5 Essentials I Never Travel Without (And 5 Bonus Items)

2 years: 6 countries, countless plane rides, hotel rooms, buses, trains, boats… it’s taken a while but I’ve finally got my packing essentials DOWN and they’re not changing anytime soon. Take my word for it, these are the the things you will never catch me traveling without.

5 Essentials I Never Travel Without.jpg

1. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

I recommend this bag to everyone traveling. I LOVE my Fjallraven. It’s the perfect size for a day trip whether you’ll be touring a new city or headed to the beach. When I was in Australia I’d cram in a water bottle, sunscreen, my turkish towel, book and a snack and have room to spare. It’s durable, somewhat water resistant and doesn’t look dorky when paired with a cute outfit. I also love having my hands free when traveling. I am always taking photos, looking at maps on my phone or let’s be honest…snacking, so not having a shoulder bag or tote bag banging around in the way is ideal. I also just feel like my belongings are really safe and secure in this bag.

2. LOOP Converter/Charger

I’ve had a few different brands/types of travel converters in my days and this one is without a doubt the best. It has plugs for every country without having to lug around multiple moving parts etc. I like thet I can charge my computer off the top bit and Lewis and I can both charge our phones at the same time with the two USB jacks. My only complaint is I don’t love how it glows when it’s plugged in.

3. Battery Pack

These are becoming more and more common but I find that being without WiFi and using my maps often really drains my phone battery when I’m out and about. It’s not a great feeling to have a dead phone and be someplace that you’re not 100% familiar with. So this is always a great thing to have on hand. I find that with this one I can get about 3 full charges before I have to charge up the charger itself. Also, you’re not always going to be conveniently positioned next to a free outlet if you’re staying at hostels and having this little battery pack takes the stress out of that. Oh, AND it charges 2 phones at once–bonus!

4. Meds—sleeping pills, pain relievers, etc

I’ve made the mistake of traveling without these essentials a few times and lived to regret it. There’s nothing like sitting on a bus with a pounding headache. Or lying awake at 2am wide awake with jet lag. Save yourself a stress and pop a few extra bits in your wash bag wherever you go.

5. Little Lock

Especially if you’ll be hostelling, a little lock is essential. Even if they provide lockers, most hostels won’t provide locks. Having a lock gives you peace of mind to be able to lock the zippers on your suitcase shut if you have to leave your luggage in hostel luggage rooms or even with reception at a hotel. I like this particular lock because the top part that would go through the zippers is more of a thick wire so it can fit through smaller zipper holes to lock them. To be honest, I’ve even used my little lock to lock the zippers of my Fjallraven bag shut when I was in extremely busy areas of Paris and Rome where pickpockets were a real risk.

Things I Like to Travel With

While these things don’t quite make the top of my MUST MUST MUST have list, they are very close runners-up.

  • Quality Sunglasses: Hiding a hangover, allowing you to stare at things without seeming rude, adding style to an otherwise un-stylish ensemble, actually protecting your eyes from the sun–sunglasses provide endless uses.
  • Sneakers: Even if you’re not planning on spending even one second exercising, having comfy walking shoes are always worth packing. Nothing ruins a day exploring a new place like sore feet. I made the mistake of not bringing proper shoes in London one time and I literally had to go out and buy new socks because my feet LEGIT BLED THROUGH my socks because my blisters were so bad (I have a photo of this situation but I’ll spare you).
  • Wet Wipes: These probably should go up on my vitals list but wet wipes are amazing inventions. Besides simply sanitizing your hands, they are also great to wipe on the arm rests and fold out tables of trains, buses and planes.
  • Headphones: Explanation not necessary, they take up no space–don’t forget them.
  • Emergency Snacks: Take it from me: Don’t let getting hangry ruin your day…

Also check out my blog post on: 5 Pieces of Packing Advice I Wish I Hadn’t Ignored

Want to see what I packed for my working holiday year in Australia

What are your travel must-haves? Have you tried any thing not this list? Did you like it?

Thank you for reading and as always if you LIKE this post, please SHARE it!

*** This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you are planning on purchasing any of these items, do me a favor and click them through the links above! I’ll receive a tiny commission that will go straight towards my travel fund so I can continue creating content for you all! ***

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Hi! I'm Katie. I’m happiest when I’m exploring new places, lying on the beach or eating fresh foods (and if that were all to happen at once, I’d be set!).

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