It will probably sound a little overly dramatic of me to say this, but there are several things that I just cannot travel without. I mean, technically I can because they’re not necessities like my ID or a plane ticket, but why should I travel without these other things? I don’t want to!
Besides not wanting to travel without these things, I also think most of these are just good for everyone to have on hand. I didn’t always travel with everything on this list, but the more I traveled, the more I realized these are items I will always want to have on hand, regardless of whether it’s a big trip across the world or a quick weekend getaway.
Here’s the list of things I can’t, or rather won’t, travel without:
1. My iPhone
I fully admit to my iPhone being an extension of my body. I go everywhere with my phone, and when it’s on low battery, I do everything I can to keep it from dying because I depend on it heavily. My iPhone is sometimes my camera (though I do often have my actual camera on me), my library/kindle, my newspaper, my notepad, my storage (Dropbox), my actual phone and so much more. It is easily the #1 thing for me on this list.
2. A crossbody purse
I always travel with a crossbody purse, but in particular I have a specific crossbody purse that’s traveled with me to more countries and cities than I can remember. It’s starting to look a little worn, but I still stubbornly use it, mostly because it’s so functional. It’s large enough to fit my camera, my iPhone and a few other key items plus the strap is very sturdy and partially made of chain, which I like.
3. At least two credit cards
While having cash on hand is important, I also always travel with at least two credit cards for a variety of reasons. One reason is in case something does happen and I need to get a cash advance. Another reason is in case one credit card doesn’t work or I need a back up. I also have a level of consumer protection with credit cards, so it provides a safety net just in case.
4. Some form of reading material
I’ll be honest, I don’t understand people who do not travel with any form of entertainment. For me, I always have a book (or several) on hand to read, which is all on my iPhone. Yes, I read novels on my iPhone. It's incredibly convenient for someone who commutes to work every day and travels a lot. While I love the feel of an actual book, they can take up a lot of space and start to feel heavy pretty quickly.
5. Black leggings
Anyone who’s traveled with me on a flight longer than two hours will tell you I love traveling in black leggings. I am not one of those people who wears heels or feels the need to dress up. I often pair my black leggings with a black top, a nice pashmina scarf and sometimes a black blazer or cardigan so that I don’t look sloppy, yet I’m still comfortable and ready for whatever flight is ahead of me.
6. Black flats
This is another wardrobe staple when I’m traveling. Black flats can be extremely versatile. Often times, I can dress them up at night or down during the day, and I’m always comfortable. I often wear black flats at the airport and then when I get on the plane, I slip into my designated “airplane socks.” When I land, the black flats come back on, and I'm ready to go.
7. A preliminary list of things I want to do
Once upon a time, I used to travel to places and sometimes I’d know what to do but other times I’d rely on someone else. Gone are those days, my friend. I don’t care if I’m going somewhere for two days or two months, you better believe I’m always creating a list of things I’m interested in doing or seeing beforehand. It doesn’t mean I’ll get to everything or that I'm not open to switching things up on the spot, just that I’m going to a place informed, which I think makes for a better trip.
A few years ago, I went to Costa Rica with friends, where I surfed, swam in a waterfall, biked and got sick three times. Yes, three times. But I didn’t always have on me what I needed. The last time was by far the worst, but luckily a nice British couple saw my sweating face and gave me some Imodium to help me combat whatever bug I had picked up on my last day in Costa Rica. Since then, I always make sure I have a core set of medication on me, as well as a small first aid kit.
I debated including this on the list, but then I thought, "why should I leave it off?!" The thing is – I not only travel everywhere with vaseline, I go everywhere with vaseline. Literally. I don't leave my house without my vaseline. Sometimes I even have a mini jar and then a larger jar on hand. I just think it's one of those things that's great to have around at all times. Chapped lips? Vaseline. Fly away hairs you want to smooth down? A touch of vaseline. Got a minor cut? Vaseline. You get the drift.
Nuts. Granola bars. Fruit. Popcorn. Whatever it is, I am a big advocate of having snacks on hand when I travel. I just don't know what awaits me when I travel, whether that's airplane food that I can't eat or a train ride that takes twice as long as it should. Having a snack on hand (or multiple) means I don't have to get hangry, and I can reach for a bite to eat whenever I need to.
11. A pair of sunglasses
Look at my photos, and 99% of the time I'm wearing sunglasses. I just love a pair of sunglasses. For awhile, I always traveled with my favorite funky pair, until they broke :( But I do have two others I like to wear, and it's usually the first thing I put on when I hit the road. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be sunny! A girl just wants to wear her sunglasses, even when it's overcast. Amirite?
What are the things you can't (or won't) travel without?