In a nutshell, I have traveled a lot. Besides a ton of travel for fun, I spent a big chunk of graduate school travelling around England/Europe for research, as well as home to the US for the holidays. So, through trial and error I have found a few items that will make any domestic or international journey just a bit more enjoyable. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my top travel essentials I never take a trip without. If you have any questions just let me know!
#1. TRTL Pillow – This pillow will change your life. Okay, maybe just the way you sleep while travelling. I’ve personally never found the U shape pillow to be comfortable so I was very happy to discover this pillow a few years ago. The TRTL is essential for me because it keeps your head in an ergonomic position for maximum comfort when sleeping in an upright position. No sore necks upon arrival.
#2. Packing Cubes – Packing cubes are the perfect way to stay organized on any trip. This set comes with 4 different size cubes to help keep your belongings neatly stored and conveniently organized.
#3. Tote Bag + Organizer – I usually only use a large tote bag while travelling, but this tote is a much more affordable version of a very trendy bag we all love. This tote organizer has sections and pockets, so it’s great to keep every little thing organized. There’s nothing worse than unnecessarily flustering yourself digging through a huge bag.
#4. DIY Amenity Kit – Not ballin’ enough to fly first class? Yea, me either. I suggest you DIY your own amenity kit so you can indulge just like those in the front of the plane. Put this together with all your favorite products and keep in your carry on at all times – mine includes sheet masks, eye masks, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, moisturizer, hand cream, lip balm, and socks.
#5. Small Combination Lock – This might seem random to many of you, but I promise it’s worthwhile. A lot of dreamy destinations are rife with pickpockets that can ruin an otherwise awesome trip. From your luggage, purses, backpacks and lockers, this tiny lock has a variety of uses. True Story: one of these bad boys prevented me from getting robbed while walking around Amsterdam in broad daylight! While that’s a story for another day, it’s only $6 so it doesn’t really hurt to have on hand while travelling.
#6. Travel Mirror – Perfectly slim, compact and lightweight (about the size of a tablet) so very easily fits in a carry on. This mirror is free standing and has 3 light settings, so you can easily do your makeup anywhere. Bonus: it charges by USB.
#7. Travel Makeup Case – This case is ideal because its a thick, hard material so it will not bend. I like that its square, so it easily fits packed into your suitcase, unlike some other awkwardly shaped toiletry bags. It has adjustable dividers to fit your specific needs, plus a section to put makeup brushes. This case can easily fit all your makeup & toiletries or could be shared between a couple, depending on your packing habits.
#8. Liquid IV – Traveling, flying in particular, can be very dehydrating. I love liquid IV because it helps me stay hydrated without chugging a gallon of water. One packet provides 2-3x more hydration than water alone. My favorites are the Lemon Lime & Watermelon flavors. For help sleeping on long haul flights there’s also the Blueberry Lavender Liquid IV.
#9. Suitcase Straps – Even if you’ve overpacked or not, airlines are tough on suitcases. If you’re worried your luggage might break open during transport, try out a luggage strap for a little extra piece of mind.
#10. Monopoly Deal – This is one of my favorite games in general, but perfect for travel because it’s compact and lightweight. Monopoly deal is small enough to play on a seat back tray table and it’s always a good idea to have something to keep you entertained should your travel plans get delayed.
#11. Passport Holder – I always think it’s super fun to have a cute passport holder on trips. This marble one is adorable and has pockets for your ID, credit cards, and boarding pass.
#12. Portable Phone Charger – There’s nothing worse than a delayed flight and a dead cell phone. This charger provides about 2.5-4depending on cell phone type and is super compact.
#13. Compression Socks – Feeling swollen at the end of a long trip is the Worst. Compression socks are like Spanx for your legs that aid in reducing leg and foot swelling while traveling. These socks control blood flow and you’ll land at your destination feeling great.