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Recent Trip MVP's (most valuable pieces)

Recently returned from 2 weeks in Southern Spain and thought I'd share a few of my "trip MVP's" - (most valuable pieces) in hopes that the info. may be helpful to other travelers.
Background - we pretty much do "carry on" only and did that for this trip as well. Luggage is Briggs and Riley. Weather ranged from the low 30's - 40's (Grenada) to high 50's and mid 60's (Seville). Clear and sunny all but 1 day where it rained steadily.
My “typical” fall/winter travel outfit is low boots, jeans or cords, long sleeved shirt, sweater and either a cool necklace or scarf and outerwear as needed.
Now, onto the good stuff - the MVP's!

  1. Uniqlo Airism cami's ,Heattech crew neck and leggings. I've taken these on several trips and they are amazingly helpful pieces when the weather is this variable. The cami's gave me just that extra bit of warmth for coolish mornings and I didn't overheat as the day warmed up. Inexpensive, easy to pack and you can sink wash and dry overnight. The Long-sleeved Heattech is a great base layer for temps in the 30's along with the leggings (below that merino wool is definitely better). This layer kept me warm for very little space!
  2. Uniqlo Merino wool v neck pullover - again, I've taken this on mulitiple trips and have always been glad to have it. Relatively inexpensive and easy to pack yet surprisingly warm when worn with layers. Wore this sweater far more than the merino wool cardigan I packed.
  3. Athleta Speedlight Top: a surprise winner! I was looking for a long sleeved shirt to wear on the plane that didn’t bind and would breathe (total travel time door to door was over 20 hours so this was a biggie for me!) This shirt checked all the boxes and then some. Despite being an “athletic” shirt, it looked great on it’s own with a necklace or scarf and layered really well and unless you were familiar with the brand you wouldn’t know it was a shirt designed for exercise. I never felt too hot or too cold on the plane and it was sooo comfortable! Added bonus – the fabric used doesn’t retain odors. Packs down small and comes in a nice variety of colors. Not cheap but I’ve found Athleta stuff to be good quality and last for a long time.

4.Uniqlo Ultra Down Light Vest: I didn’t wear this every day but on the days I did, I was very happy to have it. Packs down into it’s own little stuff sack,so I squashed it into an odd space in my bag. Small enough to throw in my day bag for “iffy” days and light enough that it didn’t weigh me down. It’s now on the “must pack” list for trips involving both cold and warm temps.

5. Daybag - backpack purse– this was another surprise winner! Made of thick nylon it was surprisingly comfortable and held everything I needed for the day including my Panasonic Lumix camera, sunglasses, light down vest, wallet, handwipes and all the other assorted bits and bobs will all find indispensable. Has two small side pockets for waterbottles or umbrellas. The zipper to get into the bag in on the back so it’s snugged up against your back. Yes, you do have to take the pack off to get into it, but I found I preferred it to my usual crossbody since the weight is evenly distributed. It also comes with a strap so you can wear it as a shoulder bag – handy for a couple of places we visited! Definitely inexpensive and I don’t know how it would hold up for months of traveling, but it came back looking brand new and I’m sure will be used on a number of future trips. I’ve included a link for those who are curious about the bag - https://www.amazon.com/Backpack-Waterproof-Anti-theft-Rucksack-Lightweight/dp/B07BVKWK5Y/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=backpack+purse&qid=1581365535&smid=A2ZBTAJS5FYZM9&sr=8-8
Cheers to all and happy traveling!

Posted by
669 posts

Nancy, I really enjoyed your post, and found it very helpful, especially the shout-out to the day bag. I just looked at the day bag on Amazon, and am impressed with the color choices, two sizes, and the very low price. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Safe travels!
Pat

Posted by
7606 posts

Yea! I'm always looking for new additions to my "travel team" so I love your MVP's!

"Added bonus – the fabric used doesn’t retain odors."

I just laughed when I got to the sentence because that was EXACTLY what I was thinking when I was reading your description, lol!! That is a nice looking shirt!

I love things that can fold up small enough to fit in your purse but also gives you warmth. The vest looks like an excellent team member!

Thanks so much!

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks for the info. Backpack purse looks great. What size did you get? I noticed I preferred a little backpack to cross body bag when I finally tried one. But mine was too flimsy. Yours looks pretty good.

Posted by
1868 posts

Thanks for your informative post! I have a similar daybag/backpack from Baggallini that I have had for a few years. I do like the features of your bag! Especially being lightweight, nice design, waterproof, zipper against your back and ability to wear crossbody!

Thanks again for sharing your MVP'S!

Posted by
669 posts

The day pack is on Amazon Prime-so my suggestion is to order both sizes, and send one back at no charge.

Posted by
487 posts

So glad you all found the info helpful!
Great suggestion Pat about ordering both sizes!!

Posted by
2296 posts

I have fallen in love with the Uniglo crew neck merino sweaters-they're the perfect sweater to wear on the plane and feel so soft.

Posted by
157 posts

Great information! I think I'm going to order the backpack...I've been wanting one with the zippers on the back for travel. Thanks!

Posted by
4501 posts

Nancy,

Thanks for sharing about your MVPs!

What brand/ style of low boots do you wear? Are they comfortable for walking miles & miles in them?

I’d also love to read about your trip; where did you go, your highlights, your memorable moments, etc, etc... 😉

Posted by
1038 posts

I also take the Uniqlo HeatTech undies wherever I go.
You can wear the top as an ordinary t shirt too in cooler weather.

Posted by
487 posts

Hi Priscilla!

My current boots are Born Trinculo which I believe they've stopped making :-(. One thing I've found is that replacing the inner sole with an insert (mine are from the Walking Company) can make a huge difference in how comfortable shoes and boots are!
Will be posting a trip review next!!

Posted by
1159 posts

The backpack looks great!

I also agree on the wonders of the airism top. I’ve never used the Heattech because I didn’t like the texture. I should look at it again.

I noticed the Born booties have a rubber heel. Have you compared them against stacked heels? My personal experience is that the rubber heel is superior for walking. I’d like to hear other inputs.

It’s frustrating because most boots have a stacked heel instead of a rubber one. My current boots have worn out and I’m struggling to find a replacement.

Posted by
4501 posts

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for the information about your boots!

I have a pair of Born booties (my favorite) that I wear to work, and they’re comfortable, but not for walking many miles.

I really like the idea of removing the inner sole and adding a supportive insert. I’ve actually tried doing that with my boots, but I can’t remove it! They must have used Gorilla Super Glue!😐

Posted by
487 posts

Hi Cindy!
The heattech is definitely thicker and I only wear it when the temps are below 50 since I get too hot. But the shirt and leggings definitely saved me when we did the Alhambra in Grenada - it was 30 degrees when we left our apartment and we walked - brrr!!! My boots have a rubberized heel and I totally agree - I was looking through the Health app on my phone and our longest day was almost 28,000 steps and my feet weren't sore at all in my Born boots. Sadly they are dying and Born doesn't make them anymore but they have a similar pair which I just ordered - fingers crossed they will be a good replacement!

Posted by
487 posts

Hi Priscilla - I know exactly what you mean - I have a couple of pairs of boots like that but the insoles have definitely helped me and now I won't travel without them!!

Posted by
4501 posts

Nancy,
Please do let us know if the new boots you ordered are comfy 😉

Just curious, which ones are they?

Posted by
487 posts

Hi Priscilla! i definitely will report back on the boots I just ordered!!!

Posted by
6 posts

Great post, Nancy. I love to read about other MVPs. You are working a layered system very well. I used to carry a day backpack, but the lack of quick access keeps this off my current packing list. And hey.... Panasonic Lumex! Can't take a bad photo with that MVP!

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Nancy,

Just wanted to thank you for the daybag you recommended. I purchased it in the large size for an upcoming trip, and it is a really great bag for the money. The bag is surprisingly cute, and I love that it zips in the back. I did remove the little fur keychain. I picked the large size so there would be more space for a water bottle and my windproof umbrella.

I wouldn't have found this bag if not for your post. Thanks again!

Posted by
487 posts

Hi Sharon,

You are so welcome - I've gotten a lot of great advice on this forum so I wanted to try and return the favor! I hope the purse works well for you on the trip - (and I removed the little furry ball too :_))!

Safe travels - would love to know your MVP's when you return!!!

Posted by
487 posts

Thanks Joan! I resisted a backpack for a long time - I really like the easy of access with a crossbody but with the Lumix, the bag needs to be a bit bigger than I'd normally carry. Tried a variety of them and none were terribly comfortable for all day schlepping! Even though the backpack isn't quite as convenient the trade off for me is worth it!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the provided information, very interesting to read.
My wife uses a travel Day Bag and very satisfied with it.