Updated: Jun 5, 2019
The way people travel is so different! Some people insist they have to bring all of their shoes, while other people think they need to bring their entire wardrobe. I wouldn't call myself an EXPERT packer, but over my years of traveling, I have really found a system and products that work for me. I pride myself on being able to travel for almost 3 weeks in just a carry on (European airline regulation, by the way!)
In this post, I am going to share with you my packing essentials that can work for an international trip or even domestic! I would also love to hear what you all use when you travel! I am constantly looking for ways to streamline my trip.
It SHOCKS me that this isn't a requirement for traveling. Not only do packing cubes help keep your items organized in your bag, but it also helps cut down on over-packing. I am all about shopping local. I am blessed to be living in the same town as one of my travel idols. You may have heard of him: Rick Steves! I purchased two sets of his packing cubes, which you can buy online!
Packing Tip: Only buy the sets that come with 3 cubes: generally a set with 2 medium and 1 large cube. Challenge yourself to stick to packing only clothing that will fit in these cubes.
International Plug Adapter
This one is more of a no brainer, but pick one that comes with every different type of plug made. I have a few sets of these because we have so many electronics we need to keep charged.
Packing Tip: I research the type of adapters I need before I travel. There is no point in taking all of them, right:?!
There are so many different voltage levels across the world. In order to protect your items from being ruined (I hear it happens a lot with blow dryers and flat irons), a surge protector is a must. This one was recommended to me and it has worked great for me in Europe and Asia!
I generally don't check my bag if I can help it. Especially with a layover, it provides peace of mind and eliminates the opportunity for lost luggage. I use the luggage locks if we have a layover that allows time for us to leave the airport. Our most recent example was our 9 hour layover in Dubai. We checked our bags into their left luggage area and put the locks on for this. We had peace of mind knowing they couldn't rummage through our things.
Multi Purpose Backpack
A good backpack is a must. Choose one that is multi purpose. One that acts as a great carry on and can hold everything you might need for a longer flight, and something that can act as a day bag and carry your essentials when out on a day trip! This is the one I have used multiple times and I love it!
I keep electronics such as portable batteries, go pro, camera in the bottom slide out area
There is a clip area on the bottom of the backpack that can hold a camera tri-pod, but I used it to hold our umbrella
The top compartment holds snacks and water
When zipped closed, I have stored a sweater or windbreaker in the top handle that snaps closed!
Flying more than 6 hours? Don't want to land and have cankles and swollen legs? Compression socks are a must. I forgot them on our trip to Asia and I had cankles every time we landed!
We first used these in Europe in September 2017. If you don't have access to a washer/dryer, you can always wash some light weight items like undergarments in the sink and they will dry in just a day or two. Even if you have a washer/dryer, detergent may not always be available. These are small packets that don't take up a lot of space in your luggage.
Portable Battery Charger
What is worse than being on a day trip and your electronics dying half way through? This portable battery charger has been a lifesaver more than one time. 10,000 mAh is also enough to charge about 2 smartphones and potentially one more device!
These are the items that I travel with every time! Are there any items I didn't mention that are a must have in your book? Let me know!