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I'm Back! The top 5 things I'm so glad I brought to Maui:

I'm back from an awesome week in Maui! Packing for a vacation is one thing... you have all these plans in your head... narratives of what you THINK your trip will be like. Items you're so excited to wear...

And then reality. Here are my top 5 things I'm SO HAPPY I packed.

First and foremost... drumroll please: Bacterial wipes. When we left for our trip, people just started talking about the COVID-19 scare. Hand sanitizer was just starting to become scarce, and the aisles of Target were beginning to look empty. At the last minute, I decided to load up a sandwich bag of sanitizing wipes for each member of my family - probably the best impulse move I did the entire trip! We used these wipes at the airport to wipe down the self check-in kiosk, on the plane to wipe down our seat armrests, trays, and tv screens... even in our hotel room for counter tops and our phones. 10 wipes per baggy was more then enough for my family of 5 - THAT's 50 WIPES! We all used these sanitizing wipes so much, that I think they will become a staple for each future trip we take.

Next is my Nikon D3500 camera (linked here). I am not a professional photographer by any stretch. Fancy cameras are so confusing to me - my brain just doesn't go there. I probably use my iPhone for 80% of my pictures... but for that other 20%, this camera is an absolute must! My Nikon is a fancy point and click camera that allows me to take crystal clear action shots of my kids - very rarely do any of them ever turn out blurry or out of focus. For me, this camera had a small learning curve - it has a great automatic function which I use for almost everything. It also has a 'sport mode' that allows you to rapidly take pictures of action shots, 'portrait mode' for an awesome professional look that even I can capture, and a handful of other modes that I'm not an expert at, but enjoy playing around with.

If you have small kids as energetic as mine, PLEASE invest in a good camera - you won't regret it!

Third is my Eric Javits 'Hampton' Straw Sun Hat. I got this one at Nordstrom (linked here). This hat packs really well - I lay it upside down in my suitcase and just pack around it. I think this was the third trip my hat has been on, and it still looks like new. Pretty sure I wore this every day! It kept me shaded from too much sun - and BONUS: looked so cute! Please invest in a good sun hat - your skin and hair will thank you :)

Next up - my Dyson Air Wrap (linked here)! This was an investment, but I seriously use it every single day! I didn't pack the entire kit - only the two 1.6" barrels. I would shower and let my hair almost completely air dry. Then, in less then 10 minutes with my Dyson, I was ready to go with perfect beach waves. I am not a hair stylist what so ever (gasp), but the learning curve with the Dyson Air Wrap is so easy, even I can do it! GET ONE! you won't regret it. #totalgamechanger :)

Lastly, I always pack my Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil (linked here). I add this oil to the hotel lotions for a fragrant spa-like moisturizer. It keeps my sun-kissed skin moisturized and glowing. I also put it in my hair for piecey beachy waves. It's super small and easy to pack. A serious must-have!

When my kid found out what my blog post was going to be about, he said "I know your kids are the most important thing you packed." Yes. Hands down, my boys were the most important thing I brought with me to Maui. They make my entire vacation unforgettable!

Remember to check out my Instagram @smalltownme

Love Emily.

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