My Travel Must-Haves

I know, I know.  I said I would blog next week about Barcelona.  I’m still planning to.

But, I got an email reminder that next week (July 16-17) is Prime Day(s).  This means that if you are an Amazon Prime member, you are in for some really good deals!  Lucky you!

On a related note, I’ve had this little post about ‘travel must-haves‘ rattling around in my head, and if I’m ever going to post it, I should post it when you can get the deals!  So, I decided to give you a bonus post for the week so you’ll have a chance to think about it, in case you want to actually take advantage of Amazon Prime Day and score some deals on travel items or otherwise.

So here we go.

A post not about Barcelona, Spain.

But here’s a picture of me in Barcelona to hold you over.

Instead, it’s a post about my travel must haves, aka, things I always take with me when traveling.  I will include the links to amazon for your purchasing ease/reference.  The links are affiliate links, which means the price will be the same for you but I will get a small percent kick-back.  That said, don’t be afraid to shop around.  Amazon isn’t the only place to buy things you know!

My travel must haves can be split into 2 categories: Packing and Accessories

1. Packing 

I am the queen of pouches, but we will get to that later.

Let’s start with bags.  Personally, I prefer just a carry-on and a backpack.

I bought this carry-on last summer because my first one actually died (there is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes from killing one’s luggage, I must say).  When I was shopping for luggage I specifically looked for something light weight with spinner wheels.  I settled on this bag in blue and have had no regrets.

For a backpack, I don’t use a backpack actually.  My qualifications are that the bag fits under the seat in front of me and zips closed.  On our Europe trip I used this zippered tote bag I bought in a market in Cambodia made from upcycled rice bags.

They don’t sell them on Amazon it turns out.  But I found them on the internet and included an non-affiliated link so you can check them out!  I will say that I like it as a ‘backpack’ because I could sling it over my shoulder while still accessing things inside or loop it through my suitcase handles as I rolled it.  Also, the stiff fabric kept me from over stuffing it and making it too heavy to carry, which I’ve been known to do.

See, I even wore a cross-body in Thailand.

My personal opinion is that cross-body bags are the best bags to use when traveling.  When I’m looking for a bag I want one that holds the height of my water bottle and the width of my stuff, while also being easy to access (and protect in a crowd).  Enter, the cross-body bag.





Bonus bag:  If I’m going on a road trip and know I’ll be hauling snacks or laundry from place to place, I like to take a reusable plastic tote.  They fold up easily when empty but are very handy to have if you’re buying and moving your groceries with you.


Now, there is a whole industry to travel pouches and cubes, you may have noticed.  Some people like to pouch everything, even their socks!  I have tried this once but didn’t like it, so I stopped.  It felt too high maintenance for me, but I know some people really like how it keeps their suitcase organized.

While I let my clothes roam freely in my luggage, I prefer to reign in all my miscellaneous items.

I have a pouch like this for all my liquids.

And several varieties of pouches for things like phone cords and makeup, separating them by purpose.

To keep the pouches going, I also have a passport holder.  Mine looks nothing like this, but it’ll give you the idea.  The purpose of this is simple, it offers a little protection from the wear and tear of riding around in your bags.  That said, you have to take your passport out of its holder when you are at immigration and customs.  It’s just the rule I guess.

And lastly, if I’m going to be dragging around confirmation papers, business cards, receipts, and addresses for when I don’t have wifi, I like to take a plastic envelope folder along.  It keeps my papers dry and all in one spot.

2. Accessories

We all need headphones, but I recently got these bad boys, the cheapest option of quality noise cancelling headphones on the market.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  I don’t know if they are the actual cheapest, but they are the cheaper option.  Sony brand and they get the job done.  They don’t cancel enough noise for me to actually not hear a thing, but they definitely drown out loud engine noises in a way that regular headphones can’t.  They also mute the chit-chat of strangers very pleasantly.

The other technology I take is my ipad.  It’s lighter and smaller than my computer and offers a browser that is easier to manipulate than my phone, if I actually need to look anything up.

My must-haves for travel comfort include a neck pillow, ear plugs, and an eye mask.  These items make sleeping on long flights possible for me, but maybe you have a better technique to tricking your body into believing that it’s nighttime?  If so, I’d love to hear it!

When traveling with others, which is my preferred method of transportation, I have 3 go-to travel games that I bring if I know we will have down time.  They are 1. dice, 2. bananagrams, and 3. playing cards.  With this lightweight variety, games like farkle, take-one, and speed are entertaining options when waiting for buses or unwinding from a long day of travel.

Another accessory to consider, specifically if you are going out of the country, is the possible need for outlet adapters.  I have had zero success in finding cheap ones that work well so I usually end up using someone else’s.  But, they look like this:

Last, but not least, are travel snacks!  My current go-tos are a medley of salted cashews, salted almonds, and dark chocolate that I whip together myself or dried Philippine mangoes, but you probably have your own preferences there!   Regardless of what you love to snack on, one Prime Day deal that I do actually know is coming is a $10 off an order of $40 or more with Prime Pantry.  If you have been thinking of joining such a pantry club, it looks like now is the time!


And that, my friends, is my travel take along list.  If you want to access any of these items via Amazon, just click on the pictures.  If you would like to check out what Prime Day has to offer, you do need to be a Prime member (it’s an exclusive event).  Lucky for us, they’re sharing links for free trials to Prime during Prime Day.  Check it out!


And, all the Prime stuff aside, these are honestly the things I pack when traveling.

What about you?  Do you have a stuffed animal that serves as a pillow?  Can’t go anywhere without your electric toothbrush?  Found a travel packing hack that changed your life?  I so very much want to hear about it!


My first experience with minimalist packing was traveling in Southeast Asia.  When you have to wear what you pack, you learn to pack less.

Travel Packing Must-Haves


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