to spend money and eat unhealthy while traveling although man it can be so easy to eat “fast food” while traveling.

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