Ten Essential Items to Pack for Traveling

by | Jun 23, 2021

Traveling is back on the itinerary and therefore, so is making sure you have the right travel essentials for your vacation. Having the essential items you need on your trip can make or break an experience away. As frequent travelers, (pre-pandemic), by air, sea, and land, we often found ourselves living out of our suitcases. Because of this, I’ve nailed down the most important items to pack for traveling. Now that travel is ramping up again, I’m sharing 10 essentials I won’t travel without.

I keep a  basket in my closet filled with my travel essentials so that if we spontaneously plan a trip, I can grab the basket, and then add clothes and cosmetics. This makes our travel less stressful and simpler each time we go.

We often decide in the morning to just grab our bags and hit the road for an overnight or two of adventure. Living in Florida makes it easy to explore places like DeLand, with it’s cool downtown, or Flagler Beach, where the pooches are treated like VIPS! Here are our essential things to pack for traveling, so you’ll be ready in a New York minute to jet off to your next spontaneous adventure!

These ten essentials to pack for traveling will have you going from chaos…

Travel essentials messily stuffed into an overpacked red suitcase on a bed

To calm in a New York minute – no more stressful, last minute packing!

view of a woman's legs at the airport with a carry on suitcase packed with travel essentials

Ten Essential Things to Pack for Traveling

Essential Items To Pack For Your Suitcase

These items are must-haves to keep in your checked bag or carry-on when you travel. They keep your luggage organized, neat, and clean!

a man packing a carry on suitcase full of clothes and essential items for traveling

1. Mesh Laundry Bags

The first essential item for travel is Mesh laundry bags. They are such a lifesaver when it comes to traveling! If you find that you are living out of your suitcase for what feels like a long period of time, you’re going to want to make certain that you have various bags for dirty and clean clothes.

2. Packing Cubes

I did not believe that packing cubes could cut down on space, but they really can, and have helped keep me organized. I keep a packing cube in my closet that has leggings, tights, gloves, hat, and scarf. Packing cubes are now one of my favorite travel essentials to squeeze all my items into my bag neatly. When I traveled to Québec, Canada several years ago, I took just a carry-on. I grabbed this “winter” packing cube, added it my suitcase and I was set to face winter in Québec!

3. Toiletries Travel Case

Don’t spend time digging around in your suitcase for your makeup or other toiletry needs. Instead, keep all your items in one simple location with this bathroom travel case. These travel cases are awesome for making sure that items like small bottles full of serums and soaps don’t accidentally spill all over your clothing or electronics!

3. Electronic Organizer

Just how many cords and chargers does one person really need? With a variety of different electronic devices, the answer is a lot! Don’t take the chance of having all the cords becoming tangled when you can avoid that with this awesome travel essential, the electronic organizer. There’s nothing better than have organized cords- easy to store and it helps to keep them same from damage.

5. Shoe bags

This next item to pack is definitely essential when it comes to hygiene. Changing shoes is probably in your future when traveling, but don’t take the chance of those sole germs being spread about to all the other items in your travel bag. These shoe bags will keep them separate and all your other items germ-free. For packing, put smaller items in your shoes – this is a real space saver!

Essential Items To Pack For The Plane

Close up hand holding an airplane model inside a aircraft to represent essential items to pack for the plane

6. Wet Wipes

With all the germs being passed around, don’t take chances. I always slip a small package of wet wipes in my carryon that I can easily get to. Then, I wipe down the seat arms, and the seat (if it’s leather). I don’t want to risk getting sick with anything nasty while on my way to a great vacation! Sanitization is extremely important when traveling.

8. Magnetic Travel Game Set

You never know when layovers and delays may happen. You can avoid this frustration altogether by simply keeping this handy Magnetic Travel Game set in your travel bag. That way, when travels get stalled, you’ve got something to keep yourself and your mind entertained.

4. Portable Power Bank

This is a must-have travel essential! At the airport there are never enough USB ports, so I make sure to carry several portable power banks with me. My favorite is the Anker PowerCore 10000 because it is small and light. It can fit right into the front pocket of my purse.

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Passengers waiting on the airport gates to board the flight to represent essential items to pack for traveling on a plane.

9. Travel Pillow

There may be times when your traveling that you have to get down and comfy and just wait it out. When this happens, you’ll be so thankful that you have a handy travel pillow just waiting for you in your travel bag. If you’ve ever tried to “rest” somewhere that wasn’t an actual sleeping area, you know exactly how much of a lifesaver this pillow can and will be for your neck!

10. Travel Wrap

This travel essential would have saved me on a trip to Spain where I almost froze to death on the plane. Now, I always keep a light-weight shawl in my carryon so I can drape it around my shoulders to keep off the chill. I love this extra large pashmina – it’s warm, and can double as an elegant wrap to wear to dinner.

Packing For A Smooth Trip

A man and woman strapping down packed suitcases on top of their car for travel

These essential items for traveling will ensure that your trip is nothing but smooth sailing. There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared or scrambling to find things at the last second during or before your vacation. Vacation is a time to relax, unwind, and feel happy, so make sure you prepare adequately for it!

In addition to the above mentioned items, don’t forget electronics like your cell phone, iPad, or headphones. Keep these items handing in a small carry on like a purse, backpack or briefcase. I also love this duffle bag for shorter trips, a great gift for men or women!


What are some of your packing essentials? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this Betsi! Really helpful guide.


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