Travel Essentials: 10 Items I Never Travel without

After a few extended trips, travelling with different seasons, modes of transport and living out of suitcases you really learn to cherish particular items.

Due to luggage restraints learning the art of packing and what is of importance becomes an art. Obviously, comfortable shoes, practical clothes, passport and laptop are also packed, but this list adds a few items/hacks that you might not have thought of.

Ranging from must-have tech items to beauty lifesavers here is my customised list of items I never travel without!


Related: “Ultimate Travel Guide to Vietnam”


Number 1 for a reason, a universal is essential these days with the number of tech travel gadgets we ‘need’ whilst travelling. A universal adapter takes the hassle out of worrying about what one you need to take for what country. Extra little tip always have it with you in your carry-on so just can charge at the airports when you need. If you know you will be charging multiple electronic it might also be an idea to throw in a double adapter or even a power board.

Prepaid travel cards might seem like the convenient no-fuss option, but in my experience, they are more trouble than they are worth.
The Citi Bank Card is a fee-free everyday bank account that can be used overseas without any charges attached. I don’t know about you but I’ve been subjected to international transaction fee’s all the way up to $60.00!

The Citibank Cards allows you to use your card at any place that accepts Visa and has no monthly account keeping fees! Also, unlike prepaid cards, you aren’t required to load on a particular currency.
You can read more about the card here.

Editors Tip: Find the best credit card for you! Perhaps one with good frequent flyer points!

Although I’m not a professional photographer, heck I’m barely an amateur, my blog still requires photos. I also enjoy taking photos. A lot. For my blog, I use a Sony DSLR ( it’s probably time for an upgrade here), my iPhone and the GoPro for action and water shots.

Update: I have since upgraded to the Lumix G7 Mirrorless, and it is my perfect travel camera! I used it for travel photos, flat lays, and videos. It is incredibly easy to use, the compact has a large flip touch screen and some great features like wi-fi and 4k video! Will do a full review soon. I highly recommend this camera!

Editors Tip: A duffle bag is great for carrying your camera gear, for carry on luggage and for those shorter trips. They are incredibly lightweight and fit so much!

Laundry Bags– I pack my undies and swimwear in one laundry bag so its easy to find in my suitcase and have another to throw my dirty clothes into. Ziplocs have so many uses they protect my belongings from liquid spills, they store plane/day snacks, they can keep wet swimmers or damp clothes away from the fresher items. Ziplocs are just common sense okay. Use them, ask questions later. I have also recently started using packing cubes that make packing a whole lot easier!

Related: ‘Best Dirty Laundry Bag Ideas For Travelers

Okay, this one has probably taken the longest to master. I usually go with the Grown Alchemist Travel Kit with a few added favourites. I carry on almost all of my toiletries which means they are under 100 ml, and only bring very minimal make-up. Long flights are all about clean skincare, keeping your face feeling clean and fresh with natural products, not weighed down from layers of makeup. One product I always make sure is handy is a face mist. Try some of my favourites to feel fresh after long flights.

Once you have the products side down, You need to find the perfect toiletries bag! One that fits everything, but isn’t too big! These smaller beauty bags are perfect for the gents and have multiple compartments.

Sleep is already comprised when it comes to travel, help yourself out and buy a sleep mask. I love Slip Silk Masks because they’re soft, adjustable and are made of silk (which have beauty benefits).

Related Post: Travel Beauty Essentials

6. Swiss Army Knife & Flashlight

Look I’m not going to lie I’ve only really added this one recently and it wasn’t actually me but my super efficient boyfriend. There were just so many instances we needed a knife, from cutting limes to just needing something sharp, it’s just really handy to have. You also never know when you’re going to need a flashlight and luckily they are now implemented into our iPhones!

7. Entertainment

So I’ve always travelled with books, I used to travel with 3 or 4 and swapped them along the way. I now have traded some of them in for technology and use my iPadfor iBooks and pocket. (I still like to bring at least 1 hardcopy book). I also travel with my Mac. Always.

8. Portable Charger

I tend to use my phone a lot whilst travelling, answering emails, updating social media, taking photos and my phone also becomes my travel guide and planner. Sadly my phone battery does not agree, so I always carry this portable charger with me to make sure my phone battery lasts an entire day.

Travel is dirty business. I always pack a packet in my first aid kit. Wipes don’t only come in handy to rid makeup after your day is done. I use them to ‘wash’ my hands, clean up spills and sometimes they are even needed when there is no toilet paper. These Wipes are good and natural.

scarf is not only a scarf but a blanket and a pillow. Why it also doubles as a cover-up when entering religious sites or to jazz up an overworn outfit. Pack a scarf. Thank me later.

Jaipur, India

Honourable mention

Travel Insurance, I know this is obvious but sometimes people just forget ( I’ve done it eek).
I use World Nomds.


What are your travel essentials? Comment the products you never travel without below!

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travel essentials





64 thoughts on “Travel Essentials: 10 Items I Never Travel without

  1. I don’t leave the US, so I don’t need a universal adapter, but I ALWAYS have my portable phone charger with me. Always.

  2. I travel with my macbook pro and a backup laptop. I was in another country once and had several sponsored posts due while I was there. My brand new (at the time) Mac froze and I finally had to use the manager of the resort’s computer. Never again. Also, Ziplock freezer bags for all my toiletries. And my Kindle paperwhite – the Kindle Fire stays home because of the glare when trying to read on the beach.

  3. I never travel without Ziploc bags in varying sizes. They’re great for protecting against spills and for carrying little items.

  4. There are great travel tips! We travel a lot here and for sure I would not go with out my battery charger and my camera!

  5. I always bring a scarf too! They’re so versatile and great to have in case of any unexpected temperature changes.

  6. I have to say I love the photos! I also love the list, sounds like everything I’d bring!

  7. This is a great list and I would never have thought to bring a scarf. I am going to remember that one because you are right it does have so many uses and would come in handy.

  8. I also carry reusable shopping bags- I have a couple of nylon ones that fold up. I use them all the time. For shopping, a beach bag, lots of things.

  9. Good list, although as a guy, I don’t see the need for wipes and hand sanitiser. I actually quite like getting a bit dirty. Swiss army knife is the ultimate item to have no doubt! A padlock is also quite handy for locking up your valuables in hostels etc.

  10. I have packing cubes and put everything in a cube. Makes it so easy to find anything without untidying the whole bag. If you need a shirt it’s in the cube with all the others. job done!

  11. This post is so full of good information! There are a few of these I wouldn’t have thought of, since I’ve not done much international travelling. Thanks!

  12. Some of your travel essentials are also my travel essentials like the beauty kit hahaha… But the things I cannot really go without are shawl, sunblock, phone, and charger.

  13. What great tips! I frequently take many of things with me when I travel. I never thought about a scarf, but what a great idea!

  14. Those are all great things to bring. I always forget to bring a laundry bag. A universal charger would be so good, I need to get one. How would this list change when packing with children?

  15. A great list of travel essentials and very informative for the travellers.I personally carry a travel diary and a map always with me.

  16. Great list, I always go with a sarong, it’s useful for chilly bus rides, as a bed sheet, as a towel or even as a pillow 😛

  17. I couldn’t agree more with ziplock bags and a scarf but I have never had a universal charger last more than a month! I can’t seem to find a decent one, so I’ve got an old school collection of a bunch of little individual ones!

  18. I most definitely need the bags! And I agree completely with hand sanitizer and/or wipes. SO handy to have!

  19. haha! I’m pretty sure I’ve got a list of items I SIMPLY must carry, but never quite got down to actually making one. I think books/kindle and my Macbook sit right at the top of that list. I’m a spoiled digital baby like that! I also can’t do without my grooming kit (far too metrosexual for a backpacker, I know) HA!

  20. Kayla, I realize that I miss out so many important items when I travel! For example a scarf – that is such a great one to have, especially for the girls. But! I do have many ziplock bags that I use to pack my clothes in. I really like photography in your blog!

  21. Definitely agree with all of these! Traveling light is always great, but it’s so hard to fit everything! Love all the photos as well.

  22. I agree with so many of these! Especially the ziplock bags..these things have saved me from countless leaks! Also scarves have become my favorite essential as well. They are so versatile!

  23. I love this post! I am obsessed with zip bags, I always take loads when I travel 🙂 Excellent tip about the scarf, so practical and versatile it’s going on my travel check list.

  24. Awesome list! I wouldnt travel without proper deodorant especially in Asia, it is extremely warm and you tend to sweat like crazy. I hate the feeling of being sticky.

  25. Sleep is already comprised when it comes to travel, help yourself out and buy a sleep mask. —- OMG! This is also one of my must-haves especially when I climb mountains. This really helps me sleep. Good to know that we have something in common. 🙂

    I would always bring with me a reef friendly sunblock whenever I go, so that I can help out protecting our reefs. I dont know if its available in your end but we have it here in Cebu, Philippines.

    Jeane Louise [viajaracebuana]

  26. Something I would like to add on the list. Cable Extension. There are some hotels, hostels that only have few sockets where you can charge, the worst is, its far from your bed. Hahaha. No 1 reminds me of my visit to HK. When I’m about to charge, i just said wtf! The socket is different. Hahaha

  27. Fantastic tips! I totally agree with almost all of these! For the entertainment I always take a book, real, paper book. I think it’s much more relaxing to hold a printed one, don’t you think so? Also I love doing some yoga on a beach (muy usual destinations (: ) and to meditate in the morning so often I take some stuff to make me feel even more relaxed during my vacation.

  28. This is a fantastic list and I also pack most of these items. But I’m glad you mentioned the credit card because I hadn’t found an easy fee-free card yet and I’ll be all over Europe this summer!

  29. While reading your list, I realized I have pretty much the same “must” things in my travel bag. I also have cash – local currency – as I realized over the years that there are sometimes glitches with card readers in various countries or that are numerous places that only accept cash payments – and I include here several museums I visited, so not only small shops as one may imagine 🙂

    1. Yes you are so right! I have actually been homeless in Milan after my card would not be read by any ATMS! So important to a least carry some cash!

  30. Oh my gosh, I was reading this and thinking “yes this is also what I pack” or “I use that too!” You have such awesome recommendations here. Totally agree with the Citibank card – it is a lifesaver for withdrawing cash from overseas ATMS. Definitely not a laughable list, but a really great and thorough one! Nice job!

  31. Totally love the images! They are so beautiful. Your pictures make me want to visit Hong Kong now.

  32. I agree with all of these. It’s funny because I never would have packed a flashlight but now that I have one on my phone, I use that damn thing ALL. THE. TIME.

    My portable charger has been a game changer too. We love camping and purchasing one meant that our “flashlights” last a little longer out in the wilderness! Great list.

  33. My universal adapter is starting to break down on me and I’m legit SHOOK lmao, especially since I’m in Europe until September. Whoops.

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