This is our guide to travel necessities. We’re getting ready for a massive travel year & updated this list for you.
Yippee, travel, I can’t get enough.
We’re constantly being asked what travel products we recommend and which travel items are necessary!
There are so many things you can travel without – but there are some must-have travel necessities.
We’ve updated our trip essentials checklist, so you’ll find the critical travel necessities below. Happy shopping, travelers!
Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!
No travel necessities list could start any other way: suitcases and bags. Depending on your travel style, budget, and direction, there is no one-size-fits-all travel bag.
That said, we still have loads of suggestions:
A carry on garment bag counts as a carry on luggage that you can take into the plane’s cabin as part of your hand luggage, and inside, you can store clothes. The bag has specific compartments and hangers, so your clothes don’t get crumpled or mixed up.
These bags are ideal for business travelers, but overall, they’re an excellent idea for those trying to travel light and not pay inflated check-in baggage fees.
Once you have your main suitcase sorted, it’s onto one of the essential things to take traveling: travel backpacks. We like those with security features/ I guess you could say we are very security-conscious with our gear.
Choose a backpack that suits your body type (you don’t want it too big), and choose one with pockets and features that will hold all your everyday items.
Suitcases and backpacks done! Now, it’s time to get a kick-ass travel wallet or add it to your list of travel necessities because these are among the essential things to bring when traveling abroad.
You must know that your belongings are safe when heading off on any trip. Think about it rationally. You are carrying the things that are important to you on your person, which means that unless you bring a safe with you, you will have to figure out a way to keep your important documents safe and secure.
Thankfully, there are ways you can do that – get a travel wallet.
Organization & Space-Saving Travel Necessities
If you added a small suitcase or backpack to your travel shopping list, you want to add one of these handy space-saving travel necessities.
When it comes to packing, nobody particularly loves the overall process. It’s time-consuming and stressful, and what do you do if you forget something important? On top of that, you have the problem of finally arriving at your destination, opening your case, only to find that your carefully packed belongings have found their way down to one end of your case in a bit of a jumbled mess.
This is where packing cubes for travel come in very handy. They help organize and save room in your bag.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Set, Packing Cubes
I was so excited to finally get my hands on a set of these packing cubes! The lightweight packs allow you to fold and compress your clothes for a tighter fit into luggage, saving tons of space. I also love how organized our luggage stays throughout our trips when using these cubes. A brilliant way to pack efficiently and keep our suitcases from looking like a tornado came through.
Smart Luggage Tags
Lost luggage is probably one of the most worrying things about air travel. If your baggage is lost in transit, you will get it back at some point, but how long will it take? It could be a few hours or days, and while you’re waiting, you’re without your belongings and perhaps even a few valuables.
There are a few ways to counteract this issue, and one of the most successful is using luggage trackers.
Are you someone who loves to take a personal stash of jewelry with you when you head off? After all, you never know when an event or a big night out might turn up!
The problem with jewelry is that it has a habit of tangling itself up, and it’s far too easy to lose the backs of earrings without even trying. To solve that problem, you need one piece of kit – a travel jewelry organizer or a travel jewelry case, as you will also see them called.
Are you traveling via a low-cost carrier? Have baggage restrictions? Then you need a luggage scale.
Luggage scales are designed for weighing luggage, whether it’s your suitcase or your carry-on bag, rather than scales that you stand on. The most common design is a hook scale. You hook your suitcase onto these scales and lift, accurately measuring how much your case weighs. This type of luggage scale is typically a hand-held scale.
I can recommend the Kitdine Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Set. These BPA-free silicone travel bottles that are TSA approved for carry-on baggage can quickly be filled with your shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and other liquids. They’re perfect for flying. The bottles are soft, flexible, durable, and can withstand temperature changes. The lids have a great seal, so there is no need to worry about liquids leaking during transport. We love the high quality of these travel bottles and the flexibility they provide for bringing our favorite toiletry products on airplanes.
If you’re a regular traveler, you no doubt understand the issue of toiletries, perfumes, and other liquid items and how to store them safely and effectively. Taking large bottles can be space-consuming, and that’s where the Travelling Light Zip Top Pouch by Sea to Summit comes in very handy!
The pack also comes with four included silicone bottles, which can be used and refilled with whatever you need. The pouch itself can also be used for many other purposes, and it has a 1-liter space capacity, with a zipper to the top section that is strong and secure. The pouch is also waterproof, so there are no worries about leakage.
Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag
When traveling anywhere in this big wide world, you need the correct luggage and accessories for the job. Ensuring that your belongings are separated into the right groups and knowing that everything is protected will not cause a rather unwelcome liquid explosion in your suitcase is vital.
This travel toiletry bag is brilliant. The flat design allows you to pack it right on top of your duffel bags, saving space and hassle while on the go. Hold your toiletries in four easily accessible compartments and use the removable hanging hook to make it into a countertop kit once you arrive at your final destination. We love the guaranteed-for-life warranty that comes with this nylon, coiled zipper pack. Period.
If you travel any amount, you should consider purchasing a good pair of travel pants. Good quality travel pants are made from durable materials, are easy to care for, quick-drying, and offer security features such as zipped pockets.
They should be stylish enough to go from day to night and offer a variety of colors. Travel pants should be lightweight for comfort and ease of packing.
Your traveling pants should fit well and be suited to the type of travel you will do. If you’re packing light, consider pants that convert to shorts quickly and easily. Travel pants come in many styles for all budgets. Try to shop for a pair or two before your next trip.
As the name suggests, a travel bra is, first and foremost, a bra. All women need a bra. We need to be comfortable, we don’t need to feel like we can’t move, and we need to be supported. Some bras, however, serve a second purpose: keeping your credit cards, passport, and other small and essential items safe. This is through small, hidden pockets that are sewn into the bra. Clever, right? No, it won’t cause bulk or discomfort because it’s all designed to be super-streamlined.
Packable Down Jackets
When heading to Europe during the winter, you need to be ready for anything. The country you’re heading to typically dictates the weather you will experience. However, even within that country, there are micro-climates you need to consider.
One of the best ways to stay warm (and fashionable) is to purchase a high-quality down-filled jacket. Of course, this shouldn’t put you off at all. It just means you need to know what to take! We suggest a packable down jacket to save room in your bags, keep warm, and look stylish.
A down jacket is a regular jacket with extra insulation in the form of feathers from ducks or geese. Such a packable down parka feels luxurious, soft, and warm.
When the weather isn’t quite cold enough for a full-on coat, yet it’s decided to start throwing it down with the wet stuff, a lightweight rain jacket is an answer to your weather-related prayers. You don’t have to sweat it out in a full-on coat, yet you’ll still be dry. Rain jackets also roll up relatively compactly, pack away in your bag, and don’t weigh you down.
Travel Clothes That Do Not Wrinkle, Or At Least Do Not Need Ironing
Women’s V Neck Floral Top
This super stylish and highly comfortable top can be worn for travel, nights out, and days out sightseeing.
I wore this for my birthday lunch (hence the champagne glass). With a slightly loose fit, the top has long sleeves with an elastic cuff and a V-neck. The floral design is bang on trend, and you can easily transition from day to night with just one outfit.
The perfect piece of versatile, lightweight wrinkle-free travel clothing, if you ask me!
Women’s Wrinkle-Free Bomber Jacket
The great thing about this particular jacket is that it could easily be worn as a longline jersey top, too; you need to zip it up. The coat has long sleeves and long lines, with a round collar and padded jersey fabric. The weave pattern is raised and embroidered, which helps it stay crease-free in your suitcase – or on the plane.
Choose between khaki green, white or black. The jacket also has two zipped pockets, one on either side, and the zip is heavy-duty, so this jacket will keep you warm and secure during your activities out and about.
MERAKI Women’s Crepe Midi Wrap Dress
This crepe midi wrap dress is ideal for ladies who want to be super-fashionable while on the go. The polyester and elastane mix means it’s not going to end up creased in your case, meaning you can grab it and wear it whenever you please.
It’s also easy to dress up or down; you can opt for boost or heels for the evening or throw on a pair of canvas shoes or sneakers for the daytime.
You can choose between black or a navy shade, and it has a bleed middle section in a slim-fit design and long sleeves. This is a super-flattering dress and one which will take you through countless on-the-road occasions!
Mine is black and looks great with boots and tights at night or sneakers for the day.
So, if you’re looking for women’s no-wrinkle travel clothing that’s stylish and fancy, you should check this one out.
The paper bag style has been in fashion for a while now, but did you know that it’s also a super-comfortable style for travel too? The fabric is a mixture of polyester, viscose, and elastane, so not only do they steer clear of wrinkling, but they also have that slight stretch for when you’re sitting or for long periods. The fashionable trousers are available in eight neutral colors, which go with most colors and patterns.
The trousers are machine washable, and the belt fastening adds to the flattering and comfortable vibe. With a slightly cropped style, you can quickly wear these with trainers, flip flops, flats, or simply go barefoot if you feel the need!
Women’s Travel Accessories
SHOLDIT Women’s Infinity Clutch Wrap Scarf
Travel with a feeling of security by keeping your valuable flight documents, passport, cell phone, money, and other personal items close. Keep your valuables close and look fabulous doing it! This unique infinity scarf is both a cute accessory and a useful gadget with a zippered pocket for storing all of your valuables. It is convenient for airline travel and other public transportation, but it’s also perfect for a day or night around town.
Brands We Use And Trust
Shoes & Socks
Compression Socks For Long-Haul Flights
You might wonder, “why do I need compression socks in the first place?” or “what are compression socks good for?” or “do compression socks work on long flights?” The answer is as simple as it is crucial.
A pair of compression flight socks are a pair of long socks that come in various levels of tightness or compression and increase the blood flow in your lower legs, thereby reducing the risk of blood clots and swollen feet from flying. Thankfully, compression socks for plane travel are also much more attractive than they used to be, which is always a bonus!
Men’s Travel Shoes
Jambu Men’s Navigator II Boating Shoe
Mr. Chasing the Donkey can’t praise these casual, all-terrain shoes enough. The water-resistant mesh fabric is flexible yet sturdy, while the non-slip rubber soles provide traction for all sports and activities. The bungee straps make the shoes super-easy to slip on and off, so laces are not a hassle. Not to mention, Mr. CtD receives a lot of compliments when wearing this around town!
Other great stocking stuffers for men who travel can be found here.
Women’s Travel Shoes
Jambu Women’s Tidal Terra Marine Water Shoe
For many women, shoes are the most essential things to pack for traveling. And to have at home, too! These cute, stylish, and oh-so-comfortable hybrid shoes are perfect for all types of terrain. Stroll along the beach, get wet in a tide pool, explore cobblestone streets, wander the forest, or just grab a coffee in town. If you only want to take one pair of day shoes on your next trip, these are.
The memory foam footbed gives feet extra cushioning, making the shoes great for all-day use, while the criss-cross design of the straps adds cuteness and security to your foot. The biggest challenge with these? Trying to pick just one color! Don’t let shoes weigh your bags down when you can enjoy a broad range of activities with just one pair.
Jambu Women’s Spin Ballet Flat
Have I told you yet how much I love Jambu shoes? These ballet flats might tickle your fancy if you weren’t sold on my favorite hybrid pair above. Style and function go hand in hand with these shoes. With rubber soles, excellent ventilation, and a sleek, barefoot-inspired design, your feet will thank you after a day of walking and adventuring. These are great shoes to pack in your carry-on, as they don’t require much space, which is a huge bonus when trying to pack light! Not to mention, they are so cute you can quickly wear them for casual outings throughout the year, not just on holidays.
Family & Kids Travel Gear
Family Passport Holders
If you have several passports to look after at once, it’s easy to lose one. Passports are not thick these days; they are slimline and hugely important! For that reason, having a safe and secure place to keep all your passports is a must.
A family travel wallet literally does that for you. It holds all your passports together, so when you arrive at the check-in desk, you just pull out your family passport organizer and have everything on hand.
These family passport holders often also include a space for travel itineraries and other documentation you may need during your time away and make for a great family travel document organizer.
If you are a new parent, or perhaps you’re having your second, third, or even fourth new addition to your family, you will want to ensure that you purchase the right baby equipment for your child. For instance, you’re going to want to get out and about as much as possible, so traveling with a baby will be part of a typical day.
Therefore, you need to figure out your options for transporting your new bundle of joy. Have you thought of a baby carrier or, as some like to call them, an infant carrier?
When traveling with your kids, finding ways to keep them entertained will be one of your main priorities. Whether it’s a long-haul flight or a cross-country road trip, you need to consider what you can take to occupy your kids and how accessible it’ll be in your luggage.
Pack a tablet and some headphones with their favorite shows or an audiobook downloaded, so you have something to keep them entertained that doesn’t make too much noise. You can also find travel versions of many games, or they can be played on the tablet. For slightly older kids, a pack of cards is a good idea. It won’t take up too much space, but they can play many different games.
Having all the right equipment for your bundle of joy is crucial if you want to make life easier. When it comes to travel, this is even more vital. After all, how are you supposed to enjoy your travel adventure if you’re continually juggling with the wrong stroller?
Put simply, you can’t!
That is why ensuring you get all the right kids’ gear for your travels is vital. An umbrella stroller for infant travel is one piece of equipment that will serve you for much more than just travel.
A portable high chair is a seat you take with you on your travels that you use to feed your little one or keep them contained when needed.
The idea is that by having a familiar eating situation, your child will eat as they usually would without upsetting what can sometimes be a problematic routine situation, especially if your child is a fussy eater.
Noise-Canceling Headphones For Kids
You can do many things to help your children settle while traveling around, including technology.
iPads and tablets have made travel infinitely easier because we can load them with games, books, films, and music beforehand. Ensure the battery is complete, and away we go! Hours of entertainment for them and peace for you!
Of course, to go with said tablet or iPad, you need a good quality pair of soundproof headphones for toddlers, babies, and kids.
A kids’ suitcase can contain whatever you want it to, e.g., a change of clothes, changing gear, wipes, nappies, etc., but it can also hold their entertainment for the journey, such as earphones, toys, games, books, and a tablet.
Giving your child a small bag to be responsible for also helps them to be part of the traveling process, and you can get them to help you pack it, too, to enhance the experience further.
Miscellaneous Travel Must-Haves
Travel Flat Irons
For me, traveling with a flat iron is an absolute must. A travel flat iron is one of the first things I pack in my case. I like to know I can have straight fuzz-free hair when I am on the road. They are light and do not take up too much room.
Conair 1875 Watt Dual Voltage Hair Dryer
A girl needs her hairdryer, right? I’m going to be honest here. My hairdryer is one of those travel accessories that goes with me when the place we are staying doesn’t provide one. I love this sleek, compact version made by Conair! Its dual voltage feature means it can be used worldwide (phew!), and its folding handle lets me tuck it in my carry-on bag with no fuss. Plus, it has all those must-have features, too. It is adjustable, has controls, heat and speed settings, and a lovely 6-foot cord, so I can peek out of the bathroom to check on the Little Donkey and his mischief.
When traveling to a new destination, you can research the weather all you want, but you still need to be prepared for the unexpected. A freak downpour can happen anywhere, at any time, and not having an umbrella at hand could be a huge mistake. Of course, when traveling, you’ll want to find the best, smallest, and lightest umbrella without scrimping on quality. So, let’s talk best travel umbrellas.
A travel pillow is one debatable item about what to bring on a long-haul flight. Necessary or not? I say yes! Lugging around a travel pillow isn’t for everyone, and I guess you have heard a lot of chatter about the best air travel pillow.
There are many reasons for purchasing a travel pillow, and there are also many different things to consider before you pick the one you want, including the shape. The best travel pillow for your needs will be cost-effective, small, easy to transport, and ultra-comfortable.
If you want to be comfortable during a flight, you need a travel pillow. It’s that simple. Pillows give you support for your neck, head, and shoulders. Additionally, they also cut down on the chances of developing a tension headache during the flight because they offer the best type of support. You will be able to sleep much easier if you use a pillow. You know from experience that there is nothing comfortable about the back of an airplane seat, and indeed no comfort on the hard window surface either!
Safety is important to me. This compact, battery-powered model sounds an alarm if pressure is put on the doorstop, alerting of unwanted entry and scaring the culprit away. It might not seem like much, but a door alarm can provide the reassurance needed for sound sleep while on the road, especially if you find your hotel is severely lacking in the security/door lock department. An affordable way for the whole Chasing the Donkey family to get a worry-free night of ZZZs.
Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Safe
If you haven’t figured it out from our “Backpack” suggestions, our Chasing the Donkey family LOVES Pacsafe gear. This portable safe is no exception. With a TSA-accepted 3-dial combination lock, the capability of folding down flat, and weighing only one pound, we can easily stash this safe in our luggage to use throughout a trip.
Secure the stainless steel cable to any fixture in a hotel room, rental car, near the beach, or at the bar, and know that your camera, wallet, and other possessions are safe while you explore. The fabric is a stainless steel wire mesh embedded into the poly canvas… not something thieves will mess with. We love the peace of mind this excellent product gives us while chasing the Little Donkey on a beach day or leaving our laptops in a hotel room without a provided safe!
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display
When I have free time…. err, when the Baby Donkey finally goes to sleep for the night… I love to read. My Kindle Paperwhite is another one of those travel necessities I can’t leave home without, as holidays are the perfect opportunity for me to soak up some sun and catch up on the latest top-selling books.
What do I love about this version of the popular e-reader? The resolution is much higher than in older versions, giving each page a crisp look. The white background of the page gives the appearance of an actual book. A built-in backlight adjusts using sensors that detect the natural lighting around you. The screen glare has been eliminated, and a new font has been developed to create less eye strain. The battery charge lasts forever. Well, maybe not forever, but a solid 4+ weeks! Plus, thousands of titles are at my fingertips at any moment, and 4GB of storage is available for keeping books on the device.
So much to love about this Kindle and so little time to read all the books on my list. Guess I need to start planning my next holiday!
Belkin SurgePlus 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector
Charge all your electronic devices – and I know you’ve got a few – without worry while traveling. This 360-degree rotating surge protector offers three outlets and two USB ports for your national or international travel needs. So cheer up and charge up. There’s no reason to be stuck with low battery life on holiday! Often overlooked, this is a great travel gadget that you need to take along with you on your next trip, one of those underrated things to take while traveling.
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Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag
It might seem odd, but this portable, 5oz washing machine has saved our sanity many times. It is self-proclaimed as the “modern take on the old-fashioned washboard,” and we love it! For those who need to pack light or simply want to eliminate the hassle of finding a laundromat while traveling, drop your clothes in the Scrubba along with water and detergent.
Rubbing the bag activates small nodules inside to help remove dirt and odor from your clothing, leaving them clean and ready for another day of adventure. Also, note this bag can double as a dry bag. So lose the stink and the stain while camping, backpacking, or on holiday.
These fast-drying, antibacterial, microfiber towels are favorites to take on our camping expeditions or trips where water activities are involved. Baby Donkey loves the super-soft feel of the material, and we love the large size (52″ x 32″). We’ve used these towels both at the beach and after showers and have been pleased with how absorbent they are. The towels come with space-saving packs, so there is no need to worry about them taking up precious room in your luggage.
A definite must if a towel is on your list of things needed for travel this year! This towel is made of 100% microfiber material and is the best towel in the game at absorbing water and drying quickly. It’s the perfect towel for the road.
Active Roots Travel Towel
Another excellent travel towel is one like this, as this travel towel folds up into a tiny and portable mesh bag. It is a multi-purpose towel that can be used as the perfect camping towel, backpacking towel, yoga towel, beach towel, gym towel, pool towel… Simply put, it has you covered.
Active Roots Camping Hammock
There’s nothing as liberating as sleeping outside under the stars; the best way to do that is in a hammock. This durable yet lightweight hammock can carry up to 500 pounds of weight, plenty to support both you and your partner. What’s so great about this particular hammock is its size and carrying capacity and the fact that it folds up into a tiny ball that you can stuff in a little sack.
The whole package doesn’t weigh more than 2 pounds, significantly less than a tent with poles. And that’s precisely why so many backpackers and hikers prefer hammocks over tents. When it comes to hiking and other adventures, a hammock like this is one of the unmissable travel necessities.
We couldn’t decide what category to put this useful little blanket into… camping, hiking, space-saving? It could easily fit the requirements of all of them. This ultra-compact pocket blanket fits in the palm of your hand once folded and stored – no joke – yet folds out to provide coverage over 63 “x 44” of space! The water-repellent, puncture-resistant, and weighted corner features make it perfect for protecting gear, food, or your pants from the ground. You’ll be set for a picnic no matter where your travels take you.
Again, another item we couldn’t decide what category fits best. We’ve used these brightly colored, collapsible bowls on picnics for storing snacks while hiking and even on camping trips. The bowls stack together nicely, are BPA-free, and are leak-proof. Plus, the added convenience of collapsible, flat storage once empty makes them perfect for hauling around. This set includes three different-sized bowls (32oz, 16oz, and 64oz) along with lids. They are a great camping accessory.