Must Have Travel Essentials That I Cannot Travel Without

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I’ve been traveling for a few years now and I have made a lot of mistakes as well as learned from them. There are some essential things that I just cannot travel without. These things can make a big difference to my trip. Here are my 20 must have travel essentials that I cannot travel without.

Must-have Travel Essentials

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1. Anti-Theft Backpack

Anti-Theft Backpack

One of the most important must have travel essentials is a good anti-theft backpack. With a good anti-theft backpack, I don’t have to worry about having my valuables such as cash, passport, and etc, stolen from me. This leather anti-theft backpack is perfect for traveling, it is very spacious and can fit a lot of things. The design is very classic so it can match with any outfit and it is really stylish too.

2. Travel Wallet

Must-Have Travel Essentials

One thing I’ve learned from traveling is to have a good travel wallet where I can put everything in one place. I remember in the past, I would panic whenever it is boarding time. I would have a difficult time looking for my boarding pass and passport since I placed the two of them separately. One would be inside my bag and the other one would be at the external pocket. A travel wallet is really one of the most important must have travel essentials for me since it makes everything more convenient. I have my boarding pass, passport, bills, and etc, all in one place.

3. Luggage Scale

Must-Have Travel Essentials

A luggage scale is definitely one of my favorites must have travel essentials. I remember during my trip to Singapore last year, we only had a 10 KG baggage allowance. I saw a lot of cute stuff that I wanted to buy but I was worried about paying an extra fee for excess baggage. When we checked in for our flight home, we regretted not buying more since we still have some baggage allowance.

We already learned our lesson so on our next trip where we spent one week in Japan, we brought a luggage scale with us. Every day, we would weigh our luggage in order to know how many kilograms we have left. Having a luggage scale can be really helpful. I can’t imagine not bringing a luggage scale when we travel. It is one of my must have travel essentials that I cannot travel without

4. Inflatable Travel Pillow

Must-Have Travel Essentials

I have developed a habit of not sleeping for the whole night if we have an early flight the next day. It started a few years ago where I was supposed to wake my brother early so he won’t miss his trip to Japan. He was going to Tokyo for work and he needs to leave the house at six in the morning. I woke him up at five and went back to sleep. I woke up a few minutes later when I heard my brother cursed loudly since he just woke up at almost six in the morning. He went back to sleep after I woke him up.

Fortunately for him, he was able to reach the airport on time and did not miss his flight to Tokyo. However, that was also the start where I would be anxious about missing my flight that I’d rather stay awake the whole night if I have an early flight the next day.

I would always be so sleepy whenever I have an early flight since I did not sleep the previous night. A lot of travelers recommend a good neck pillow to be able to sleep comfortably on the plane. I have tried several neck pillows already and I did not find one that can make me comfortable. Fortunately for me, I discovered this travel pillow where I just attach it to my plane seat and wear it like a seat belt. I can lean my head to the side and sleep comfortably. I no longer have to worry about being so tired and sleepy when I have an early flight since I know I can sleep comfortably in the plane with this travel pillow. It is definitely a must have travel essentials for me.

5. Collapsible/Foldable Water Bottle

Collapsible Water Bottle

I am the type of person who drinks water a lot. Whenever I am home, I would always drink up to 15 cups of water a day. My family would always eat at this Chinese restaurant in our hometown every Sunday and the waiters would always refill my glass. They already know that I drink water a lot.

Since it is very dry inside the airplane, I would always feel thirsty. The flight attendants would serve water to passengers but just a small plastic cup is not enough for me. A great thing that I discovered this collapsible water bottle since I can just ask the flight attendant to fill it up with water for me. It also saves a lot of space since it is collapsible. I highly recommend a collapsible water bottle for travelers, it’s one of my must have travel essentials.

6. Steamer for Clothes

Must-Have Travel Essentials

In the past, I would iron my outfits at the last minute. I would iron them the day before we fly and before packing them into my luggage so it would have less crease. It does not make a difference though because when I arrive at the destination, my clothes will still have a crease. I used to tolerate wearing creased clothes on my travels until I discovered this portable steamer.

This is definitely a must have travel essentials since it also does not take too much space. I love how with this portable steamer, I will no longer have creased outfits on my travel photos.

7. Airplane Foot Rest

Must-Have Travel Essentials

Sitting on the plane for several hours can be very uncomfortable. I only recently discovered this footrest that I can use on the airplane. I don’t think I would travel without airplane footrest after trying it out the first time. My feet and legs would no longer be numb after seating at the plane for several hours.

8. Universal Travel Adapter

Must-Have Travel Essentials

Before my first international travel experience, I’ve read online that packing a universal adapter is a must. It is definitely a must have travel essentials. We did not pack one since we can just borrow from our hotel. However, I have heard from some of my friends that when they tried to borrow from their hotel, there weren’t nay travel adapter available so they had to buy a new one.

To make sure that my future travels will be hassle and stress-free, I decided to bring my own universal travel adapter. I discovered this all in one travel adapter where I can use it in 170 countries. It can be used in different countries including the US, UK, AU, and others. It is definitely one of the must have travel essentials that I cannot travel without

9. Laundry Bag for Travel

Laundry Bag for Travel

If I am traveling for a long period of time, packing a laundry bag is definitely a must. It is one of my must-have travel essentials even if I will just travel for a short period of time.

Even if I will not do any laundry during my travel, I can still put my used clothes in this bag so that it will not get mixed with my fresh clothes. I love this design since it is very simple yet elegant and I also really love the font.

10. Microfiber Towel

Microfiber Towel

One mistake I did when I traveled for the first time is I did not pack any towel. I just thought that it would just take a lot of space and the hotels will provide new towels every day so I did not see the point to pack one. But when I heard horror stories from my mom’s friend about the towels used in the hotels, I never used any towels from the hotel ever again.

Stories like they use the towel to wipe the bathroom floor, or even the toilet bowls. My mom’s friend said that even if the hotel is a five star, it’s not a guarantee that the towels are clean. One of the reasons why I can’t bother bringing my own towel is that aside from it takes a lot of space, it also makes my luggage heavier. But with a microfiber towel, my problems are solved. It is very lightweight and does not take too much space. It also dries quickly which is a bonus. Purchasing a microfiber towel is one of the best decision I made and it is a must have travel essentials that I cannot travel without

11. Foldable Travel Hanger

Must-Have Travel Essentials

I love hanging my clothes. The first thing I do when I arrive at my hotel room is unpacking and hanging my clothes. The problem is, most hotels offers limited hangers only. I remember during our trip to Japan, after checking in at our hotel, my mom and brother went to the convenience store to buy some breakfast for tomorrow. I stayed at the hotel and unpack my stuff. When they got back, my brother unpacked his stuff and when he opened the closet, all my clothes were already hanged and there are no more hangers left, oops. I had to take some of my clothes off and just combined two to three outfits into one hanger so that my mom and brother can also hang their clothes.

I was so excited to discover these portable hangers that can be folded. They are definitely one of the best must have travel essentials. They also do not take a lot of space which is really great, definitely travel-friendly.

12. Compact Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella

There is always something to learn whenever we travel. I can’t believe we have never packed an umbrella whenever we travel. For some reason, there will always be at least a day during our travels where it will rain the whole day. We were fortunate when we visited Hong Kong and Tokyo since we just borrowed an umbrella from our hotel.

When I and my mom went to Singapore, we got soaked since we were sightseeing when it suddenly poured. For some reason, during our recent one week in Japan trip, we did not check the weather forecast. There are umbrellas in our hotel but we did not bother which is a big mistake. The rain won’t stop so we bought one clear umbrella at the gift shop at Nabana no Sato. The three of us shared under one umbrella.

Unfortunately, we need to check in the umbrella on our flight home since it was not a compact umbrella. We flew with Cebu Pacific Air from Osaka to Manila and with Philippine Airlines from Manila to our province General Santos City. Our umbrella arrived in Manila but it did not arrived in General Santos City which was really sad and unfortunate. After that incident, I decided compact umbrellas are a must have travel essentials since you can put it inside your bag and it will not be lost. I suggest choosing a colored one so you can easily identify that it is yours. This yellow umbrella reminds me of ‘How I Met Your Mother”.

13. Travel Accessories Bag Organizer

Must-Have Travel Essentials

I never really pack any accessories aside from my watch when I travel. Having a watch is more of a necessity than an accessory for me. I did not know how to pack my accessories properly so I just leave them at home. I am so happy that I discovered this travel accessories organizer, it is perfect for traveling and for packing accessories.

14. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Must-Have Travel Essentials

When I was younger, I would just pack my toothbrush and toothpaste and a face cleanser when we travel. I would just place them at one of the external pockets of my carry on bag. I have changed since then, I pack more skincare products and not just a face cleanser and I can’t imagine just placing my toothbrush at one of the pockets of my bag, it is definitely not hygienic.

Having a hanging toiletry bag where I can place all of my products is definitely convenient. I don’t have to worry about little space if the sink in our hotel room is small since I can just take the products out directly from the bag and put it back once I am done using it.

15. Travel-Sized Bottles for Toiletries

Must-Have Travel Essentials

Packing my skincare products when I travel is a big mistake, it just makes my bag heavier. It is much better if I transfer the content into a smaller travel-sized toiletry bottle to save space and weight. This is definitely one of my top must have travel essentials

16. Phone Camera Lens Attachment

Must-Have Travel Essentials

I love taking photographs when I travel and share them on my Instagram and here on my travel blog. I only use my phone to take my travel photos. I currently use the Huawei P30 and the camera is amazing! I don’t have a camera like the ones professional photographers use so having this photo camera lens attachment is something I love to pack with me when I travel. It can give me much better travel photos.

17. Powerbank

Must-Have Travel Essentials

I use my phone a lot whenever I travel. I use it to update my Instagram stories and for my navigation or even to just search for the nearest restaurant to have a meal. Although the battery of my Huawei P30 is amazing compared to my previous phone, it is safer to just bring a power bank to make sure that my phone will not run out of battery. This portable power bank is amazing since it has also already a built-in cable for either apple or android phones.

18. White Shoes

Must-Have Travel Essentials

A good pair of walking shoes is one of the most important must have travel essentials. A pair of white shoes is very versatile since it can be paired with any outfit. I can wear it with casual outfits or dresses. I also prefer wearing white shoes for my airport outfit.

19. Travel Journal

Travel Journal

I love planning my travels and creating itineraries. I am always in charge of creating the itinerary and having a travel journal to jot down all my ideas is something I love. When I get bored in the plane, I can just read my travel journal or jot down new ideas. I love reading my travel journal and looking back to my past travel.

20. Book

Crazy Rich Asian Book

I never travel without a book. I always stop by at the bookstore at the airport before my flight. I would always think that ‘oh, I would not buy anything, just going to look around’ then I come out of the bookstore with a new book to read on the flight. I used to read at least one book a week when I was in high school but I do not have much time to read nowadays. That is why I always take the opportunity to read a book whenever I am on a plane. It is also a great way to pass the time at the airport too.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any must-have travel essentials you cannot travel without? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Ever since starting her travel blog on April 2019, Fae has loved taking photographs of new places and sharing them online. Now, in her 20s, take a peek in her life as she pulls you into a world of travel, food and lifestyle.


  • Heena

    These are important items that I always make sure to carry on my travel journeys. Camera, Power bank, travel size bottles with liquid stuffs are must to have.

  • Stephanie

    I have a few of these already. The hanging toiletries bag is great for when we go camping, too. I didn’t know there are anti-theft backpacks. That would be great since I always prefer a backpack since it keeps my hands completely free.

  • Jane Dempster-Smith

    I have been looking at the footrests for a while now. I try and not book overnight flights as I can’t sleep sitting up. These may just help. This is a great list for travellers and I am going to use it as a checklist next time I fly.

  • Nidhi Gupta

    So well summed up… what takes the cake is White shoes. Till sometime back, we kept Whites away from travelling coz of maintenance issue and now its become a travel essential.

  • Lyosha

    water bottles, chargers, travel document and bathroom bag are my musts, I travel lightly so I have never used and saw a use in scales but I agree a lot of people might find it useful

    • Elizabeth O

      These are all great must have items when we travel. I also include a pack of mints and a mini emergency kit that includes sewing items and health need items. I love that head rest design you shared.

  • Bee

    I feel like I need to add all of these into my basket. Especially the anti-theft backpack as I have been a victim of pick pocketing. That’s not something I would like to experience again. Lucky they didn’t take that much.

  • Jasmine M

    I didn’t know there was a such thing as an anti-theft backpack or a collapsible water bottle. I need to buy the both of these to have on my future travels for sure.

  • Christa

    A steamer, laundry bag, and good book are always on my list. I love that collapsible water bottle! Ill need to add that to what I take on trips.

  • Val

    Love this list! I already have most of the stuff you’ve listed but there are a couple that are totally new to me. Those foldable hangers, for example, are so useful! And the airplane foot rest is something I should really look into!

  • daniel

    I already know that there many essential to pack while traveling but I did not know some of these different ways. Love this list, thanks for sharing!

  • Ami Bhat

    I am sending this list to a friend with the hope they gift me one of these things. I did not know abt the collapsible bottle. That really is handy, especially since I am all for reducing the plastic bottle usage.

  • Shreya Saha

    I already have a few of these, but I am amazed checking out few of the things you have enlisted. For example, the foot rest that I can carry in the plane is a must, I would love to have one. Also, the foldable water bottle looks very useful. Even I drink a lot of water in a day, but sometimes traveling makes me forget to drink water as much as I should on a usual day. The bottle will surely help me to keep a track.

  • Jay Artale

    I love my travel adapter with USB ports. It’s especially useful when you’re staying in budget accommodation with only one socket, but multiple devices to charge. The only trouble I found in Cambodia and Vietnam, was that the adapter quite often fell out of the socket because it was too heavy, so we had to prop it up with a backpack or small table.

  • Carrie Ann | Should Be Cruising

    This is a great list! I didn’t start packing a luggage scale until recently, but it’s so helpful. Sometimes I don’t pack things back into the original bag after a long trip, and one of my bags would always end up overweight because I had no way to weigh it. It’s super-embarrassing to have to rearrange everything in your luggage in front of everyone at the airport to be under the limit!

  • Sharon

    These are great items, I especially love the travel size toiletry bottles. I always carry insect repellant, ts a must have travel essentail for me. Thanks for sharing

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