When you’re out exploring the world or even your backyard, the last thing you want to be worried about is not being prepared for your trip. Well, worry not, my friend! I’ve got you covered! I’ve compiled a list of the top things you must pack for your next trip! As a full-time traveler, I’ve had tons of practice packing and repacking bags to only include the necessities! I hate having to pay for luggage fees, so I condensed both my husband and I’s belongings to one 55L bag! If you’re wondering what to bring traveling, you’ve come to the right place! No matter where you’re going, these items have been useful every single day and are a must to pack for a trip. Whether you’re wondering what to pack for 6 months, or just wondering what to pack for a weekend trip, these items will be useful to you!
Also, Just for reading this resource, I’m giving you our Minimalist packing list completely FREE (a $47 value). Scroll to the bottom of this page to get your free, printable packing list!
What to Bring Traveling
A Power Bank
Nothing has proven more useful on travel days than this little power bank! Don’t think you’ll use it? Yea, me either… until I was on a 17-hour plane ride from Beijing to Chicago, ran out of phone battery and had to look at the back of my chair for 12 hours. When you’re wondering what to bring traveling, you need to think of the situations that you will encounter frequently. One of these situations is your phone running out of battery. No matter where you end up traveling to, you’re likely using your phone to take pictures or to navigate. This causes the battery to drain and can leave you in some sticky situations abroad.
We made the mistake of forgetting to bring our power bank when we went to explore a waterfall 4 hours away from our hostel in Bali. Our phone ran out of battery, and we had to stop every mile asking locals with broken English to please give us directions back to Ubud. A headache we could of avoided if we had just brought along our power bank. This little device:
- holds 4 full phone battery charges
- is teeny tiny and fits anywhere
- Can charge multiple devices at once!
Seriously something you must pack for your next trip!
Where you’re going on a weekend trip or traveling for 6 months, you can’t leave the house without packing a towel! This towel has been nice to carry around because of how small and absorbent it is! We have literally owned our microfiber towel since our first trip in 2015, and we couldn’t be happier with it. It:
- folds up very small
- Is very light-weight
- dries like a champ
- doesn’t get smelly
- lasts forever
- has a zippered pocket to keep valuables when you’re at the beach
This towel is literally our bath towel, beach towel, and sometimes blanket! I recommend you get a dark color because it will stay looking nice much longer. Hostel bathrooms are typically not luxurious so you want your shower to be an in-and-out operation. This towel is essential to bring traveling with you!
Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
I know I can’t be the only person in this world who’s thighs rub together. if you’re like me and your thighs chaff, this deodorant keeping the chafing at bay no matter how far I walked. I also never realized how weird deodorant is around the world. In South East Asia, they use liquid roll-ons, and in England and Australia, they use the spray kind. Neither of those deodorants are TSA compliant, so I highly recommend you bring a solid deodorant from home! This Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant is amazing and keeps me smelling fresh for days. Even on the days when I’m on a plane all day and don’t get to shower (the gross reality of fulltime travel. You’re welcome!). Now that’s a lot to say!
Something important to remember when you’re thinking about what to bring traveling is that TSA limits how many liquids you can take in a carry-on. This makes it ultra important to keep the liquids you take at a minimum so they don’t force you to throw something away or check your bag. Since this deodorant is solid, you can throw it in your bag with total peace of mind.
Related: How to Travel Carry On Luggage Only and Never Pay for a Checked Bag
Needless to say, a Universal Converter in absolutely essential if you’re planning on traveling abroad. A lot of people think that they can get away with the smaller adapters, but what they don’t realize is that the different voltage WILL fry your electronics. I’ve had to kiss many a hair iron goodbye because of it. This converter has your back no matter what country you’re going to or coming from and keeps your electronics safe from power surges! I love that this one, in particular, comes in a little pouch that keeps it all together. If there is one item that we literally use every single day, it’s this one.
If you’re focused on traveling within the US, I instead recommend you bring an extension cord. There are two really essential times that we use this extension cord and it’s:
- At airports to charge your electronics when all of the plugs are taken
- In Hotels/ hostels when the plug is on the opposite side of the room
Although the times that these happen may be infrequent, when it happens you are PISSED. Save yourself a headache, and take an extension cord.
Extra pro tip with the extension cord: When all of the plugs are taken at an airport, you can use the extension cord to convince the person using the plug to let you use it instead. They still get access to the plug, but now you have two more ports to charge your own things or help out a stranger.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
If you’re wondering about one of the most important things to pack for a trip, you need comfy shoes. These hiking sandals were a dream come true for Daniel. We tend to be adventure travelers (chase for adventure, get it?!), so we end up hiking through a lot of waterfalls, climbing mountains, and even go Jet Ski island hopping. Daniel has been able to get away with these being the only real pair of shoes he has outside of his flipflops. These hiking sandals are:
- nice enough to wear with all of his clothes
- Fast drying!
If you’re a girl:
Before finding these shoes, I used to use Chacos and honestly hated them. They were uncomfortable to put on and smelled like something literally died in them. These shoes have changed my life! They are:
- easy to put on and clean
- and super anti-slip
- Best of all! They don’t stink!
If you are hell-bent on walking around the world in Converse, Superfeet insoles are a solid choice. Daniel and I were worried because he has a back issue that causes him pain when he walks long distances. These insoles allowed him to walk his way through every country we visited! We were very grateful to have these.
Travel Cubes are important to bring traveling because they help keep your stuff organized, and keep your clothes condensed. Basically, If you’re not traveling with packing cubes, we can’t be friends. These packing cubes:
- fit a ridiculous amount of clothes in them
- have the most durable zipper I have ever used
- have a lifetime warranty
- keep everything SO neat and organized!
- They are literally our travel drawers and we don’t go anywhere without them!
Investing in a good pair of headphones is a great idea before you go traveling. These have great reviews, don’t break the bank, and have long battery life. Any pair of headphones would work, but I specifically recommend you take wireless headphones for a few reasons:
- sleeping on airplanes is going to be much more comfortable if they’re wireless
- You don’t have to worry about untangling them for 5 minutes before using them
- You can use them on just about any device
A Comfy Backpack
This is one of those things I wish I would have put more thought into during my first trip abroad. I took an old duffle bag from Victoria Secret and although it survived the trip, it was a hassle to carry around. Often times, it was so heavy it would leave bruises on my shoulder. Needless to say, I won’t be making that mistake twice.
This is less of what to pack for a trip, and more what to pack your stuff into! Y’all, this backpack is the champion of all champions. The Osprey 55L backpack is:
- super durable
- comes with a detachable daypack
- gets on every single flight
- is water resistant
- and is comfy to carry around. We even took it with us when we climbed to the summit of Mt. Fuji!
We have literally been able to take this bag around on every trip around the world, and it has held up like no other backpack we’ve ever owned. Giant bonus? It has a lifetime warranty!
I know this one of the weirder items on this list, but let me explain. We use our dry sac as our laundry bag because it keeps all of the stinky smells inside. The air inside can also be squeezed completely out so it’s almost like vacuum sealing your gross cloths when you have to travel with your dirty laundry. AND true to our multifaceted gear requirement, this sac is a rockstar on days when we’re doing water excursions and want to keep our electronics safe! When it’s not in use, it folds up to basically nothing and takes up very little space!
This is important to pack for a trip because it keeps your bag smelling nice, and allows you to take your clothes to a laundromat easily! We love ours and can’t live without it!
A Good Camera
If there is one big purchase we’re glad we made before we left the US, it was investing in a great camera. This is one of those things you HAVE to bring traveling! We actually own two of these awesome cameras! The Sony a6300 is a great travel vlogging camera because it’s small and packs a punch. As a mirrorless camera, it’s much smaller than other DSLR’s, has interchangeable lenses, and shoots 4K video. We also love the Playmemories app because it lets us wirelessly transfer photos and video to our cell phone so we can post it straight to our Instagram!
Although we love this camera, if we could do it over we would go with the Sony a6500 because of its internal stabilization!
Related: The Complete Minimalist Packing List
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To help you have the best trip ever, I have compiled a list of the top ten things I can’t live without during our full-time travels around the world. I hope this list helps you pack for your next trip! Did I miss something? Feel free to share in the comment below! 🙂