Some posts contain compensated links. Please read this disclaimer for more info.
2021 Guide To The Best Travel Necessities
Yippee, travel, I can’t get enough.
We’re always being asked about what travel products we recommend, and of course, which travel items are a must!
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 below, you’ll find the key travel necessities for 2021. Happy shopping, travelers!
No travel necessities list could start any other way: suitcases and bags. Depending on your travel style, budget, and where you’re headed, there is no one-size-fits-all travel bag.
That said, we still have loads of suggestions:
One debatable item about what to bring on a long haul flight is a travel pillow. Necessary or not? I say, yes! Lugging around a travel pillow isn’t for everyone, and, in fact, my guess is you have come across 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 take into account before you pick the one you want, including the shape. The best travel pillow for your needs will not only be cost-effective, but it will also be small, easy to transport, and, of course, ultra-comfortable.
If you want to be comfortable during a flight, you need a travel pillow. It’s really 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 certainly no comfort on the hard window surface either!
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 also choose one that as pockets and features that will hold all your day-to-day items.
Suitcases and backpacks done! Now, it’s time to get yourself a kick-ass travel wallet or at least add it to your list of travel necessities because these are among the most important things to bring when traveling abroad.
When you’re heading off on any trip, you need to know that your belongings are safe. Think about it, rationally. You are carrying the things that are important to you, actually on your person, and that means that unless you bring a safe with you, you’re going to have to figure out a way to keep your important documents very safe and very secure.
Thankfully, there are ways you can do that – get a travel wallet.
If you do any amount of traveling, you should definitely 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 some 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. Take the time to shop for a pair or two before your next trip.
A travel bra is, as the name would suggest, 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, do serve a second purpose, and that is for keeping your credit cards, passport, and other small and essential items safe. This is through small, hidden pockets that are sewn into the bra. No, it won’t cause bulk or add discomfort, because it’s all designed to be super-streamlined. Clever, right?
Packable Down Jackets
When you’re heading off to Europe during the winter months, you need to be ready for anything. The country you’re heading to normally dictates the type of weather you will experience. However, even within that country, there are micro-climates you need to consider.
Of course, this shouldn’t put you off at all. It just means you need to know what to take! One of the best ways to stay warm (and fashionable) is to purchase a high-quality down-filled jacket. We suggest a packable down jacket, to save room in your bags, to keep warm, and to look stylish.
A down jacket is a regular jacket with extra insulation in the form of feathers from duck or geese. Such a packable down parka feels luxurious, soft, and warm.
Travel Clothes That Do Not Wrinkle, Or At Least Do Not Need Ironing
Who doesn’t love a checked shirt? This particular option is ideal for day or night, and it’s a material that isn’t going to crease in your case and need ironing every single time you want to wear it. You can choose between a white canvas with a black stripe, or you can go for the opposite, with a black canvas.
This shirt has a fashionable pointed collar and is button up, so you can wear it with something underneath if you want to add layers. Made from 100% polyester, the material is crease-free and easy to wash, as well as being durable. The long sleeves will also keep you warm during the cooler weather but can be rolled up if you feel a little warm.
For ladies who want to be super-fashionable while on the go, this crepe mid-wrap dress is ideal. 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. The dress is easy to dress-up or dress-down; you can opt for boost or heels for the evening, or throw on a pair of canvas shoes or sneakers for the day time.
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!
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. This unique infinity scarf is both a cute accessory and a useful gadget with a zippered pocket for storing all of your valuables. Not only is it convenient for airline travel and other public transportation, but it’s also perfect for a day or night around town. Keep your valuables close and look fabulous doing it!
Organization & Space-Saving Travel Necessities
If you added a small suitcase or backpack to your travel shopping list, you definitely 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, 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.
Smart Luggage Tags
Lost luggage is probably one of the most worrying things about air travel. If your baggage is lost in transit, then yes, you will get it back at some point, but how long will it take? It could be a few hours, it could be a few days, and while you’re waiting, you’re without your belongings, and perhaps even a few of your valuables.
There are a few ways to counteract this issue, and one of the most successful is to make use of luggage trackers.
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 you lift, giving you an accurate measurement of how much your case weighs. This type of luggage scale is typically a hand-held scale.
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 no worries about leakage.
Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag
When traveling anywhere in this big wide world, you need the right luggage and accessories for the job. Ensuring that your belongings are separated into the right groups, and knowing that everything is protected and not going to cause a rather unwelcome liquid explosion in your suitcase, is vital.
We love the guaranteed-for-life warranty that comes with this nylon, coiled zipper pack. Hold your toiletries in four easily accessible compartments and use the removable hanging hook to make it into a counter-top kit once you arrive at your final destination. The flat design allows you to pack it right on top of your duffel bags, saving space and hassle while on the go. This travel toiletry bag is brilliant. Period.
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 easily be filled with your shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and other liquids. They’re perfect for flying. The bottles are soft, flexible, and durable, and can withstand temperature changes. The lids have a great seal, so no need to worry about liquids leaking during transport either. We absolutely love the high quality of these travel bottles and the flexibility they provide for bringing our favorite toiletry products on airplanes.
Family & Kids Travel Ideas
Family Passport Holders
If you have several passports to look after at one time, 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 you have everything you need 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 you can, so traveling with baby will be part of a typical day.
For that reason, you need to figure out your options for transporting your new bundle of joy around with you. Have you thought of a baby carrier or, as some like to call them, an infant carrier?
There are so many baby carrier types available on the market it’s hard to know where to start, so we made this guide to help you.
When you’re traveling with your kids, finding ways to keep them entertained is going to 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 lots of different games.
Most toys are going to be too bulky, but one good option is kid’s subscription boxes like the Sago Mini Box. This is a self-contained box that includes everything kids need for make and play activities so it’s easy to pack in your carry on luggage and will keep them entertained for hours. Plus, it’s almost completely made out of cardboard so it’s lightweight, and you’ll be able to recycle it once your kids have finished playing to save room in your bag.
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!
For that reason, making sure you get all the right kids gear for your travels is vital. One piece of equipment that will serve you for much more than just travel is an umbrella stroller for infant travel.
Noise Canceling Headphones For Kids
The useful women’s raincoat from Find (by Amazon) is available in three different print designs, and it is easy to roll up and pack into your bag or suitcase on the go. The fabric is showerproof, and it has a drawstring waist and hood to keep you dry and fashionable at the same time. The jacket is also made of 100% polyester, so it’s easy to clean too. You can throw this in the washing machine as many times as you like!
The jacket is longline and has buttoned pockets to keep your belongings safe and dry. The front zips up also, to add extra comfort during showers.
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
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. A girl needs her hairdryer, right? I love this sleek, compact version made by Conair! Its dual voltage feature means it can be used worldwide (phew!), and it’s 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.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Set, Packing Cubes
Organizing and packing for a trip can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when trying to save space in the few bags you are allowed to bring. 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.
Safety is important to me. 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. This compact, battery-powered model sounds an alarm if pressure is put on the doorstop, alerting of unwanted entry and scaring the culprit away. An affordable way for the whole Chasing the Donkey family to get a worry-free night of ZZZ’s.
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!
Shoes & Socks
Compression Socks For Long Haul Flights
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 types of sport and activity. The bungee straps make the shoes super-easy to slip on and off, so no hassle with laces. Not to mention, Mr. CtD receives a lot of compliments when wearing this around town!
Women’s Travel Shoes
Jambu Women’s Tidal Terra Marine Water Shoe
For many women, shoes are among 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. If you only want to take one pair of day shoes on your next trip, these are it. Stroll along the beach, get wet in a tide pool, explore cobblestone streets, wander the forest, or just grab a coffee in town.
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 both cuteness and security on your foot. Don’t let shoes weigh your bags down when you can enjoy a broad range of activities with just one pair. The biggest challenge with these? Trying to pick just one color!
Jambu Women’s Spin Ballet Flat
Have I told you yet how much I love Jambu shoes? If you weren’t sold on my favorite hybrid pair above, these ballet flats might just tickle your fancy. 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 easily wear them for casual outings throughout the year, not just on holidays.
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. Within the bag, there are certain compartments and hangers, so your clothes don’t get crumpled or mixed up.
These types of bags are ideal for business travelers, but overall, they’re an excellent idea for those who are trying to travel light and not pay inflated check-in baggage fees.
Staying Connected In 2021
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 white background of the page gives the appearance of a real book. A built-in backlight adjusts using sensors that detect the natural lighting around you. The resolution is much higher than older versions, giving each page a crisp look. 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 totally underrated things to take while traveling.
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. So lose the stink and the stain while camping, backpacking, or on holiday. Also, note, this bag can double as a dry bag.
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 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 great travel towel, is one like this, as this travel towel folds up into an incredibly small 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, and 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 not only its size and carrying capacity but 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 exactly 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 for 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 it 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 for each. They are a great camping accessory.
Phew, so many great things for you to consider. We hope we did not overwhelm you! Tell us which travel necessities are going on your list for 2021?