Top 21 Travel Items to Pack

Whether you are planning a long backpacking trip around South East Asia, or you are going to visit family in Europe for a few weeks, you are sure to find some essential items in this list that will ease your voyage and help you to maximise your time away.

These products are for anyone that wants to make the tedious stuff a little easier, so that you can focus more on the wonders of the world. If you heed my words, it won’t matter that you forget to charge your phone after a long flight, you’ll still be able to take photos of the pyramids with your portable charger at hand.

The following list is for people that don’t like screaming babies on planes. It is for those that read but don’t want to lug around books. It is for those that are always caught at the airport at the last minute with too much luggage. This list will take all your hassles away !

Backpackers in Bangkok, image by Igor Ovsyannykov sourced from Pixabay

1) Portable Battery

A portable battery/charger can save your life. Sound dramatic ?

Imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere. You look around and all you can see are trees and a few sandy paths. Even if you found someone to ask for directions they may not speak your language. You relied on your phone for the map and now the battery is gone, and so you take 3 hours to relocate your hotel. This has happened to me, easily avoidable with a portable charger.

This battery by INIU has a 10,000mAh power bank. To put this into perspective, the average smart phone holds about 2,800mAh when fully charged. If you connect it via USB to the charging port, you can retrieve 42 hours worth of battery. This particular one has not one but two USB ports. It is  compatible with most iPhone and Samsung products.

Order it here on Amazon

2) Universal Adaptor

Adaptors are super important because without them, all your chargers are useless. The adaptor is what connects each cord / plug to power in whichever country you visit. I recommend purchasing a universal one that allows for multiple countries.

This way, even if you don’t do all of them in the one trip, you have invested in your future and will not have to worry the next time you make travel plans.

This one has 4 USB ports and is compatible with most iPhone, Samsung and Huawei models plus the iPad, Samsung Note and Nexus products.

It works in Japan, the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America, Asia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sinpapore, and Hong Kong.

According to online reviews, it is lightweight yet solid, and doesn’t make those unnerving hissing sounds when you plug it into the wall. You know, those ones that make you nervous about short circuiting the entire hotel’s elecricity ?

Order it here on Amazon

3) Sound Blocking Headphones

Think Phuket beach during the summer time, tourist season, and parties that last for 24 hours. I am talking about the type of noise that makes you feel like you are smack bang in the middle of the crowd, despite being in your hotel room with all the windows closed.

For many, holidays are meant for relaxing, and so when you miss those solid night sleeps, it can make you irritable and tired for the activities during the day time. The holiday doesn’t sound so pleasant any more does it?

The hit and miss solution: ear plugs. However from personal experience I can tell you that this surprisingly doesn’t always work, especially not when faced with a dozen mega speakers the size of your fridge.

A failsafe option is Sound Blocking Headphones.

These super sleek headphones are USB chargable with a 20 hour battery life. They are also wireless, which means no spontaneous headphone death because the cords have been pulled lose or been tangled one too many times.

You can be up to 9m apart from your device playing music and still hear perfect sound with this Bluetooth technology.

They come with an inbuilt noise rejecting dual microphone system, and you can change the music at, literally, a word’s notice, because Alexa will do it for you.

Order it here on Amazon

4) Packing Cubes

Sick of rummaging through your bag for the last pair of clean socks? These Bagail packing cubes are a traveller’s best friend. If you are away for long periods of time it’s the perfect accessory to make you feel slightly less like you are living out of a suitcase, as each cube compartmentalises the items. You can easily separate your clothing from your toiletries, your electronics from your underwear.

If you want to unpack your luggage completely, these cubes allow for you to still keep everything together and organised, and all you have to do to repack is stack the cubes and be on your way – no complicated rolling or folding.

Order them here on Amazon

5) Packing Suction Bags

If you still have trouble packing after using the cubes, there are options!

These RoomierLife Travel Space Saver Bags are designed to suck the air out of your clothes, to make them super compact and flat in the suitcase. The size is reduced 3 times, making them perfect for things like towels or jackets that you won’t be needy everyday away. 

They are travel friendly as you don’t need any kind of pump or vacuum, you just zip them up and roll out the excess air. Being transparent, they are easily checked in airport security. If you want any special garments to be extra protected, you can rest assured that they are also watertight, and protect against odors and humidity.

Order them here on Amazon

6) Bungee Clothesline

This Hawatour Bungee Clothesline is fantastic for doing washing on the go. No longer will you have to hang your underpants from any random hostel cupboard, or dry them on rocks at the beach.

This bungee cord folds up super tightly and can be transported to pretty much anywhere. It comes with 12 clothes pins and movable stoppers that hold the pins in place. This means that your clothesline doesn’t always have to stretch perfectly horizontally, but can go diagonal across a small room or out a window, without the clothes falling off !

The stainless steel hooks won’t go rusty either, so you don’t have to worry about getting this device wet, just in case you were thinking of keeping it on the outside of your backpack to make room for more space inside.

Order it here on Amazon

7) Luggage Scale

Unless you can accurately weigh suitcases with your eyes closed (my talented father) you will need a luggage scale.

This is to avoid arriving at the airport check in and being told that you have to chuck 5 kg of clothes to be able to board the plane – this, or you pay 60 euros equivalent (depending on the excess) for international flights.

This portable Digital Luggage Scale by Camry is ultra light and compact, and comes with the weighing strap. You can also convert the weight from Pounds to Kilograms. It will accurately weigh luggage up to 50kg. Most airlines only allow for any single bag to weigh up to 32kg anyway.

Order it here on Amazon

8) Eye Mask

An eyemask is important if you want to get a half decent sleep on the plane, overnight train, or 30 hour bus ride between Paris and Split, Croatia (yes, I have done this without a sleep mask… never again).

The Kimkoo Cotton Sleep Mask blocks out the light, perfect for men and women that want to catch some uninterrupted Z’s. It is super soft and readjustable, stocked in black and grey.

Order it here on Amazon

9) Travel Wallet

Airports can be stressful places, so when you are rummaging at the bottom of you handbag for your passport, worrying you have left it at home , it only makes the experience worse.

With the Travelambo Passport Holder Wallet, you can put all your boarding passes, flight itineraries, credit cards and passport in one place. This is a great way to keep things neat and tidy when you are on the move. It can also fit your phone in its 5.8 inch pouch, along with coins and keys in a separate zipped compartment.

Last but not least, this wallet is designed to block 13.56MHz frequency, which is used for credit cards and passports in order to prevent them from being deactivated.

If you leave everything to rumble around miscellaneously in your bag, you risk demagnetising your most important items.

A little tip from me : despite how tempting it is to fill it all up with every visa card you own, keep some separate. God forbid, if you ever lost this wallet, you don’t want to be stuck with nothing.

Order it here on Amazon

10) Kindle

If you love to read to pass the time on long layovers, or to simply wind down after a day out visiting the Eiffel Tower, you should invest in a Kindle.

A new and imroved version has been release with a built-in front light, perfect for reading without disturbing your sleeping kids or partner.

It has a special glare-free display that allows you to read the screen as if it were a newspaper. You can also translate words, look up definitions and zoom on text, all without leaving the page. All it needs is a wifi connection and you can download books and audio books to your heart’s content.

Order it here on Amazon

11) Suitcase

This suitcase is the ultimate travel accessory. Forget the others if you don’t have something to put them in !

The Samsonite Freeform Expandable Hardside Luggage is perfect for carry on and checked luggage. It is super light and manœuvrable, with double spinner wheels that allow for upright rolling – this means there is no weight on your shoulder. It has fabric lining, and so although from the outside its shell is extra hard, your clothes will be soft and safe once inside.

It’s body Dimensions are 27.6″ x 20.0″ x 13.0″, weighing only 4.3kg.

Order it here on Amazon

12) Disposable Camera

Photo taken with a disposable camera, image sourced from ShutUpandGo

The disposable camera is a beautiful thing.

  • First things first it is cheap, and so when travelling you don’t risk attracting the wrong attention as you might do whisking out your HighTec smartphone or heavy Canon camera.
  • For this same reason, you are calm and not distracted by your valuable objects – you can focus on the view in front of you rather than worry about who may or may not be behing you trying to unzip your backpack.
  • You will reflect more on the photo you want to capture, and the memory that goes with it. You only have a certain amount of camera film, so no time is wasted on 30 copies of the same selfie that no one will ever see.
  • You will forget which photos you took, so it is always a magical surprise to have them developed and relive the special moments.
  • All photos will be in hard copy, ready for your walls and your albums that your kids and future generations will oneday admire.

I can’t praise the disposable camera enough… It is a must have on all occassions, not just your holiday!

Order it here on Amazon

13) Bumbag

Bumbags, or fanny packs as some might know them, are a strange 90’s trend that seem to be coming back into fashion. The practicality of them has never been denied, and so it is wonderful that such a useful item is suddenly being so openly embraced !

I have just ordered the SoJourner Sunflower Floral Fanny Pack for my summer holiday in Turkey. It allows you to be hands free, carry icecreams, explore rockpools, and shake hands with the locals, all whilst keeping your valuables close. If you are planning a festival for the summer, this is a must-have, no questions asked!

Order it here on Amazon

14) Quick Drying Compact Towel

Image sourced from RainLeafOnline

The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is extra absorbent and quick-drying. It is light, portable, and perfect for sports, the beach, and most importantly, travel ! It comes with a hang loop to that you can dry it anywhere, and also a nifty carry bag.

It has a lifetime warranty, just in case you would rather return it and air dry instead  à la old hippie !

Order it here on Amazon

15) Flip Flops

Flip flops are perfect for travelling. They are lightweight, comfortable, and waterproof. This is what you need for hostel bathrooms, so as to protect your feet from years of backpacker germs, or even for just that quick trip down to the pool in your 5 star hotel elevator. No matter what kind of budget you are on, these will serve you well.

Order them here on Amazon


Image by Ian Dooley sourced from Unsplash

This is important because although you may be arriving in a country with access to well-stocked pharmacies and supermarkets, why would you want to waste your time wandering around looking for lip balm  when the Trevi Fountain is calling your name.

Not only this, but deciphering labels in another language can be a headache. I believe that visiting local shops and buying alien products can make for an awesome tourist experience, to get to know the culture a little more, but for the following items, it is best to pack ahead of time, especially as most are to help with the long flights…

16) Makeup Setting Spray

Bella Jade’s Makeup Setting Spray is made with organic green tea, and the two active ingredients for this cosmetic that you will find in all equivalents. It is a natural anti aging mist, and comes in a moderate 4 ounce bottle. This is just under 120ml, so perfect for your carry-on bag on domestic flights.

As you will see online, this product gets rave reviews from makeup artists. It is guaranteed to smooth and set the makeup that you apply, and leave it looking fresh for hours on end. Yes, please !

Order it here on Amazon

17) Dry Shampoo

Hair Dance has released a dry shampoo volume powder which is 100 % natural and organic – no toxins, eco-friendly, vegan, and not tested on animals. What’s more, this magic white dust won’t be confiscated from you at the airport… like your aerosols.

It absorbs oil and adds instant volume to your hair. I personally get frustrated when I shower just before a longhaul flight, and somehow during the time on the plane, my hair decides to become dirty faster than it ever has before.

Unless you want to spend 2 hours plaiting your hair beforehand, this is definitely the product for you. Perfect for sprucing up your look, it comes in lavender and grapefruit scent.

Order it here on Amazon

18) Hand Cream

Hand cream is a must have. Air on planes is dry and recycled, and so on long haul flights the airconditioning will sap all moisture from your skin if you aren’t careful to hydrate and apply lotion. L’Occitane Fast-Absorbing Hand and Nail Cream is what you need.

L’Occitane is a renowned French cosmetics brand, which uses rich plant based oils in all products. Think rosemary, lavender and almond.

Order it here on Amazon

19) Freshing Spray

This refreshing spray mist for the face is 100 % hydrosol floral water. It will leave your skin absolutely glowing, even after a 24 hour flight from Paris to Sydney.

Hydrosol means that it has been produced by distilling the flower in water. It has similar properties to those found in concentrated essential oils, however they are much more diluted and softer on the skin.

It is perfect to use as facial toner, and on the hair to give it a glow. You can also buy this spray in Eucalyptus, German Chamomile, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Magnolia, Orange Blossom, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang.

Order it here on Amazon

20) Lip Oil

Burts Bees’ lip oil contains a 100 % natural formula, with passion fruit oil that hydrates lips and retains moisture over 8 hours. The slanted applicator is super slippery and smooth, giving you a subtle shine without it being sticky, like lip balm can sometimes be.

Order it here on Amazon

21) Mini Toothbrush

For all of us economy class travellers, we don’t receive special care packs on planes, and in order to brush our teeth and stay fresh we have to pack the brushes and toothpaste in our hand luggage. The next difficulty is being in the window seat, and having to climb across strangers in order to reach the toilets. I have a solution to this ! Or rather, Colgate does…

It is the Wisp Toorthbrush, sold in packs of four. The gel on each brush will clean your teeth like toothpaste but without water! Perfect to use after each plane meal, or even on a camping trip on the beaches of Croatia.

Order it here on Amazon

So, now you know our Top 21 products to take with you on your travels! Our final piece of advice? Don’t leave packing to the very last minute ;)

Bon voyage!