After traveling abroad to over 30 countries, I have tried some great (and not so great) travel gear. As a one bag traveler, I have learned how to save space for the necessities and what kind of items I should splurge on weight-wise. Here is a list of my favorite travel essentials so you don’t have to waste your time and money like I did when I first started traveling.
Packtowl is a lightweight packable towel and has come in handy so many times. I use it after showering in a hostel, taking a dip in the ocean and soaking in hot springs. The best part about Packtowl is how fast it dries! It is ready to be stuffed into your backpack or hung from it while you head to your next destination. Packtowl is a great travel essential and I will never travel without one.
Battery packs are such an important travel essential you won’t want to leave home without one. I love my Anker battery pack which can last for a week with nightly phone charges. I have tried so many different battery packs and Anker is the best one I’ve tried. I even brought my Anker on the John Muir Trail and even though it was heavy, I never regretted my decision to bring it.
When you are living out of a backpack, packing cubes are such a necessary travel essential for staying organized. I love Eagle Creek packing cubes to separate my clothes, socks, underwear, toiletries, etc. The idea is so simple and keeps your backpack free from clutter. Eagle Creek packing cubes are quite durable and have lasted me through years of travel without showing any wear or tear. It’s pretty incredible considering how much I stuff into them!
I will never travel without my Earth Runners! I use them for showering in hostels, the beach and even on short hikes. Earth Runners are one of my favorite travel essentials because they are so lightweight and are secure on your foot so they won’t slip off when you’re walking around town. They are barefoot huarache sandals that weigh less than a pound and pack up super small making them perfect for travel.
Even if you are planning a tropical vacation, it can get cold at night and in the early morning. My Patagonia Down Sweater is such a travel essential because it packs up small, is really warm and doesn’t add a lot of weight to my pack. Also, since down is more compressible than synthetic materials, it is ideal to carry on long trips. The Patagonia Down Sweater is also perfect for those long flights that always seem to get really cold. Bonus: it’s also a pillow when packed into it’s own pocket!
Have you ever gotten caught in a rainstorm when you least expected it? A rain jacket should be an important travel essential to bring on your next trip! An Arc’teryx Beta AR is absolutely worth every penny because it will keep you dry with its GORE-TEX material. I used to bring an emergency shell but it was only suited for a light sprinkle. The Arc’teryx Beta AR is actually meant for long bouts of pouring rain. I brought it with me to Iceland and stayed extremely dry and comfortable the entire trip.
A good pair of shoes are one of my favorite travel essentials! Walking is a great way to explore a new city and having comfortable shoes is so important. The Lems Primal 2 are not only comfortable but they are also super lightweight and barely take up any room in your bag! I have even worn them on short hikes and they are perfect. Lems Primal 2 is a barefoot shoe with a wide toe box because the last thing you want to get on a trip is a bunion!
I started bringing a Klean Kanteen reusable water bottle on my first trip abroad and it ended up being something I used every single day. I prefer using the Klean Kanteen insulated water bottle because it helps keep my water cold if I am going to be in a hot and humid environment. Having a Klean Kanteen is also a great way to get water at the airport! Just make sure it’s empty before going through security.
I love a good fanny pack especially when I travel. The Patagonia Mini Hip Pack is the best one I’ve found that also packs up super small. This travel essential holds my phone, low profile wallet, passport, hand sanitizer, keys, chapstick and more. The Patagonia Mini Hip Pack also comes in so many fun colors so there is literally something for everyone! Plus, the Patagonia warranty is so incredible that I know I will have nothing to worry if anything ever happens to it.
10. Google Fi
I switched over to Google Fi a few years ago because I was tired of buying a new SIM card in every country I visited. Google Fi is a simple wireless phone plan with unlimited data! That’s right! It’s also really affordable and easy to switch back to a cheaper flexible plan when you are back in your home country. The best part? Google Fi automatically switches over to the country you are visiting so SIM cards are a thing of the past! Google Fi is the ultimate travel essential!
Do you bring any of these travel essentials when you travel abroad? What is your ultimate travel essential?