10 Travel Must-Haves for Your Next Trip

Bringing a discrete bag for your camera and electronics is one of my travel must haves.
I take this bag with me on every trip. It has enough room for my camera but keeps it more discreet, since it’s not a camera bag.

So you’re getting ready to head out on a vacation. That’s so exciting! If you’re new to travel, especially international travel, figuring out what you’ll need can get definitely be stressful. Here’s a tried-and-true list of 10 travel must-haves, for any international destination that you’ll need on your next trip. And if you’re getting ready to plan a solo trip, don’t forget to also check out this guide with even more tips for planning a successful adventure, while on a budget! (Would you rather read this later? Save it on Pinterest here.)

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1. Luggage weight

Gone are the days of just hoping and praying your luggage isn’t overweight! Using a tiny luggage weight takes the guesswork out of packing. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had to do some serious luggage-reshuffling at least once at the airport, but since I’ve had this luggage weight from Amazon, it’s been a game-changer.

By the way: most airlines have a 50-pound weight limit on checked bags. But sometimes it varies (I’m looking at you, Spirit Airlines), so make sure to check specifically for your chosen airline.

2. Portable charger

Having a portable charger is just one of those things that makes me feel so much safer while traveling internationally, especially if I’m traveling alone. I’ve tried a few different ones over the years, but check out this top-rated option. Just make sure it’s compatible with your phone before purchasing.

3. International charger

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but depending on where you’re traveling to, your regular chargers may not work. I use this one, and I love that it can charge multiple devices at once and can also work literally anywhere in the world, instead of wasting your money buying individual chargers for different locations.

4. Kindle

While nothing beats physical books for me, having a Kindle or other E-Reader saves so much valuable space and weight when traveling. The exact one I have is no longer available, but this one is pretty much the same. But, there are also fancier versions available depending on if you’d like it to be waterproof and have more storage!

5. Journal

Next on this list of travel must haves isn’t so much a necessity, but should definitely be a priority. Whether you journal regularly or not, documenting your experiences and reflections creates something you’ll love looking back on. Travel is full of transformative experiences that make you reflect, or at the very least, want to document your time. 

6. Packing cubes + one for laundry

I start off every trip with my clothes neatly folded into packing cubes (I use both these and these). As much as they help me keep organized and maximize my packing space, by the end of the trip, it always seems like shirts are mixed up with dresses, and I can never seem to find my pajamas. The worst, however, is forgetting a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate. Even if the rest of my clothes become a disorganized mess, I’m always relieved to at least have my laundry separated. Regardless of if I’m only traveling for a few days or a few weeks, both packing cubes and a laundry bag are a top priority.

7. A bag that securely closes + can fit your camera

Taking photos is one of my favorite parts of travel, but using a camera requires keeping certain safety precautions in mind. When it comes to expensive electronics like cameras, and any valuables, to be honest, it’s always best to keep them hidden away when not in use. Personally, I only use my camera bag to keep my camera protected while flying. On the day-to-day, store your camera in a cute bag that looks like just a normal bag. I use something similar to this one. There’s a variety you could choose from and it’s really up to personal preference, just make sure it closes securely. 

(By the way, if you’re looking for more safety tips, check out this guide!)

8. Carry-on toiletries and an extra pair of clothes in carry-on

Everyone who knows me knows that I have to always check a bag when I travel for more than a long weekend. It’s not so I can bring a bunch of extra clothing options (although that is an added bonus), but because I insist on always bringing my full-size hair and skin products.

But with that said, after struggling through a couple of long flights, I began collecting skincare samples to bring along in my backpack as well. Especially for overnight flights or trips with long layovers, being able to wash and moisturize my face in the airport does wonders for my mood, and skin. Either collect the free samples you get with other orders, or even better, just put your normal products into some reusable travel-sized containers like these. I try to focus on hydrating products (that are TSA-approved) to combat the super-dry air on flights. I also make sure to have a toothbrush, small toothpaste (like this) and a travel-sized deodorant. 

In that same vein, having a change of clothes is a great way to feel slightly less disgusting after traveling for hours. It’s also a great backup in case anything happens to your checked bag, which is sadly even more common nowadays, and is probably my biggest fear every time I travel.

9. Towel

I love having my own towel to dry my hair with. But even if you’re not as high-maintenance about your hair as I am, many hostels don’t offer complimentary towels and expect you to rent one. Of course, it also comes in handy if you’re planning on visiting a beach. Plus, it doesn’t take up any room in your luggage! Check out this one.

10. Travel medicines

It’s always a good idea to pack a variety of travel sickness or other basic cold medications with you, as long as it’s not an issue for whatever country you’re traveling to. (Some countries have stricter requirements for what can be brought into their country, even when it comes to prescriptions, so be sure to check that beforehand). I always pack a basic kit with things like Advil, bandaids, decongestants, anything for travel sickness/stomach issues, and electrolyte powder.

With these 10 travel must-haves, you’ll be more than prepared for your next destination. Any items I missed? What do you always make sure to pack?

Happy travels,


P.S. If you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll want to check out this guide with my 10 best tips for budget travel.

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  1. Carol
    July 16, 2024 / 2:56 pm

    I bought the portable charger, thinking I would use it some day, but good to have around
    Well… power outage yesterday, I pulled out the handy-dandy charger, which held its charge for a couple of months, and recharged my phone quickly. I went and bought another for my spouse. Thanks, so much for the recommendation!

    • Tess
      July 16, 2024 / 5:42 pm

      yay, I’m so glad 🥰🥰🥰 thanks for your comment!

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