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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

5 Items I Never Travel Without

I tend to travel more than most people, and I like my trips to be easy and convenient. I accomplish this, in part, by finding items that help me travel better. There are things I take on certain trips on not on others, but there are 5 things that I always pack, because they have become a necessity. 

I like my trips to be easy and convenient. I accomplish this, in part, by finding items that help me travel better. Here are 5 that I always pack.

If you're looking to kick your vacations up a notch, then here are my suggestions for your carry-on:

A Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you're walking more and sitting on a dry airplane for hours. I bring along a thermos that keeps liquids hot or cold, that way I can take my coffee on the go and also fill with ice and water for cold water all day long. This saves me money and also time standing in line to get a beverage. It's also great for the environment, because I'm not constantly buying another bottled water. Most places have bottle filling stations. While it may not be the greatest tasting water, it's free and if you have ice in it to make it really cold, it mostly masks any weird flavor. 

I either take along a S'well bottle that I use every day at work or a bigger Laken bottle, but also sometimes both (one for each of us). 
For more than ten years, I've been traveling with a collapsible laundry basket that I use as a hamper and a laundry tote. It has great sturdy handles and pockets to hold change for machines, the strap to keep it closed, and detergent. I've also used them to carry games, when we've had to go to an actual laundromat outside of our hotel/timeshare. It's strong enough to carry multiple loads, even when wet. You can also use it to corral all your purchases, so you don't forget anything when you're ready to leave. I've done this in the past when I was figuring out if I needed to get anything for anyone else before I left.

It looks like the one I have has been discontinued, but you can get one without pockets, or if you want one with pockets, there's this one that may not be as as heavy-duty with an outside mesh pocket, and this one that is taller with a reinforced outside pocket. 

Reusable Grocery Bag

One of my first stops on a trip is either to the grocery store or farmers' market. A lot of places charge for bags now and I've been to destinations that don't have bags at the register at all. I have several of these Nanobags that are super small and can fit in your bag, pocket, or coat. They carry a ton and weigh almost nothing. I use these at home, too, and bought some for everyone else to use  when the whole family went to Scotland in 2019. You can buy them here (I use the standard), or if you're looking for something similar Chicobag is available on Amazon.

We've used these for festivals, purchases when out sightseeing, and for carrying around our coats when it stops raining or we get too warm. If you haven't packed a back-up bag for your return trip and have purchased a few too many things, then this works in a pinch as a personal item on the plane.

Battery Back-up

When you're out all day long and taking pics and posting to social media and using GPS  and playing Pokemon Go (or whatever else you do on your phone), your battery is not going to last. I carry a big backup that will charge both of our phones twice during a day. This is especially great when we're at theme parks or we're on a a long flight. We survived off this battery on our flight to France, where we had a whole day layover in Baltimore (basically two days before we could charge up properly). It has 3 ports, so you could, conceivably, charge 3 devices at the same time. 

Mini Power Strip

When you're traveling with multiple electronics that you need to charge at the same time, it's helpful to have a way to do that if you only have one or two free outlets. I have several travel power strips, including a surge protector, that are small and take up less space than multiple chargers. This way I can plug in my laptop, phone, and portable battery all at the same time. The one above doesn't seem to be available anymore, but there's this one that is similar and I have also taken this one on trips where I thought a more substantial one might be better and this one for international trips. 

It may seem like these 5 items will take up a substantial amount of room in your carry-on, but I promise they won't, and they will save you having to bring other things, as well as save you money once you get to your destination, which is always great. I hope this helps you be more efficient in the future and your travels are easier because of these tips.

What are your favorite things to bring along on your vacations?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may be compensated monetarily. Thanks in advance for any purchases you make. It helps me continue to run this blog and bring you my best budget travel tips.

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