The world is starting to open back up, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to start traveling again! But it’s probably been a minute since you traveled, and worrying about remembering to pack all the essentials can be super anxiety-inducing. We’ve put together a list of travel essentials you should always have on hand, plus some unique travel essentials to up your travel game!
First off, some quick reminders of things you should always travel with. In your carryon, you should always have: one change of clothes per traveler, ALL your medications in their original bottles or with the paperwork from pharmacy, chargers for your electronics (and a converter if you’re traveling internationally), and any valuables (especially your passport/ID!). Luggage can easily be delayed, so you want these in your carryon at all times.
If you have kids, pack their individual outfits in large Ziploc bags (or packing cubes — we’ve recommended some below!). They’ll be able to dress themselves, and you can even include their accessories in the bags as well. As already mentioned, everyone in your family should have an extra outfit packed in their carryon!
And now for the essentials — we found unique & chic versions of some of our favorite travel essentials, and they will make your traveling experience easier than ever!
If you don’t already, you should have a toiletries kit that is always stocked up and ready to go at the drop of a hat. I can’t tell you how much stress it takes off to know that I always have a stocked toiletries kit — it means I never have to worry about remembering everything, especially when I’m packing last-minute. However, if you don’t travel often (especially if you haven’t traveled during the pandemic!), be sure to regularly check the expiration dates on your items so your toiletries are always up-to-date. We love these:
Obviously you don’t want to forget your chargers, and I like the security of having wifi everywhere I go just in case the unexpected happens. I like to keep these travel chargers and wifi hotspot in my travel backpack — that way, my other “regular” chargers can stay safe at home and I never have to worry about forgetting them.
I cannot overstate how much packing cubes changed my travel game. Being able to separate outfits and types of clothes (and even dirty clothes from clean clothes) makes it SO MUCH easier to get ready when I’m traveling. And it does wonders for my anxiety to open my suitcase and see organized packing cubes rather than just a pile of clothes!
I have a bag designated solely for travel. It has a crossbody, slash-proof strap (less likely to get snatched!) and a secret pocket on the side facing my body that I keep my valuables in, like my passport and money. Plus it’s big enough to fit a book/Kindle and a water bottle along with my other essentials, while still zipping completely and not being too bulky. Also consider photocopying passports before you leave so you can carry the photocopy and leave the original in the hotel’s safe.
Obviously you have to get all the perfect shots of your vacation, and sometimes your phone’s camera just won’t cut it. Here are our favorite travel cameras/gear/accessories to preserve all your best memories.
Especially if you’re in a new area, a more urban destination, or if you’re a solo female traveler, safety equipment is necessary. Our picks will help make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. A couple tips: you should always put a secondary ID tag inside your luggage (the outer one can disappear easily!) and always put an identifier on luggage that isn’t already unique (think: your standard black rolling bag). Or you could opt for colorful luggage — my bright aqua travel suitcase never gets mistaken for somebody else’s, and nobody would ever try to snatch it because it’s way too recognizable. No break-ins, no lost or stolen luggage, just smooth sailing!
Hopefully your flight already has this, but if it doesn’t, we’ve got you. Especially if you’re traveling with kids, in-flight entertainment is a must! Tech can help out with this a lot, but your standard paperback book can also work wonders for boredom on long flights. Whatever you pick you want to have size in mind — nobody loves stuffing 5 books in their carryon! Here are some of our top space-saving picks for in-flight entertainment:
What’s your favorite travel gear? Did we miss any of your travel essentials? Let us know in the comments!
Want More Travel Tips? Then You Should Read: