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As I think about traveling again…domestically for now and eventually internationally…I’ve put together this list of my 12 travel essentials.
I’m considered a “light traveler”, meaning I pack light and carry only what’s necessary, especially when I fly. I’ve spent 10 days in the UK several times and 12 days in Italy with only a carryon and my purse. Check out how I pack a carry on in this post. Then read on for the items I consider essential when I travel.
My 12 Travel Essentials
For domestic trips and international ones, overnight road trips or a long weekend away, these are the items that travel with me.
Carry on Luggage
Starting with the most basic, my carry on holds the majority of my other essentials. My clothes, toiletries, shoes, supplements and documents go in here.
Over the last eight years, I’ve used three carry ons. The first one met an untimely end in an escalator accident.
I borrowed a carry on from my daughter for my most recent trip to Scotland, to try out a hard-sided suitcase. After I arrived home I purchased my current piece, a Samsonite carry on with four spinner wheels. I love its many pockets and deep compartment. Plus, it has a built in charger that can recharge my phone securely in an inner pocket.
Clear Toiletry Bag
Because I tightly roll or fold my clothes, Marie Kondo style, I don’t use the travel cubes. I do however pack my non-liquid toiletries in a clear TSA approved bag, like the ones pictured below.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup and deodorant get packed in one of these bags, while liquids go inside a clear quart zip lock bag.
Earbuds or Airpods
Yes, they hand earbuds out on most airlines. While typically free, some airlines charge for them. And I’d rather tote my own. I carry these in my purse for easy access while flying. Plus, I sometimes use them while in a hotel room, to listen to music on my phone.
I don’t sleep well on long flights although I try. It’s often difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. What helps me is finding a movie I’ve seen before, turning the volume down low, and propping my head up with a travel pillow. I’ve used the typical U shaped pillows. I attach mine to the handle of my carry on. However, I want to try the Trtl neck pillow that slips around the neck and provides great support.
Has anyone tried one of these? Are they really comfortable?
Phone Charger and Portable Charger
My phone is so important, for my work and for capturing photos and videos. It would quickly become useless without a charger. I use a charging disc at home and love the convenience of dropping my phone onto it. It travels with me.
And I love taking along a portable charger that I carry in my purse or backpack. When my phone battery runs low while I’m out exploring, I can recharge it quickly and easily.
The Battpak by OCTAVE is a portable charger with a secret compartment that’s perfect for carrying cash, cards or small items. It’s accompanying me on my upcoming solo trip. Get yours HERE and use my code CINDY15 for 15% off.
I don’t know about you, but I get cold on airplanes. I carry on a lightweight wrap that serves as a blanket while I’m traveling. When I get to my destination, the wrap becomes a pretty shawl for those cool evenings out.
This wrap, from Mer-Sea & Co comes with its own cloth tote bag, making it easy to tuck the folded up wrap into my backpack or purse. The company has an assortment of travel wraps to choose from.
Do you take supplements for health? I do. And when I travel, I want to maintain my health and care for my body. It’s especially important since I walk all over cities while exploring.
I don’t carry all of my supplements when traveling. However, these must go with me: Cat’s Claw, MSM, MyKind Multi that includes essential vitamins and minerals plus plant based collagen, and Comfort Guard with turmeric, ginger and boswellia. The Comfort Guard is the best supplement I’ve EVER taken for joint comfort.
When I’m traveling internationally, I love these supplements from VOKE. They help me overcome jet lag quickly without losing a day for recovery. And they are made from superfoods so I know they are good for me as well.
Backpack or Crossbody Bag
When out exploring, I carry a crossbody bag or a backpack to hold items I need. My portable charger goes in there along with a bit of cash, a hairbrush, sugar free mints and my phone.
I learned the hard way to wear my bag. Someone stole my purse the night before a cross country flight, while it was resting in a Walmart cart. Since that experience, I only wear backpacks or crossbody bags.
Walking Shoes or Boots
I walk a great deal when I’m traveling. While hop on/hop off buses are helpful for an overview of the city, once I get my bearings I walk as much as possible to destinations. It’s such a wonderful way to really get to know a city, town or community. Plus there are botanical gardens or nature trails to explore.
A good pair of supportive walking shoes or boots are a must for me. And I prefer boots. They give my ankles some support too and I find them the most comfortable. Because boots are bulkier, I wear them onto a plane and pack my other shoes.
For boots or shoes, I only wear man made uppers or faux “leather”.
Metal Water Bottle
I don’t do plastic water bottles. However, I discovered on my last international flight that metal water bottles are allowed through security. They must be empty when passing through security then they may be filled with water for use on the flight.
No matter where I go, I carry a metal water bottle with me. It’s so essential to stay hydrated especially while out exploring.
For international travel, a universal adapter is essential. These allow you to plug in chargers, hair dryers or laptops safely. I blew out the power on the whole second floor of a B&B in Edinburgh once, when I forgot to use my adapter for my hair dryer. Ooops!
These are small enough to easily tuck into a carry on.
I like to carry a small journal along when I travel. It’s useful for jotting down information about places I intend to write about. I can also write out my impressions and thoughts about my experiences. And sometimes I do a sketch.
One thing I’ve learned, as I travel, is that I can’t have too many photos or too many notes about what I’m doing. When I get home I then have all I need to create my travel related posts.
What are your travel essentials?
Those are my 12 travel essentials, the things I absolutely make sure I pack for a trip. Of course my passport goes with me too, and any travel documents.
What about you? What items go with you on every trip? I’d love to know what is essential for you.
Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Mer-Sea & Co, Voke Superfood Supplements and Amazon. These programs provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to the companies, all at no extra cost to you.