I love finding out what people can’t travel without, it is always so fascinating. So I asked some travel experts what there 3 travel essentials are …
Lauren, 24, England
Three things I can’t travel without and why:
- First up has to be my eye mask/ear plugs – I try to travel cheap which usually means hostels are a common feature on my trips. Although they definitely have their benefits, hostel dorms can be pretty busy. Bringing an eye mask/ear plugs eliminates the potential issues of being woken up in the middle of the night (or at 6am when you want a lie in!) and leaves you ready for the day ahead!
- Notepad – I never go on a trip without taking my trusty journal along with me. Journaling definitely helps with the blog but also gives me so much joy when reading my notes back a few years later. It’s the little things I’d usually end up forgetting that make me the happiest when reading it back. I like to note down anything and everything, even the mega fails or the stuff that annoyed me – I’m sure future me will have a good laugh at them. I also find that it keeps me present when travelling and allows me to appreciate the time I’m having as it’s very easy to get swept up in it all!
- My phone – I know you’re probably eye rolling so hard at this but its true! My phone is my lifeline when travelling, especially for short haul trips! It acts as my aeroplane ticket, check in method, navigator, camera and much more! The one app that I cannot recommend enough is the maps.me navigation app. It’s a free app that you can use to view maps offline. It was an absolute lifesaver for me while I was in Asia and meant I could figure out where I was going without spending a fortune on data!
Jemma (Me), 27, England
My top 3 travel essentials are:
- Tiger Balm – this stuff is amazing, for bites, burns, headaches. If you’re like me and prone to getting mosquito bites, lather this on you and they won’t come near you. If you have been bitten, rub it on the area and it cools it instantly, and stops the itching. It smells like Mentos and can be quite strong, but I would take it any day over being bitten.
- Sunglasses – I find that my eyes are quite sensitive to the sun, so I always carry 2 pairs of sunnies with me wherever I am going. Also having sunnies makes you feel like you’re on holiday as well. Got to protect those eyes from the sun as well as our bodies.
- Reusable water bottle – well firstly to save plastic! So much of it gets into the ocean, if I can do my part then I am happy. I have a thermos bottle so it’s beneficial for hot and cold drinks. Honestly if you don’t have one I can’t recommend getting one enough. Just make sure you check if the tap water is safe to drink, as if it’s not it’s inevitable that you might have to buy bottled water, buttttttt if you put it straight into your reusable bottle the water will stay cold, that’s a bonus on a scorching hot day!
Alana, 26, Canada
- So the first would have to be my phone for safety and personal reasons. I like to travel solo a lot of the time and having a phone gives me peace of mind so I can always contact someone or check maps if I ever get lost. It’s also a must for me because I don’t have a professional camera and take all of my pictures on my iPhone, so I can save my travel memories and then share them on the gram!
- The second thing I can’t travel without are my essential oils. It’s funny that even though I love travelling, I really don’t like flying and it makes me super anxious. I also always tend to get headaches on flights, so I use a peppermint (safe for skin) roll on essential oil that goes on my temples and does wonders for my headaches! It’s also really cooling so great for hot weather!
- The last thing I can’t travel without is at least 1 swimsuit! Ever since I was a kid, my mom always told me to pack a swimsuit wherever we were going because “you never know”. And I’ve kept on with the tradition since! The worst thing is when there’s a swimming opportunity that comes up and you’re not prepared- even if you’re not going to a hot destination or beach!
Alice, 23, England
-My Kindle. I like to slow down when I travel, meaning I’d opt for a 12 hour train journey over a 2 hour flight in order to relax, enjoy the scenery and lower my carbon emissions! I’m also a pack-light-move-fast kind of gal. With my kindle, I can fit as many books as I want in my 30L backpack. It’s got a backlight, so reading in the dark is no problem – perfect for hostel dorms and tent camping.
-My Water To Go bottle. I hate the thought of single-use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean but often, the water in other countries isn’t safe to drink. My Water To Go bottle filters out 99.999% of contaminants, meaning safe drinking water no matter where I am! I’ve filled up from taps, rivers and lakes and I’ve never once been ill.
-A sleeping bag liner. Lightweight and small to pack, a sleeping bag liner creates a barrier between my body and my bed. In colder countries, I’m grateful for the extra insulation and when I sleep on trains or buses it’s nice to know my body isn’t in direct contact with the questionably clean bedding they provide.
Emma, 30 something, West Yorkshire
- Scissors. Always take scissors…I always have a label that needs cutting or a tag from a new top. They also come in handy if you’re away for a while as it’s important to trim those toenails before embarking on a long walk or hike!
- British coins – a lot of people I have met are fascinated by our currency (maybe because the queen is on them??) it’s a nice way to make friends and is a good conversation starter if you’re travelling solo. A lot of people also collect coins from around the world (like me!).
- Lifestraw water bottle (water bottle with filter) – this kind of goes without saying, it’s important to stay hydrated and this helps significantly reduce the amount of single use plastic consumption whilst abroad. Small changes you make, just as one person, can have great impacts on our environment, so don’t give up because no-one else is doing it, be the change! Be the role model for others.
Charlotte, 27, England
- A good old book – no matter the duration of the flight I can’t just sit there, or just purely listen to music… I love getting stuck into a book. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can listen to music for 30 mins or so but to break the flight up if it’s a long one. But a book you can’t go wrong with.
- Selfie stick – I love capturing a good selfie and sometimes my arm just isn’t long enough or you can’t prop your phone up at the right angle.
- Medication – I always carry paracetamol, antihistamine, ibuprofen with me. When abroad I always feel a bit anxious buying medication from a drugs store. Having something I am familiar with and know that works for me just puts my mind at ease should I need them.
Kara Knickerbocker, 30, USA.
- Reusable water bottle- Not only will it help the environment, it will save you from the many plastic water bottles you’re bound to throw out going through security or elsewhere, only to buy them again later. Mine is collapsible, so it fits easily with anything I carry. Staying hydrated is a must!
- Black leggings- I know it sounds like a very “basic” answer, but 1. I get chilled easily, even in warmer temperatures (think AC) 2. I prefer to wear something comfortable for long flights 3. They take up way less room than jeans and 4. Black matches with everything and can easily be worn for hiking OR dressed up! They are a staple in my wardrobe.
- Travel adapters/portable charger- Okay, so technically two things, but it depends on where you’re going. Obviously for international travel, you’ll most likely need an adapter as the outlets in your destination country will be different. The travel adapter I have also comes with extra USB ports so I can charge multiple devices at once, which I highly recommend. And, even if you’re taking a trip to “unplug,” you still need to stay connected for a variety of reasons. Portable chargers help you do just that on the go. They’ve saved me in a couple situations!
Maria, 27, USA
Now, I won’t travel without my husband. He is my adventure buddy and wants to see as much as I do– if you don’t have someone like this, all you need is yourself because you’ll have all the passion necessary to explore! (And let’s be honest, I’d totally go without him if he doesn’t want to travel somewhere that I do. ;] )
I won’t travel without flexibility. Always know enough about what you’ll want to do when you go somewhere, but you need to be flexible because your expectations might not always work out how you intended. It would be awful to feel sad during a trip when there still are so many amazing things to do– and every seemingly bad moment can be turned to an adventure and learning experience in of itself.
Lastly, I won’t travel without my “little things.” These little things are what I can fit inside my purse that are my day-to-day necessities for on the go:
- my phone with a portable charger– used for photos, maps, and communication
- Dramamine– I get motion sickness
- gum/ gummy candies– to help my ears on planes
- ID, credit card, and bank card– I don’t travel with too much cash and mostly utilize a local ATM to get the local currency to have cash and credit options
- tissues and band-aids– someone always needs one
Alexys, 27, USA
- My reusable water bottle, because as much as I like hydrating with wine while traveling, it’s great to always have some H20 on you while doubling as being environmentally friendly through using less plastic.
- Headphones: To listen to music on the plane and to connect to my laptop if I need to get some work done.
- Portable charger: because I do so much on my phone while traveling — using it to take pictures, navigation, etc., and it brings me lots of peace of mind to not worry about the battery life during long sightseeing days.
Laura, 29, England
- A portable charger! I love taking pics of my travels so love to have it on the go so I never run out of battery using maps or taking pictures
- Twinings teabags – this is very quintessentially British but tea never tastes the same abroad and I love a good cuppa in the evening!
- My Away suitcase – it’s such a beautiful travel case and even has a battery powered charger within. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is always in an airport.
Seb, 27, England
Three things I can’t travel without is my camera, with an 18mm-135mm F2.8 lens with ND filters, my Mavic Air 2 drone, and my big hat. The two first items have gained free boat trips, food, and so much more just by snapping a few photos and sending them across. The best was using the drone to capture tall ships in Crete and bagging ourselves multiple free boat trips to other islands which would have cost us a fortune!
Thank you to all my expert travellers that took the time to share their travel essentials.
Tell me what your travel essentials are in the comments below.