Travel Essentials – My Recommended Travel Gear
Here is the list of my travel essentials, the things that I use regularly when I travel.
Over the years I have tried so many travel accessories and had all sorts of luggage, so it’s taken a while to get to this list!
Travel Essentials – My Tried and Tested Travel Gear
45x36x20 Cabin Bag
Why do I recommend this 45x36x20 cabin bag?
- It is the right size for the Easyjet under-seat luggage so it’s included with your standard ticket
- It has lots of space making it ideal for a 3-5 day trip
- Handy zippers and pockets keep essentials close by
- The long handle makes it easy to move around
- It has two wheels (which are included in the overall dimensions)
- Backpack straps mean you can easily switch to hands free travelling
- You don’t need to worry about cabin space on your Easyjet flight – and you can board when you like
An under seat case is a great way to save money when travelling and also time. It means there is no waiting to collect luggage when you land, you just grab your case and go!
With some clever packing tips an under seat case can hold everything you need for a short break, including spare shoes, tablet, evening and day wear. There will also be some room for bringing a few things home too.
Things to remember for an under seat case is that the dimensions set by the airlines must include the wheels and handles. Having a case with 4 wheels will make it easier to move and a longer handle is essential given the smaller case size.
You might also like my detailed review of this 45x36x20 cabin bag
Why Do I Recommend This Flight Bag?
- Fits easily under the seat on any plane so everything is handy during your flight
- No need to worry about getting up and down to fetch things from overhead lockers
- The shoulder strap makes carrying this easy
- Two handles give another carry option
- Strap to slide the bag over the handle of your case
- Inner zipped pocket great for securing more important items
- Can be used as an overnight bag as well
- Made by Tripp so comes with a 5 year guarantee
For longer trips where luggage is checked in an underseat bag is a great option when flying. It means that all your essential items are easily at hand during the flight. There is no stressing about finding overhead locker space, and no worrying that the thing you need is in the overhead locker when the seatbelt sign is on.
As a nervous flyer having my bag of things nearby helps to keep my calm during a flight.
There are plenty of good underseat bags available and most of them have a strap so that they can attach to the handle of your main suitcase for easy transporting around the airport buildings.
You might also like my detailed review of this flight bag
Click below to buy straight away on Amazon
Medium Sized Case for Longer Trips
For some trips a medium sized case is essential. A hard sided case is essential if you want to ensure your clothes and belongings arrive in one piece. They will also protect your luggage from the rain which can quickly soak your clothes if it is heavy and your case is exposed to the elements on the luggage truck.
Lightweight cases are great, and again 4 wheels will make it easier to move around. A zipped compartment will make it easier to store clothes, either in packing cubes or rolled, as you will be able to get more clothes in that way.
Packing cubes are a bit of a game changer when it comes to travelling. They enable you to pack clothes more easily and also group items together so you can quickly find the items you need. For example, you pack underwear in one cube, daywear in another, and evening in another.
Packing cubes also help to keep your clothes looking better – along with some careful folding. This means there is less chance of clothes getting creased. This can be especially important if you travelling for work purposes.
Packing cubes also make unpacking really easy when you arrive somewhere. There is no need to rummage through the whole case to find something – simply pop the cubes out and you have all your clothes at hand.
You might also like my detailed review of these packing cubes
Why Do I Recommend This Hanging Wash Bag?
- It’s great value
- I’ve been using mine for 2 years and still going strong
- No need to pack or unpack – just hang up
- Keeps bathroom counter space clear
- Avoids toiletries coming into contact with bathroom cleaning chemicals
If you are travelling with packed luggage then you might be planning to take some toiletries of your own. A hanging washbag is a great travel essential as it means you can get to all your toiletries and keep them together without having to pack and unpack them.
It also means that when the housekeepers are cleaning the bathrooms there is less chance of your toothbrush getting covered in chemicals.
A hanging washbag also saves time as there is no need to pack it up when you leave and risk missing something you might need. You simply hang it up on a hook or a rail and keep everything together.
The best type of hanging washbag has a zip to keep everything securely inside the washbag when you are travelling.
You might like my detailed review of this hanging wash bag
Extra Long Power Cable
Why Do I Recommend This Power Cable?
- It is 4.5m long so wherever the power socket is I can keep my phone nearby
- It’s a fast-charging cable
- It is a micro USB cable so I can use it for multiple devices
- The cable is flexible and strong
Unfortunately, not every hotel room has a power socket near the bed and sometimes they can be in crazy locations.
Given our phones are now our alarm clocks, sleep apps and much more we need to keep them close by. A super long power cable means that no matter where the power socket in the room is the chances are your phone will end up close to your bed.
This is one of those key travel essentials for anyone that needs their phone for being on call, like me when I am working as a Tour Manager, or needs their phone for their alarm in the morning.
Check out my review about why this power cable is always in my travel gear or just click below to buy it directly on Amazon.
First Aid Supplies
An important travel essential is always to have some basic first aid and pain relief medication when travelling. Some countries may advise specific things to take such as Azerbaijan which advises taking a full first aid kit, so this is always worth checking.
Wherever you are travelling taking some basics such as plasters, pain killers, sterile wipes and wound dressings is a good idea. It can sometimes be difficult to get these supplies when travelling, particularly if there is a language barrier.
Medicines in Original Boxes
If you take prescription medication which you will be taking when you travel then a travel essential is to take the box, ideally with the information booklet still inside. This is because the booklet and box list the ingredients of the medicine. In different countries medicines can have different names so a way for doctors to find out what the medicine is, and what it is used for, is to look at the ingredients.
If you are not able to take the information leaflet and boxes at least take pictures of them so that in the case of any medical problems the doctors treating you will be able to understand what medication you are taking.
This is also important if you run out of medication and need to get more for any reason. The process for getting medication varies in different countries but having the original boxes and the booklet will make things much easier.
This tip was given to me by a doctor that I travelled with. She recommended taking a sleeping tablet on the 1st and 2nd nights of any new trip so that you got accustomed to the new sleeping regime more quickly.
Often when working as a Tour Manager I have found it difficult to sleep on the first night of the tour, and definitely the night before a tour. This can often mean that after a few days, tiredness becomes a big issue.
This has also been an issue with guests travelling to tours on long haul flights and then having to adjust quickly to the new time zones. I have seen travellers really be affected by lack of sleep.
Personally, I would recommend trying the sleep aids that you can get from the chemist rather than anything on prescription. There is less risk of relying on them and it becoming an issue in the future, plus if there is a serious sleep problem you can always visit a doctor if needed.
I find taking them for one or two nights really helps me get a good start to a trip and helps me get the most out of my travels.
I really don’t see why anyone would take the risk of travelling without travel insurance – it simply isn’t worth the risk. Having seen first hand what happens when things go wrong, which I have seen in countries all over the world, I know the benefit of having travel insurance.
It’s one of my absolute travel essentials, I simply wouldn’t travel without it. Travel insurance is available as single trip cover or there are annual travel or year long travel insurance policies. These cover multiple trips and can cover parts of the world, or all of the world depending on your travel requirements.
If you are travelling on an organised tour you may want to consider taking the holiday company travel insurance, even if you have your own policy.
Check out my guide to annual travel insurance, including how to make sure it pays out when you need it to. It’s based on the company I use for my travel insurance who I have been with for years. I have a pre existing health condition and the cost for 1 year’s insurance is ?60 for worldwide cover.
If you want a quick quote now head directly to the company I use for my insurance, Coverwise.
Book Light for Travelling
Why Do I Recommend This Book Light?
- It’s small and lightweight
- It is powerful
- The battery charge lasts a long time
- It has 3 light level settings
If you are unable to sleep on a plane then this is one of those travel essentials that will ensure you don’t disturb all those around you.
Having been on an overnight flight and pretty much the only person who was awake (apart from the crew and pilots I hope!) – I found having the overhead light on disturbed others around me. Taking a little clip on reading light meant I could read without disturbing them.
This travel essential is also handy for any hotels where the bedside reading lights are a bit low, making it difficult to read in bed. Simply clip your reading light onto your book and you are good to go.
Check out my review of this book light or just click below to buy it on Amazon
Silicone Ear Plugs
Why Do I Recommend These Silicone Ear Plugs?
- They fit over the entrance to the ear- not in the ear so they are more comfortable
- No risk of damage to the ear canal
- No risk of pushing wax down into the ear
- They don’t fall out during the night
Travelling can be really noisy and hotels can be really noisy too. That’s why earplugs for travelling are another one of my absolute travel essentials.
They ensure that no matter where my room is I can drift off to sleep without being disturbed by noises from the corridor, or from around the hotel.
Ear plugs also make sleeping with the air conditioning or fan on much easier as there is no noise disturbance.
Having tried lots of earplugs when travelling I now travel with a selection. I have foam earplugs for when there is little noise disturbance, and silicone ones when it is quite noisy. These are one of my absolute travel essentials – I don’t stay anywhere without them.
Check out my post about silicone ear plugs which includes a video or just click below to buy them directly on Amazon.
Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Why Do I Recommend These Earbuds
- They are great value
- The charging case is great for travelling
- They are noise cancelling
- The sound quality is great
If you have ever travelled on a long haul flight then you will have no doubt experienced the constant noise of the plane. It is really quite loud!
Noise cancelling headphones are a great travel essential because they reduce the outside noise interference to make whatever you are listening to sound much crisper and clearer.
There are various types of noise cancelling headphones available with the most common type being the ones that fit over your head. Some of these fold making travelling easier.
These are a travel essential for long haul flights because they reduce noise disturbance which can be quite tiring otherwise.
Check out my review of these earbuds which includes a video or just click below to buy them directly on Amazon.
For shorter trips and journeys wired earphones are really handy. Some flights, especially on smaller planes, don’t allow the use on Bluetooth devices during flights, and this can include Bluetooth earbuds and headphones.
Sometimes on difficult landings, there may be restrictions on the use of tablets and Bluetooth on larger planes so wired earphones come in really handy also.
There is also the advantage that they don’t need charging so you never have to worry about the battery level and if you do lose them they are much cheaper to replace.
Check out my post about these wired earphones or just click below to buy them directly on Amazon.
Travel Document Holder
Why Do I Recommend This Travel Document Holder?
- It is compact yet spacious
- There are multiple spaces so it can contain everything
- There is an outer pouch – ideal for a mobile phone
- It is waterproof
A travel document holder is one of those travel essentials that helps you keep everything together in one place, including your passport.
Generally, I just use a travel wallet for travelling through airports so I know where my passport, any tickets and cards are.
Using a travel document holder can reduce anxiety when searching for things at the airport, and airports are stressful enough as it is!
Check out my review about this travel document holder or just click below to buy directly on Amazon.
Why Do I Recommend This Travel Fan?
- It’s great value
- It is rechargeable so no faff with batteries
- It is really powerful for it’s size
- It is adjustable with two speeds
- You can set it on a surface, hold it or put it in seat pockets etc
- It is really compact so you can easily keep it with you
- It helps avoid travel sickness from overheating
Sometimes it can get quite hot when travelling. Waiting on a plane or being on a hot bus can make travelling uncomfortable.
A small rechargeable fan can be a great way to keep cool and avoid getting overheated or feeling sick when travelling.
This tiny fan takes up hardly any space, it operates for a long time on one charge and it has two power speeds.
Check out my post about why this travel fan is one of my travel essentials or just click below to buy it directly on Amazon.
Battery Power Bank
We rely so much on our gadgets now when we travel so it can be difficult to manage if the battery goes flat on our phone for example. Of course, they often go flat at the worst possible time. Taking a battery power bank means that there is a charge available if you need it or until you find the next power circuit.
Just be mindful of airline requirements. If battery packs have lithium in them some airlines won’t allow them in hand luggage so this is always worth checking.
A battery power bank is one of those travel essentials that you won’t generally need but when you do you will really need it!
Why Do I Recommend This Travel Adapter?
- It fits power sockets anywhere in the world
- It’s super compact
- It comes with a handy travel bag
- It has 4 USB sockets
In different countries, power sockets are different making power socket converters one of the key travel essentials you are likely to need if going overseas.
Different countries have different sockets so check what you need before you travel. If you do happen to forget many hotels will often have spare adapters to lend guests, although they may require you to pay a deposit.
Check out my review of this great travel adapter which also has 4 USB connections or just click below to buy it directly on Amazon.
Why Do I Recommend These Ginger Sweets
- Ginger flavour helps deal with early symptoms of travel sickness
- Ginger flavour is not overpowering like some sweets I have tried
- Travel tin means they travel well and don’t stick together
- Effective at keeping mild travel sickness at bay
If you suffer from travel sickness, like I have done all my life, then you know how uncomfortable travel sickness can be.
Ginger sweets are a great option for keeping low level travel sickness at bay, while ginger tablets can help if you know you are going to be travelling on a boat for example and it’s likely to be a bit bumpy.
Be careful with ginger sweets – if you get really strong ones they can have the opposite effect and actually make you feel sick. These are the ones I recommend.
Check out my post about these ginger sweets and why I like them or just click below to buy them directly on Amazon.
Why Do I Recommend These Ginger Tablets?
- They are very effective at preventing motion, travel and sea sickness
- There are no side effects from these tablets
- They are strong but not overpowering
- They are made in the UK
Ginger tablets are really helpful when it comes to dealing with nausea. They don’t have some of the side effects of travel sickness tablets which can often result in a feeling of sickness.
Check out my review of these ginger tablets and why I use them or just click below to buy them directly on Amazon.
Travelling is all about trying different foods and of course with that comes different methods of cooking and differing hygiene levels depending where you are travelling to.
Generally, when I am travelling it is for work and it’s important that I am fit and healthy otherwise I can’t do my job. Thankfully I have a good constitution but for countries where food hygiene might leave a bit to be desired, I take travel probiotics.
These have really helped me avoid upset stomachs and other issues caused by food when travelling and they are now one of my travel essentials for going to places where there might be a risk of food-related issues.
Click below to buy the probiotics I use on Amazon.
Do you often get somewhere and wonder where the nearest ATM, supermarket, coffee shop or restaurant is?
AroundMe is a great travel app that has lots of information about what is nearby based on your location. It covers all the important food related options such as supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants but also cinemas, theatres as well as banks and ATMs.
Restaurants and cafes often include links to reviews so you can check the places out before you visit. It’s a great app to help you find something to do or eat when you are travelling.
The free version has ads but these are not intrusive so it’s worth downloading and trying out for your next trip.
Calm Sleep App
If you have trouble falling asleep then Calm is a great sleep app. It’s basically grown up bedtime stories, often told by famous voices such as Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders!).
For travellers, there are lots of travel related stories too including railway journeys, and explorations of interesting and famous places – everything from a cruise down the Nile to a journey in the Scottish Highlands.
That’s why the Calm Sleep app is a great app for travellers and for travelling. It is wonderful to drift off to sleep thinking of new adventures or enjoying memories of places that you have already visited.
Calm isn’t just a sleep app, there are meditations, breathing and stretching exercises plus masterclasses to help you with all aspects of your life.
£36 might seem like a lot to pay for an app but it’s well worth it if you plan to use it regularly.
Check out my detailed review of the Calm Sleep App and why it is particularly great for travellers.
Why Do I Recommend This Sleep Mask?
- It’s great value
- It is lightweight so doesn’t affect my eyes
- It stays in place even though I sleep on my side
- It blocks out all the light
- I can sleep or nap anywhere no matter the light levels
- A travel pouch means it stays clean when I am travelling
Why do hotels often have the flimsiest of curtains or curtains that are so far away from the window that lots of light comes in around them, or curtains that don’t join up?
Whatever the reason it can be difficult when travelling to make the bedroom dark enough for sleeping, or perhaps as dark as you are used to at home.
A sleep mask is a great way to get a better sleep when travelling, especially if you are travelling somewhere where it is lighter later in the evenings for example.
A sleep mask is also handy for naps during the day and if you are lucky enough to be able to sleep on a plane, bus or another form of transport.
Over my 36 years of travelling, I have tried so many sleep masks including silk ones, cooling ones, Bluetooth speakers etc.
Thankfully I recently found the best sleep mask I have ever tried and it is now one of my absolute travel essentials because it is just so good.
Not only is it comfortable in whichever position you sleep in, but it’s also not heavy on the eyes and it has an adjustable noseband which ensures light doesn’t seep in under the eye mask. This simple addition makes all the difference and I can pretty much now sleep in daylight conditions as a result.
This sleep mask comes with a little travel case just to keep it clean and it takes up hardly any space either.
Check out my review of this really great sleep mask. or just click below to buy directly on Amazon.
Google Translate App
Languages can often be a barrier when travelling but thanks to Google Translate that can be less of a problem now than it used to be.
There are lots of languages available in this app which enable you to put in a word or phrase and translate it into another language.
You can then have this word or phrase spoken or just read it out. I really like using this app to learn and practise a few words before travelling somewhere with the spoken option helping me to get the pronunciation right.
A really handy feature of this app is the ability to download the language for offline use, so you can continue to translate when you don’t have a phone signal.
It’s free to use and a very handy travel essential, even if just for menu items and signs.
Ticketless travel can make travelling much easier, no more fumbling around trying to find actual tickets!
One of the things I like about ticketless flight apps, particularly EasyJet, is that you get the gate notification sent through to your phone. You are also notified of any delays which makes managing your time at the airport a little bit easier.
The only downside is remembering to turn the brightness up on your phone to scan the ticket and then turn it back down again so you don’t waste all the battery.
It also makes one less thing to carry!
Analogue Entertainment for Flights
Flying can be tough at the best of times and on short and mid-haul flights there are often no seat-back entertainment systems. While we generally now download things to watch on a plane and take our own entertainment for these flights it’s always a good plan to have an analogue backup.
Sometimes if planes have to make instrument landings they make everyone turn off all electronic devices. If you are a nervous flyer, like me, this can make things quite difficult. Having something to focus on like a magazine or book can help.
On long haul flights there can also be problems with the on board seat entertainment systems which can then make the flight time more difficult to deal with.
Something like a book or magazine is also good in case of any delays or unexpected hold ups.
Travelling with a snack and drink means you can manage in case of any unexpected delays or issues. Sometimes flights run out of food and drink, or perhaps a delay earlier in the day means they haven’t been able to pick up supplies.
Whatever the issue having a little something to eat and drink can help you cope a little better with any unexpected issues when travelling. It will certainly help prevent you from becoming hangry which isn’t much fun!
Chewing Gum for Flights
Although planes are pressurised there are still changes in air pressure which can affect your ear drums. Some people seem to be affected more than others. Yawning can help by evening out the pressure in your ears.
Chewing gum also helps to stop your ears from hurting and it has the added bonus of helping to keep you calmer which is great if you are a nervous flyer.
Click below to buy directly on Amazon.
Airport Lounge Access
Airports can be noisy and overwhelming places, made worse at peak times and if there are delays. An airport lounge offers a quieter environment, with good WIFI, comfier seats and unlimited snacks and drinks (there are sometimes extra charges for alcohol).
For those of us that are nervous flyers an airport lounge turns the airport experience into a more relaxing start to the flight. It’s harder to worry about the flight when you are enjoying cakes and treats!
There are plenty of cheap airport lounge options for one off usage and there are also airport lounge membership schemes if you are planning on using lounges regularly.
For my list of travel essentials, I wanted to focus on the things that make the most difference to people’s travel experiences.
Check out Cheap Airport Lounges post to find the cheapest way for you to access an airport lounge.
If you plan to use lounges regularly then check out my Airport Lounge Membership Comparison and see which is the best membership scheme for you.
Find All my Travel Essentials Posts Here
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- Ginger Tablets – Really Great for Preventing Travel SicknessAre you looking for ginger tablets? I have tried all… Read More »Ginger Tablets – Really Great for Preventing Travel Sickness
- Extra Long Power Cable – A Really Essential Travel ItemAre you looking for a travel power cable? This extra-long… Read More »Extra Long Power Cable – A Really Essential Travel Item
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