Updated November 2022
I love packing for trips. Feeling overly prepared and ready for any sort of uncomfortable situation gives me all the confidence in the world heading out on my adventures.
I am asked frequently by my clients what my favorite “travel essentials” are, so I have compiled a near-comprehensive list of travel favorites that I’ve come to love.
If you’ve got a frequent traveler in your life, this can also serve as a gift guide! I have broken down my essentials into budget and boujie options to fit your every need (and want).
This page will evolve over time as I fall in love with new products!
Some of the links below may give me a small kickback if you make a purchase, but that has made no impact on my choices! All products are chosen and 100% loved by me, guaranteed.
FAVORITE TRAVEL BAGS //
I am a loyal lover of all things Lo & Sons and AWAY. Their quality is top notch and the designs are built for organized travel. These are definitely all boujie options, but sign up for their newsletters and look for sales! (I get nothing in return for posting about these, I just love them so much).
My everyday purse and go-to travel purse is the Lo & Sons Pearl ($298 – 40% off currently at $178) cross-body zipper bag. It has lasted 4 years and still looks amazing. The Lo & Sons Weekender Bag ($215 – 40% off currently at $135) is perfect for 1-2 day trips. It is especially good for beach travel or if you travel with a ton of shoes because it has a separate compartment on the bottom! And then for almost every trip, I take the AWAY Carry-On ($275) with me. I long for the day when I can own the entire set. I’m amazed at how much fits in there and it’s so sturdy and has a built in charger pack.
Keeping your luggage safe: Apple AirTags are an incredible way to track your checked bag and personal items while traveling! They track using your “Find My iPhone” feature and are a great way to keep an eye of where your checked bags are, where your purse is, etc. Definitely a game changer and only $29 each or $95 for 4.
BEFORE YOU GO: CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS //
Without fail, the following items will be in my carry-on luggage for every trip. They’re my favorite core travel items (in addition to my book, laptop, extra set of clothes, and toiletries). If you are traveling a lot, I think it’s a good idea to invest in duplicates of some of these items so you can eliminate the items you have to unpack and repack for each trip.
– When traveling internationally, an outlet adapter is necessary for most destinations. My go-to is this budget 5-piece set of adapters ($11) to keep in my closet and pull from before each trip. It works for my phone, MacBook, iPad, etc. If you commonly travel with items that need a voltage converter (a hair dryer, hair straightener, a curling iron, or some types of PC laptops), I recommend this adapter and converter combo ($33) instead! My slightly boujie-r pick, that also works well for a group of people, is this multi-plug adapter and converter ($37) that has two plugs and four USB ports.
– A portable charger to have in your purse or pocket during the day! This one is slim, light, and easy for travel ($26) and is able to charge your phone multiple times before needing a re-charge. My boujie pick can charge multiple devices at once ($29), at twice the standard speed and holds an extra long battery life.
– A good way to save time packing is to invest in an extra set of your go-to chargers and cables so you can leave them in your carry-on! And of course you’d need to store them in an ultra organized cord case ($13 – has extra 5% available) so you’re not untangling a mess of cords upon arrival.
– An obsession of mine, and a great gift, is a nice travel wallet that can hold your passport along with your travel documents, credit cards, and ID. My budget pick is the Zoppen brand ($14) – they have so many fun colors, which makes it easy to find your passport in your bag! My boujie pick is one of my favorite nice gifts to give: the Leatherology Travel Wallet ($160), also available in gorgeous colors. I’ve had mine for 5 years and it still looks brand new!
– Packing cubes are an incredibly satisfying way of organizing your suitcases. They help keep your clothes compressed and thus, no wrinkles! My budget pick is this Bagail set of 6 ($25). My boujie pick is the 6-piece set of colorful AWAY travel packing cubes ($45) that are designed to fit perfectly in their suitcases, of course.
ON THE PLANE: HYDRATION & COMFORT ESSENTIALS //
My recent obsession has been with feeling as luxurious as possible on a long flight. And I’m not talking flying business class, but buffing up my experience in Economy or Comfort + seat with as many little moments of joy as possible.
– A neck pillow & sleep mask are less of a luxury, but a necessity. Even if you can’t sleep on a flight, traveling with one of these is so necessary for neck comfort or even shoving it down the seat for some lower back support. My only pick for the neck pillow the Trtl Pillow ($50 – 10% coupon available)! You can find cheaper basic ones – you do you! – but this one made me smile the first time I used it for an entire plane ride. It makes so much more sense for packing than the bulky u-shaped options!
– Noise cancelling, wireless headphones: GAME CHANGER ALERT. Since gifted, these have gone on every flight with me, and I wear them a ton at home. I have also convinced a handful of friends to buy them, too. They block out the dull roar of the airplane and minimize the chatter and noises around you. My budget pick is wildly affordable and super highly rated – HROEENOI Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones ($45 – and 10% coupon available). They’re comfortable, they’re wireless, and they last without charge for like 30 hours! My boujie pick goes to the Bose QuietComfort 45 ($250) that has three levels of noise cancellation and incredible sound quality.
– A wrap that doubles as a blanket! My budget pick is this large “cashmere feel” pashmina ($15) that comes in all sorts of colors. My boujie pick is the real deal cashmere by Fishers Finery ($149). This will take any flight experience to the next level of luxury.
– Between sitting in one spot for a long time, and being dehydrated, your feet are likely to swell on long flights and compression socks squash that problem. I swear by these and really regret if I forget to bring them along! My budget pick is this colorful set from Amazon ($18). For the boujie-r option, I love the color choices and style of the Comrad brand ($29).
– Foot hammock: I made fun of my best friend when she brought one of these on a flight, and then ended up buying one shortly after because she stayed so comfortable! The strap rests over the tray table and keeps your feet propped up, preventing them from swelling and giving you a more horizontal feeling. My budget choice is this one ($13) and I don’t know that a boujie option is possible!
– Build-Your-Own Hydration Kit: Flights have extremely low humidity, meaning the air is D R Y. You have to drink extra water to stay hydrated, and your skin needs all the moisturizing. Not to mention the food has a ton of salt in it. These are my favorite goodies for long haul flights, to come out not feeling like a shriveled up version of myself. Keep them in a ziploc in your purse, or in a small travel pouch ($8). Just make sure to keep everything at 3 oz and under.
ON THE GROUND: CHECKED BAG ESSENTIALS //
Being prepared with all of your favorite items – including products that keep you healthy and comfortable while traveling – is definitely something worthy of preparation. Here are my favorites for keeping you on your A-game while adventuring (veering slightly away from the budget vs. boujie pics, as some of these are just the best and affordable!).
– A small crossbody bag that doubles as a fanny pack is an easy, trendy way to pack your daily needs each day as you wander your destination! Love this affordable option from Amazon ($16), and of course a shout out to Lo & Sons with their amazing Waverly Crossbody bag ($126).
– An organized, hanging toiletry bag makes me so happy while traveling! It means no unpacking + repacking of your toiletries, makeup, etc., and just hanging it in the bathroom upon arrival. This larger option ($24) is great for holding all of your toiletries and first aid needs (plus it comes in very cute colors). For a slightly more compact version, this is a great option ($15).
– I have found that standard reusable toiletry bottles are bigger than they need to be for most products. I love these small containers ($7 for 10 pieces) and they double as a great way to pack allergy pills, medication, etc, without the big bulky bottles!
– Tap water in different countries is guaranteed to carry different bacteria than at home, so I recently invested in a water bottles with a built in filter. After reading so many reviews, this bottle came out on top ($90) and I’d strongly recommend the investment for backpacking trips or lengthy trips to countries without ready access to clean water. We used this to drink the tap water for our time in Chile and didn’t get sick once! In addition to filtering bacterias as most of the options do, it filters viruses, pesticides, chemicals, etc. A bonus to getting one of these is that it helps reduce your plastic use while abroad. A budget pick for this would be the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($15).
– All of your daily medication and go-to pain relievers! It can be difficult to translate or find your known brands abroad.
– To keep my BMs regular and my tummy happy (amidst traveling and eating adventurously), I start taking probiotics a couple weeks before my trip, and every day through the trip. This one is great for men + women ($20) and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Have that packed alongside your trusty Imodium, and you’ll be all set!
– Motion sickness prevention! If you’re going on a cruise or spending a lot of time on busses or in cars, these SeaBands bracelets ($9) are magical. I am also keeping an eye out for sales on ReliefBand ($159), and will order one for myself!
– The MegaBabe anti-chafing stick ($20) has changed my LIFE. Just do it. They make little travel sizes too!
– Packing supportive socks ($11) has been a game changer for me. I put them on over my normal socks on big walking days and travel days, and add in some insoles for good measure! These add that necessary extra arch support and keep your feet feelin’ good. (Very helpful for those prone to plantar fasciitis).
– And finally, I always keep a trusty compact First Aid Kit in my luggage at all times that has been pre-put together for me: I like this Welly Human Repair Kit ($9) packed with antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, hand sanitizer wipes, and band-aids.