Essential Gear to Make Your Next Trip Easier

Are looking for items to make your travelling life easier or a gift idea for the traveler in your life? This list of my favorite travel items will help you hack your way into your best trip yet.

Carry-On Essentials

Make Life Easier with Luggage

Even travelling for two weeks through Europe, I only bring a carry-on. If you travel like me, which is moving from place to place, it will save you time and stress to have easy to manage luggage. The first step for that is to find a good suitcase with a few separate compartments. Here are a few good ones to check out:

I prefer suitcases with unique colors, so they are easy to keep track of. If you are forced to check it on the plane, it is much easier to spy it on the luggage rack too!

Check out this cute pink roll-on luggage!

If you are going for a weekend, this Delsey Quilted Rolling Underseat Bag is a great option–

My husband prefers a backpack-style, so he uses this convertible bag. He really likes that there are multiple pieces that he can leave home or bring along.

You are also generally allowed a personal item. I carry a Baggallini backpack for a few reasons. The backpack is machine-washable. I like a backpack because it is very convenient, keeping my hands free. But, because this bag converts into a purse, I can wear it on my front for safety, or convert is to a purse where backpacks aren’t allowed. Knock on wood, but I haven’t been pick-pocketed with it, even in sketchy cities. The wallet is attached to it by a string. You can read more about how to keep yourself safe at the end of this post.

To stay organized, I use packing cubes. They are definitely a game-changer when it comes to carry-on travelling. Eagle Creek compression cubes are the best.

To fit even more into my cubes, we roll our clothes and secure them with new hair ties, which I then use to pull my hair back.

What I Keep in my Carry-On/ Travel Essentials for the Plane

Reality is, you will rarely find me without a Contigo water bottle. I really like cold water. Kind of don’t even want to drink it if it’s warm. I also hate feeling like I need to drink water fast on the plane, so that I won’t bump the flimsy tray and spill water all over myself. My water bottle is a must for plane travel. It is very important to stay hydrated on the flight, so you feel good when you land!

I have two small travel cameras and always have one in my carry-on.  I could just shoot with my iPhone, but although the quality of those pictures is great on a small screen, they are just not good enough to enlarge.  The smallest is my Sony Cyber-Shot RX-100 which has a big enough sensor to give me quality shots and is smaller than my cell phone. It is easy to throw in my Baggallini, or even my pocket, and connects to my phone’s WiFi! I will still use my iPhone for bokeh (blurred background) shots. It also charges with a regular USB-C chord, so I can charge it with my portable charger if I need. It even has 4K video!

My other travel camera is a mirrorless camera with multiple lenses and a sensor just one size smaller than a full-frame camera with a fraction of the size. With the 16-50mm lens, my Nikon Z50 fits in my pocket. At just about 2 lbs, this camera is perfect for a traveler who wants the performance and choices a DLSR provides with a convenient size. I also have a larger zoom lens for when I have room to carry it.

I am obsessed with reading and never leave home with a book. When I am at home I read both paper and an e-reader, but when I am traveling I am all about my Kindle. I once was caught in another country where I couldn’t find another book in English and that caused quite a panic for me. Now I can carry more books then I could possibly read during one trip in one small package.

Shop for your Kindle here.

If you are fine with reading on a phone, you can even download the Kindle app and just use your phone. If you do this, be sure to download the books before you leave, as you can’t purchase the books directly through the app, but need to use your computer or Kindle.

For just $9.99 a month you can get unlimited Kindle books. Explore that now!

For overnight flights I bring an eye mask. It helps if your hotel room isn’t dark enough too. Check out this purple, silk sleep mask.

I do not sleep easily. You can read more for my sleep tips… but good ear plugs are key for me. After trying many brands, Fluents Quiet Please are my absolute favorites!

I also bring along wireless, noise-cancelling headphones to listen to movies, music and my white noise machine on my iPhone.

I always have Peptobismol and Ibuprofen in my bag for headaches or tummy problems.

I always have a small, portable charger as I dread getting stuck on a long flight or train ride and running out of power.

Anker brand chargers are reliable and charge well. You can check them out here.

Do you get motion sick? Half of my family does, but we have found that non-chemical Sea-Bands keep us feeling stable.

Travel Essentials for Families

Rather than each member of my family packing chargers, I pack a charger bank that we all plug into overnight. This bank has a long chord, so you can put it somewhere convenient in your hotel room.

I also carry one portable charger for the family during the day…

Travel Essentials for International Travel

Don’t forget one of these if you are travelling abroad…

 A Universal Charger


And a Universal Charger Bank 

When we travel together, my husband is in charge of everyone’s passports. He has a holder that he can wear around his neck to ensure safety from theft.

Travel Essentials for Women

One way I am able to travel for a long period of time with a carry on is wearing a versatile, water-proof jacket on the plane, such as this one.

This is the one I am bringing to Alaska where I don’t need to stay warm, only dry– You can shop for this jacket here.

A key to traveling light is not bringing too many shoes. I wear my walking shoes onto the plane and tuck these travel ballet flats to wear out for dinner. They are not good for walking– the soles are really thin– but are perfect as a convenient way to dress up a bit.

Packing for Longer-Term Travel

The other limitation for my small travel camera is with the zoom which isn’t great for wildlife. For my time in Alaska (read about my plans here), I cannot travel with just a carry-on, so I will bring my new Sony Cyber-Shot RX-10 IV. It has an incredible zoom, but is still smaller than the lens I would need for my regular DLSR.

If you want to buy a smaller, less-expensive DLSR that you can change lenses on, consider the Sony a6000 or 6300, but know that the sensor is not as good as the RX-100. It does have a better zoom than the RX-100.

If your camera doesn’t charge with a USB-C, it is a good idea to bring along an extra battery.

MeFOTO makes the perfect travel-sized quality tripod.

If you have room for a white noise machine, this is a good one. On carry-on trips, I just use a white noise app on my phone. If you use your phone remember to put it on Do Not Disturb.

Packing for Hiking Trips

When I went to Iceland, Maine and Norway and hiking was in my plans, a backpack that collapsed was key. Try this lightweight version by Osprey–

A travel towel with a waterproof hiding place for your valuables can come in handy.

I hope these ideas help to make your next trip your best ever! Thanks again for using affiliate links on my site, such as these, to help support it. For more details read my full disclosure below.

Be sure to keep reading for my best adventures yet...

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