Traveling and yoga is a combination of two magical experiences. To maximize your enjoyment of Bird of Paradise in paradise, consider packing these yoga travel gear essentials. What you need varies based on the location, types of excursions, duration of trip, and other factors, so consider those special things as well.
1. Travel Yoga Mat
Above all, ensure that the yoga mat you bring is made for travel. I cannot stress this enough. I made the mistake of buying a new mat while I was in the States before returning to Costa Rica for a few months. I bought a Manduka Pro mat, which is great – if you’re not traveling! Their website says it weighs 9 pounds, but it feels like 20 when you’re lugging it around from the studio to the hotel or if you’re hiking. If mats aren’t provided where you’re going, buy a nice mat that is made for travel, which will be light and can be folded up to be put into a backpack. The weight of the mat should be available on-line. If there are mats provided but you don’t like the idea of a used mat, you might consider buying a mat that is slip-resistant but extremely thin that you can put on top of the mats provided.
2. Camping backpack
Invest in one of those cool camping backpacks that hikers use. They typically have many pockets and compartments and can fit everything you will need. The weight is distributed so it makes it easier and lighter to carry your things around. They typically have padded straps, straps to connect around your torso, a solid board in the back so it holds its shape, and more cool features that make traveling more enjoyable. It will also encourage you to pack less, and only what you can manage to carry on your own (which is always a good thing, trust me). If you bring a suitcase, it might get damaged. Plus, rolling a suitcase in dirt or sand is not feasible in most instances. You’ll end up trying to lug your suitcase or duffel bag up stairs or hills with the awkward handles, straining your body, and you’ll remember this article and wish you’d heeded my advice.
3. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
It’s important to protect your skin! Getting a bad burn when traveling is a sure way to have a lame trip. Sunburns happen in cold locations as well as warm locations (you’re just as susceptible to sunburn when snowboarding as you are when surfing!) so don’t think that you won’t need it just because you’re not going to be on the beach. Sunscreen is expensive to purchase in many tourist destinations and finding an organic, all-natural brand can be difficult. Don’t settle for chemicals and skin damage – do yourself a favor and bring along a quality sunscreen (in 3 oz. bottles, of course!). If you burn easily, consider packing a travel-size Aloe Vera as well. Most people have a hat and sunglasses, so bring them along instead of having to spend money abroad on something you have at home.
4. Reusable Water Bottle
It drives me crazy how many people I see using plastic bottles while traveling. You have to stay hydrated, so prepare ahead and be eco-friendly! Bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill with drinking water instead of having to spend money on overpriced and wasteful plastic water bottles. You’ll be happy you did. If you’re staying in a hotel for a few days, you can buy one of the large jugs of water to keep in your room and fill your smaller bottle there, and then take the jug back to be recycled when you leave. It’s important to respect the environment even when (especially when) we’re traveling.
5. Multi-purpose towel
Many of the yoga mat towels can be used as a beach or shower towel as well. Bring one or a few to use during your trip for anything you might need it for. They’re lightweight, they don’t take up as much room as a regular towel, and they dry quickly.
Some other items you might consider
If you want to travel abroad, this is a necessity. Even if you don’t have a trip planned yet but what to start traveling, start by getting your passport. It can be a long and confusing process for some if you don’t have experience with it, so give yourself a head start. That way, when your dream retreat comes around, you’ll be ready to go!
7 . Bikini/Swimsuit
Duh! I never go anywhere without a bikini. Oceans, pools, hot tubs, saunas, hot springs, waterfalls… you never know what will cross your path.
8. Power foods
Nuts, protein bars, protein powders, peanut or almond butter packets… anything you love that will sustain you on the go.
I’m a huge fan of sarongs. Bringing a sarong is great because it's light and is so multi-functional. Use it as a dress, use it as a skirt, use it as a shirt, use it as a blanket on the plane, use it to sit on at the beach, use it as a shawl, use it to wrap your stuff up for a make-shift purse… you get the idea.
10. Travel size castile soap
If you don’t have access to laundry services, bring some castile soap along to wash some clothes you might need to wear again. It’s safe for the environment and you can also use it on your face, body, and hair, your hands, dishes in the hotel room, and more.
11. Hiking/ Water shoes
I bought a pair of shoes that I can hike with as well as get wet, and it was a great investment! If your trip includes excursions, they’re good to have because they’re built light, airy, durable, and you won’t have to walk around with wet, soggy shoes if you, say, hike into a waterfall!
What are your Yoga Essentials on the go?
Image via: @saitomotomo