What does it mean to me to be a modern hippie girl?  It means I feel as comfortable barefoot as I do in heels.  It means I can spend the night at a 5-star resort one night and the next night camp on the beach.  It means I am independent and self reliant. It means even if I enjoy wearing it, I don’t need makeup to feel sexy.  It means I can adapt to any situation with humor.  It means I care about the environment and realize the little things do matter.  It means I am a traveler not a tourist. It means I recognize buying natural is more than just a trend. It means I have high standards but am low maintenance. It means I can dance all night to DJ’s in a crowded club or to a drum circle on the beach.  It means I like to wear  flowers in my hair.

Here is my hippie chick packing guide.  I go crazy while backpacking if I am missing any of these items.  Everything is geared towards being good for you and the environment, and most everything has multiple uses.  Being a hippie girl is fun! I hope this list helps you prepare for your next adventure.

1. Sarong I swear the sarong is a gift from the travel gods.  It’s a towel.  It’s a blanket.  It’s a purse.  It’s a beach wrap.  It’s a turban.  It’s dress. It’s a yoga mat. They are cheap, lightweight, dry easy and come in every color imaginable. More uses here.

2. Baking Soda There are so many uses for baking soda, it is ridiculous.  Works as toothpaste, cleaning, and makes bread rise.  In fact, it is so great that fellow Travelette Lorna already wrote a post on it.  Check it out here.

3. Earplugs Years of festival going and traveling have taught me that these will help you sleep better through loud parties, and overnight journeys. I use them on buses, trains, hostels and anywhere noisy.  Just make sure your possessions are secure before you pop them in, because you might not hear your bag walk away. I don’t recommend using earplugs for anything but their suggested use.

4. Refillable Water Bottle Besides being better for the environment (only about 30% of plastic bottles are recycled, the rest end up in landfills) and being fun to decorate with cute stickers, having a portable water bottle will save you money.  Fill it up in your room, or if the water isn’t potable, then buy water in gallons and refill it before going out. My favorites for years are the Swiss made SIGG bottles.

5. Activated Charcoal Pills These things have saved my life during long bus rides with food poisoning.  They are an all natural remedy to save you from running to the toilet every five minutes.  If it’s serious (you have a fever or have been sick for more than 24 hours) go ahead and use the expensive pharmaceutical grade stuff, but if  you want something natural that won’t reap more havoc on your insides, then these babies are a lifesaver.  After researching more, I also learned they have many other uses, even treating poisonous snake bites!

6. Biodegradable Bath Products In honor of reducing my environmental impact when I travel, I try to pack biodegradable whenever possible, especially in developing countries where water often runs straight from your hotel to water sources.  This year I have fallen in love with LUSH products.  They are all natural, biodegradable, smell great, come with no or reusable packaging, and there are so many products to choose from! I even have an edible lip scrub and a glitter stick.  Before LUSH I always took the time tested hippie classic Dr. Bronner’s with me.  If you have never used Dr. Bronner’s its worth picking up a bottle just to read the bizarre packaging.

7. Tiger Balm I go through this stuff so fast.  It is all natural, the main active ingredients are camphor, menthol, and clove.   In Southeast Asia, I learned that it stops mosquito bites from itching better then anything else I have tried, and acts as a repellent as well.  It is awesome to rub on sore muscles after carrying your backpack all day.  And when I get carsick, smelling it helps to relieve my nausea. Check out some of it’s other useful uses.

8. Tea Tree Oil This stuff is an antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and it smells great.  It can be used for a ton of different things, but I honestly use it the most for on-the-spot acne treatment.

9. Vitamins I prefer to make staying healthy fun and love the flavored Emergen-C vitamin drink packages.  They have 24 nutrients and electrolytes to keep your body happy. I’ve found that if you cut the recommended water in half they work great for alcohol mixer in a pinch, and they work better for curing hangovers in the morning.

10. Coconut Oil You might know coconut oil the healthiest oil possible to cook with, but did you know it is also a great skin moisturizer among a plethora of other uses? I actually don’t usually pack this, I make it my mission to find locally made oil in cute jars, and then I use it as I go.  It’s great after a day in the sun if you don’t have aloe to keep your skin hydrated, as massage oil, or as lubricant. Yeah, I said lubricant (although be warned water-based lubricants are recommended over oil-based for use with condoms).

Now that you’ve read my list all you have to do is find some flowers to put in your hair.  Peace and love.

* post written by Kyra Bramble. To read more of Kyra’s, check out her website.