Essential Travel Must Haves
Traveling can be an amazing experience, but it can also be stressful. There are so many things to think about, packing being one of them. Packing can be daunting, but one of the most important things you can do to make your trip go smoothly is to pack the right travel products.
In this blog post, I'll share my top travel product must-haves. These are the products that I pack when I travel, and they've helped me to stay organized, comfortable, and connected on my trips. Whether you're a frequent traveler or you're just planning your first trip, I hope you'll find this list helpful. So let's get started!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase through them – at no extra cost to you.
Google Chromecast with Google TV
The Google Chromecast with Google TV is a great travel product for anyone who wants to stream their favorite movies and TV shows on a TV without the hassle of signing into your streaming accounts on a hotel TV. That's if the hotel has a smart TV to begin with. It works with any TV that has an HDMI port, so just plug it in and stream to your hearts content.
It's small and lightweight, so it's easy to pack in your suitcase. It supports a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. You can also use it to watch live TV. It has a sleek design and a user-friendly interface. You can use your voice to search for content or control the device. And it comes with a remote control so you can easily navigate the menus.
You can also check out the standard Google Chromecast which allows you to stream content from your favorite streaming apps on your phone to a TV.
VPN Travel Router
A VPN travel router is a great way to stay safe and secure while you're traveling. It encrypts your traffic so that your data is protected from prying eyes, even when you're using public Wi-Fi. It is also a great way to access blocked content. For example, if you're traveling to a country that censors the internet, you can use a VPN travel router to bypass the censorship and access your favorite websites and apps. If you have a Google Chromecast with Google TV, using it with a VPN router is a great way to avoid having your favorite shows blocked because you're out of the country.
I recommend getting the GL.iNet GL-AXT1800 (Slate AX) Travel Router. I have been using one for a few years and love it. It lightweight and compact enough to fit in a suitcase, or even your pocket!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are a great way to block out unwanted noise while you're traveling, especially in noisy environments and crowded spaces, such as airplanes, trains, and buses. They create a quieter environment, so you can focus on your work, listen to music, or simply relax.
You can go for a top of the line option like the Bose QuietComfort 45 or the Beats Studio3. I personally use the Anker Soundcore Q35 which is more budget friendly yet still high quality. To comfortably watch content on your phone handsfree while on the plane, consider getting a Phone Mount.
Free yourself from those awful airline earphones and use your own premium quality audio device by using a Bluetooth Transmitter. It allows you to connect your device to the airplane's in-flight entertainment system wirelessly, so you can enjoy your content without having to use the provided earphones. They are relatively affordable and fit in the palm of your hand.
I've enjoyed owning the very versatile Paww WaveCast Bluetooth Transmitter for several years now. You can connect up to two headphones, allowing you enjoy the same content with a travel buddy. For a newer version of this item, you can check out the AirFly.
Universal Power Strip
A universal power strip is a great travel product for anyone who travels to countries with different electrical outlets. It allows you to plug in your devices to any outlet, so you don't have to worry about adapters or converters. They often have multiple outlets and USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once.
I use the MOGICS Super Bagel Universal Power Strip. This bagel shaped, palm sized power strip is compatible with all major international sockets and plugs. It also has power surge protection and they also managed to fit a 3 feet extension cord into it!
A portable charger is a must-have for any traveler who wants to stay connected on the go. It can keep your phone, tablet, and other devices charged up while out and about.
Portable chargers come in a variety of sizes and capacities, so you can choose one that's right for your needs. My staple choice has been the high capacity 20000mAh Anker Portable Charge. It supports fast charging and you can charge multiple devices at once.
Wireless Charging Pad
Getting water into your charging port and going without a phone for a couple days cos you can't charge it is enough to ruin anyone's trip. After this happened to me a couple of times, I learned my lesson and have travelled with a wireless charging pad ever since. I recommend getting one if your phone supports wireless charging.
With a wireless charging pad, there's no need to plug your phone in. Simply place your phone on the pad, and it will start charging. The Anker 315 Wireless Charger is my go to option. This ultralight, palm sized disk makes it perfect for travel.
A travel monitor is a great way to have a second screen or more for working or gaming while you're on the go. Travel monitors are small and lightweight, so they're easy to pack and take with you. Depending on the length of my trip and how much I'll be working, I typically pack one or two.
There are a lot of great options out there. A great all-around choice is the ASUS ZenScreen 15.6” 1080P Portable USB Monitor. It's lightweight, has a high resolution, and a built-in kickstand, so you can prop it up in different positions.
After you've picked up the Google Chromecast with Google TV, a Travel VPN Router, a Bluetooth Transmitter , a Universal Power Strip, and Wireless Charger, you'll need to keep them organized. An electronics organizer is a great way to keep your tech gear, cables, and chargers organized and easy to find. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that fits your needs. I use the very inexpensive Lcsmaokin Electronics Travel Organizer.
An action camera is a small, durable camera that is designed to be used in extreme conditions. They are often used for recording sports activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and surfing.
The most popular action camera on the market is the GoPro. I purchased one when I got into water activities. While a waterproof phone pouch will work fine in some cases, it won't cut it for something like scuba diving. The GoPro also has a waterproof housing for diving to depths of over 40m. I also recommend getting an extra set of batteries and charger so you don't run out of juice on the go.
Tripod and Selfie Stick
A tripod and selfie stick combo is a must have, especially if you travel solo. They allow you take great videos and pictures of yourself without needing help from someone else.
I own a few kinds of tripods/selfie sticks. I use this 4-in-1 Floating Selfie Stick whenever doing a water activity with my GoPro. A Mini Flexible Tripod Stand for anchoring my camera onto non-flat surfaces. An Extendable Tripod with a Bluetooth remote for my phone. And finally, the DJI Smartphone Gimbal for taking better footage with my phone.
A Selfie Ring Light is nice to have for improving lighting when needed.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
A waterproof Bluetooth speaker is designed to be used in wet or humid conditions. It is a must-have for anyone who loves to listen to music outdoors, as it can withstand rain, snow, and even the occasional dip in the pool.
A multi-tool is a great way to have a variety of tools at your disposal in a compact and portable package. It can be a lifesaver in a variety of situations, from tightening a loose screw to opening a bottle of wine.
Multi-tools come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that fits your needs. Some multi-tools are small enough to fit on your keychain, while others are more substantial and can be used for more demanding tasks. My multi-tool of choice is the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool. I carry it with me everywhere as a means of protection as well.
I mostly travel solo, so being self-aware and being able to protect myself is important to me. In addition to the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool discussed above, I also carry pepper spray. Pepper spray is a relatively non-lethal self-defense product that can be used to deter or incapacitate an attacker.
There are various options to choose from and some are small enough to fit on a key chain. The SABRE Pepper Spray is a keychain sized budget friendly option to start with.
Portable Door Lock
Another staple item I travel with for safety is a portable door lock. A portable door lock is a small, lightweight device that can be used to secure a door from the inside. The door lock creates a wedge that prevents the door from opening. It is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your hotel room.
There are various styles of door locks to choose from. I opted to go with the Addalock Portable Door Lock.
Portable Gas Leak Detector
After seeing a few news stories about travelers who unfortunately lost their lives due to carbon monoxide poisoning that went undetected at their hotel or vacation home, I decided to start travelling with a portable gas leak detector. It can help detect and alert you to gas leaks, so you can protect yourself.
They come in various shapes and sizes. Some are battery powered while others can be plugged in. I decided to opt for the Techamor Natural Gas Detector which is a plug in option.
A money belt is a small, flat pouch that is worn around your waist under your clothing. It is a great way to keep your valuables safe while you're traveling.
They come in a few styles and sizes. I personally use the Eagle Creek Travel Gear RFID Blocker Money Belt. Most people have their valuables in their backpack or purse while travelling to a destination. I like to utilize a money belt instead. If by some unfortunate event I loose my backpack, my most valuable items are on me and hidden.
Hidden Pocket Scarf, Wrap or Blanket
With a similar functionality as a Money Belt, another Item I like to use is a Hidden Pocket Scarf. A hidden pocket scarf is a scarf with one or a few secret pockets that can be used to store valuables. It is a great way to keep your money, passport, and other important documents safe while you're traveling.
The version I own is the Zero Grid Infinity Scarf with Hidden Pockets. I chose it for it's versatility. It can convert to a wrap and a blanket.
A travel vest is a great way to keep your valuables safe while you're traveling. It has multiple pockets that can be used to store your passport, money, travel documents, and other important items. They are made of durable materials, and they are designed to be difficult to pickpocket.
I've used a SCOTTeVEST Vest for several years now. They have various styles and pocket capacities to choose from. When I purchased it, the safety of my items wasn't my primary concern. I was looking for a way to lighten my luggage when traveling with just a carryon or personal item on a budget airline. I can fit my laptop in the back of my jacket. So that's another possible benefit of owing one of these.
Travel Pillow and Blanket Combo
A good travel pillow can help you sleep comfortably while on the go. There are a ton of options available, so choose one that's right for you.
You should have picked up by now that I love versatile items that can solve multiple problems. With that in mind, I opted for this Multifactional Neck Pillow & Blanket Combo. This is an item that I also use to lighten my luggage while travelling. I remove the blanket from the pillow case and stuff it with clothing items. If I decide to travel with the blanket I can simply tie it to my personal item. Now I can make use of both the pillow and blanket if needed.
Packing cubes are a great way to organize your clothes and belongings while you're traveling. If used properly, they can help keep your clothes wrinkle-free and make it easy to find what you need. So no more tossing about in my bag looking for that one blouse I'll like to wear. I can open up the cube that neatly has just my rolled blouses and pick it right out.
Packing cubes come in a variety of sizes, so you can find one that's right for your needs. This 8 piece set comes in various sizes that you may find useful.
Digital Luggage Scale
A luggage scale is a small, portable device that can be used to weigh your luggage. It is a must-have for anyone who travels by plane, so you avoid getting a surprise fee if you go over the airlines weight restrictions. I've used this very affordable luggage scale for years.
TSA Approved Luggage Lock
A TSA-approved luggage lock is a lock that can be opened by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents. This means that if your luggage is selected for inspection, TSA agents will be able to open it without damaging your lock. They are a great way to keep your luggage secure while traveling.
Some luggages already come with these locks built in. But if you have luggage that doesn't, this TSA Approved Luggage Lock from Master is great budget friendly option.
GPS Luggage Tracker
Having your luggage lost can ruin anyone's trip. For some peace of mind and sense of security, a GPS luggage tracker is a good investment. A GPS luggage tracker is a small, lightweight device that can be attached to your luggage. It uses GPS technology to track the location of your luggage, so you can always know where it is.
For Apple users, the top choice is the Apple AirTag. For Android users I have yet to discover a true GPS tracker. There are several Bluetooth tracker options available, including this SmartTag for the Samsung Galaxy that lets you track your luggage for up to 390ft away.
Luggage Set & Backpack
Finding the perfect luggage set can be tricky. I've certainly gone through my fair share just to find the right one. When choosing luggage, I prioritize weight, durability and finally functionality. I prefer my carryon weigh no more than 6lbs and my larger luggage to weigh no more than 10lbs. At the moment, I am using a version of the Samsonite DLX Hardside 3-Piece Set that meets this criteria. When I travel with all 3 pieces, I utilize a Luggage Strap to strap 2 bags to each other so they are easier to roll.
An anti-theft purse is designed to make it difficult for thieves to steal your belongings. They typically have features such as slash-resistant fabric, hidden pockets, and RFID blocking. This is a must-have item if you are visiting highly crowded areas and cities with frequent petty-crime.
I was weary of being pickpocketed while visiting Paris. So before my trip, I purchased this Anti-Theft Purse and Backpack Combo. It's now my go to purse while I travel.
Dry Bag and Fanny Pack
A dry bag is a watertight bag that is used to protect your belongings from water damage. They are a must-have for anyone who enjoys water sports, such as kayaking, canoeing, and surfing.
I have'nt carried a beach bag for water activities since I discovered dry bags. They are so much more convenient. Aside for being waterproof they are easier to clean and get sand off. They come in various sizes and styles. The Oceandrybag which comes with a waterproof phone case is a solid option to own.
Sometimes I utilize this waterproof fanny pack when I need to keep any items on me at all times. Especially in crowded space like pool parties in Vegas for example.
Chances are you already have one of these at home or something that can be used as one. But if you don't, this Hanging Toiletry Bag is a good one to go with. If you need something more compact, this Portable Organizer is another option.
My personal favorite and one I've used for many years now is this Professional Makeup Case. I use it when I'm travelling for extended periods and checking in a bag. I put everything in it. Makeup, skin care, medication, hair products, feminine products, jewelry, etc. It's a great size to keep all those items together.
Speaking of makeup, a Compact Lighted Travel Mirror is good to have in case your hotel bathroom does not have sufficient lighting.
Travel Bottles and Containers
Travel containers are small, airtight containers that are used to store liquids, creams, and other toiletries. They are a must-have for anyone who travels, as they can help you to save space in your luggage and to prevent your toiletries from leaking.
Most of us would love to take our full size toiletries with us. But to save space and not pay excessive luggage fees, we are forced to limit what we bring. You can use the containers mentioned above to pack smaller amounts of your products or you can buy items in compact and efficient sizes. Below are are few you could try.
Chances are you already have a few items lying around that you can put together a first aid kit from. If not, you could pick up this DMI 76-Piece First-Aid Kit.
Besides the known basics, below are a few other health items that are helpful while travelling.
Dramamine: Motion sickness prevention.
Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick : Anti-chaffing balm.
ex-lax Laxative: Constipation relief.
Loperamide Hydrochloride: Anti-diarrheal.
Alpine FlyFit: Earplugs for pressure relief while flying.
Dutchess Menstral Cup: This can be a space saver compared to packing pads and tampons.
Compression Socks: Helps promote blood circulation. Helpful when flying and sitting for extended periods to deter blood clots.
Microfiber Towels are lightweight, absorbent, and quick-drying. They are a great choice for the beach or the pool, as they can dry quickly and help prevent sand from sticking to your skin. They are very compact and when folded, take up less space then a traditional towel of the same size.
The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is a good choice to go with and can be purchased in a variety of sizes.
Collapsible Water Bottle
A collapsible water bottle is a great option for anyone who wants to save space in their luggage or backpack, or for anyone who wants to be able to bring a water bottle with them on hikes or other outdoor activities without having to worry about it taking up too much space.
Compact Workout Gear
I dislike working out in a gym and rather do it in the comfort of my own space. While you can workout with simply your own body weigh, I like to utilize equipment that can add intensity to my workout. If you're like me, then you may enjoy travelling with an effective yet lightweight workout gear.
The most affordable way to stay connected when you arrive at a destination is to purchase a local sim card and plan. But if don't want to deal with doing this and prefer to be instantly connected when you arrive then having an eSim compatible phone and paying a little extra for the convenience to an eSim service may be worth it for you.
I've tried a few eSim companies and have found Airalo to be the best one so far. They are not the absolute cheapeast but while I've had connectivity and support issues with other companies, I haven't had a single issue when using Airalo.
Hope you've found this list helpful. If you'll like more inspiration, checkout this list of Amazon Best Selling Travel Products that is updated multiple times a day. Happy Travelling!