Travel

 Top 19 Travel Essentials – The Only List You Need | Headout

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Travel without careful planning is like sailing without a compass - you may end up somewhere interesting, but it's more likely that you'll just get lost. That's why having a good travel essentials list is so important. It helps you to make sure that you've got everything you need for your trip, and that you're not forgetting anything important.

Of course, what counts as a travel essential will vary depending on where you're going and what you'll be doing. A beach vacation will require different things than a business trip, for instance. But there are some items that are generally useful no matter where you're going or what you'll be doing.

In this article, we explore travel essentials that we recommend everyone to consider packing.

Tips to select the right travel essentials for you

  • Pack essentials based on where you’re travelling: what weather is to be expected, what kind of cultural norms might need to followed and any country-specific guidelines on luggage.
  • How long you’re travelling for: the longer your vacation or travel time, the more important it is to prioritize the critical essentials such as medicine, global sim cards etc.
  • Budgeting: when budgeting for your vacation, include the cost of purchasing any essentials you may need into it so you don’t spend exorbitant amounts.
  • Buy nice or buy twice: the last thing you want to do is constantly replace your essentials because you skimped on the first purchase. Find good and sturdy options within your budget
  • Be prepared for unforeseen conditions: in unknown countries, it is always better to be prepared than to scramble around at the nth moment.
  • Optimize for comfort: at the end of the day, you’re the one who’ll be using the various products. Ensure they are as per your liking to have a pleasant experience.
  • Buy your essentials in advance: have a checklist in place when you’re planning your trip and ensure you purchase them well ahead of time to avoid last-minute anxiety and price hikes.

In-flight Essentials

1Backpack

Travelling can be tough on the back - literally. Lugging around a suitcase or heavy duffel bag can lead to strain and pain. That's why we like to be savvy travelers who opt for a backpack. Backpacks are designed to evenly distribute weight across the body, making them more comfortable to carry over long distances. And, when packed correctly, they can actually be lighter than traditional luggage.

Price Range
$40-$400
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Lightweight carry-on in which all your in-flight essentials can be organized to keep things easily accessible.
  • They're also great for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
  • Store your laptop and any other electronic devices/valuables you wouldn’t want to leave in your check-in luggage.
  • Weight: The lighter, the better.
  • Comfort: The shoulder straps, padding, and carry handles combine to offer varying degrees of comfort.
  • Usability: Clever design and placement of features determines the ease of use.
  • Durability: Largely depends on the material the bag is made with. Use bags for what they’re made for and they’ll last longer.

💻 Lowepro RidgeLine BP 250 AW Daypack

Hits

  • Great organization
  • Durable
  • Laptop slot
  • Comfortable

Misses

  • Can be tough to carry by the handle

2Travel/neck pillow

For a relaxing and comfortable flight journey or a snooze on your roadtrips, a neck pillow is ideal. While sleeping on a plane or train is usually difficult (and uncomfortable), a travel pillow can be a good accessory for getting a bit of shut-eye, especially during long and exhausting travel periods. Since a travel pillow can help you get that much-needed rest, finding the right one matters.

Price Range
$80-$100
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Comfortable sleep during long hours of travel.
  • Provide neck support to avoid strain.
  • Inflatable and non-inflatable: inflatable is easier to pack.
  • Portability.
  • Sleeping position: influences the kind of neck support you need while sleeping.

💻 Huzu Infinity Travel Pillow

Hits

  • Versatility
  • Durable
  • Comfortable

Misses

  • No travel bag

3Toiletries Kit

We cannot stress the importance of a toiletries kit enough. It makes your life on the move a lot easier and keeps your grooming essentials such as toothpastes, shampoos, and deodorants within reach. What’s more important, it keeps your toiletries organized so you don’t have to dig through your luggage to keep yourself clean!

Price Range
$25-$120
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Storage of toiletry essentials.
  • Easy accessibility of essentials to freshen up.
  • Size of your luggage/backpack.
  • The size of the kit depends on the number of items you carry.
  • Number of compartments: depends on your organization preferences.
  • Durability and ease of cleaning.

💻 Bensen Toiletry Kit

Hits

  • Suitable for both short and long trips
  • Has a hook and can be hanged from a towel rack
  • Its translucence allows for smooth security checks

Misses

  • The hook could be slightly bigger

4Earplugs

If you’re not a fan of having earphones or headphones on to block out the noise, we recommend using earplugs when traveling. Not only can they help you get some much-needed rest on long flights or car rides but also protect your ears from the harmful effects of high altitudes and changes in air pressure. They are a simple and effective way to make travel more comfortable and enjoyable. So be sure to pack a pair before your next trip!

Price Range
$10-$50
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Block out external noise.
  • Protect ears from changes in air pressure.
  • Size and fit.
  • Material.
  • Effectiveness of blocking out noise.
  • Re-usability.
  • Frequency of use.

💻 Macks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

Hits

  • Soft
  • Discreet
  • Comfortable

Misses

  • Noise reduction could be better

5Sleep mask

It can be hard to fall asleep easily when on the move or in unfamiliar places. The increased exposure to light in certain places can also throw you off your regular sleep cycle. To avoid unpleasant flight experiences during long travels or to give yourself the best chance of getting some shut-eye, we recommend having a sleep mask handy.

Price Range
$15-$50
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Shut out the light and fall asleep.
  • Respite from overexposure to light.
  • Shape, size and fit.
  • Personal preference.
  • Material: smoothness and durability.

💻 Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask

Hits

  • Contoured to fit the face
  • Easily washable
  • Ear plugs are included

Misses

  • Can be stiff for the first few uses

6Compression socks

When we travel, we make sure to pack a pair of compression socks. These socks are designed to support your feet and ankles, and they can help to prevent pain and swelling. They're especially important when sitting for long periods of time, such as on a plane or in a car. In addition, compression socks can help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Price Range
$15-$30
Item Type
In-flight essential
  • Help to improve blood flow in your legs.
  • Reduce fluid retention in your legs.
  • Material: needs to be stretchable and strong.
  • Size and fit.
  • Appropriate pressure rating: 15-20 mmHg.

💻 Physix Compression Socks

Hits

  • Moisture resistant
  • Offers great support
  • Durable and high quality

Misses

  • Can only be washed by hand

Tech Essentials

7Travel Adapter

Take it from our experience, the last thing you want is to not be able to plug in your devices and recharge them because of the incompatibility of your stock adapter with the place you’re in. This is where an international travel adapter is a life saver.

Price Range
$15-$50
Item Type
Tech essentials
    Allows use of your appliances in countries with different sockets.
  • Compatibility with your appliances’ pin types.
  • Safety: earthed adapters to prevent damage from power surges.
  • Durability

💻 OneWorld PD

Hits

  • Works in more than 150 countries
  • 3 USB-A ports and a USB-C port
  • Earthed and protects against shocks

Misses

  • Can be hard to procure due to high demand

8Global SIM card

As avid travellers ourselves, we can tell you that a global sim card is an essential item for any trip. It gives you the ability to stay connected with friends and family back home. Whether you're posting pictures to social media or just sending a quick text, it's nice to be able to stay in touch. If you lose your phone or have it stolen, you can use your card to call for help. So if you're planning a trip, be sure to pick up a global sim card before you go.

Price Range
$35-$50
Item Type
Tech essentials
  • Phone calls.
  • Messages.
  • Internet Data.
  • Keep track of your expenses: with most cards, you can view your balance and transaction history online, which makes it easy to stay on budget
  • Place of travel.
  • Plans/packages required as per your use.
  • Network coverage/reliability.

💻 Airalo Discover Global Sim Card

Hits

  • Seamless data connectivity
  • Works in over 190 countries and regions
  • Good customer support

9Portable WiFi

When we travel, we want to be able to stay connected with our loved ones and have access to all of the information we need at our fingertips. That's why portable wifi is such a lifesaver. Portable wifi gives you a personal, secure connection that you can take with you wherever you go. Whether you're exploring a new city or just trying to stay connected while on the road, portable wifi is the perfect solution. And because it's so affordable, there's no reason not to take advantage of this lifesaving technology. So if you're looking for a way to stay connected while you travel, be sure to consider portable wifi. It might just be the best decision you ever make.

Price Range
$100-$200
Item Type
Tech essentials
    Reliable and quick internet access on the move.
  • 5Ghz support.
  • Battery life.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Your individual/group data requirements.

💻 TP-LINK M7350

Hits

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Multiple devices can be connected

Misses

  • Comparatively lower battery life

10Power strip

One of the most annoying things about travelling is trying to find a place to charge your electronics. Whether you're trying to find an available outlet at the airport or trying to squeeze your way into a crowded coffee shop, it can be a challenge to keep your devices powered up. That's why we always travel with a power strip. It's one less thing to worry about, and it means you'll always have a place to charge your phone, tablet, or laptop. So next time you're packing for a trip, make sure to throw a power strip into your bag. It might just come in handy.

Price Range
$15-$50
Item Type
Tech essentials
  • Plug in and charge multiple devices at once.
  • Access hard to reach sockets.
  • Output voltage: needs to be in line with the requirement of standard devices.
  • Number of sockets required.
  • Length of the cord.
  • Required pin type.
  • Safety: presence of an inbuilt and/or earthing.

💻 UPWADE Outlet Travel Power Strip

Hits

  • 5-foot power cord
  • Compact
  • 2 surge-protected AC outlets and 4 smart USB ports

Misses

  • Body not of the highest quality

11Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Another essential to keep handy for times when you wanna tune out and escape the surrounding noise. It can be difficult to constantly be in a noisy environment when you're trying to fall asleep or trying to relax. To disconnect or to keep yourself entertained, it is best to have your trusted noise-canceling headphones with you

Price Range
$150-$500
Item Type
Tech essentials
  • Block out external noise.
  • In-flight/on-the-road entertainment.
  • Material.
  • Durability.
  • Portability.
  • Battery life.

💻 Sony Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Hits

  • Sound quality
  • Comfort
  • Brilliant noise-cancelling

Misses

  • Expensive

12Power Bank

A power bank is one of the most important travel accessories you can pack. Whether your phone is your camera, your map, your boarding pass or your lifeline to friends and family, you need to know it will be there when you need it. A power bank gives you the peace of mind of always having a backup charge for your devices, whether you're stuck on a long layover or exploring a new city. We recommend packing a power bank whenever you travel, so you can stay connected and make the most of your trip.

Price Range
$50-$100
Item Type
Tech essentials
    Recharge your devices on the go.
  • Number of ports.
  • Size and weight.
  • Charging speed.
  • Battery life of the power bank.

💻 Anker PowerCore 20100 Power Bank

Hits

  • Great organization
  • Battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Affordable

Misses

  • Comparatively heavier and clunky

Travel Organizers

13Luggage

Luggage is one of the most essential items you will need for travel, whether you are taking a short trip or embarking on a long journey. There are many different types of luggage to choose from, but we recommend investing in a quality piece that will last for years. A good piece of luggage should be sturdy and well-made, with plenty of compartments and pockets to keep your belongings organized.

Price Range
$200-$800
Item Type
Travel organizers
  • Store all your clothes, footwear, and other items.
  • Protect valuables.
  • Duration of trip.
  • Number of things you will carry.
  • Airline restrictions on weight.
  • Compactness and portability.
  • Durability

💻 American Tourister Medium 24 Inch Luggage

Hits

  • Affordable
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable

Misses

  • The design may fade with use

14Laundry Bags

We always recommend laundry bags as a travel essential, and for good reason! Not only do they make it easy to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes, but they also help to protect your clothes from wrinkles and damage. Plus, if you're traveling with a group, laundry bags can help to keep everyone's belongings organized. Whether you're packing for a weekend getaway or a long vacation, be sure to pack a few laundry bags in your suitcase. Trust us, you'll be glad you did!

Price Range
$15-$50
Item Type
Travel organizers
  • Segregate clean and dirty clothes.
  • Wash sensitive clothes to avoid damage.
  • Size: based on the number of travellers.
  • Style: backpack, cross-body, or handle.
  • Closure: types of closures and your personal preference.
  • Durability

💻 CleverMade Collapsible Laundry Basket

Hits

  • Easy to fold
  • Versatile
  • Spacious

Misses

  • Slightly expensive
  • Can break if overloaded

15Packing Cubes

If you're sick of your clothes getting all wrinkled and crammed in your suitcase, then you need to start using packing cubes. Packing cubes are small, lightweight bags that come in a variety of sizes. They make it easier to find things when you're on the go. If you're planning a trip, packing cubes are a must to keep your belongings organized and sorted. Trust us, they'll make your life a lot easier!

Price Range
$25-$50
Item Type
Travel organizers
  • Organize your clothes, toiletries, and other items.
  • Save space in your luggage.
  • Durability.
  • Size.
  • Flexibility.
  • Compactness.

💻 BAGAIL 8 Set Packing Cubes

Hits

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Good organization
  • Compact

Misses

  • Could be more spacious

16Cable Organizer

We can attest to the importance of having a good cable organizer. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to untangle a nest of cords and chargers when you're in a hurry to catch your flight. A good cable organizer will keep all of your cords neatly organized and readily accessible. It's also a good idea to choose an organizer with multiple compartments, so you can easily keep track of which cord goes with which device.

Price Range
$15-$50
Item Type
Travel organizers
  • Organize your clothes, toiletries, and other items.
  • Save space in your luggage.
  • Durability.
  • Size.
  • Flexibility.
  • Compactness.

💻 Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer

Hits

  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Spacious

Misses

  • Soft shell

17In-flight pouch

No more rummaging through your bag for a set of headphones or a book; everything you need is right at your fingertips. Additionally, an in flight pouch ensures that you have easy access to everything you need during the flight. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to be as comfortable as possible when they're stuck in a cramped seat for hours on end? So if you're looking for ways to up your travel game, an in-flight pouch is a great place to start.

Price Range
$15-$30
Item Type
Travel organizers
    Store essentials for easy access in-flight.
  • Compactness.
  • Number of compartments/organization.
  • Durability.

💻 Seat Pak Travel Zipper Pouch

Hits

  • Ample pockets
  • TSA approved
  • Secure

Misses

  • The material could be more sturdy

18Travel Wallet

As anyone who has ever gone on a trip knows, there are a lot of things to keep track of - plane tickets, hotel reservations, rental car information, and so on. And if you're carrying all of this around in your purse or pockets, it can be a real pain. That's why we recommend a travel wallet as a travel essential. A travel wallet is designed to hold all of your important travel documents in one place, so you can easily find what you need when you need it. It's also much more secure than carrying everything loose in your bag since it has zippered compartments and may even have a strap that goes around your neck or wrist.

Price Range
$25-$100
Item Type
Travel organizers
    Store all important documents, cash, and credit/debit cards.
  • Safety: RFID protection to prevent unwanted trouble with your cards.
  • Number of documents/cards you’re carrying.
  • Durability.

💻 Zoppen Travel Wallet

Hits

  • Great organization
  • Durable
  • RFID protection

Misses

  • Could be more spacious

19Travel Pill Organizer

When you're packing for a trip, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you have all your medications. That's where travel pill organizers come in. Not only do they help to keep your pills sorted and easy to find, but they also prevent them from spilling or getting lost in your bag. Whether you're taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication, a travel pill organizer is a convenient way to keep everything organized and within reach.

Price Range
$10-$25
Item Type
Travel organizers
  • Keep your medication organized and secure.
  • Easy access to medication.
  • Amount of medication to be carried.
  • Material.
  • Compactness.

💻 MEACOLIA Travel Pill Organizer

Hits

  • Moisture-proof
  • Portablee
  • Good organization

Misses

  • Can be hard to open at times

Accessories for travel with children

  • Swaddle blankets
  • Diapers
  • Portable strollers
  • Miniature food containers
  • Sleep pillow
  • Toddler basket/bed
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Change of clothes in case of accidents/spillage
  • Travel games such as Pocket Pictionary, Monopoly Deal, Uno, Ludo, Scrabble, etc.

Travel Essentials Guide