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Don’t Forget These Must-Have Travel Essentials
These travel essentials will keep you ready for anything when you’re on the go. From necessities to airplane comforts and international must-haves, we’ve got you covered no matter the trip or the weather.
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Experienced travelers know how important their favorite travel essentials can be in making a trip relaxing, enjoyable, and stress-free. They know there are a few travel essentials that should go into your bag first when prepping for a trip.
These essentials can vary based on your travel needs. For example, traveling families have different needs than traveling friends, solo travelers, and business travelers. We’ll cover all the bases so you can decide what’s best for your trip.
The good news is that there is an entire market out there for travel accessories and necessities, which means you have a variety of retailers to consider. Many items can be ordered right to your door in time for your trip.
Before you start packing, make sure you consult our list so you don’t forget anything.
Travel Essentials List
There are many useful travel accessories on the market that can be part of your standard travel essentials list. We’ve drawn on our own travel experience and searched the internet for the top items to have in a travel essentials kit.
These are the top travel things to not forget on your next trip, broken down by type of travel (family trip, friend trip, solo trip, or business trip):
Family Travel Essentials
Travel with kids has its unique challenges, whether you’re debating the best family-friendly destinations, searching for tips for flying with kids, or are just trying to make sure your kids are safe during your family vacation.
Here are some family travel essentials to add to your packing list:
- First aid kit
- Car seat
- Toys/coloring books
- Detergent pen
- Family travel health insurance
- Packing cubes
- Foldable bag
- Thermometer and first aid kit
Traveling with a toddler can be quite a challenge, especially if it is your first time. We’ve created the Ultimate Toddler Travel Checklist to help with trip planning, whether you are traveling in a car, on a plane, international, or domestic. You can even download the list and save it on your phone for easy access!
Friends’ Trip Travel Essentials
Friends’ vacations can be the highlight of the year! But planning and organizing the trip can be a challenge, especially if you have a big group. Having a planning a checklist and list of potential destinations is a great way to get started. When it comes time to packing, here are a few important items to include in your suitcase:
- Headphone splitter
- Casual clothes for exploring and dressier clothes for dinner on the town
- Chargers for all electronic devices
- Earplugs/sleeping mask (light sleepers might also benefit from a portable fan)
- Trip cancellation insurance with cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage
- Neck pillow
- A deck of playing cards or other games
If you’re still debating where to travel for your next friends’ trip, check out our list of the best places to travel with friends.
Solo Travel Essentials
With all of the freedoms that come with solo traveling, it’s important to consider the essentials for staying safe while traveling, whether you are backpacking through a mountain range or jumping between major cities in Europe.
These are some travel essentials you don’t want to forget at home:
- Personal safety alarm or mace (if legal in your destination country)
- Travel journal
- Contact sheet with contact details for friends and family
- Collapsible water bottle
- Hand sanitizer / antibacterial wipes
- Travel medical insurance (with travel assistance services)
- Money belt
Hey, solo travelers! Review our Guide to Solo Female Travel for packing lists, tips, and destination recommendations.
Business Travel Essentials
Business travel is a lot different from vacation travel, so it’s important to research tips for business travel and unique travel accessories needed for a business trip – especially if it’s your first time. Don’t forget to include these items when packing for your trip:
- Portable hotspot
- Travel adaptor
- Extension cord
- Eye drops
- Translator app
- Extra dress shirts (in case of spills)
- Travel medical insurance (for international trips)
- Stain remover pen
- Backpack / tote bag / briefcase
To make sure you’re fully prepped for your business trip, review our Business Travel Guide.
Travel Essentials for Carry On
Now that you’ve figured out your unique trip essentials, let’s take a look at some plane travel essentials you should have on the list. We’ve got you covered with carry-on essentials for short flights and the best travel accessories for long flights.
Here are some of the best carry-on travel accessories:
- Snacks – If you don’t want to spend money on expensive airport snacks or in-flight menu items, add some granola bars, nuts, trail mix, or fruit to hold you over in between meals.
- Headphones – Being able to shut out your neighbors on the plane can make your flying experience a lot more enjoyable. Don’t forget to bring a pair of corded headphones to connect to your TV (if you have one) too.
- Chargers – Some airlines offer USB charging ports in each row to allow travelers to charge their various devices. If your flight doesn’t have charging ports, then make sure you have a portable charger with you.
- Tablet or computer – A tablet or computer can go a long way in keeping you or your kids busy, especially during long flights.
- Sweater or jacket – Many people get cold while flying, so opt to bring some sort of sweater or jacket in your carry-on in case you get cold.
- Travel pillow (and eye mask) – If you’re trying to catch up on sleep during your flight, a neck pillow or travel pillow can make a big difference in comfort. An eye mask can also make a big difference and is easy to squeeze into a bag.
- Petroleum jelly – Many people get dry skin, like chapped hands and lips, when flying. Bring a small tub of petroleum jelly or moisturizer in your bag to help treat any flaky skin.
- CBD gummies – For nervous fliers, consider packing some CBD gummies in your bag for easy access when you are feeling anxious. (Just make sure they’re legal and TSA approved!)
Essentials for International Travel
If you’re planning a trip abroad, there are some things you won’t want to leave out of your travel essentials kit. Traveling long distances can be a bit more challenging, so you want to be prepared and comfortable while you’re en route to your destination.
It’s important to consider your entertainment, clothing, health, safety, and a few other things before you go. Here are some essentials for international travel you’ll want with you:
- Carry-on travel bag – Take a carry-on to hold a change of clothes, your toiletries, phone charger, and travel documents. This bag will be your go-to in the event your luggage is lost.
- Reusable water bottle – It’s important to stay hydrated when traveling. Bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it with water after you’ve gone through security.
- Universal travel adaptor – When traveling to an international country, you may find that the outlets are different. A universal travel adaptor will allow you to keep your electronics charged.
- Medicine – If you are taking medication, don’t leave the country without it. You should also have antacids and other medication for headaches and other ailments that you may not be able to find abroad. Just double-check that your medications are allowed in the country you are visiting.
- Credit cards – Even if you prefer to pay by cash, an emergency credit card is a necessity.
- Books – Books can keep you engaged when you’re tired of movies and music.
- Headphones – Don’t forget your headphones. They could be a saving grace in noisy areas or when you want to watch a movie or listen to music.
- Laptop – Bring your laptop or tablet to watch movies, get work done, listen to music, and more.
- Travel-sized toiletries – You can find a travel size of almost anything you use on a regular basis now.
- Luggage locks – Don’t travel to an international country without locking your luggage. You can always open the lock if the TSA needs it open.
- Travel medical insurance card – If you purchased travel medical insurance to provide coverage for unexpected medical expenses during your international trip, make sure you have your card with you at all times.
International travel can be a bit daunting, especially if it is your first time. Get all the information you need by checking out our guides:
- Tips for Traveling Abroad for the First Time
- International Travel Packing List
- International Travel Tips
- International Travel Documents Checklist
Travel Essentials Clothing
Some travel excursions may call for unique clothing choices, such as hiking through a forest, touring different cities, rushing between conference meetings, or scuba diving in the ocean. Packable travel clothes, like wrinkle-free travel clothes, can also be great for those trying to pack light.
There are a few well-known travel clothing brands that offer comfortable and functional clothes that are ideal for a day of sightseeing or outdoor adventures. Here are a few:
- Patagonia – This brand makes clothes for every occasion. They use high-quality fabrics and are known for all-weather durability.
- Bluffworks – This brand combines high fashion and durability for business wear and luxury travel clothes. The fabric is wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking to blend in anywhere.
- Ably – If you’re looking for travel essentials clothing that can handle anything, this brand has made its mark with its moisture-resistant, odor-blocking, and fast-drying clothing. The brand makes neutral colors and styles to mix and match.
- Vessi Footwear – This brand offers four-season shoes that are built to withstand all types of weather and climates. It manufactures three types of sneakers that are also anti-bacterial.
- Eddie Bauer – When you’re looking for travel jackets, the Eddie Bauer brand reigns supreme. It also makes pants that are water-resistant and stretchy. The jackets are popular because of their stylish, breathable, lightweight fabric that looks good on everyone.
Travel Essentials Websites
When you’re shopping for travel essentials, knowing which travel essentials websites have a variety of items can help make things easier. There are high-end and budget-conscious sites that cater to every price point.
You’ll also want to consider the best stores for travel gear when planning your wardrobe and any other accessories you may need. Here are some websites to consider:
- Amazon – “Travel essentials Amazon” is a popular search term. No matter what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it on Amazon.
- Eagle Creek – This site offers sustainable travel products to help you stay organized, like backpacks, suitcases, and packing cubes. One of the perks is free 3-day shipping to ensure you get everything you need before your trip.
- Best Buy – When you’re looking for electronics essentials and other travel items, Best Buy carries a wide variety of items like chargers, adapters, iPads, tablets, headphones, and more.
- Bag’n Baggage – This brand specializes in high-quality toiletry kits, travel adapters, day bags and travel bags, and packing cubes.
Be Sure to Explore These Related Resources:
- Travel Packing Tips
- Create Your International Travel Packing List
- International Travel Checklist During COVID
- International Travel Documents Checklist
- Travel Tips and Tricks
- Is Travel Insurance Really Worth It?
- Should I Get Travel Health Insurance for My Trip Abroad?
- 21 Tips for Staying Safe While Traveling
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