November 03, 2021 6 min read
If this year is the one you’ll be making up for a year of social distancing and quarantining, then you might have a pretty long travel list. But whether you’re taking a flight to an exotic beach destination, going on an extreme sport adventure, or road-tripping, you want to be prepared.
To make sure you’re never caught off-guard, put these 22 of our must-have travel essentials on your packing list for your next trip.
Nothing is more classic than a built-to-last duffel bag (and which material is more durable than full-grain leather?).
The reason we’ll take a duffel bag over a rolling suitcase any day is that the chances of it breaking (as suitcases tend to do) are virtually nonexistent. So, you can feel comfortable that you’re making a true investment.
Keep in mind that each airport has different rules for luggage and carry-on bag sizes.
Whatever your destination, a leather backpack is a must-have travel essential. You can stuff it with all your belongings for a day of sightseeing, feel comfortable carrying it on your back, and look stylish wherever you go.
Plus, a travel backpack is another one of those items you can use for years to come without ever replacing it.
When traveling, your wallet needs might be greater than what you’re used to on a daily basis. Between all the museum tickets, hotel and credit card, and multiple currencies, you might carry a lot more than you usually do.
Be as organized as possible with a travel wallet that has various compartments. And as a plus, protect yourself from identity theft with RFID-blocking technology.
It doesn’t take long for your passport to develop signs of wear and tear after you first get it. Unfortunately, the passport that gets issued to you is valid for ten years. This means that if you don’t take care of it properly, you’ll be carrying around a faded and possibly ripped federal document for years.
Prevent this from happening to you by investing in a high-quality passport holder made of a durable material like leather.
If you’re going on the type of trip that requires a passport, losing this document mid-trip can pose serious issues. Although this is a rare occurrence, it’s still important to plan for emergencies by making a copy of your passport.
Store it on your phone (or even carry around a paper copy). Overall, try to keep the real deal stashed in your hotel whenever you go out.
To help you pack more things on your travels, packing cubes are a must. Essentially, they’re zipper bags of different sizes that allow you to organize your clothes, accessories, and toiletries more efficiently.
Additionally, they help to maximize space in your carry-on bag so that you’re not compromising on what to bring along with you. Get travel-sized toothpaste, toothbrush, and shampoo, and conditioner to really optimize space.
While we’re not advocating for doing laundry on your vacation (unless you really need to), there’s a reason why a laundry bag is an essential travel item. Clean underwear is basically the most important of travel accessories.
Hanging dirty laundry around your hotel room is unsightly, and storing dirty clothes with clean ones can double your laundry load when you return home: serious bummer.
Keep eco-friendly by foregoing buying plastic water bottles and bringing your own to refill throughout the day. While the water in some places is definitely not safe to drink, a filter straw can help you raise a glass.
Because we really don’t want to do laundry on vacation, we love the idea of freshening up our clothes with a carry-on fabric spray. While this probably won’t work for your used socks, we think it’s a great item for sprucing up those nice shirts that you want to wear for the fifth time in a row. Also, some fabric sprays can even get rid of wrinkles—no heat required.
Switching over to work-from-home has somehow made it the norm to work on weekends and even vacations. We definitely recommend unplugging every once in a while, but we get that sometimes you just have to and cross a few things off your to-do list.
In that case, bring along a portable WiFi device so that you’re able to connect even from the most remote place in the world.
Of course, if you’re planning on doing some work, then you’ll likely be bringing along your trusted laptop. Make sure it’s well-protected from the element of gravity—amongst other ones—by keeping it in a laptop case when you’re walking to your favorite new café.
With all the electronics you’ll likely be bringing along with you, it wouldn’t be surprising for all their chargers to get tangled up and make a big ol’ mess in your bag. Keep yourself well-organized by storing cables with an organizer. Oh, and keep it looking stylish by making sure your cord burrito is made from leather.
Your phone can be used for anything from getting directions to paying for your morning coffee to making an emergency call if the situation calls for it. Make sure it never runs out of that sweet battery juice during your travels by investing in a portable cell phone charger that you can easily store in your backpack or purse.
Speaking of tech, make sure you have the right adapters for wherever you go.
Is there anything worse than coming down with an illness during your travels? Not only can it make everyone (including you) miserable, but in post-pandemic times, it can make it impossible to return to your home country until you’re fully recovered.
For this reason, it pays off to be extra cautious during your upcoming travels by wiping down everything you touch with disinfecting wet wipes. Your body will thank you!
Minor health emergencies can happen. You can get blisters from walking in uncomfortable shoes, an upset stomach while you’re adapting to a new cuisine, or a headache from being at a high altitude.
Fortunately, a first-aid travel kit can give you handy solutions to the most common health problems you can experience when traveling.
It’s a well-known fact that air travel can be dehydrating for your skin. Being at high altitudes in a plane cabin can seriously sap your skin of its moisture, as can travel to a drier climate.
Avoid any discomfort by stocking up on moisturizing face and body creams. These can help replenish any moisture that you lose during your travels.
Whether it’s from the extra sun, outdoor sports, or licking your lips after eating all that yummy food, your lips tend to dry out during travel. If you would never be caught dead without lip balm, then keep on doing what you do! But if you’ve never as much as considered owning one, then now’s the perfect time to toss one into your toiletry bag.
Since we’re on the topic of dehydration, it’s useful to know that going up to high altitudes can sap you of moisture on the inside, as well. And, of course, going a long time without drinking water (as we’re apt to forget when traveling) can be dehydrating, too.
Keep yourself replenished by carrying around some to-go packs of electrolyte powder or electrolyte tablets.
If you want to sneak in a nap on the airplane, then a sleep mask can block out all those pesky lights that interfere with deep, peaceful slumber. Bonus points if your sleep mask is made out of a luxurious material like silk. More recommendations for the perfect snooze: a travel pillow and noise-canceling headphones.
If you’re traveling by air, the last thing you want to do is to reach into the overhead compartment and take out your duffel bag. Keep all your travel essentials within reach by investing in a special pouch that fits your medication, moisturizer, and mouthwash for easy access all throughout the flight.
Is there a better way to document your travels than by writing about them in a beautiful journal? A leather-bound journal can be taken with you everywhere you go to write down anything that comes to mind. You can add pictures you've taken with your camera when you get home (bring extra memory cards).
Years later, while reminiscing about your travels, you can pull out the notebook and reminisce about all your adventures.
Clocking in your 10,000 daily steps is almost guaranteed when traveling. Make sure those thousands of steps are pleasant ones with a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Unless you're heading to the beach: avoid the flip-flops.
With our list of travel essentials, you can be sure that you’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at you on your next trip. Be sure to bring at least some of them with you on your next unforgettable adventure.