Between flights, food, accommodations, and transportation, the cost of travel really adds up. So in an attempt to help out other budget-conscious travelers, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite travel essentials that I get from Trader Joe’s. You really do get the best value, given their commitment to providing affordable products at good quality. And with the money you’ll save from buying pricier items, you can put that towards splurging abroad without feeling guilty about it later.
Here are the 8 essentials from Trader Joe’s that I always travel with:
Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30
Sunscreens typically take up a lot of space, smell weird, and are prone to leaking if you don’t pack them carefully. Plus, most conventional sunscreens contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. This particular one from TJ’s is made with zinc oxide, so it’s safe for both your skin and body. Its packaging is perfect – portable enough to take anywhere and you never have to worry about liquid spills. Just rub on your face, neck, shoulders, etc for broad spectrum coverage. Keep in mind that since this sunscreen is zinc oxide-based, it goes on white at first so expect to blend it in thoroughly.
Green Tea Infused Mints
These mints don’t have artificial sugars that most have these days (instead it is appropriately sweetened with real cane sugar and honey). They also contain organic matcha green tea – the highest quality of green tea to get the most antioxidants. With a smooth minty flavor from pure peppermint oil and a perfectly sized 1 ounce tin, these mints travel well and are great for sharing!
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Packs
Coconut oil is one of those all-purpose panaceas of the modern world. You can use them to moisturize your skin, condition your hair, remove eye makeup, flavor your coffee, or even do oil pulling (an Ancient Ayurvedic version of mouth-washing). I love coconut oil because it’s non-toxic, multi-functional, and can even stand in for deodorant if you forget it at home – yes it’s antibacterial. These single-serve packets travel amazingly well because they’re much lighter than a glass jar. Take them to work, stash a couple in your bag, and bring along for any trips – these packs will definitely come in handy!
Just A Handful Of Olives
Lightweight, satisfying, and perfect for flights, hikes, road trips, or work trips, these olive packs are a healthy traveler’s holy grail. At less than 1g of carbs, they are keto-friendly and a good source of unsaturated fats that can tide you over in between meals. Olives also contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps counteract free radical damage on the body’s cells. Bonus: they are pitted for your convenience and are lightly seasoned in sea salt before being packaged. Great for when you’re craving something salty!
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Peppermint
This minty, biodegradable soap is a traveler’s must! While you can purchase Dr. Bronner’s soap from a variety of places, Trader Joe’s offers the best price (although their scent selection is limited). I love Dr. Bronner’s because their soap is made with organic and certified fair trade ingredients and aluminum free, cruelty free, dye free, salicylic acid free, silicone free, and vegan. Clean hands equals a healthy body.
Pro tip: buy this giant bottle from TJ’s and then buy smaller, carry-on friendly bottles to fill them up with. These mini bottles have come in handy when I’ve encountered soap-less sinks and showers in my travels, and also double as a great laundry detergent for clothes that need an emergency hand washing.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil has long been known for its powerful antibacterial properties. You can treat fungal infections naturally with this oil, dilute and apply it to the face for any travel-induced blemishes, or mix it with lavender oil for a DIY wound treatment. Essential oils are not cheap, but Trader Joe’s bottle of this stuff can be found for less than the cost of a movie ticket.
Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream Trio
This pack contains three, one-ounce tubes of high quality moisturizers made with shea butter and natural oils. Argan Oil is a popular Moroccan oil rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. Kukui Nut Oil has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties from its linoleic acid. And Olive Oil is a skin conditioning powerhouse with vitamins A, D, K, and E. Rescue your dehydrated hands on the airplane with these compact and luxurious moisturizers, for a fraction of the price. Plus, they don’t emit really strong, artificial smells that most hand creams do so your fellow passengers will be happy too.
With just the right amount of sweetness and real ginger, these chewy candies are great for relieving nausea. I get seasick on any type of boat and always take these with me to prevent motion sickness. Ginger is also great for aiding digestion if you eat something that doesn’t sit quite right with you. And at only 20 calories per candy, they double as a great post-meal candy to enjoy in lieu of a high calorie dessert.
Do you rely on any other Trader Joe’s products for travel? Share your favorites below!