Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials

Starting university comes with more freedom and opportunity to travel. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to bring with you and what to leave behind. I’ve always been terrible at overpacking but I am stating to get better, and limiting myself to more essential items. I’ve put together a list of all my favourite travel essentials that will help you keep organizer and feel more prepared. No matter where I am traveling to these are all the things that I pack in my bag.

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travel essentials

1. Packing cubes

If you haven’t used packing cubes before you need to try them. They will keep you so much more organized while you’re travelling. I find them the most useful when you’re moving around a lot and not unpacking your bag. With packing cubes it will stay organized instead of getting messed up every time you go to look for something.

They come its sets with a a range of sizes, I mainly use mine to keep my clothes organized. I use the biggest size for bottoms (jeans , leggings etc.), the next size down for all my tops, and then smallest one for underwear and bathing suits.

2. Travel wallet

A travel wallet is somewhere to keep all your essentials while you’re travelling. Mine holds my ID, passport back cards, phone and a pen. This way you know where everything is, and its easily accessible when you need it. Rather than shoving my passport into a random pocket in my bag I know that it’s in my wallet and I don’t need to panic search for it the next time I need it.

3. Portable charger

I don’t go anywhere without a portable charger. When looking for a portable charger you want something that holds lots of charge and is relatively light. It’s also a bonus if it has multiple ports so you can charge more than one thing at a time.

Out of all the portable chargers I’ve had over the years this one from Belkin is my favourite and I always recommend it.

4. Blanket scarf

Even if I am going somewhere warm I take my blanket scarf with me. I am always cold on planes so it makes a nice blanket or I wrap it around my shoulders. You can also fold it up and use it as a pillow if you need. I got mine from Long Tall Sally years ago, but they don’t seem to carry it anymore. This one from Accessorize looks like a good alternatively, but you can find them lots of places.

5. Noise cancelling headphones

Noise cancelling headphones are definitely an essential for me. I used to steal my moms pair of headphones if I was travelling without her. She ended up getting me my own pair now that I’m going back and forth so much so I don’t constantly have hers. We’ve always gotten Bose noise canceling headphones and I really like them. They work well and they last a long time.

You can find the exact ones I have here. There are also available from amazon:

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6. Notebook/journal

I don’t keep a journal on the day to day but I like to have one when I’m travelling. It’s nice to be able to look back at it and see what you did and what you thought about it at the time. If you like to draw you can also add in some sketches.

It’s also good to have somewhere where you can quickly write down info if you need to.

7. Travel pillow

If you are trying to sleep on any long flight I fid it so much easier with a travel pillow. I have one that clips together so you can just keep it attached to your bag while moving around.

8. Sleep Mask

I am terrible at falling asleep on planes. For a while I just completely gave up on trying to sleep on my flights. However, with doing multiple transatlantic flights every year now I realized I need to get better at it because the jet lag is not fun.

I got an eye mask this year and I was surprised at how much it helped me sleep. I pretty much need complete dark to sleep so one planes even when the lights are dimmed its too bright and I get distracted.

These 3D molded ones look a little comical but they are so much more comfortable than having something directly on your eyes.

9. Hand sanitizer

I always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on me while I’m traveling. When your travelling and moving around a lot you don’t always have time to stop somewhere and wash your hands. Plus you will be in contact with a lot of high touch surfaces that are full of germs. It’s no fun getting sick while you travelling, so try and prevent it by keeping your hands clean.

Make sure that you keep your hand sanitizer in your liquids and gels bag when you go through security.

10. Blotting paper

Wearing a mask constantly while flying means my face gets sweaty and oily underneath it. To keep from breaking out I have a pack of blotting paper that I keep in my my bag. I just pull out a piece and can blot my face quickly. It keeps my feeling a little bit more comfortable and I worry less about breaking out.

11. Document holder

I have always traveling with a printed set of my documents (Flight itinerary, hotel confirmations etc). Right now a lot of countries also require you to have extra documents such as a passenger locator form and proof of vaccination status.

While most of the documents you need can be presented in a digital form its a good idea to keep a printed copy of everything in a folder in case your phone dies or stops working.

12. Medication

If you have a prescription medication that obviously something you keep with you when you travel but I also suggest bringing a few over the counter medications just in case. You can always buy stuff in airports but it is ridiculously expensive. I tend to keep some Advil for headaches and some kind of anti-histamine in my bag. I have a mini travel size bottle for each that I just keep refilling.

13. Mini first aid kit

You don’t need to keep a lot in it but having a small first aid kit handy makes things so much easier when you need it. I have a little first aid pouch that I got from a first aid training course years ago but you can also just keep everything in a ziploc baggie. Theres a range of things you can choose to keep in it but the minimum it should have is bandaids and antiseptic wipes.

Other things you can include are: topical antibiotic cream, gauze, gloves, clotting powder, and blister pads.

14. Personal safety alarm

travel essentials

If you are travelling solo (and even if you’re not) I highly recommend you have a personal safety alarm. I have a Birdie personal safety alarm that hangs from my keyring. It has a 130db alarm and a strobe light that go off when you pull the pin. They come in a bunch of different colours and have an oversized keychain that first perfectly over your hand. They can also be clipped right onto your bag.

You can also get 10% off your order by using the code MICHAELA10.

15. Emergency Cash

Even if I’m planning to pay for everything on card I like to have a small amount of cash on me while I’m travelling. It doesn’t need to be a lot just enough for a cab or something if you find you can’t pay with your card or you lost it.

16. Clear Toiletries Bag

Rather than keeping my liquids and gels in a disposable plastic bag I have a clear toiletries bag. I have never had and issue with getting it through airport security and it holds up way better than a disposable bag.

17. Travel Adaptor

If you are going anywhere where the outlets are different than what you use at home make sure you have the correct adaptor. If you are going to be visiting multiple countries you can get a universal adaptor but these tend to be a bit bulky.

I hope this list of travel essentials helps you feel prepared for your next adventure! Let me know down in the comments if there’s anything you think I missed.

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