13 Must-Have Travel Essentials For Your Perfect Vacation (2024)

No matter what the trip, make sure you’ve packed everything you need! This list of travel essentials will make getting ready for your vacation and your trip planning so much easier!

Don’t you hate it when you leave for vacation and suddenly realize you forgot to pack something important?

You’ve probably already remembered your toiletries, clothing, and passport (friendly reminder to pack your passport!), but there are other essential items that can easily get glossed over in the rush of packing.


Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are my top 3 picks for the must-have travel essentials:

I’m the queen of forgetting things! I’ve even forgotten to pack underwear before — oops!

My travel essentials include a lot of the little comforts that make traveling a lot easier. Take a look at the items I absolutely have to have on every vacation to get some inspiration for your own packing list!

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to receive a free Travel Planning Kit with a packing list included!

Now, let’s get down to the travel essentials!

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Travel Essentials: What to Pack

Get ready to feel more confident and organized when you embark on your next adventure! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned traveler, this list of travel packing essentials has got you covered.

Travel Safety Essentials

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1. Pacsafe Bag

A pickpocket-proof Pacsafe bag comes complete with the RFID-blocking technology, cut-proof fabric, and zipper locks you need to keep your belongings safe while you travel.

While the brand has a great selection of awesome bags, backpacks, purses, wallets, I prefer the small shoulder bag that isn’t bulky but still big enough for everything you want to carry for the day, and it looks really nice!

The complex hooks and zippers take some getting used to, but it’s well worth it for your peace of mind.

2. Luggage Locks

Luggage locks are also a great safety essential for every traveler.

These Forge TSA-approved luggage locks will keep your luggage safe between the airport and the hotel, and you can lock things away in your hotel room as well.

These locks come in fun colors and they’re easy to use. They also have an indicator so you know if TSA has opened the lock and inspected your luggage.

3. First Aid Kit

Safety first! A first aid kit can come in handy for all types of travelers.

The compact Pac-Kit by First Aid Only has all your basic first aid essentials and can be kept in the car for road trippers and in a backpack for backpackers.

The Essential Travel Technology

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4. Portable Battery Charger

This Anker PowerCore portable charger will let you charge your phone, tablet, or any device that needs charging on the go, that way your battery will never be in the red.

This is a must-have travel essential for me because I need my phone fully charged for a day of taking lots and lots of pictures for the blog!

5. Worldwide Plug Adapter

You don’t have to worry so much about international voltages with the BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter.

This compact, travel-ready adapter comes with the major international adapter plugs and also converts all countries’ voltages to US voltages so that you can charge all of your devices.

Make sure to pack this travel essential for your international vacations!

6. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

These Bose QuietComfort Headphones are the best money I’ve ever spent.

They’re noise-cancelling, so they block out the sounds of jet engines, children crying, and all the other annoying plane noises.

It’s such a relief to have them on the airplane. I truly cannot travel without them now!

7. Travel Noise Machine

The HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine helps you sleep no matter where you are, whether a noisy cruise ship or a hotel with thin walls.

It’s lightweight and easily fits into your purse, bag, or suitcase so you can bring it along on all your travels.

8. Selfie Stick

The Mpow Selfie Stick has Bluetooth pairing and even comes with a tripod so that you can be a real selfie pro!

This is especially great for group trips so that you can get group selfies really easily. Group photos will be the memories you treasure forever!

The Little Things For Travel Comfort

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9. Travel Neck Pillow

A good travel pillow is a must for all travelers.

The Cabeau Memory Foam Travel Pillow is soft and comfy, and the sides keep your head from lolling around while you sleep. This travel pillow will help you sleep on a plane, train, car, or bus so that you can wake up refreshed and ready for your trip.

10. Eye Mask

Sleep soundly on any plane with this Sleep Eye Mask that has memory foam and a concave design to block out as much light as possible.

This is just one of the many great items that can help you survive your long-haul plane trip. And of course it’s also good for other methods of travel or even for falling asleep in an unfamiliar hotel room.

11. High Quality Reusable Water Bottle

A high quality refillable water bottle to bring with you is the most sustainable way to stay hydrated while you travel.

Making the switch to a reusable water bottle can help prevent an average of 156 plastic bottles from making their way into the ocean annually.

Fill this up at the airport before your flight or anytime during your trip so that you have refreshing water anywhere you go. A reusable water bottle is a must-have for hiking trips so that you can leave no trace while you’re out enjoying nature.

12. Packing Cubes

Investing in a good set of packing cubes will make your life so much easier when packing for your trips.

These Bagail Packing Cubes will help you stay organized while packing for your vacation.

And these Knack Expandable Packing Cubes are great for compressing your clothes so they fit in your luggage. Read my review of the Knack expandable packing cubes to learn more.

13. Knack Expandable Backpack

Once you know what you’re packing, you need something to pack it all in!

I love the Knack expandable backpack for short trips. This bag has an expandable compartment that can fit 2-3 outfits, your laptop, water bottle, and so much more. Read my review of the Knack bag to learn more.

Looking for more travel packing tips? Check out these posts:

Don’t worry about forgetting something — these posts will help your pack all the essential items that are must-haves for any trip.

  • This Is the Best Travel Gear to Pack for Weekend Trips
  • 20 Useful Things to Pack for Your Caribbean Cruise
  • What You Need to Shoot the Hooch
  • What to Pack for a Trip to Costa Rica
  • How to Prevent Blisters When Traveling

Ready to take a vacation? Plan your trip with these tips.

  • Find cheap accommodation:Use mytips for finding cheap accommodationfor travel every time.
  • Book your flight:Find the cheapest flights usingSkyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
  • Pack for your vacation: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need by checking out my packing list resources.



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What travel essentials do you always pack for your trips? Let me know in the comment section below!

13 Must-Have Travel Essentials For Your Perfect Vacation (2024)


What is important to bring on vacation? ›

Maintaining personal hygiene and having essential first-aid items on hand is vital for staying healthy and comfortable during your travels. Proper toiletries ensure you feel refreshed and clean, which is especially important on a camping trip. Meanwhile, a first-aid kit can relieve minor injuries and ailments.

Why travel essentials is important? ›

Forgetting your travel essentials can lead to unnecessary stress and inconvenience while on vacation. By ensuring you have packed essential items such as toiletries, chargers, and travel documents, you can streamline your travel experience and focus on making the most of your time away.

What do I need to take Travelling? ›

  1. Passport.
  2. Boarding Passes.
  3. Foreign cash.
  4. Credit/ATM cards.
  5. Maps/directions/itinerary.
  6. Guidebook material.
  7. First aid kit.
  8. Travel insurance documents.
Aug 31, 2023

What is the most important thing you always bring with you when you travel Why? ›


It seems obvious, but the single most important thing to pack for your travels is your passport. You won't get very far without it. Once you've ticked everything off your pre-travel checklist, and before you put your foot out the door, one last check for that important little book really won't hurt.

What does everyone forget to pack for vacation? ›

We've all overlooked toothpaste, razors, deodorant, etc. Yes, they are easy items that can be bought at the local drugstore, but trying to find a shop as soon as you get to your destination is no way to begin a vacation. Bathroom items are usually the last items to be packed, so it makes sense they are often forgotten.

What do you need to prepare for a vacation? ›

Travel preparation checklist
  1. Research your destination. ...
  2. Create a budget that leaves room for unexpected expenses. ...
  3. Learn common words and phrases. ...
  4. Book plane tickets and accommodations well in advance. ...
  5. Make physical and digital copies of your travel documents. ...
  6. Purchase a travel insurance policy.
Jun 6, 2023

What is an example of essential travel? ›

Taking the guide by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an example, the organization suggested grocery shopping, take-out, banking, and getting gas, among others, belong to essential travel that is fundamental to daily life (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

Why do you need a travel backpack? ›

A backpack is much easier to carry around than a suitcase, so you'll be able to move more freely and easily. This also means that you can be more spontaneous with your travel plans, without having to worry about lugging around a heavy suitcase.

What is a packing list? ›

A packing list itemizes the contents of each package (box, pallets, etc). It includes weights, measurements and detailed lists of the goods in each package. The packing list should be included in carton or package, and can be attached to the outside of a package with a copy inside.

How do you pack properly? ›

General moving and packing tips
  1. Start with items you won't need right away. ...
  2. Pack similar items together. ...
  3. Keep essentials packed separately for quick access. ...
  4. Label each box by its contents and room. ...
  5. Color code boxes by each room. ...
  6. Allow yourself plenty of time to pack. ...
  7. Load furniture, appliances and larger items first.

What should I pack for a 15 day trip? ›

When packing for a 15-day trip, it's important to pack versatile clothing that can be worn in different settings. Choose items that can be dressed up or down, and that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Stick to a color scheme to make it easier to mix and match.

How many clothes to pack for 7 days? ›

2. Do the clothing countdown: If you need a mantra to help streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat. The list should be adjusted to suit your needs.

What should you put in your carry on? ›

Consider packing:
  • Snacks and a refillable water bottle.
  • Noise cancelling headphones.
  • Compression socks.
  • Entertainment (such as books, magazines and tech devices loaded up with music, podcasts, movies, etc.)
  • Phone charger (some flights have power ports built into the seat)
  • Neck pillow.

What is the 5 4 3 2 1 packing method? ›

Its version of the 5-4-3-2-1 method includes "five tops, four bottoms, three accessories, two shoes (a practical pair and a nice pair), and one swimsuit," though like the Times this formula allows the wiggle room to swap out accessories based on your destination and type of travel.

What should I pack for a 5 day trip? ›

What to pack for a 5-day trip checklist? (Things to put )
  • Clothes that you can use for Five Days. ...
  • Comfortable shoes that you can wear the Whole Day. ...
  • Disposal shower cap to keep your Bag Clean. ...
  • Comfy nightwear for your Trip. ...
  • Slippers for your Extra Comfort that you want to Have.

What should you put in your carry-on? ›

Consider packing:
  • Snacks and a refillable water bottle.
  • Noise cancelling headphones.
  • Compression socks.
  • Entertainment (such as books, magazines and tech devices loaded up with music, podcasts, movies, etc.)
  • Phone charger (some flights have power ports built into the seat)
  • Neck pillow.

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