The Dhooge Den Essential Packing List

I would say that the number one question we are asked after an adventure is “do you have a packing list?” to which I openly laugh out loud about because asking me if I have a list is like asking a Kardashian if they have a cell phone with them. I have lists ABOUT my lists.

So…the answer is YES. I have a list.

Composition with tablet computer and travel accessories on wooden background

Clothing lists vary contingent upon the adventure we are on; however through the years, we have developed an “essential items” packing list that, regardless of where we are going, makes life just a little more comfortable and ends up saving us a ton of time not having to frantically forage through local stores in search of random items that are easily available in the States.

Before I share the list, please keep in mind that I do NOT travel light, nor do I aspire to. I’m not a “travel the world with a carry-on bag and a backpack” type of girl. Spontaneity gives me hives. My brain is the mecca of hypothetical situations and likes to feel planned up and prepared. This list is ever-evolving and largely based upon many, many, mannnnnnny uncomfortable situations that I do not care to ever find myself in again while travelling.

So without further ado, I present to you…

Packable Daypack and Fanny Pack:

YES, we need both. First of all, don’t carry a purse with you. You might as well paint a target on your t-shirt. Invest in a thin money belt or fanny pack and wear it under your clothing at all times.

The backpack comes in handy when Mr. Dhooge “wants to go out for a walk” and my spidey senses tell me that we won’t be back for 9 hours. In goes [insert several items from the list below] and ALWAYS a snack… because he doesn’t stop to eat. Ever.

NEXT UP: the First Aid Kit.

Truth be told, this is less of a first aid kit and more of a mobile drugstore. I am ruthlessly mocked about it; but, I remain steadfast in my convictions. Nobody’s laughing when they need Imodium in the middle of the night and all of the stores are closed. Just sayin.

I HATE wasting time and there is nothing worse than running from corner store to corner store in search of a basic product that you can find in every Walgreens back home.

Here is a list of what I typically include in our travelling drug store:

  • Blister pads: I should own stock in this product. We walk ALOT.
  • Bandaids/Neosporin
  • Allergy meds: I’m allergic to all things that grow outside of Florida so I pack Claritin D and Benadryl, as well as a cortisone topical, because ALL OF THE THINGS have happened to me at some point in our travels.
  • Ibuprofen/Tylenol
  • Imodium/Tums/Pepcid
  • Zicam: This is preventative care. I don’t have any scientific evidence that this actually works but in the Dhooge Den, it’s absolute truth. Swab yourself consistently while travelling.
  • Wrappable brace not everyone in the Dhooge Den is a natural athlete.
  • Tweezers
  • Supplements – Mr. Dhooge and his obsession with vitamins. This one should probably be a separate post. For the purposes of this article, I am a huge advocate of Juice Plus. It has strengthened my immune system in measurable ways and I never leave home without it.

Carry Toilet Paper at all times.

In the United States, you can find a McDonalds or a grocery store on every corner and feel confident that there is a public bathroom. NOT SO in other places. Finding a public toilet is an adventure in itself and then often, when you do find one, there is no toilet paper. Carry it with you. It’s not sexy but it’s a necessity.

PHONE STUFF: obviously, you should pack your phone charger but here are a few “smart device” accessories that also make the trip with us.

This battery pack allows us to charge all of our devices, holds a charge for the large majority of the day and easily fits inside a fanny pack.

This phone case allows us to carry a license as well as two additional credit cards.

Ever climb some random rock and have a phone fall out of your pocket into the great unknown? Ever leave your phone on the counter and walk down the street without it? Nope, me either….but hypothetically, if these things WERE to happen to someone less self-aware, I highly recommend these phone lanyards. We are never without these on a trip. The bungee cord clips to our belt loop and we never have to worry about these unrealistic hypothetical situations happening again…I mean, happening ever.

EUROS/CURRENCY: Don’t assume that a credit card is enough. What if you miss your connection? What if the credit card machine isn’t working in the taxi? What if you just want a bottle of water and the street vendor only takes cash? Don’t leave the country without currency. Our bank allows us to order online….#easybutton


  • Hefty garbage bag for dirty laundry
  • Tide pods – many of our airbnb’s have washer machines and/or laundromats nearby.
  • Masks/Sanitizer
  • Heavy Moisturizing Cream: not sure if it’s dehydration or the fact that we are used to high humidity but I’ve been caught too many times with painful, dry, cracking skin with no options available at the local store. This moisturizer has become a staple in our suitcase.

Packable shopping bag. Shopping bags are not always available at local stores. This one folds up into itself, is waterproof, durable and ginormous.

Travel Converter: there are a thousand to choose from. It doesn’t matter where we go, we are covered with this one product.

Selfie Stick: [Disclaimer] – this does not fold into a tiny space; you definitely need a backpack to carry it in. However, after exhausting countless selfie sticks, our priorities shifted from “packability” to durability. We need one that can fold out into a heavy duty tripod that doesn’t blow over when a lizard breathes in our general direction. This is our absolute favorite!

Ear Plugs: For Las Fallas, we brought an entire container because the festival is notorious for loud, sudden noises. For a typical trip, we bring a few pairs for nighttime, just in case the walls are made of toilet paper and the noise interferes with our sleep.

Just because I’m obsessed with these. I bring them everywhere. You’re welcome.


Did we miss anything? I would love to hear about your essential travel items too! Happy Adventure-ing, everybody!

Mark & Tiffani Dhooge Signature Line

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