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Yoga Travel, Retreats, and Festivals

How to Pack for a Yoga Road Trip

I'm so psyched to making my first stop as Live Be Yoga ambassador in New York City this week with Yoga Journal and Gaia! Here are my 10 rules for packing for a yoga road trip.

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Shown: Taylor O’Sullivan’s suitcase, all packed up for the Live Be Yoga tour.

I’m so psyched to making my first stop as Live Be Yoga ambassador in New York City this week! Before I could hit the road with Yoga Journal and Gaia, I needed to pack for a six-month-long road trip. This was no easy feat, especially when our travel schedule includes a vastly different climates ranging from New York (where it’s been cold and rainy this week) to sunny San Diego. But mission accomplished: I managed to pack the necessities and even a few essential oils. Here are my 10 rules for packing the perfect bag for your yoga road trip.

1. Don’t over-pack.

As much as I was tempted to pack my entire wardrobe, it’s important to only bring what you NEED and nothing more. Of course there’s the fear that you’ll regret not packing a certain outfit. But I always find that I’m happier when I can carry my bag and it’s not bursting at the seams. If you leave empty space in your suitcase, you might even get to go shopping and pick up unique items that you otherwise wouldn’t find at home.

2. Stay organized with packing cubes.

Packing cubes are a GAME-CHANGER. They allow you to pack more while taking up less space. Packing cubes compartmentalize all your outfits and keep you organized long-term. Instead of rummaging through your bag to find one specific shirt and inadvertently wrinkling all your neatly stacked clothes, you get to find exactly what you need with ease. Click here for more info.

3. Always roll, never fold.

When you roll your clothes tightly, you maximize space and can fit more clothes in your suitcase. You’ll also have better visibility when sifting through your packing cubes of rolled clothing. Rolling = fewer wrinkles …. score!

4. Ditch the pills, try essential oils.

I never leave home without my travel-size essential oils kit. Essential oils are a great alternative to traditional drugs like pain relievers and allergy medicine. Not only do essential oils instantly cure many ailments that you experience while traveling, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re healing your body naturally. And how darn cute is this tiny travel kit?

5. When it comes to books, think slim.

Avoid weighing down your suitcase with too many books by packing a slim Kindle or iPad. On long road trips, I love using Audible to easily listen to audio books.

6. Hang a bathroom bag.

Free up valuable counter space (especially in a small bathroom) and access all of your toiletries in one convenient spot with a hanging bathroom bag. It opens and hangs anywhere, then zips back up to pack flat in your suitcase.

7. Stick to neutral colors.

As much as I love statement pieces and memorable patterns, it’s best to pack neutral colors and textures (black, white, beige, olive green) that you can layer depending on the climate and wear over and over again without anyone noticing.

8. Bring a backpack with a detachable day pack.

I love my Osprey Farpoint 70 backpack because it has a huge main compartment with plenty of space for clothes, but also conveniently sports an attached smaller day pack that zips right off so you can take just what you need for a daytime adventure.

9. Opt for an inconspicuous camera bag.

Nothing screams “THERE’S EXPENSIVE CAMERA EQUIPMENT IN THIS BAG, PLEASE STEAL IT” quite like a branded camera bag. Instead of asking for trouble, I carry an inconspicuous yet highly accessible Domke camera bag. This shoulder bag has the padding and separation of a normal camera bag, without the flashy logos that immediately signify a high-ticket item.

10. Inflate your neck pillow.

Instead of schlepping around a cumbersome and rarely used neck pillow, pick up an inflatable neck pillow sleeping kit. It’s small, portable, and omits the frightening germs that your neck pillow can sweep up on the airport floor. This neck pillow kit that I got from Amazon even comes with ear buds and an eye mask. Ready, set, sleep!

Want to follow us on the best yoga tour ever? Visit us on Facebook @LIVEBEYOGA, Instagram @LIVEBEYOGA and Twitter @LIVEBEYOGA for the latest stories from the road. Connect with us @YogaJournal and @Gaia + share your photos with #LIVEBEYOGA.