The Bare Necessities – My Top 8 Travel Must-Haves

With so many fun and aesthetically pleasing gizmos and gadgets in the travel world, it’s easy to convince yourself that you need a $400 suitcase or a “pickpocket proof” purse. But when you get caught up in having the coolest gear, you can end up breaking the bank before you even board the plane.

Here are the top 8 essentials that keep me sane when I leave home.

1. Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack, $119.99 on Amazon


I cannot tell you how much I adore this backpack. It’s spacious, comfortable to carry, and can really be stuffed to the max! So far, the longest trip my Kelty and I have been on together was 25 days, but I’m confident that I could easily pack for a summer abroad in this backpack.

It’s incredibly easy to pack and unpack, and great for multi-destination trips. The front pouch has tons of pockets for storing documents or little things you might need on hand, and the expandable pouch in the middle is great for stashing away a travel blanket or a hoodie. On top of that, the back pad allows for adjustments to fit your body perfectly!

2. Travel Toiletry Bag, $15.98 on Amazon


I love looking at the cute printed toiletry bags at Target just as much as the next gal, but when it comes down to it, you really just need something to hold the stuff that keeps you from smelling funky.

I love this one that I purchased from Amazon a few years ago. It’s been on every adventure with me since I got it, and it’s held up so well! It fits everything I need, and I love that I can wipe it down if any body wash goop leaks out.

3. Shampoo Bars, $6.75 on Amazon


Forget travel sized tubes that will run out in a matter of days. Shampoo bars last several weeks and will leave your hair just as luscious as your fancy bottles at home.

Conditioner bars are wonderful as well, and lush has some great options! Just make sure to get tins to store them in and avoid getting them soaking wet.

4. Scrubby Gloves, $7.75 on Amazon


Loofahs are not ideal for travel in my opinion, and wash cloths can mold and get yucky pretty quick. I like using these gloves for my trips because they dry relatively quickly and do a great job at sloughing off grime from a day of planes and trains.

5. Packing Cubes, $39.99 on Amazon


I don’t know how I packed before I discovered packing cubes. They are truly an obsessive organizers dream! I like this pack of four cubes because I can use the large one for pants and dresses, the medium one for T-shirts, and the two smaller ones for socks, underwear, bras, swimsuits, and pajamas (plus, they fit perfectly in the Kelty backpack I mentioned earlier).

Need a new T-shirt? Whip out your T-shirt cube, get what you need, zip it up, and avoid making a mess out of your clothes by tearing through everything.

6. Portable Charger, $39.95 on Amazon

Traveling without my portable charger is not an option – heck, I don’t even leave my house without it. Using google maps and taking photos all day will tank your phone battery like crazy, and it’s a great idea to carry this sucker on you at all times.

The only tricky part is remembering to charge your portable charger and your phone each night!

7. Kindle, $119.99 on Amazon

I still enjoy browsing through real-life bookstores and flipping through real pages, but when I’m traveling my kindle is my lifeline. The battery life is incredible and it’s the only thing that gets me through long flights or 9-hour train rides.

8. Packable Travel Daypack, $11.99 on Amazon

I usually carry a purse, but it’s nice to have a compact daypack on hand for adventures where you might need to carry a little bit more on you for the day. Take this lil’ guy with you on short hikes, trips to the local market, or use it as a beach bag.

P.S. I make a small commission for purchases made through the links in this post! 

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