Travel Must-Haves: Essential Items for Every Trip

Traveling is one of the best experiences you can give yourself. Whether you’re hopping on a plane for a weekend getaway or hitting the open interstate for a cross-country trek, having the right items on hand can make or break your journey. Here are some essentials to bring along on your next big trip.


No matter the length or destination of your trip, there are certain items you should always bring along. Your essential travel arsenal should include the following:

• Identification (Driver’s license, or Passport for international travel)

• Cash and/or Credit Card

• Insurance card for medical purposes

• Guidebook (roads atlas, travel guides, etc.)

• A book or kindle to enjoy on the trip

• Pen and paper

• A small editing kit, including a sewing kit and basic medications (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)

• Phone with charger and/or backup battery

• Headphones

• Mini flashlight

• Reusable water bottle


Especially if you’re traveling internationally, technology can make a huge difference in ensuring a successful and stress-free journey. Here are some of the best tech items to bring along:

• A functioning laptop or tablet (depending on purpose of travel)

• An unlocked phone; make sure you can use a local SIM card

• Camera(s) or smartphone for photo/video recording

• Portable WiFi access point for using the internet in remote locations

• Backup drives (external hard drives and/or cloud storage)

• Offline navigation app for smartphones

• A USB stick for transferring data

• USB power bank for charging devices


Different climates and occasions require different attire. Here’s a list of clothing items you’ll need for any trip:

• Comfortable, versatile clothing (shirts, pants, etc.)

• Light layers (sweaters, sweet shirts, etc.)

• Shoes with good arch support

• A sensible hat (baseball cap, lumberjack, etc.)

• Accessories such as jewelry, sunglasses and gloves

• Bathing suit (depending on trip)

• A hat and sunscreen for when you’ll be exposed to the sun

• An umbrella (for sun or rain, depending on the season)

Cosmetics and Hygiene

Since it can be difficult to find shampoo and deodorant when touring new lands, make sure to stock up on basic hygiene items before heading off.

• Toothpaste and toothbrush

• Shampoo and conditioner

• Soap, body wash, and facial cleanser

• Deodorant

• Hairbrush

• Swabs/cotton balls

• Shaving kit/nail clippers

• Lip balm/lotion

• Make up

• Eyes drops

• Deet-free bug repellent


When you’re ready to hit the road, don’t forget to gather these often-overlooked items:

• Baggage locks
• Rain ponchos
• Plug adapters for electrical outlets
• An extra key for any lock
• Headlamp for hands-free illumination
• Travel-sized bottles for liquids
• Lightweight backpacking items (when necessary)
• A mobile hot spot
• Dry bags for electronics
• Coins for laundry
• Multi-tool

Essential Security Tips

Finally, no matter where you’re headed, here are a few security tips to keep in mind:

• Be aware of your surroundings and who’s around you.
• Research the destination before traveling, familiarizing yourself with local laws, customs, and precautions.
• Use privacy settings on social media and be mindful of what you post.
• Don’t leave any valuables in plain sight in your hotel room or car.
• Take caution with strangers and don’t disclose personal information.
• Keep copies of important documents on and offline, such as ID, passport, etc.
• Be extra careful with electronics such as laptops, cameras, and phones.

Traveling brings with it a wonderful sense of adventure and the chance to explore new places and cultures. Having all the right items on hand can make your adventure much more pleasurable. Pack wisely, and you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable journey. Knowing your essential travel must-haves will have you ready for just about anything.