Trying to decide what to pack for your holiday? Well, here are all of my travel essentials – a.k.a the things this seasoned traveller can’t travel without.
Although I’ve published packing lists in the past, I haven’t written about my travel essentials before. These are the things that I can no longer travel without – they’re just as important as my passport! Some of the items may be obvious, while others are only relevant for longer trips. However, I felt that all travel essentials needed to be included. So here’s a long list with plenty of recommendations for what to pack for your next trip.
What to pack – my travel essentials
All of the electronics
• A USB power adaptor
In the past, I have travelled with a power board, which is great but also extremely bulky. Before this trip, I picked up this USB power adaptor from Big W (here and here are alternatives on Amazon) and it has quickly become the best travel accessory. The surge protection is fantastic for my computer and hair straightener, and the two USB ports are used daily. I’m fortunate that my Kindle, camera and power bank all use the same charging cable as well.
Man, I don’t know how people travel without Kindles. Mine is permanently in my handbag and I find myself reaching for it multiple times a day. I read my Kindle in parks, in restaurants, on buses and in bed at night. It’s also been extra handy this year, as I’ve been reading a lot of ebooks through NetGalley, which are sent directly to my Kindle. If you are an avid reader like myself, you need a Kindle in your life. That’s all there is to it 💁🏻♀️.
• Global roaming sim card
Before I left Australia, I purchased a global roaming sim card online from Woolworths. The data has been extremely helpful when I need to use Google Maps or when the WiFi has been spotty. It has connected seamlessly in every country I’ve visited and I would totally repurchase a similar card before my next overseas trip. I also want to note that in Bali, I bought my mum and I these sim cards from Klook. We will definitely be doing that again. It was so inexpensive and the Klook team met us at the airport.
• Power bank
Another thing I didn’t travel with last time is a power bank. I won’t make that mistake again! Although I don’t use it every day, I find myself reaching for it on longer days out and when buses aren’t equipped with power outlets. I got my power bank last year from The Good Guys when I purchased my computer, but you can find them everywhere, including Amazon.
• Sony A5100 Camera
If you’ve been following my journey via Facebook and Instagram, you might have seen that my old camera, a Sony A5000, died on me in London. I decided I couldn’t live without a camera for the rest of my trip, so I headed to John Lewis & Partners and bought the next model, a Sony A5100. In hindsight, I’m so glad I bought a replacement camera as it has captured some amazing photos so far. I also love that I can take selfies on this camera using the flip screen.
What I pack in my handbag
• Citibank card
I haven’t talked about this card much on here, even though it’s the one I use exclusively when I travel. I’ve been travelling with my Citibank card, which is linked to my Citibank Plus Everyday Account, since I moved to Canada. There are zero fees when you use your card overseas at an ATM or in an in-store transaction. I don’t know what I’d do without it!
• Reusable shopping bag
Another random addition to this list, but a very important item to add to any packing list. I’ve had the same reusable shopping bag for years, which folds up into the shape of a strawberry. It’s been used nearly daily across Europe and in Bali as well, because single-use plastic bags are being phased out worldwide. You can obviously pay for a bag, but do yourself and the environment a favour and pack a foldable shopping bag.
Miscellaneous travel essentials
• Travel towel
I didn’t pack a travel towel on my last trip to Europe and totally regretted it. I spent too much unnecessary money on renting towels, which is the norm at most hostels. Hence before this adventure, I picked up this travel towel from Kmart (once again, here’s an Amazon alternative). I love that it folds up small and it dries so quickly as it’s microfiber.
• Travel pillow
I’m one of those people who ordinarily sleeps with two pillows, so I can’t travel without a backup. Plus, the pillows at hostels can be very hit and miss. This is the exact travel pillow I bought before my last trip to Europe and it came back with me for round two. It rolls up, so it’s easy to squeeze into the top of my backpack. It’s also very handy to have on planes and buses.
• Eye mask and ear plugs
It honestly blows my mind how many people don’t sleep with an eye mask and ear plugs in hostel dorm rooms. I mean, I feel like 90% of people sleep better than me in general but STILL. The lights, the early check outs, the snoring – do yourself a favour and pack ear plugs and an eye mask (this is very similar to mine) for your next trip. I would also like to point out that I use mine whenever I travel, even when I’m not sharing a room.
• Travel and passport wallet
My travel wallet doesn’t get used every day, but it’s the best travel accessory if you like to keep organised as much as me. Mine holds spare cards and cash, different currencies, souvenirs, plane tickets and photocopies of my important documents. It’s all there in my backpack when I need it. This is my exact travel wallet and here’s an alternative on Amazon.
As for a passport wallet, I was fortunately sent this beautiful handmade red passport holder (pictured below) from Galen Leather. The family owned and operated company in Istanbul makes every product from 100% genuine and locally-sourced leather. It feels luxurious and the colour means I never lose it in my bag. Inside this particular passport wallet is space for two cards as well, which is very convenient. I’d definitely check out Galen Leather if you’re looking for well-made leather products. They also make things like notebook holders, travel wallets and card holders.
• UNIQLO Heattech top
If you’re travelling in cooler climates, you need a UNIQLO Heattech long-sleeve shirt. The tight thermal tops are magical. I have worn mine on a few occasions under a jumper (and with a jacket on top), and it honestly keeps you feeling so warm and snug. There are a lot of different styles available as well.
• Packing cubes
I honestly don’t know how people travel without packing cubes. They make life so much easier and I think you can definitely fit more clothes in your suitcase when you roll and place them inside packing cubes. This trip I have my ‘summer’ packing cube, which includes two pairs or shorts and a lot of t-shirts. Then I have one for underwear and another for jumpers. I have a separate bag for laundry, which is also necessary. You can find packing cubes everywhere these days, like Kmart and Amazon.
• Allbirds sneakers
If you’re trying to decide what to pack in the footwear department, may I suggest Allbirds? I have two pairs of Allbirds sneakers and I brought them both on this trip. Their tagline is that they’re the world’s most comfortable sneakers and I have to agree. I have the wool runners, which keep your feet warm even in one-degree weather. Before this trip I also purchased a pair of the tree skippers, and both pairs are machine washable. I mean, what more could you want? They’re not the cheapest ($95 USD a pair) but they are 120% worth it. If your feet could thank you, they would 😉.
Well, there you have it – the MVPs of my packing list. I won’t be leaving any of these precious items behind again. Hopefully you can use this list as a guide when you’re trying to decide what to pack on future trips.
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