As we prepare for our next 3 month adventure, we find ourselves reflecting back on the last time we traveled. Not just about the wonderful memories we shared but also about the gear we brought with us. We did a pretty good job the first time but now, with a little experience under our belts, we want to do it smarter. A few months ago Samantha discovered a store on a trip to California that has really impressed us with their products, not just for traveling but for everyday use as well. Clothing, electronics, stationary and travel gear are among the many things they offer. The store is from Japan and its called MUJI and now we can't walk past one anywhere in the world without going in. They pride themselves on simplicity and functionality through complexity of thought and design. Their products are no-frills and modest and have been designed to appeal to as wide of a group of people as possible. With minimal branding, sleek styling and muted colors, MUJI's products are perfect for those of us who just want their stuff to work well and not cost a lot. With locations in New York and California in the States and throughout Europe and Asia hopefully there is one near you. They also have an online store for those of us unlucky enough to not live close to one. On this next trip, we will be filling our bags with a couple of their products and we suggest you do the same. Here's what we are bringing with us this trip:
Welder Raincoat Freecut. There were a couple times during our last trip when the weather tried to keep us indoors. When you are only staying in a certain city for a couple days, there is no time to waste. Rain or shine we were going out to explore and we definitely could have used a couple of these on multiple occasions. The unique feature of this product is that you can trim the raincoat to the length you like. Dotted lines along the hem and sleeves makes it easy to self-tailor it to fit you perfectly. It also folds into a small carrying pouch so it doesn't take up much space. These are definitely better to have and not need than to need and not have. On this trip, we will have two.
Tag Tools. Everyone has a identification tag on their luggage. It helps you locate your bag if it gets lost or stolen and helps ensure you grab the correct bag at the airport baggage claim. The people at MUJI believe that your luggage tag can do more. Combining your standard i.d. tag with handy tools like a compass, magnifying glass, tape measure, mirror, LED light or even a pedometer helps you save room in your bag and makes your next trip just a bit easier. Ill be bringing the compass with me on my carry-on bag and the LED light on my backpack. The compass will help us navigate new cities without having to walk around with a map or a phone in our hand and a light always comes in handy.
The above items are coming on the road with us for the first time where as the items below came with us on our last trip. We each carry a small notebook with us at all times to jot down notes, directions and anything else we can think of. These notebooks have helped us so many times its hard to imagine going anywhere without them. The travel containers are great for shampoo, suntan lotion and makeup (for my wife, not myself). They are TSA compliant so you can bringing them in your carry-on and they are durable enough so refill over and over. You can even use a marker to write on them so you don't confuse your wife's face lotion with your athletes foot cream. The alarm clock is a great item to have with you for piece of mind. No matter how many times you check the alarm clock in your hotel room, there will be times when it doesn't go off when you want it to. For a couple dollars, you will sleep more soundly knowing you have multiple alarms set. Nobody likes waking up throughout the night fearing you missed your alarm.