13 Travel Essentials You Need to Pack

Going on a backpacking adventure around the world? Or headed down south for a luxury vacation? No matter where you're going or what type of traveling you'll be doing, make sure to pack these 13 travel essentials!

1) Reusable water bottle 

I absolutely hate buying bottled water. Not only is it horrible for the environment, it's also overpriced and an easy expense you can cut out of your travel budget. Carry a reusable water bottle and you'll find that the majority of airports, restaurants and hotels offer filtered water fountains or dispensers free of charge. 

2) Portable charger 

Whether its checking directions, keeping in touch with friends and family or using a handy travel-app, smartphones are crucial when traveling. That's why there is nothing worse than a dead battery. Charge your electronics on the go with a USB portable charger! They are reasonably priced and allow you to stay connected everywhere. 

3) Medicine 

It sucks but falling ill on vacation is a very common occurrence. Be prepared and pack some aspirin for minor headaches and hangovers. Also, traveller's diarrhea (gross, I know) can spring up on you anywhere. Don't spend your trip on the toilet and bring some anti-diarrheal medication. Better safe than sorry right?

I also just got food poisoning recently in Thailand and these babies saved my life!

Sachets of electrolytes that you mix in water. If you're having trouble keeping food down or extremely dehydrated, drink this stuff and I guarantee you'll feel better in no time!

4) Lock

If you're staying at a hostel, the only way to keep your stuff safe is by putting them in a locker. If you're lucky, the hostel will provide locks but this isn't always the case. Carry your own lock and feel at ease knowing that your valuables are safe.

5) Travel adapters 

Plugs and voltages vary from country to country. If you want to make sure your electronics will charge properly, buy a set of travel adapters. They are inexpensive and usually come in packs of four or five.

6) Waterproof phone case

I recently got one of these as a gift and absolutely love it! This case protects your smartphone from moisture and turns it into an underwater camera.  Forget buying an expensive waterproof camera or GoPro. Take it with you to the beach and enjoy snapping pictures under the sea. 

7) Mosquito Repellent 

If you're going camping or to somewhere tropical, make sure to always pack mosquito repellent. Mosquitos carry a host of diseases including dengue fever, malaria and Japanese encephalitis. These illnesses can be fatal and some have no cures. The best way to protect yourself is prevention. Use mosquito repellent that has at least 25 per cent deet. Also, buy bottles with a spray pump and stay away from the aerosol cans. Aerosol cans are an explosive hazard when flying and most airlines don't allow them in your checked or carry-on bags. 

8) Eye mask 

If you want to get some shut eye on a bus, train, plane or hostel, bring an eye mask with you. I know it seems cheesy but trust me, it works! Blocking out light makes it so much easier to fall asleep. 

9) Earplugs 

This goes hand in hand with the eye mask. By cancelling out noise, earplugs will help you sleep like a baby. They are also an absolute must when staying at hostels where loud partiers and noisy music are the norm.

10) Scarf or sarong 

Nothing is worse than stepping on an air conditioned plane that is freezing cold. Pack a scarf or sarong and you'll have a nice blanket to keep yourself warm. Also, if you're traveling to Southeast Asia and plan on visiting temples, you'll need to cover your shoulders and knees. Considering the sweltering hot temperatures in this region, I doubt you'll want to wear sweaters and pants. Bring a scarf and wrap it around your shoulders or tie a sarong around your legs and you'll be good to go! 

11) Pens 

These are so simple and basic yet people forget to bring them all the time. Pack a pen and you'll have no problem filling out immigration forms and jotting down important memos.

12) Bandaids 

If you're prone to accidents like me then don't leave home without bandaids. Whether you cut yourself, get a blister from uncomfortable shoes or fall and scrap a knee, bandaids are here to save the day! 

13) Reusable totes or plastic bags 

Got a sandy beach towel? Dirty shoes? A wet bathing suit? Leaking shampoo bottles? Stick them in a reusable tote or plastic bag to make sure the rest of your suitcase doesn't get wet or dirty. Bonus points if you bring reusable totes because they are way better for the environment. :) 

What travel essentials do you never leave home without? Leave me a comment below and let me know! 


I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.


  1. I'd suggest replacing the eye mask with a Buff. When traveling and space is limited, it's important to have multifunctional gear!
    The thing can be used in so many different ways: as an eye mask, a face mask (cover your mouth and nose from dust or smog), a head band, and so much more. I've even used it as a toque. I use it daily when I travel, and even fairly often at home.

  2. Whoa I gotta get me one of those! Thanks for the tip!