These past few years have been my most-traveled, with us spending time in the sky at least once a month. With all that practice, I’ve tailored my in-flight essentials. Depending on the destination, the contents of my luggage might differ, but these are the 10 travel essentials I never go without – from the obvious to the frivolous.
If you are still shopping for the holidays, these would make great gifts for any jetsetter on your list!
10 Items I Never Travel Without
- Pre-packed hanging toiletry case – Starting with the. most. important. I cannot stress how helpful it is to a) have a toiletry case with a hanging hook and b) have it pre-packed and ready to go. Previously I would to pack up my toiletry case the night before each trip. Without fail I would forget an essential item every time – it’s impossible to remember everything you need when frantically packing! It’s worthwhile to nvest the time and money to buy travel sizes of all your products and stock up everything you might need – face wash, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss – the works. Cut off time and stress when packing by keeping it permanently in your carry-on in the closet. Upon checking in at your destination, simply hang it on the back of the bathroom door; all your items will be right there, organized and off the counter.
- Kindle – Life is busy and it can be hard to carve out time to sit and just read a book. I love to use my time disconnected from the world below to dive into a good book on this compact device.
- Sleeping mask – Not just any sleeping mask, though. You need the kind with gel beads! Not only does it completely block out light so you can catch a few zzz’s even while your seatmate has the overhead light on, but the gel beads press lightly on your eyelids to keep them closed and the pressure helps you to relax. I swear by this!
- Portable charger – Nothing drains your phone quite like traveling (except maybe tailgates – anyone else?! haha!) We always carry at least one of these portable charging sticks with us. They’re compact but pack a punch.
- Blanket scarf or cape – Even if I am traveling to a warm climate, I make sure to bring a scarf with me. You never know if the temps might drop at night and it doubles as a blanket while in flight.
- Instax camera – My favorite travel essential! There is a certain satisfaction that comes from having a tangible photo from a trip. I love looking at my collection of snaps from each trip – I hang them all up in my cube at work and they’re a great conversation starter! (I have this model and it’s great, but it’s a bit bulky – this one is more compact.)
- Sneakers – Always always always pack a pair of sneakers. Comfort is king when traveling and I’m not going to let an impractical shoe choice keep me from exploring our destination. These have been my favorites the past few years.
- Rosewater spray – Plane cabins are notorious for drying your skin which causes you to overproduce oil to compensate for that dry skin – it’s a vicious cycle. I keep this spray on hand and apply multiple times throughout the flight. It’s refreshing while providing essential moisture to keep my skin from freaking out.
- Bar/snack – Airports aren’t known for their selection of healthy eats (plus, the markup is always like 400%!) and you never know when a flight is going to get delayed, so I always keep a bar or two on hand just in case. Right now my favorites are the Pressed Kind bars and the Larabar Fruits + Greens ones, but any satisfying snack will do. Look for ones with protein and fiber to keep you full!
- Sunglasses – I have extremely sensitive eyes, but beyond that, sunglasses forgive so many wrongs. Looking ratchet coming off a long flight? Sunglasses. Eyes puffy after taking the redeye? Sunglasses. Trust.
Your turn to spill… what are your travel essentials?