Ultimate List of Travel Must Haves

Are you a fellow wanderlsuter? Wanting to see as much as possible while lugging the least? Are you ready for the ultimate list of travel must haves?

When packing for a trip, you want to make sure you have the essentials without going overboard. I am all for being prepared but the older I have gotten, the less I want to lug around a MASSIVE suitcase, or schlep stuff I am bound to dispose of at some point. Whether going by plane, train or automobile, I have put together a list of my faves and life savers. 


Many items on this list go to not only sustainability and environmental concern, but also double as super convenient (and cute, if that’s your thang). It’s a win win (win) for you, mother nature (and your wallet).



Image from stojo.co



Reusable Coffee Cups

I don’t know about you but I don’t love those hotel togo cups. They’re often too small, made of plastic, and honestly I just don’t like the extra waste. These Stojo cups are the perfect solution. And whether you need a java fix while you’re touring your destination, or running to the gate after sweating your way through TSA lines (take off your shoes people!) you can get your cuppa joe and go. Plus lots of beverage spots give you a small discount for bringing your own cup, which will add up over time.

Image from Stasher Bag



Stasher bags

OH MAN. I can’t stop, won’t stop buying these Stasher bags! They’re infinitely reusable and replace plastic baggies for so many things. Aside from being super travel friendly, they’re wickedly awesome at home. We have them in all sizes and use them for everything. They’re dishwasher, freezer, oven, microwave and sousvide safe.

They may seem a little on the pricey side, but I promise they are worth it. I use them for kitchen, travel snacks, toiletry holders– you name it. And they are great for organizing and storing all your charging cords. I hate the tangled mess they can become at the bottom of the bag.

And bonus, it’s a female founded company. Yay for women supporting women!


Image from Acure



Hydrating Eye Gels

Do your eyes get P. Diddy puffy when you travel? Mine get pretty bad so I can’t make it without some rejuvenating love. And as always I look for cruelty free, clean beauty options– which is why I am so thrilled I found these beauts.

I get these Acure gels from Thrive Market (if you’re not a member,  here is a referral link) and they’re a good deal.

Aside from the eye gels, I use MANY of the Acure moisturizers, including their brightening day cream, night cream and their Cleansing Wipes. You want to make sure you are cleaning your skin before bed to your gels are good to go. The cleansing wipes are great for travel, especially if you are packing for a carry on.


Vitamin C Serum

Whether you’ll be out in the sun or not, this is a must. Traveling can deplete moisture I like this one from Andalou

 which you can get on Amazon or at Whole Foods. (I also use their Pumpkin Glycolic Honey mask which brightens, cleans and exfoliates.)




Dry Shampoo

This is not only a travel essential but a life saver in general. GIMME THOSE EXTRA 15 MINUTES OF SLEEP in the morning, am I right?

I am obsessed with powdered dry shampoo, it works better for me, takes up less space, isn’t as gunky and often smells a lot better, too. As per most of my beauty finds, I go for the cruelty free, better for you items and dry shampoo is no exception.

Two current faves are the Peace Rose Oil Complex from Shea Moisture and the Acure Dry Shampoo.




Travel Pillow

There are lovers and haters of the traditional travel pillow, which I have tried over and over- and still seem to get the crick in the neck. They’re bulky and yet not supportive enough, which lead me to Trtl.  I am a big fan of the Trtl Pillow, which doesn’t look much like a pillow, but provides support to keep you upright. 

I can speak from personal experience, you don’t want to nod your noggin into the aisle while the beverage cart is barreling through. That’s a jolt no bag of peanuts can numb.

Where are my fellow aisle seat sitters?


Insulated Water Bottle

There are so many options now for reusable water bottles that keep our water cold and fresh. Let’s not forget, no one likes paying $8 for a dinky bottle of Evian. It will basically pay for itself, and quickly. You’ll never go thirsty, and you’ll be helping the planet. Here are a few that I like and use;

S’well Traveler – this one has a wider mouth and it is compact enough to toss in your bag. It doubles as a nice cocktail tumbler if you’re so inclined. 😉 🍹

Another great option is this hydroflask— which you can buy accessories, like a flip up straw, to personalize a bit so you get your hydration sorted.




Lord Joes

CBD items are blowing up, so it’s hard to know who to trust– but this brand is legit. I am LIVING for their Body Lotion. I was a little skeptical before it arrived, but after a brutal (and failed) knee surgery, I need all the help I can get. When traveling, you get even more stiff than normal, and all the terminal dashes to your gate, or sightseeing strolls can wreak havoc. I have been using this lotion regularly and I’m forever a fan. In addition, I like the gumdrops and tinctures, which can help with travel anxiety.



You may want something to nibble on during your layover, or to have something on hand for breakfast on the go– so I like to pack various bars like Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bars  or Enjoy Life Breakfast Ovals. I also love to have Brandless Pour Over Coffee packets to brew quality coffee in a pinch (which would be perfect for your Stojo cup). And if you’ve never ordered from Brandless, you totally need to. Everything is SO reasonable and there are tons of organic, gluten free, including cruelty free beauty options that taste (and smell) awesome. Here is a link to register and get $6 off your first order.


Pocket Juice

You’re inevitably going to be snapping selfies or Instagramming your entire getaway, and no one wants to deal with the dreaded DEAD BATTERY. I always pack a few portable chargers to keep all my devices running, snapping, and searching as of often as I need it. Data be damned!





Something to put it all in…

Once you have your  thoughts and things collected, where are you going to put ’em? There are a few bags I am loving for both personal and work travel.

Bando has some of the most fun and colorful things I have found. I am constantly pining over everything from coffee mugs to loungewear, jewelry to tchotchke.

As for a purse meets laptop case, I am a fan of the Kaya bag from Calpak (pictured above). It is cute, functional, holds up to 15″ laptop and is priced at less than $100. Score!




What are your musts for travel? What can jet lagged you not live without?

Check out a couple of my past trips and let me know where you’re headed next. 



***Amazon links are for an affiliate program. None of these items are sponsored by brands, but I may make a few pennies if you choose to buy from the Amazon links. They’re all truly my favorite things.***

(Product images borrowed from company websites.)

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