There were a lot of things we discovered in Japan; castles, history, book themed neighbourhood... Oh! And honey drizzled on top of cheese pizza is insanely good.
What you'll quickly find out though is most public bathrooms don't have hand dryers or paper towels. Everyone has a small towel or facecloth on hand, quickly drying their washed hands and are out the bathroom door quickly.
You would have thought I'd remember this from our first trip, but no... The first couple days I wiped my hands on my skirt or pants, air drying as we moved onto our next destination.
I had booked a room at Hotel Tavinos Kyoto, an affordable and funky place that we both really loved. While waiting in their lobby, I noticed among the shelf of free toiletries for customers, they had souvenirs. One being a hand towel.
It was around 1200¥ or so, small enough to put in my purse and I used it all the time.
This, of course, got me thinking of all the other small things that made things easier while travelling and I thought I'd share a list of five of them with you.
1. Facecloth or hand towel
As I mentioned above, it's just a handy thing to have on hand. I keep my Tavinos towel in my purse to this day!
2. Lash extensions
I'm not a huge makeup girl, mascara and lipsticks are my usual go-to for day-to-day looks. So, to avoid carrying makeup remover, cotton pads, and the mascara, I set aside money for lash extensions before leaving for Japan in 2019.
I only wore nude/soft pink lipsticks, so it wasn't much of a hassle to remove (mind you, a lot wore off when I ate matcha ice cream). It was well worth the money and saved time and never had to worry about running mascara if it rained.
3. Badge/ID Holder
In Japan, we had the Japan Rail Pass. If you lost it, that was it. They didn't give you a replacement, you were out of money even if you lost it ten minutes after you had them register the ticket's active and expiry date.
While at one of the many Don Quijotes we visited, I bought an adorable Sanrio ID pass with a keyring to attach to my purse. I kept my rail pass, transfer tickets, and my Suica card.
4. Apps Specifically for Your Destination
If you're travelling somewhere that English isn't their language, you at least need to have Google Translate app on your phone. Not only can you type in words to translate, but you can also take a photo of something, and it will (do it's best to) translate for you. Could be a train map or menu, we used it a lot in Japan. Look to see if your destination's airport or customs have an app to make the process easier or they have something to find free Wi-Fi in certain cities you visit. Also remember to set your weather app to your current location and receive important notifications.
5. Copies & Sharing Important Things
We like to make a few photocopies of our passports, giving the hotels a copy instead of them having to make copies themselves. It can also come in handy if you ever misplace/lose your passport since you'll have all the vital information. We also make extra copies of our itinerary in case customs asks for more details and we give them to a few family members. This way, if something drastic happened either where we were or back at home, they'd know where we should be and contact us.
What do you think of these suggestions I shared? Do you have one to share? I'd love to hear about them, so please comment below!