I’ve been on the road for three months now, and it’s been… interesting. I’m kind of a homebody, and as much as I love to travel and see new places, it’s hard for me to be away from my flat, my friends, and my cats for too long. Change is scary for me; it sucks, but it’s the harsh reality. So I’ve learned over the past couple of years, through trial and error, some ways of making myself more comfortable when I’m on the road.
I hope these help you out or inspire you to think about what YOU need next time you go on the road!
1) My Own Pillow
Whether I’m in a van or a car, I CAN’T tour without bringing my own pillow. It’s such a necessity for me, to a point where I’ll bring it on all road trips that are gonna be longer than three or four hours. And it’s not just because I love sleeping in the car and have a habit of nodding off when we drive for a long time; I’m not a huge fan of using motel or hotel pillows if we’re lucky enough to be spending the night somewhere with four solid walls and a roof (not because of germs or cleanliness or anything, just because I like to have “the same feel” every night, and don’t wanna risk something too puffy or whatever), and camping without a pillow is just the pits. It’s also just nice to have something comfortable to lean against during long journeys.
2) Twining’s “Lemon & Ginger” Tea
It’s not throat coat, but this stuff has saved my arse more times than I care to recall. I actually prefer it to throat coat. Whenever I have a sore throat or am feeling a bit stuffed up, I’ll stop at a gas station and grab a cup of hot water, or fill one up at the motel/campsite, and have some of this stuff. It kinda burns on the throat in the best way, and it really helps clear me up and knit my throat back together when I need it.
3) Car Power Inverter
GAH. HOW DID WE EVER SURVIVE WITHOUT THESE!? The one I have is 100 watts, which apparently isn’t powerful enough for my hair straighteners but is perfect for my laptop and phone. Being able to use my laptop in the car has been awesome; I’m actually writing this blog post as we drive from Winnipeg, MB to Calgary, AB right now! Yay, thank you, power inverter!
4) A Scarf or Sleeping Mask
I’ve tried sleeping in the car with one, and without one, and the difference is really noticeable, to a point where I always make sure I have something to cover my eyes with whenever I’m planning to sleep while travelling. It makes it easier to a) get to sleep in the first place, and b) get back to sleep when you inevitably wake up at some point before you’re done snoozing. And although the quality of sleep you get when you do it in a moving vehicle is always pretty crappy, the eye coverage helps a bit. Because let’s face it, you’re gonna spend more time sleeping in the car than you want to on tour…
5) A Decent Supply of CDs or the Songza App
There is NOTHING more fun than radio station hopping when you’re on tour, because you find the most RANDOM stuff! We spent a lot of time listening to odd Christian channels and talk radio over the last month, mostly because it was so different from what we usually listen to and it was kinda amusing. But, especially when touring throughout Canada, there’s a lot of places that don’t get radio coverage, and the same four CDs you usually have in the car get old REAL fast. Definitely worth bringing a lot of extras.
6) A Razor and Shaving Gel
This… pretty much goes without saying, but I had to put it down anyway because it’s a big one for me, especially because my skin is quite sensitive. I need to be able to “scrub up” and feel super clean on tour, and that involves shaving whenever I get the chance to shower. It makes a big difference!
7) Comfy Socks or Slippers
When I’m in the car, I take my shoes off. Period, end of story, said and done. LOL! I can’t handle wearing my shoes in the car, mostly because I feel uncomfortable and unsettled, so warm socks or a pair of slippers might be super grannyish, but it keeps me feeling snug. <3
8) Stop-Itch, After-Bite, etc
Mosquitoes love to piss me off. This stuff has literally kept me sane all tour, because the bastards got to my ankles in Louisiana and the other southern states when we were camping, and the itchy aftermath has been driving me nuts, especially just before bed. I definitely make sure I’ve packed some of this before I leave home. Also, add Reactine or some other kind of non-drowsy allergy med to this, too – I don’t take it every day, but when I need it, I’m grateful to have it.
9) Battery Pack
It’s impossible to predict whether or not you’re going to be able to find a safe outlet to charge your phone in at a venue, and when you’re camping you don’t really have that option. So, when we were in Japan, we bought this battery pack that you charge up in the wall; it has a USB port, as well as micro USB and lightning plugs that go right into your smart phone. I love it, and now it always comes with me… because I’m a sucker with an iPhone and it has awful battery life. Le sigh.
10) And Lastly… Something From Home!
I bring Jasper, my bear, EVERYWHERE when I travel. Having a little something that reminds you of home, something you love that smells and feels familiar, helps keep the homesickness at bay at least a little bit. So as “lame” as it sounds, whatever it is that makes you think of home, take it with you. xxx