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Non-Essential Travel Essentials

Story by The Travel Yogi

Posted: March 11, 2019

Packing light is an art form and we salute anyone who achieves it (we try but don’t always succeed…ha). But, if you’re clever enough to have extra space, why not throw in a few nice-to-haves beside the need-to-haves? We know you each have your own version of this list, but we wanted to share our picks to help make your trip just a little more lux.

A Good Book

Whether it’s downtime, beach time, or time in transit, having something to read can be a lifesaver. Bring the old fashioned real thing or an e-reader and you can carry the equivalent of a small town library in your pocket (the TTY office is split on preference). If you somehow forget this nonessential essential, many hotels and cafes have take-a-book-leave-a-book shelves. These are often treasure troves of the greatest pulp novels ever written — where else can you find a first edition of Vampire Lovers of Atlantis? 

Panama yoga retreat


Depending on who you ask, these might belong on the essential list. Earbuds take up basically zero space and are your best friend when you’re dealing with jet lag. Just don’t forget to download a few albums for offline listening so you’ll be covered regardless of the wifi situation. If you’re a light sleeper, try white noise to help deal with an unfamiliar soundscape. Or snag a few choice ambient albums — Brian Eno’s Music for Airports is a classic of the genre that can put the most caffeinated traveller in a deep doze.

Inflatable Neck Pillow

Once you’re out of your early twenties, the joys of sleeping with your face mashed against the plane window begin to fade. Our Iceland yoga retreat adventure is the perfect example… red eyes are rough! You could ball up your sweater if you’re being spartan about it, but inflatable travel pillows are an easier way to avoid a kink in the neck upon arrival. Plus, they come in uber cute animal shapes...ha!

Tea Bags

Tea drinkers know what this one’s about. While some destinations even the scales, coffee drinkers are generally better served than those who just want a nice cup of orange pekoe or a gentle green. Bringing a small stash means you won’t be stuck with whatever anemic blend your server finds on the high, dusty shelf.  Unless, of course, you're headed out on our yoga retreat Sri Lanka... then we've got you all covered.

Yoga retreat Sri Lanka

Day Pack

Sure, you could empty the contents of your carry-on onto the nightstand to lighten the load, but it’s easier just to have an extra daypack that folds up small. That way you’ll be covered when you need to bring a water bottle or pick up a few souvenirs.

Bringing A Little Good From Home

On your travels with us you should know you’re doing good for others while doing right by yourself, body and mind. Each year we fund a scholarship for a local girl on the Galapagos Islands to attend the Tomas de Berlanga school on Santa Cruz. This is funded not just by those attending a 'yoga retreat Galapagos', but by all of our traveling yogis. On top of that, we have our fundraising trips with Susan G. Komen® for 2019 and 2020.

However, sometimes we’re able to supply a list of things that you could bring for the locals. That said, requests from our team on the ground are generally the best way to go; our ideas of what is needed in Ecuador or Cambodia is generally very different than what is actually helpful.

Sense of Adventure

This one means different things to different people, but it, actually, belongs on the essential list if you’re going to get the most out of your yoga retreat adventure (we jotted it down here for good measure). It might be a willingness to go out on a limb in a second language, or try a dish outside your culinary comfort zone. To push your boundaries with a challenging stretch of whitewater, or expand your social horizons and make new friends. Whatever the interpretation, it’s guaranteed to help make more lasting memories than anything in your checked baggage — so much so you might find yourself incorporating it when get back home as well.

Bhutan Yoga Retreat