Love it or hate it, packing your bags and sitting on a plane, train, or bus is often part of everyone’s travel experience. However, packing and getting to your destination doesn’t have to be stressful, and if you travel often, you should have your travel essentials always ready to go. Whether you are traveling around the world or just going home to visit family, here are some of my favorite essential travel items.
Passport Holder and Pen
I like being super organized and having everything important in one spot – passport, boarding pass, Nexus card (for Canadians traveling to/from the US), lounge access cards such as the Priority Pass, etc. I also make sure I bring along a pen so that I can jot down any thoughts I may have during the trip, and also to fill out those pesky immigration forms. Bellroy, who’s minimalist wallets were also recently featured in our top 30 roundup, also have an amazing Travel Wallet that even has a slot for your roaming sim card and iPhone pin — in a variety of colors too!
Noise canceling headphones
I always travel with a good set of noise cancelling headphones. Drown out that noisy neighbor, crying baby, and even the roar of the engine. Great for listening to music or watching a movie during a long flight, I sometimes use them for some soothing music for a quick nap!
Eye mask and Earplugs
If you are trying to sleep, I find the best way to get some quiet time is with and nice eye mask and foam earplugs. They pair perfectly with whiskey for some amazing and relaxing sleep on the plane! The ear plugs are, however, cheap and easy to lose, so I usually bring a few pairs just in case.
I always travel with a camera in addition to my phone because you never know when there are really amazing photo opportunities. I love my Sony A6000 because it is relatively small compared to DSLRs but it is also high enough quality for travel photos for my travel blog. It is not super high-end so I don’t mind taking it out in almost any situation to snap that perfect shot. It is one of the many mirrorless cameras that have been gaining popularity from beginners to professional photographers.
Although most airlines now offer power outlets, I always travel with a portable charger just in case so that I can keep my phone powered up, and me, happy. There are so many amazing options now and they all work great. I love the portable chargers as they work wonderfully and are generally small, light and inexpensive, so you can get a few different sizes depending on your trip. If you’re fortunate enough to pickup an Away carry-on luggage, then you won’t have to pack another, as it comes with one built in!
If I am going on a business trip, I always travel with my garment folder so that I can neatly fold away my dress shirts. Most garment folders help you fold your shirts neatly and it keeps them organized, flat and (generally) wrinkle free. I have been using the Eagle Creek Pack-It system, but there are quite a few similar products out there.
Toiletry kit and face creams
Overtime, I’ve started to collate a small toiletry kit with me on the plane so that I have easy access to things such as hand lotion, small sample size cologne, toothbrush, dental floss, and a small tube of toothpaste. I also always bring a small travel sized Clarins Men Revitalizing Gel and Anti-Fatigue eye Serum – I want to always arrive looking fresh and smelling great! Placing this in my backpack or duffle, in addition to my actual toiletry kit is best, so that it may be accessible in my carry-on instead of in my checked bag.
I’m not by any means a germaphobe, but we all know plane seats, armrests, seat belt buckles, tray tables and the entertainment system, are dirty and full of germs. I always bring a little pack of antibacterial wipes with me so that I can clean off some of these areas before the plane even takes off. The worst thing would be to get sick before you even land at your travel destination.
Portable Luggage Scale
We all know the packing struggle, especially for longer trips. Getting to the airport only to realise your bags are too heavy to be checked is a nightmare, to say the least. Come prepared by weighing your bags before you head to the airport using a portable luggage scale. It’s small enough to pop in your luggage for the return trip as well.
Like most people, I never leave home without my phone! Having your phone with you gives access to your music and movies, and it is one of your best tools during any trip as you can use it to take quick pictures or videos. I love my iPhone X’s portrait mode as it allows me to take great Instagram pictures to share my travel adventures with my followers. Another helpful thing with having your phone with you at all times is that you are able to look up directions, places to go and travel tips. Although, if you want to save time with that, you should come visit my travel blog – Asianmapleleaf.com – for some of the top places to visit, local experiences, and more!
Lastly, having a great carry-on luggage can make a huge difference in your travelling experience. I love travelling with my Away Luggage. It’s compact, stylish, and a great value. The scratch resistant matte hard exterior is also very durable and keeps your luggage looking fresh even after many trips. One of my favorite features is the built-in battery with two USB ports. This has come in handy so many times at the airport when I wasn’t able to find a convenient outlet. For a luxury model, Rimowa has some great suitcases. One model type come with an electronic tag, linked to your smartphone, that will automatically check-in for you. It will also display an image or name – except when it’s checked-in. It also has one of the most sophisticated security systems on the market. Bugaboo and Floatti have also recently released an Unconventional and Smart luggage options too.
For short trips, the perfect weekender or duffel bag is essential. The bag must be the perfect size for storage and ease of travel. It has to be big enough to hold your belongings while still being small enough to fit an overhead compartment. Take a look at the integrity of the shoulder strap when shopping for your weekender bag. You don’t want to be walking through the airport and have it break on you…trust me!
Travelling for work or leisure, it’s important to ensure you have all the essentials on hand when you need them. Include these helpful items that will help to make every trip stress-free on your next vacation, you won’t regret it.
Contributing Editors & Writers: Steven Branco, Merrill Flynn