As a frequent traveler, I’ve acquired a list of travel must haves that I won’t leave the house without. On every trip I learn a little more about what to pack to make things run smoothly, and I’ve solidified a list of vital essentials to keep my travel seamless. Because, let’s face it, part of traveling is facing sudden occurrences that can kind of throw you askew. That’s why preparation and smart packing is paramount.
From packing gear to in flight essentials, here’s a list of my top 15 travel must haves.
The Ogio Travel Suitcase
First up: you’ve got to have a sturdy and trusty suitcase. This is the home to your valuables and belongings for the duration of your trip, so it’s gotta hold up to being carted around the world. That’s why I absolutely love my Ogio suitcase, which has traveled with me to 32 countries. A big bonus is that Ogio offers a lifetime warranty because basically, these things are built to last. And if for whatever reason something happens to yours, for example I had a tear in my larger one, they’ll replace the entire suitcase for free! It’s a great product that keeps your travel items organized and easily fits in overhead bins. Most often I bring the carry on size, but when I need to check a bag I use the terminal size.
The Best Travel Backpack
No matter where your travels take you, having a good travel backpack is a must! You want one spot to put all your essentials, documents, and electronics that provides safety, security and accessibility. I recently upgraded my travel backpack to have a little more space so that I can fit my purse and snacks in it and never have to check a bag. It is also TSA friendly so I just have to unzip the back and my laptop and tablet are exposed enough to not have to take anything out of my bags when I am somewhere without TSA Pre.
Flight 001 Spacepaks for Packing
If you’re moving around a lot when you travel, it’s key to keep things super organized so you can easily pack and unpack, and access exactly what you need to get without having to unleash everything in your luggage. That’s why I love the Flight 001 spacepaks, which are perfect for organizing your clothes and keeping them clean and compact. There is even a back side for laundry to make it easy to bring home laundry compact and organized. I have used mine for over 15 years and they are still going strong.
CleanTrvlr to Keep Things Tidy in Your Suitcase
With every footstep in a new direction, we’re bound to collect untidy things on the soles of our traveling shoes. That’s why I like to keep my shoes safely stowed so they don’t get other items in my luggage dirty. CleanTrvlr lightweight travel bags keep your shoes wrapped up and the rest of your bag clean from whatever you might have stepped in.
Travel Coffee Set Up
It is well known that I only drink Bulletproof Coffee, and that doesn’t change when I travel. I have had quite a few bad experiences on vacations due to moldy coffee making me feel very sick and I like to start my day with my usual coffee buzz. So, rather than sacrificing, I always pack a bag of BP coffee, use a collapsible travel pour over and use a dual voltage travel kettle that goes all over the world with me. There are some new collapsible silicone kettles that I have been eyeing but since my kettle doesn’t take up a huge amount of space and I put all my coffee making supplies inside of it, it is still working well for me.
Here’s a list of my trusty travel coffee setup:
Go Toobs for Travel Toiletries
Ok, this one is important because obviously if you are carrying on you have to bring travel sized toiletries. Even if you’re checking a bag, sometimes we like to pack toiletries in our purse, travel backpack or carry on. I have literally tried all the various options for packing liquids, and let me tell you the best pick of the lot by a long shot is the GoToobs. I love them because I can pack my toiletries with confidence that they’ll never leak or have issues and cause a shampoo explosion in my luggage. No fun.
Cosmetics and Toiletries Travel Organizer
One big tip that I have learned over the years is that if possible, try to have a travel toiletry/make up bag with all your cosmetics duplicated in there. I travel every 2-3 weeks so this is super helpful to have everything pre-packed and ready to go, including my favorite beauty products from Beautycounter. and Well Within Beauty.
I also make sure to refill my Goop Tubes as soon as I return home from a trip and keep everything in my suitcase so it is ready to go for the next trip. This has seriously been a GAMECHANGER!
I pack it all in my Flight 001 Mini Toiletry bag and always carry on so that it does not break or I don’t misplace my cosmetics and medications.
Swannies Glasses for Traveling
Jetlag is real. And even if you’re not struggling to adjust to a time difference, you might want some shut eye during a long flight or find that there are some annoying lights in your hotel room. That’s why I swear by my Swannies blue light blocking glasses for sleeping. These can be really helpful when traveling and adjusting to different timezones. I keep a pair in my toiletry bag so I always have them with me when I travel.
Cable Organizer to Keep Electronics Organized
Traveling in the digital age means traveling with various chargers, cables and electronics. Sometimes, it can be super challenging trying to keep all these items neatly packed and organized. Well, I finally found the solution: A cable organizer that is compact, organized and fits everything I need to take on my travels. Best part is that my cables and chargers stay put without taking over my entire carry on. Plus, now I always know where they are. Problem solved!
Kindle with a bright case
Long gone are the days of having to travel with stacks of heavy books to keep up on your reading while you jetset around the world. Kindle has made it seriously so easy and convenient to take a variety of reading materials on your trip, and only have to pack one item! One big tip though: I highly recommend getting a bright colored Kindle case so that it doesn’t blend in with your seat on a long flight. I can’t tell you how many kindles my boyfriend has gone through because the case doesn’t stand out and it gets left behind. That’s why his Kindle is currently sporting a bright sea green case… for now.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and splitter
Let’s face it: planes are noisy. If you’re lucky enough not to be sat by a screaming child, there’s the loud noise from the plane engines and people walking down the aisles, and even sometimes—snorers! That’s why noise canceling headphones are a non-negotiable for me. They might seem like a bulky luxury but they make such a huge difference because they completely take you into your own world and make for a much more relaxing flight. Plus, in my experience earbuds tend to hurt after wearing them for over an hour. With these headphones, you can totally zone out, have a movie marathon, take an uninterrupted nap or get in a solid meditation sesh. Watching a movie with someone on a laptop? Don’t forget to pack a headphone splitter. :)
Klos Travel Guitar
I know this one might seem a little off-beat, but if you are a musician and like to bring your guitar along but don’t want to deal with the bulky case and additional airline rules, the Klos Travel Guitar is your answer. It is beautiful and lightweight since it is made from carbon fiber. Plus, it’s fun! You won’t have to skimp out on jamming out with this bad boy in your travel gear. Use code TRAILTOHEALTH50 for $50 off your purchase!
Dry Bags for Traveling and Swimwear
If the tropics or water sports are on your travel itinerary, or you happen to get stuck in unexpected torrential downpours, (it happens) I cant stress enough how important dry bags are. These completely saved ALL of our electronics when we were in Thailand and had to get off our ferry in a torrential downpour with no shelter. Everything we had on us was soaked and everything would have been ruined if it were not for these dry bags, which completely protected all of our gear. Now, we use them to keep our things dry whenever we get on a boat or are traveling near water. Life savers! They come in all sorts of sizes and I highly recommend them for protecting electronics, medication and cosmetics.
For The Long Flight
Eye Mask and Compression Socks
For long flights some healthy comforts can make a big difference. I like to use travel compression socks because I deal with swelling on long flights. To minimize swelling, it’s also important to get up and walk around to get the blood flowing. Also if you want to get some shut eye, a good eye mask and ear plugs can make all the difference.
A Comfortable Travel Pillow
On my former travels, I used to use the bulky “U” shaped pillows or an inflatable travel pillow. However, I recently used this wrap travel pillow and it was awesome and super compact! No more bulky pillows that only serve a purpose on the plane and then take up precious luggage space for the rest of your trip. Safe to say this will be my go-to travel pillow from here on out.
Bonus Packing tip:
If you are gluten sensitive or intolerant, or have food allergies or follow a certain diet, be sure to check out my post for traveling on a restricted diet. I’ve included tips and tricks to help you making traveling with food restrictions as easy and safe as possible as well as my post on my favorite travel snacks!
Global Entry or TSA Pre
Lastly, TSA Pre and Global Entry have seriously been game changers for traveling. I personally travel a lot, and TSA Pre and Global Entry both keep things so smooth and effortless when I travel. With both, you’re already pre-screened for security, which seriously saves SO much time. You gain expedited entry through security to avoid those time-consuming security lines. Life changing!
And that wraps up my top 15 travel must haves! As you can see, having a packing system in place with your go-to gadgets and packing essentials is seriously key to keeping traveling as flawless and smooth as possible. Less time packing, more time adventuring!
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