There are four travel related things I have found to be essential.
The first two involve helping my back. I have degenerating discs in my back similar to what my Mom had. With two of the vertebrae the disc gap is very small. At some point I will need a vertebrae fusion, but for now I am delaying it. I take medication at night and find I am stiffest in the mornings – this is like an arthritic pain, but there are two things that help tremendously:
I bought a Tempur single bed travel memory foam mattress. This was very bulky to travel with, so dear Adu measured around me one day and we cut it into 2 equal length sections and then also cut a bit of the width off 🙂 We left the one back in South Africa. When you fold it, it is very bulky so I roll it tight and tie it rolled with shoe laces. It has been an absolute lifer saver for some uncomfortable beds. Its quite funny as if its very cold then the memory foam reacts and it becomes hard, and you have to lie on it to warm it up before rolling it. I often pack my case the night before and then just pull it out of the gap.
I also have a gel pack that I keep in a plastic bag and whenever we get to a new place then I put it in the freezer. This is similar to what you used to be given in South Africa when you had your wisdom teeth out. You would wrap it around your face. The freezing cold of the gel pack acts as a pain relief if my back is sore.
Thirdly I have a funky holder for my iPad to allow me to give lessons in any situation. Because a lot of my online lessons are interactive, you can’t have the iPad just balanced up against something as each time you push it, it would fall over. This has been so helpful. It can be adjusted for height and angle.
Lastly dear Cheryl from our Gruenstadt sit gave me three travel cubes. They are varying sizes and the largest is about half the footprint of the one side of my case. I fill this with my summer clothes, packed tight. It makes unpacking so much easier. I also place the smallest one filled with underwear near the top of my case for easy access.
I hope these ideas are useful to other travelers !