10 Easy Travel Must-Haves to Add to Your Packing List

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Even the most well thought out travel plans could stand an extra tip or two to make them even better. What better way to improve your trip than to make sure you are equipped with things that will make your travel more convenient. No matter if your travel is business or pleasure these top 10 travel essentials are must-haves to include on your packing list for any trip.

Top 10 Packing List Essentials


Carry-On Bag To Fit Your Needs

10 Easy Travel Must-haves To Add To Your Packing List

The right carry on bag can make or break your travel experience. Remember that different trips or travel methods will determine what type of bag works best. This carry on sized overnight bag is an excellent choice for quick getaways or as an additional piece with checked luggage. It is canvas and washable and has both carry handles and a shoulder strap for carrying options.  It also has a convenient trolley handle to slide over the handle of a rolling suitcase and a separate compartment beneath the bag for shoes.

Travel Wallet

 Packing List

Another item that should make your packing list of travel essentials is a functional travel wallet. You may be tempted to travel with your everyday wallet but it’s very likely that your daily wallet doesn’t have the components you’d want for travel.  Try to find a wallet that is large enough to hold several credit/debit cards, cash, and coins as well as travel documents such as boarding passes and passports. It would also be extremely helpful if the wallet was RFID blocking as well.  The last thing anyone wants is to deal with identity theft while traveling.

Disposable Toilet Seat Covers

Top Ten Travel Packing List

This is probably one of the least glamorous items you will need in preparation for your travels, but also one of the most appreciated. Nothing kills the vibe of an awesome day of a vacation like having to carefully navigate through the grunge of a public bathroom.  They are a necessary evil and these toilet seat covers help make the deed a little less grimy. They are flushable and fit any size or shape bowl and best of all, they stay in place!

Travel Apps

Top Ten Travel Packing List

No packing list of your travel essentials would be complete without touching on how necessary travel-friendly apps are. Before embarking on a travel adventure, particularly an international one be sure to download and complete the sign up for apps that you may use while away.  Some of our absolute favorites are Google Translate for quick easy language translation. This comes in handy when shopping or asking directions etc. A few native words go a long way. Then there is Viator which is an awesome app for finding tours and experiences in the city you’re visiting.  

Another staple is Currency Converter. This app will help you stay on top of your budget by helping you keep track of how much money you’re spending in US dollars if you happen to be using another form of currency.

Read More: Tips for traveling with a lap baby.

Travel Insurance

 Packing List

Very often when planning a trip and thinking of the budget the first thing to be eliminated from the bottom line is travel insurance.  Many people think that travel insurance only covers lost baggage or canceled trips, but there are many other benefits. One of the most important benefits that travel insurance often includes is medical coverage.  Many people don’t realize that their American medical insurance policies could possibly be invalid or not accepted in certain countries. And while we hate to even think about it, sometimes accidents happen while on vacation.

Getting sick or injured in a foreign country can be devastating both physically and financially. In certain parts of the world there are no laws enforcing ethical practices, and often times doctors and hospitals will demand payment prior to treatment.

Travel insurance can cover the costs associated with becoming sick or being injured abroad and the insurance companies have staff who have resources to help with things as simple as locating and coordinating appropriate care or as complex as medical evacuations if necessary.

Medicine Kit

Yes, include medicine in your packing list of travel essentials. You probably do not want to even think about needing medicine while traveling, but it does happen and you may need it when you least expect.  Keeping a small kit of a few essentials is well worth the extra space in your carry-on. Try not to get too carried away with the kit. There is no way it can be all-inclusive, so just keep it simple and basic.  

Something like Tylenol or Advil for pain or fever, some Imodium and Pepto Bismol for upset stomach, maybe some Emergen-C for immune system boost some bandaids and antibiotic ointment is just fine. Do not go overboard, the purpose is to have something at hand just in case, not to prepare for the second coming of SARS.

Packing Cubes

Top Ten Travel Packing List

Even if you are a nonbeliever in packing cubes, you may want to reconsider. If you happen to be a chronic over-packer, it is the way to go if you want to avoid excessive bag fees. Learning to pack efficiently will save you money and stress during your travels. Packing cubes can keep your items neat, organized and they can also reduce the space your clothing would normally occupy in a suitcase allowing for more items to fit in the same amount of space.

This 7 piece set, for example, comes with 4 cubes for clothing, 1 shoe bag, and 2 TSA approved toiletry bags.  Packing cubes also help to separate clean/dry clothes from dirty/wet clothes for your return trip.

Read More: 15 Tips for traveling with preschoolers.

Toiletry Bag

 Packing List

If you will be traveling with a carry-on bag, make yourself familiar with the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.  According to this rule, each passenger is allowed to carry on 1-quart sized bag filled with containers no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100ml.  Any container that is larger than 3.4 ounces is required to be checked regardless of how full or empty the container is. This rule applies to items such as lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and makeup as well.  Be sure to either purchase travel sized items or travel sized bottles to fill for your trips.

In Seat Pouch/Bag

 Packing List

Another item you should include in on your packing list of travel essentials is an in-seat pouch for your trip.  Using a small pouch or makeup bag to keep essentials in so that you do not have to keep going into a purse, bag or carry on in the overhead compartments.  Fill this bag with everything you need for your plane, train or automobile ride. Some must-haves for the pouch include earbuds, phone charger, and power bank, gum, lip balm, a credit card for purchases.  Having these items in a small pouch that fits in the seatback will keep you from disturbing others in your row as well.

Travel Scale

Top Ten Travel Packing List

The final item on your packing list ought to be a travel scale.  Travel scales are small and inexpensive, so buy yourself 2, one for home and one to pack. Nothing can ruin a vacation before it even starts like getting to the airport and being charged an insane amount of money for an overweight bag.  Do not end up being that person at the ticket counter with their fingers and toes crossed hoping for the best. Find out the weight limits for your specific airline and be certain you stay within them.  Be sure to pack another scale in your luggage for all the items you may purchase while you are away. This way you can weigh your luggage before your return trip and spread things out in the luggage of friends or family traveling with you.

Read More: 10 Reasons to buy travel insurance.

There are more than enough things that could possibly derail your travel plans. Being as prepared as possible without being overly paranoid is a special skill that avid travelers must quickly learn to master. Keeping these packing lists of essentials handy will help keep you and your trip right on track.


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10 Easy Travel Must-haves To Add To Your Packing List
Robye Ballard
Robye is a Chicago girl at heart but a beach girl in her soul. She spends her days caring for sick kids as a pediatric registered nurse. When she’s not busy working with kids she’s home wrangling 4 children of her own. She enjoys cooking and hosting large family meals and organizing annual group vacations for her extended family. With 2 kids in college, 1 in high school, 1 in preschool and a firefighter husband busy is an understatement for this mom who describes both her parenting and clothing style as “hot mess mom”. Some of Robye’s favorite pastimes include traveling, internet shopping, dining al fresco and brunch with her friends.

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