Tea, travels and Josephine Baker! This post is sponsored by my friends at Traditional Medicinals.

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I wish I could say that I invented the travel kit, but alas I cannot. I owe my discovery of this magical little travel secret to Josephine Baker. Yes, that’s correct, Miss Baker deserves all the credit.

I remember seeing a TV interview with Josephine Baker as a kid. I was captivated by her look and her voice. I asked my mother who she was and she explained Josephine’s story. I thought it was so chic and glamorous that she moved from the United States to Paris and performed in glamorous nightclubs and wore fabulous costumes all the time!

In the interview Josephine was talking about how she was constantly on the road and staying in different hotels around the world. She would miss her many kids and the smells and senses from home. To remedy this she would bring items from home to make her feel comfortable, including a scented candle, pictures of her kids, her favorite tea and a spoon and cup from her own kitchen. I was watching this with my mom who had a job that made her travel a lot and stay in very generic hotels. She loved the idea and the very next day I helped her put together a small kit of her own. We gathered a few of her favorite tea bags, a spoon from home, a picture of my sister and me, a chocolate bar and a few other of her little favorite things and put it all in a little plastic travel case. My mom always brought that case with her every time she would take a trip!

So, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that ever since I was a boy I’ve always loved to bring a travel kit with me every time I go someplace! I’m going to share some ideas with you now so you can make your own too. It’s so easy and fun and has that very personal touch.

For me, one of my MUSTS in my travel kits are bags of my favorite tea. I love the tea from my friends atTraditional Medicinals. Their tea not only tastes wonderful, but it also helps me address some of the difficulties in travel. For instance, sometimes when I travel I have trouble sleeping so I always bringNighty Night tea that promotes a good night's sleep.* I also bring Stress Ease Cinammon for those never ending meetings. Smooth Move for the occasional constipation* (it happens to us all), and Ginger Aid for healthy digestion.* The most important for me... I never go anywhere without it... isLicorice Root tea. It totally reminds me of my childhood in Norway. Licorice has always been my favorite treat and I feel I get a treat every time I drink this herbal tea. A true taste of home! All of my favorite Traditional Medicinals teas can be found on Amazon, or a grocery store near you.

When making your own kit think about what's important to you. Here are a few things you can put in your kit to make your travel and hotel room a little more personal and homey:

  • Your favorite tea bags
  • A teaspoon from home
  • Small scented candle
  • Chocolate bar/treat
  • Small frame with picture of loved ones
  • Honey sticks

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

You need:
Bamboo sushi roll mat
Piece of fabric, a little larger than the sushi roll
Elastic, 2 yards
Hot glue gun
Pinking scissors
Wooden bead

  1. Place your fabric on a table and place the sushi mat on top.
  2. Cut the fabric around the mat with pinking scissors leaving an extra 1/2 inch on each side.
  3. Weave a strip of elastic between the bamboo slats in various locations to create compartments for your tea bags, spoon, candle etc. Measure the amount you need by holding the item up to the mat. Remember to make the elastic short enough that it will hold the items tightly! One piece of elastic can make several item loops along the same parallel line across the mat.
  4. Cut off excess elastic and secure the elastic to the mat with hot glue on the back side.
  5. Repeat with another piece of elastic so you have two parallel rows of elastic loops on the front. Secure on the reverse side with hot glue as you did with the first strip.
  6. Place the sushi mat on top of the fabric, fold the extra fabric over the edges and hot glue in place.
  7. To make the bead and loop closure, take a piece of elastic and tie 3-4 knots. Thread the wooden bead through, and cut off the elastic leaving a 1" piece. Hot glue that piece on the middle of one side of your kit.
  8. Take a 3" piece of elastic and hot glue it on the opposite side as a loop to thread the wooden bead through.
  9. Fill the kit with your favorite travel comforts and you’re ready to go!


A travel kit made from a sushi rolling mat that's perfect for bringing a bit of home with you when you're on the road!
Photography by Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe

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