20 Travel Essentials to Pack : I come with baggage.  Like whoa. 

You never really realize how boring your life is until someone asks what you do for fun.  Basically, my idea of fun is when someone else makes my bed.  The end.

Crisp White Bed Sheets + Hotel bed =  See you never.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton

I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought about running away way more often as an adult, than I ever did as a kid.

My advice: Just book a ticket and just leave.

Adventuring to different places somehow makes your big ass problems seem way freaking smaller.

Michaels cancer is my ticket to crazy-ville at times.


m i c h a e l     u p d a t e

For a guy with leptomeningeal metastasis (saying that word is like singing koombaya with a mouth full of marbles while doing trust falls off the edge of a cliff)  his feet are above the daisies, so therefore life is GOOD!  Michael takes three oral chemo tablets every day and does have symptoms of disease progression.  Buy hey.  Daisies, man.  Daisies.  He has numbness in his feet, chin, teeth and mouth. His body involuntarily moves in jerk-like movements throughout the night when he’s sleeping.  Do you ever jerk/bolt just as you are falling asleep?  THAT.

It’s like sleeping beside a lightening bolt.

So. We run away sometimes. We re-think our feelings about life and re-feel our thinkings.  Or something like that.

Traveling is our way of swinging at cancer like a southern church lady swings her purse, wearing her Sunday best.

We like to call our vaycays #BucketListFucketList trips

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton

Michael and I actually went away for 5 weeks. Erhmergerd, right?!  You can see it here on my instagram (and dudette, follow me on insta… because I keep shit realer than a documentary.)

Truth is, the vaycay was kickass and scary all at once. There were times when I wrote to the oncologist because Michaels symptoms became worrisome. I was afraid we’d have to put a halt to the vaycay and come home. There were FEARS.  Real cancer fears. Fancy meeting you here, old friend.  NOT.  Cancer is like a hangover… you just can’t escape it sometimes.

ohhh  no

I bet you thought my lack of posting was because I was sitting around eating bonbons. Well, you’re kinda right. I have nothing against bonbons.  I do have something against the cost of vacations.

h o l y    b a t m a n

I discovered that I have champagne taste and soda pop pocketbook.

I swear, I’m a week away from being a greeter.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton

The good news is, we learned a few juicy things along the way. Like where to find the best tacos and helloooooo……your suitcase is LIFE when you are on the road.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton

{ what we put in our travel suitcase }

Brace yo’ self.  This is going to be juicy.

I feel like people who look presentable on a plane and can keep their luggage under 50 pounds, really have their lives together. I‘m not one of those people. Judge me.


BOTTLE OPENER.  There’s a reason why sober and bored sound exactly the same.


Packing cubes. I discovered travel cubes this year and beeeteeeedoubleU, AMAZE.  You can put your pants in one, tees in another, knickers in another, shoes in another, just everything. We bought these black packing cubes for Michael and these pink ones for me.  They even make dirty laundry look good.  Like that can happen. It totally happened.


Night light.  I love carrying a night light so I won’t face plant the hotel bathroom wall in the middle of the night.  Plus, the boogie man.  I usually buy inexpensive ones because I’m a dork and always often forget them in the hotel room.


Travel candles. Okay, they are probably illegal, and I’ll likely set off a hotel sprinkler some day, but candles are my happy place. Don’t forget the lighter.  I never forget it.  I always forget it.


Essential oil. Here’s my fave DIY homemade spray.  I take it with me wherever I go.  It’s triple duty stuff.  I spray the pillows, the room, my body, my hair, the corners of the universe. One bottle. 4398574539087 uses.


We also travel with my DIY essential oil toilet spray, because ewwwwwh.  Small hotel room + smelly bathroom = me no likey.  Your nostrils and life will thank me later.


Face cream.  Why is it that traveling makes your face feel like it’s 32984797 years old and a shrivelled prune?!  This face cream will hide the fact that you look like you hadn’t slept for 109 hours.  I’ve been using this cream for a year now and the night time one is my all time fave.


Coffee Bodum.  It’s very badassery.  Most hotels have a kettle and WOW is it ever kickass to brew your fave coffee in a delish way.  We always travel with a bodum for staycations, like One King West <<<<— Our fave hotel in Toronto.  Yes, I screamed that!

One King West rooms have a washer/dryer and a kitchenette and helllloooooo coffee.  We live a few hours outside of Toronto, so it is our home away from home when we travel to the city for Michaels oncology appointments.  The rooms have wrap around windows with views of the city for f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

PS. here’s a new page on my blog with all my fave hotel stays!


Sleep aids on airplanes.   I’ll do almost anything to fall asleep on a plane.   I’ve tried Gravol, Melatonin and everything under the sun.  PS. Don’t take too many of these.  The last time I did that, I put my head in the macaroni and Michael had to pick it up.


Pocket wifi.  We bought this TEPPY for portable wifi.   It worked in every country we traveled to (except New Zealand) but I figured that it was the universe telling me that I needed to unplug my face from my phone  ( I wrote about that here on my insta)

We bought the Teppy device so we could own it outright and use it anytime.  In addition, we paid $8 per day for data usage.  As an alternative, you can rent Teppy for $8.95 a day. We freaking loved it.  Having wifi and not paying roaming charges is d’bomb diggity. We just used the wifi as we normally do, and only for our phones.


Portable phone charger. Because Michael’s energy is so magnifying – he drains his phone every 12 seconds. ???? I find it’s worth it to spend a bit more moola on a quality charger.  We loved ours!


Pack an eye mask!  Because hello. Some things can not be unseen.


This luggage.  Heaven on wheels.  We bought the Samsonite Winfield because helllooooo awesome.  We ( mostly ME, because Michael doesn’t care about these wonders of the world LOL)  felt like Elvis Presley with patent leather shoes.


Walking shoes. Okay, I know I should probably be wearing some old lady shoes to be super practical. But hey.  I’m not ready for granny panties and old geezer shoes yet.  I wore these boot shoes pretty much 24/7.  They were a great price and I could wear them in hot and cool climates. LURVE.


These jackets.  Erhmergerd.  They are life.  They pack down to almost nothing in a rolly polly (basically the pocket) and we lived in them.    This is the jacket we bought for Michael and this is the Roots jacket that we bought for moi.  Fave thing ever.  LIFE.  Ugh.  So good.  I’m dead.


Turkish towels …they are lightweight, versatile AND great as an extra towel, sarong, scarf or blanket.  It’s makes your hotel room feel like home, and PS. one can never have too many blankets on an airplane.  You never know when you may need to hide from people (like, always)   These are my faves .  A Turkish towel pretty much solves everything.  Therefore, I own a million of them. At home, I use them for tablecloths and curtains.  D’bomb diggity.


Not exaggerating.  Our Pacsafe backpacks were l.i.f.e.s.a.v.e.r.s.  It was so great to not have to wheel around an extra piece of carry on luggage.  We bought this small one for me and a larger one for Michael. Faboosh for laptops, camera, passport and important things like liquorice…..and wine…and other unmentionables.


This thing.  We used it every.single.day.   So good.   Couldn’t have survived without it.


Lint brush – because, otherwise… I always seem to look like I rolled on a cat.


I saved this one for last, because I didn’t want you to think that I was a total weirdo.  A silk pillowcase.  It literally feels like heaven on your head.  Plus, I don’t want hotel cooties.  For some unreal reason I feel cleaner having my own pillowcase over a hotel pillowcase.  Plus, your hair doesn’t look like as much of a hot mess when you wake up.  I used the same pillowcase to stuff my fave fluffy jacket in it, and used it as an airplane pillow. Because hello.  Airplane cooties.

s h o p   m y   t r a v e l   f a v e s

Shop all my travel faves in one spot HERE…..what I bought and what I’m swooning after.  Oh. La. La.

PS. I need a travel consultant. Not for consulting, but rather someone to follow me around and slap unhealthy foods out of my hand. 

Now tell me all your travel secrets.   Ones where I can go to a beach with my white pasty legs.

P.S.s…     Why do we have to shave our legs so often on holidays?!

PS.s.s.S.  Why aren’t hairy anklets socially acceptable?

PS. S.ss.  My legs are still whiter than my teeth and I have $12 left in my bank account.

ME:  I really want to travel

MY BANK ACCOUNT:  Like…. to the backyard?



TRAVEL ESSENTIALS : Find out what I love to pack when I travel. I've got baggage. Like whoa! Read more on DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE by Lynne Knowlton

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Great post. I am one of those people who always forget some of the things while packing for a trip. One thing which I never forget is my handbag which has my phone, wallet, hand sanitizer, and my house keys. But, now I am not going to forget anything when packing and I’ll make a checklist of all the things you have mentioned. Thanks for sharing.


Hi Lynne!
Just wanted to tell you I find you inspirational! You’re a bit like crack, I have to check on what your up to frequently! You bring laughter into my life as well as perspective! I have made your blankets and baked your bread. Now I’m travelling with you and your ideas! Thank you for that! I hope you and Michael continue to kick Cancer’s Ass! My prayers for your family!

I love your blog and website…hopefully I will knit those blankets….all of these comfy home ideas
is what I love BUT most important are my wishes for Michael to get well and enjoy the beautiful
world you both share…….God Bless.

Lorraine Lorenzo

Fiona Watson

I so get what you say about the empty bank balance. But still I smiled reading through all your sentences. Thank you for your words! Generally I try to be upbeat about most things, but sometimes it is incredibly hard to keep up the outward demeanour. At night especially, before the pain relief kicks in, when I’m so dog tired I can’t sleep, I read – lots. I flit through many subjects, some I’m interested in others I’m not. But only some of them I go back to again & again.. You are one of them. So thank you again!… Read more »


My Pacsafe has gone from home to the UK to Hawai’i! Awesome sauce! Live to travel with it.


Congratulations…you’re my first. I have never ‘blogged’ before. I often consider it, but then decide it is too much work. I am dyslexic so reading and writing is time consuming and time is limited to say the least. When you write … stupidly … people read what you say as stupid, so I seldom bother. after reading the many comments of support and concern for you and Michael, I was compelled to write to let you and your followers know that it does make a difference. One is forced to ponder the seriousness of their complaints in life when you… Read more »


Breathrights!…otherise you won’t need the silk pillowcase, the eye mask or the sleeping pills….yes, it is that bad.


I can’t travel without this phone mount for the rental car: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PGJWYJ0
And a USB adapter to charge my phone: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00MA8JZ10

My husband claims I’m a terrible navigator. The phone mount might just have saved our marriage.

I noticed that you have several dry shampoos in your travel favs. I love the Living Proof one, but my coworkers complain about the smell. Which one would you recommend instead?

Shirley Sutherland

Hi, Lynne! I’m saving this blog for my next trip. Lots of great ideas!


Hi Lynne… Nice to hear from you! I love your posts, as well. Take good care!

Jennifer Savage

LOVE YOUR POSTS! Just sayin’. Anyway, been to Florence? If not, you must go! The Hotel Rosery Garden(preferably the Sultane Rose room~has a balcony;) The owner, Monica is a doll & the croissants are flippin’ delicious…and out in the sitting room at night???? Deal on Travelocity for free hotel w/paid airfare so extending my trip for 3 days saved $ since airfare was cheaper later & there was no charge for extra nights at the hotel! Day trip to Cinque Terre with the student travel group(less talking, more free time & much cheaper)Smart trip is a must. September was perfect,… Read more »


I love all your packing tips – going to check out the PacSafe bag for sure. The bag I’ve been using is too big and not structured enough so I keep losing stuff in it! I have a trip to Italy planned in July so seems that would be handy.
Your trip sounds amazing and I’m so inspired by your #bucketlistfuckitlist. Travel is an amazing tonic. Thank you for sharing!!

I have to chuckle a bit when people tell me/write about ‘travel essentials.’ My family didn’t travel – ranchers. My husband taught me to travel his way, by motorcycle, and in the early days when I was a back seat bunny (much younger, skinnier and in lust), I was allowed one saddle bag for my stuff. ONE. I ride my own bike now and can still go on a two-week road trip wherein all my personal stuff can fit into a tote bag. Even go on overseas trips with one carry-on. It’s a lifestyle after 35 years. The Husband used… Read more »


Brenda…I suggested my husband travel with his worn clothes and old underwear so he could abandon them along the way. One hotel shipped them back to us……I could have bought a river cruise for what I was billed for postage. So, make sure you toss them in a remote location; dark alley with no cameras :).

Welcome back! My top travel tip (when flying in the US) is to always carry SECURITY SOCKS. These are just an extra pair of socks you put on your feet (or over your *actual* socks) before they make you take off your shoes to walk through the X-ray box. Your “security socks” will protect your feet from AIRPORT COOTIES spread by the dirty naked feet of half the world’s travelers. Obviously, remember to take those socks off before putting your shoes back on. Coveting your Roots coat, but they’re sold out. It’s just as well; I live in the desert.… Read more »

Teresa Davis

It’s so good to hear from you, I always enjoy your words, you always make me laugh, I can count on it!!! I am sorry to hear about your troubles. I know that you are facing all of this with as much laughter as you can muster, which I believe is our secret weapon against any thing that comes against us I have not been commenting at all, because I’ve been tied up with my sweet Mom having a stroke a few months ago and my little sister has entered the phase of hospice care. I’m looking forward to hearing… Read more »

Julie Cauthron

LOVE YOU, YOUR FUNNY WAYS AND THE PICS!!! So glad you’re back and hubby is with you..


Whew! So glad to hear from you! Had me worried there! Kind of like texting & calling my youngest & not getting an answer for hours (ok, sometimes it’s only 30 minutes, but still). At least with her I can go bang on her door & ask hey, why you don’t call your mama? Anyway, I’m glad you’re back and you guys really deserve the vacation! Sorry to read you had some troubles along the way, happy to read Michael’s still with us! Missed you!

Wendy Crowley

So good to hear from you!! Missed your humor and pics! How far is your treehouse from Ottawa?


Lynne, you always make me smile. You are so incredibly witty and your style is cleverly refreshing. thank you for sharing all that you do….

I read this saying yesterday and loved it… (probs not verbatim…but here goes:)

“There are only two days on which you cannot do a thing…
Yesterday and tomorrow.”

…one day at a time LK…one day at a time. .

Hugs- penn

p.s. F*#k cancer!!!


You two are beautiful. And incredible. I’m happy you are experiencing some good along with the not so good. I have to admit that traveling was never a priority for me, but I have recently become single and it’s kind of all I want to do now. I still can’t afford to go too far, but I’m turning 60 in March, (yikes) and am celebrating in Vegas with some of my bests! Next on my bucket list is New Orleans, and then who knows…For my travel essentials, I have been hearing a lot about that silk pillowcase, and maybe a… Read more »

Elizabeth Anthony Nestor

Honey! So glad to hear from you because … for all the reasons, and especially, very especially, daisies. Travels are balm of the soul, and even though I only got to “item 3 nightlight” before life interfered, i can’t tell you how much love has been and continues to be sent your way via the vibes. We cherish you and your pack. Take care of youses. Xoxo

P.s. Barry’s tea bags. Because DH is Irish and Tetley’s just doesn’t cut it.

Sue LaFranchise

While I’m not a huge traveler, you had some great tips!

But the thing I’m happiest about is that Michael is above the daisies. (Sorry about his difficult symptoms though).

Rachel Brown

Loved reading your update. Amazing pics on your fucketbucket list. Send lots of ❤️And thanks for the travel tips. I checked out each link ????


Funny and unexpected stuff…luv luv luv❤️❤️❤️

Jacqueline Webster

I love 1 King West!!! Had our Christmas dinner there with friends ( all of us are empty nesters)! Also love my Roots jacket so easy to pack for travel, I use it as my pillow on the plane! Your idea of the Turkish towel is awesome! Gonna get me some and great gift idea too! Even though I live in cottage country ( Muskoka) a vacation is always on the horizon. The need to get away from everyday life for awhile and stretch your wings is necessary!! Praying for Michael and you as you navigate life!

My comment is too long?

Try to be more concise?

Go back and try again?


Seriously I was waxing eloquent and I was denied.

Now what?


So glad to hear from you….I, too, thought bad things when no more blogs from you for so long. You always put grins on my face. Down here in Texas is a lot better now that you’ve sent your smilin’ rays our way. Hugs and happiness are a galloping your way.

Bette Gardin

Love you Lynne. Bette

Mable McCrary

Relax…Itz all good. Glad to hear from you again I’m not much of a commentor…more of a stalker reader.

Lynne so great to read your blog again, traveling is da bomb for sure! You hit many of the best trip tops, just reading your blog makes me want to book a trip to my next top world destination…New Zealand, I have NZ on the brain, it’s on the dream board, which means its only a matter of time. What got me started was the wine, sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough Region (tip of South Island), I mean spectacular! I have sampled over 30 varietals from the LCBO and they are so amazing! Try Cloudy Bay, Whitehaven, Stoneleigh, White Cliff… Read more »

Christine Todd

Lynne, your timing is always spot on. I was having one of those are-you-friggin-kidding-me days. CO alarm went off which sent all 3 cats in directions of safe hiding and me rushing around to get out with them while hubby runs to Canadian Tire for new CO alarms. (eye roll). Two hours later the all clear and I am ready for tequila and lime. Instead, I check my email to find a blog post from you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The stress rolled off my shoulders, as I began to plan a getaway through your eyes. Then you… Read more »

Hi Lynne – Your photography is just amazing. Its always a pleasure to read your blog. – Jennie

Thomas K Tinney

Awesome Lynne! Have a great day! Thomas K Tinney, Cleveland, Ohio-1-27-2018.

Janice Faulk

Oh, soooooo glad to hear from you! Worried that your dear husband was maybe not doing so well and you had no heart for blogging anymore. Funny, I don’t know you, but I know you….neat blog and you usually hit the old nail on the head for me! Keep it up and stay positive…ha, that’s coming from a really negative questionable soul!!

Terry B.

Mwah! Thank you. And thanks for posting today–the longer you were quiet the more my mind conjured evil, sad things. So glad to learn you’ve been traveling together!

You’re so smart. Thanks for giving us all courage. And great links!

Lisa Mills

Fab post, Lynne. I have found THE way to stay somewhere for FREE (providing you want to stay in a chateau in France or a Georgian mansion in Ireland. Trusted housesitters.com It’s da bomb!!! I’ve just spent a month in France eating my way to a bigger size of stretchy pants – yes, it’s possible. Am now ensconced in a beeee-uuuuu-teeeee-ful Georgian ‘country house (read small mansion on 100 acres) in rural Ireland. Both places included a car. Downside? Not one although part of the deal is you have to feed and walk the critters. Otherwise, grab the sat/nav and… Read more »

Elizabeth Anthony Nestor

Ooooh! Out of mercenary personal curiosity, where might your pet rural Irish Georgian mansion be located? If the locality’s TMI,, could you divulge the county? My Hubby’s from Mayo and I’m always on the hunt for new ways to spend more time there. Thanks for the tip, and enjoy!

Lisa Mills

I’m in Meath, just North of Dublin. Check the website out – definitely worth keeping an eye on!!

Hi Lynne – what an amazing post! I love all the humor, and so many goodies – like Teppy, who knew? What a great idea! By the way, you had me at “Emotionlite pack of 4 Nightlight”. Needless to say that I “favorited” nearly everything in this blog. Prayers for you and the family… xxoo Dawn

Man. You even make a big ol’ concrete city look purdy in your photos!! Thanks for the travel tips! xox

Ah, my deal SIL, you sent me down many rabbit holes with the post! Love all your tips but what I really want to know is all about the adventures you had on your 5-week journey. You and Michael are always on my mind. We need to have a catch up call soon. xoxo Luv you!


Thank You for making me smile as I read your humorous-sarcastic-honest words and took in your beautiful photos.

Liberty Frederick

Let’s face it, we have seen your backyard and most of us would kill (or at least maim) to take a trip to your backyard. Don’t knock it.

Michael Knowlton

I will travel with you anywhere, anytime. I’ll even carry your bags. lol.


Always love the photography in your blog posts Lynne! Beautiful!


I was soooo freakin happy to see you in my inbox just now. As always you’re killing me with your humour. I looovvve it. Sending love and light for you and Michael. Keep traveling and keep on keeping it real!


What a frign fabulous post/blog. !!!! Love love love your pics
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Miss you doll


I just thought this blog post was great!!! I use small bags to separate all my clothes too….but not as sexy looking as your bags. Im going to get those. And Teppy. We’re absolutely getting that!!! We take our Roots blanket everywhere now :o) (My new suck blanket) Travelling tips….hummm Don’t drink chocolate martinis on an empty stomach. haha oh ya….those ‘suck the air out’ bags are fantastic too. Squish your clothes down to the size of a peanut. ps.
I love travelling too…..xxoo


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