Packing can be a daunting game and if you don’t travel very often it can feel that much more overwhelming. Because I travel so often, I’ve been able to pare down what I pack to just the essentials (leaving more room for purchases of course!).
Here are 5 things that I never travel without!
#1: Packing Cubes
I’ve always thought of packing cubes as something that only the super OCD traveler uses until I tried them myself. They seemed like a frivolous expense and something really silly – again, until I tried them…and now I’m obsessed! I first used them when we traveled to Japan because I knew with smaller accommodations I would need to ‘live out of my suitcase’ more than normal.
There are a few different brands that you can buy but my favorite has got to be Eagle Creek (shown above) and specifically their Specter Pack-It series. They offer the most variety and you can buy them both individually or in sets!
Here is why I love packing cubes so much:
- They keep everything in your suitcase organized and tidy.
- When items are folded neatly and put into packing cubes, they wrinkle much less.
- Compression packing cubes are ideal for winter trips when clothing is bulkier; they also help add extra space to your suitcase!
- I love double sided packing cubes for socks and underwear that allow you to sort between clean and dirty.
- If your suitcase needs to be opened in transit for whatever reason, packing cubes keep everything from shifting or coming unfolded inside your bag.
- Shoe Box cubes keep your shoes and clothes clean and separated in your bag.
#2: Jewelry + Accessory Organizer
The amount of jewelry that I pack of course depends on the type of trip that I’m taking. I’m usually a minimalist when it comes to jewelry to begin with, but I love to accessorize while I’m away to add some extra oomph to basic outfits. How you pack jewelry matters! Exposure to humidity can damage jewelry and tossing everything into one bag can cause items to tangle and break. I was thrilled when I found the Becko Travel Jewelry Organizer Bag!
This jewelry organizer has ample space for all of your bits and baubles and likely some more room for any additional pieces you might pick up on your trip! I don’t fret that it’s a bit larger than I need because I also use it to pack sunglasses and other small accessories. With so many pockets and interior fittings it keeps everything tidy in one place. It’s like a packing cube for tiny things! Plus, the sueded interior keeps everything from getting scratched!
GoToobs are the ideal solution for when your favorite products don’t come in travel size! These squeezable tubes are easy to fill, they seal really, really well and they come in a few different sizes depending on your needs. GoToobs are a bit pricier than other travel-sized bottles, but the added cost is worth it for the quality and long-term durability.
#4: Luggage Scale
I don’t like surprises when I travel and a luggage scale helps to minimize them! I like everything to be packed and ready when I arrive at the airport – I don’t like publicly shifting my belongings between bags to have them at the ideal weight. A luggage scale is an absolute must-have for traveling, especially on long-haul trips where larger luggage pieces are required.
Thankfully, luggage scales aren’t as bulky as they once were. Opt for a small, digital version for accuracy and minimal luggage space usage like the one above!
#5: Foldable Tote Bag
I have found that a foldable tote bag or small collapsible duffel are invaluable when traveling. It not only serves as an additional carry-on, a folding bag can also be perfect for some of your daily adventures! A Parisian picnic à des Champs-Élysées? An afternoon at the beach in Santa Monica or Dubrovnik? Doing a bit of shopping at the local Bazaar? One of these bags is your best bet!
Whether you choose a foldable tote, a designer item or collapsible duffel or backpack, choose something that you will use for years to come in your travels. The best advice I can give is to splurge a little here on an item that will last and one that you actually like! Pay attention to fabric choices, waterproof features and strong straps!