The Best Travel Essentials for Your Next Trip

I just got back from two weeks in Namibia and I wanted to share some of my must have travel essentials and general travel tips after a 15 hour flight to Cape Town. In the notes section on my phone I keep a file called "Things I Forget to Pack" and every vacation I add to it. It's so useful to refer to every time I pack for the next vacation. For instance I never chew gum at home, but that's vital for a plane ride and when I see that on my list I remember to buy gum for my flight. I also keep a notes file in my phone of travel quotes so I have interesting captions for my IG photos for when I'm at a loss. I also have a picture of my passport in my phone in case I lose it.

Never exchange money at the airport kiosk, it always has the worst rate. I exchange money at Citibank before I leave the USA. You order the money at the teller and it comes the next day but they don't carry every currency. In that case look for an ATM when you arrive in the country. But I really like to have cash when I arrive so I can go straight to a taxi and avoid lines. Also talk to your taxi drivers, you never know what interesting info they may share. Who do you think takes my airport departure photo when I travel alone? lol 


Door Stopper I put this under every hotel door because hotels can sometimes accidently give your key to another guest. I once was given a key to an occupied room and walked into see someone else's luggage. As a woman, you have to ensure your safety in hotel rooms. I always use the door lock swing guard on the back of doors as housekeeping can walk in at any time. But I watched a video on youtube that showed how easy it is to open that from the other side with just a folded piece of paper. 

Money Belt The best way to keep your money and passport secure when you travel.

Carbon Monoxide Detector I keep hearing stories of tourists who die on vacation from carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep an alarm in your suitcase so you always have it to travel with. 

Belt Bag This is a dupe for the lululemon Belt Bag that is always sold out. I wore this on the plane to hold my passport, phone, gum and a MacroBar in case I don't get the vegetarian meal I ordered. 


Apple AirTag I put this in my suitcase and I always know where it is when I travel. So if the airline were to lose it, I could tell them I know that it is in xyz airport. For example a friend of mine when her plane landed her suitcase didn't come out, so her and a bunch of people from the plane when to  customer service and they  were told to go home and the airport will try and figure out what happened to their bags. So some people went home but then someone said, "no my airtag said my suitcase is here at the airport so you need to find it and I'll wait." If another passenger accidently takes your bag off the baggage claim and takes it home, you can follow them home, I've seen it on the news! 

In fact once I was reading in a facebook group a story of a woman who took an airport shuttle to her hotel and a passenger took her suitcase off the van. She didn't realize this until she got off at her hotel, the last stop. The driver circled back to every hotel but couldn't find her bag and the person who took her bag never called the shuttle company. You won't believe this, but other people posted to this thread saying the same thing happened to them! New fear unlocked! This why I have a pink suitcase but also an airtag inside it would be helpful. 

When traveling abroad, after I check into my hotel (where I have wifi) and then leave to explore the city, even though my phone is on airplane mode, my phone uses other people's wifi to connect and tells me that I have stepped away from my suitcase and lets me know it's last known location (the hotel)! I've seen other people say they attach this to their body when they travel solo so family members know where they are at all times. You can attach it to a dog/cat collar since it's only 1.26 inches. You can't travel without this!

Portable iphone charger  so your phone has a charge all day long.

USB Adapter to charge your phone on the plane. EU Adopts Law Requiring Universal USB-C Phone Chargers. I know it's annoying keeping up with every cord change with every new iphone but the EU said no to that! lol 


Slim Packing Cube Perfect to keep my undergarments and socks separate and easy to find.

Clothing Steamer  My holy grail, I steam my clothes every night when I travel. 

Packing Cubes They help compress your clothing so you can fit more in your suitcase and keep you organized so you can find everything. It keeps your shoes separate so the dirty bottoms aren't touching everything else. The TSA can feel the outside that only soft clothing is inside so they may not pick everything apart. I really like these fabric grey ones because they look stylish.

Jewelry Organizer

Cadence Leakproof, magnetic,  capsule systems for your toiletries. These are the best I've ever used for 3oz liquids! They come with a list of labels for the lids or you can pay extra to create your own.  U.K. airports will phase out tiny liquids by 2024.

Truffle Jetset Jumbo Case

This goes on every trip with me, it's a large makeup case with two zip compartments. The narrow side I use for my makeup brushes (I travel with 10) and the wide side I use for my 3oz liquids. Dimensions:  9” W X 3 3/4" H X 6” D

Calpak Hue Toiletry Bag
In this bag I keep all my non-liquid makeup. It's made of polyester but feels luxe and heavy as if it was made of leather. It's very spacious at 9x5 inches and has an extra zippered pocket for small things.

Elemis Cleansing Balm

My all time favorite makeup remover, I go through tubes of this. Get a mini size for travel. 

Toilet Spray to keep the hotel bathroom smelling fresh.


Collapsible water bottle  So you don't have to buy expensive bottled water in the airport terminal anymore, you can you use this cup to fill up at the water fountain. It's compact and leak-proof.

Stainless Steel Water bottle holds cold water cold all day. It's more sturdy to throw in your bag than a plastic bottle so I would buy plastic water bottles and transfer to this. Also great to have in the seat back pocket of the plane so you don't have to ask the flight attendant for water. 

No Jet Lag Homeopathic Jet Lag Remedy consisting of 5 main active ingredients: Arnica Montana 30C (Leopard's Bane), Bellis Perennis 30C (Daisy), Chamomilla 30C (Wild Chamomile), Ipecacuanha 30C (Ipecac), Lycopodium 30C (Clubmoss) and is most effective when taken separately from food and drink. 

Liquid I.V. This hydration multiplier hydrates you 2-3 times faster than water alone so you can stay hydrated on a plane without running to the bathroom from drinking a ton of water. Just add to your water bottle. Also great for hikes in the desert or for the morning after heaving drinking. 


I've traveled with a pink suitcase for 20 years and I think I'm ready for a change. Travel outfit is from Aritzia and I've since had the pants shortened. White/taupe will be my next color for luggage and I've done a lot of research on what brands I want to buy from and this what I've decided on, just waiting on a sale. The reviews say the color holds up and that it comes with a cleaning kit plus the brand sells a plastic case cover if you want added protection.


Hand Luggage



Comfortable Joggers I bought them in beige and they were so comfy and stylish on my trip that afterwards I also bought them in black, and now thinking about getting Abalone next. 

Dream Pant stylish but comfortable pant, I got them in brown. Last year they came in white so I'm waiting for that color to come back this summer.

Comfortable Sneakers These feel like walking on clouds! I wore them so much I got holes inside that I had to patch up. 

Stylish Walking Shoes I have these in the color Raspberry and love them with white jeans! The shoes are made from 17 plastic water bottles and have gum outsoles with raised nubs which can be slippery on some indoor floors. lol They are machine washable which I have not tried yet but need to since I can't get rid of the sand packed on the bottom of the shoe. Blister-free, super comfortable straight out of the box! Rothys insoles are fully removable, so you can easily replace them with thin orthopedic insoles of your choice!  You can wear them without socks, but my toes do get a little sweaty in them so I wear a half sock (literally).

Travel Apps

You should download American and United apps. I recently had a business trip with co-workers who didn't have the American app. Our flight was cancelled due to weather and I was notified immediately AND allowed to rebook on the app, they had to go to the gate to rebook. The American and United app tells me where my suitcase is and gives me up to the date gate changes. 


Mobile Passport Control App allows you  to skip the long line at passport control when you return from international flights. Hardly anyone uses this! I'm in the short line standing next to the diplomats. 

Travel Freely

A free app that keeps track of all your travel reward credit cards. I've been doing a lot of travel hacking lately and flying for free or upgrading to first/business class and getting free checked bags and upgraded boarding. 


I always use this when I travel with friends. It's a free tool for friends to track shared expenses, so that everyone gets paid back.


If you're going to Vegas and staying at Caesars create an account! 

Currency Converter Calculator! 

This works offline with no wifi connection! No more calculating in your head what something costs.

Google Docs

When I travel I always write my itinerary in a word document. I used to do this directly on Google Docs but they lost some of my files and I submitted an IT request and they couldn't recover it. I posted about this on Instagram and some of my friends had the same experience. The lesson here is don't use this as your main storage source, now I use word on my computer. However I then backup the file on google docs. I always bring the print out with me, but if by chance I forget to pack it or leave it in the hotel room, I can pull it up on my phone on google docs as a backup. 

My Google Maps

My google maps is your own personal map of a city that you save to your google account. You add restaurants, stores, hotels, points of interest, to the map and can color/picture code it. I do this as I'm researching a city, I put a ton of things on the map. Then later when I create my itinerary I look at what happens to be close by to the hotel and lunch spot and sightseeing point, and add that to the itinerary. This way all these minor things that interested me, end up on the itinerary because they just happen to be under the way. This is my number one travel tool! My map for NYC is so congested with things on it because I've been added to it for years! So for example when  I go to NYC and I'm going to be on X block, it's interesting to see that this ice cream shop that I wanted to check out happens to be there too. 


The last few years I've started booking tours through the AirBNB's Experiences section. I got a wonderful Vegetarian Market Tour in Mexico. I would have been scared to roam the market not knowing what I could eat. I always book photographers through airbnb which have been hit or miss but affordable. So if you're traveling alone and want someone with a real camera to dedicate one hour shooting you, it's a decent option. There's also walking tours, food tours, boat trips, etc.

My roommate in college was an Audrey Hepburn fan so that influenced me to get the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's sleep mask. Wearing a sleep mask really forcing you to sleep on a flight.

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room and the alarm clock has a blue light that illuminates the whole room? Or the TV has a blue light that feels like a flash light? I have a solution for you? Get these stickers! These blackout stickers coverup electronics so you have a dark room to sleep in. 

Related posts:

Top 5 Best Travel Pillows

My Travel Bucketlist 2023

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