travel essentials list

It’s not always easy to know what you need. Travel has so many aspects to it that we always realize we need something when it’s too late and we are already on the road.  That’s why I have made this travel essentials list of 20 items that will greatly improve the way you travel. 

I have sorted these 20 useful items in 3 categories:

  • Packing: Packing properly is a headache for many travelers – including seasoned travelers – and these often inexpensive products can truly help you pack in an organized way and save a lot of space in your bag or luggage. 
  • On the road: These are the products that will really make your life easier while traveling and make you more independant. Some of them are particularly interesting if you are going away from the beaten path.
  • Electronics & gadgets: Electronics are part of our life. And most of them won’t travel without them. Here are really good and useful gadgets that help you make the most of your trips! 

There certainly are even more products that I could have listed here that are generally useful for travel, but I believe that the 20 essentials mentioned here are already a great list to start from.

Happy browsing!

Travel Essentials List: Packing

Seasoned travelers all seem to be raving fans of these packing cubes, and for good reason! They are just so convenient to keep your luggage organized and your clothes properly stored during the trip.

I am myself a big fan of such little accessories that help me stay organized.

This is a set of 4 packing cubes of different sizes, coming with a laundry bag not to mix your dirty clothes with the clean ones!

 

If you are one who always ends up squeezing your things inside your luggage because you never have enough space,  these compression bags can be the solution you are looking for!

Rolling up your clothes is always a good idea when you are packing for a trip, but if you want them to take even less space you should definitely use these little bags.

There are 16 of them in the pack, they are reusable and you don’t need any kind of pump to use them. You just need to put you clothes inside the bag, roll it up and the air will be pushed out of the bag naturally.

 

I have invested in a dry bag a few years back and I have never regretted. They are great (and really, 100% waterproof) if you are planning some activities that involve water in a way or another, such as the beach, snorkeling, going into humid jungles, and so on.

Your valuables will be kept dry inside no matter what.

It’s an inexpensive item that doesn’t take much space and is always good to have, in my opinion. Many colors and sizes are available.

I don’t know how we could travel without them in the past! These toiletry bottles are really great because they are made of silicone, they are leakproof and very light.

Now you can conveniently bring the right amount of shampoo, lotion, soap or sun block that you need for your trip without needing to carry the whole, heavy bottles and fearing that they leak in your bag.

Another inexpensive item that really makes a difference when you are packing for your next trip.

If you are concerned about the safety of your luggage while it is being handled at the airport, you can get this pair of TSA-Approved luggage padlocks.

These best-selling locks were specifically designed for luggage, allowing TSA officers to open them to control your bag without needing to break the lock.

They are made of metal and will definitely keep the thieves away.

This one is often a little overlooked but I believe it is important to have a quality daypack you can rely on every time you go for a day tour or a hike during your trip.

There are many extremely cheap options around, but it’s always wiser to settle for better quality and avoid findig yourself with a broken zip in the middle of a hike.

Also see our daypack buying guide if you are not too sure of how to choose your daypack.

Travel Essentials List: On The Road

Neck pillows are more and more common and can really help if you are going to long plane, bus or train rides. I find it a little bit easier to sleep on the plane with a neck pillow. And this one is really soft.

Long sitting trips are not great for the body and such a pillow can help avoid all kinds of annoyances like back pain of neck pain because of a bad position.

If you haven’t got one already, I suggest you check this one out 🙂

Traveling always means handling all kinds of documents and papers such as boarding passes and passports, and it’s not always easy to stay organized. This travel wallet is convenient to keep all your precious documents, cards, money and phone in one place, organized and safe!

It uses the RFID blocking technology, which prevents thieves from getting your personal information by discreetly scanning them through the wallet. Yeah, I know, it’s insane that some people actually do that. But it does happen.

With this wallet, your documents will also be safe from the rain as it is made of water-resistant fabric!

This is a good complement to the travel wallet shown above.

A money belt is always a good thing to have for any traveler. It enables you to safely and discreetly carry your money and important documents as you are walking around and visiting.

Just like the travel wallet, it is equipped with the RFID blocking technology to prevent the scan of your personal information. It is also made of water-resistant nylon and can be worn on bare skin thanks to its well-designed, aerated backing.

This is a really great invention for travelers, hikers and campers. It’s not always easy to find a place to get your clothes washed when you are traveling. And even if you are in a city, you don’t always feel like adding a laundry budget to your trip.

That’s where this wash bag comes in handy. You can now do your own laundry anytime, anywhere. And well, it’s much more convenient and hygienic than a hotel sink.

On top of that, it’s really lightweight and once folded, really doesn’t take much space in your bag.

This is a great soap to use with the laundry bag above.

This multipurpose soap can be used for anything: your personal hygiene, laundry, washing the dishes when you are camping, or anything really!

It is made in the USA and is 100% biodegradable, which is great if like me you are concerned about limiting your environmental impact in the wonderful places you are visiting.

A super convenient invention for those who travel to destinations where tap water is not drinkable or going for a trek and needing to drink from the river for example.

The bottle is extremely easy to use. Just fill it with water, press to filter, and drink. 99.99% of bacteria and viruses will be killed, particles and heavy metals will be filtered out, and the water will be 100% safe to drink.

The bottle exists in 4 colors and extra filter cartridges can be purchased.

Another awesome invention to help you be safe with water while traveling, but this time taking the form of a straw. This is maybe more useful to hikers and trekkers, as part of your emergency kit.

Like for the bottle above, the water from any river, lake or pond gets perfectly filtered and is instantly made drinkable. It is extremely lightweight and will filter as much as 4000 litres of water before needing to be replaced. That’s a hell lot of water.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this little inexpensive item should really be part of your gear because if you get lost or run out of water, it could save your life!

Travel Essentials List: Electronics & Gadgets

This truly is a must-have for international travel. This one is great because it features 4 USB ports (on top of the plug itself) to charge your smartphone or other devices – 4 of them can hence be charged at the sametime.

It can be used on world wide plugs: type A (USA, Canada, Japan), type C (Europe and South America), type G (United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore) and type I (Australia and China).

Unlike the bulky and unconvenient adapters of the past, this one is compact and doesn’t take much space in your bag.

A pretty cool and compact item to but when you love traveling! With airlines often being super strict about luggage weight and our tendency to pack a lot of stuff, it’s always good to be able to weigh your luggage before heading to the airport.

This scale is cleverly designed like a handle to which you need to hang your luggage or backpack, and it will display its weight on the small screen.

It can measure up to 50 kg / 110 lb and even has a thermometer function.

Last year I added a power bank to my travel gear and I wonder how I have done without it before! As we tend to buy more and more handheld, battery-powered devices, the need to be able to charge them on the road is only logical.

This best-selling power bank allows you to charge 3 USB devices simultaneously and at high speed, several time without needing to charge the power bank itself.

When you do need to charge the power bank, you can do so by using the dual input ports – meaning that it will charge twice as fast as the classic speed.

If like me you are taking a lot of pictures when you travel, a portable external hard drive will become an inevitable purchase!

I find this brand (Western Digital) very reliable and never had a single problem with my hard drive in years of travel. This hard drive is available in 1TB to 4TB.

I recommend getting a bit more than what you think you need, because with nowadays’ high quality images it does fill up quite fast, especially if you are going for longer trips.

It’s always good to stay organized and this little bag is a great help when it comes to keeping all the cables and small devices in one place.

Indeed, this bag was not only designed to keep all your USB cables, charger’s cables, earphones and so on, but also devices like portable hard drives or phone chargers.

It is made of water-resistant nylon that will keep your gear safe, and you can choose between 5 different colors.

That’s a great gadget to get especially if you often go hiking, trekking or camping. The foldable solar panels are equipped with 3 USB ports, allowing you to charge up to 3 devices on the go.

The sturdy and weather-proof panels are half the size and weight of classic solar panels and able to deliver the same amount of energy. It is even able to detect what kind of device you are plugging to it and adjust the amount of energy needed to charge it.

It is easy to deloy the panels on your backpack while you are hiking.

Who can travel without a smartphone nowadays?! This very cheap, bestselling case is great to protect your precious phone from water, but also from sand and dust. This is a universal case, compatible with most smartphones up to 6″ in diagonal size.

It has an IPX8 waterproofing certification, which means it can safely be submerged in water for extended periods of time, and help you take cool photos of your snorkeling adventures. 

Due to the water pressure, the touch screen might not function properly under water, but you can also take pics using the side button.

That’s it for today! There are obviously hundred of products you could possibly buy to improve the way you travel but this travel essentials list is there to help you focus on some most important ones.

I hope that this list was useful to you – At least I  know such items were definitely useful to me as a traveler. 

Disclosure: Exploration Junkie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you purchase an item on Amazon through the affiliate links in this page, this website will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keeping this site ad-free, and it helps you say thank you if our content is useful to you 🙂

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