Oooh, I hate packing! Yes, I have heard this, and probably so have you. It happens to me as well. And even now after all these years spent traveling extensively I sometimes struggle to pack my backpack. What to pack for vacation? To help you with this task I’ve created this article listing some of the most important packing essentials. These are essential travel items most of which we nowadays never go on a trip without. Plus I’m giving our recommendations.
For packing tips check out this article, where we share our best tips how to pack your bag better, lighter and more efficiently. And here is a complete travel packing list, if you need one now. But now let’s talk about packing essentials.
Scroll down to learn more about these 15 travel items we think you shouldn’t be traveling without.
Packing Essentials: 15 Essential Travel Items
What to pack for a trip? Here is a list of essential travel items + our recommendations.
1. RFID Blocking Passport Holder
Recommended product (see photo above): Zoppen RFID blocking passport holder.
Passport is the most important travel essential and you should take care of it. Protect it not only from wear and tear but also from electronic theft! Choose a quality passport holder that features RFID blocking feature, such as, Zoppen passport holder. This kind of passport holder will protect your passport and credit cards from unwanted scanning and identity theft.
2. Chin Supporting Travel Pillow
Recommended product (see photo above): BCOZZY travel pillow.
Long haul flights and long distance buses and trains can be a pain in the neck, quite literally. To ease the misery use a travel pillow. It supports head and neck, and helps to get some rest while sitting in an upright position.
Our favorite travel pillow is the BCOZZY travel pillow. It wraps around the neck comfortably and simultaneously provides support to the neck and head. Most importantly, it will give much needed chin support as well!
3. Good Compact Camera
Recommended product (see photo above): Fujifilm X100F.
No matter how good your smartphone’s camera is, a real camera still will take better photos! If it’s not enough with your phone’s camera invest in a good compact camera!
Our favorites are 3 Fujifilm cameras: Fujifilm X30, Fujifilm X70 and Fujifilm X100F.
Currently we use the Fujifilm X30 which we have since November 2015. As it’s quite old (but nevertheless an excellent camera), you might want to get a newer version. Check out the Fujifilm X100F! If it’s too costly for you, consider buying the Fujifilm X70 which is cheaper but still is a great camera! The Fujifilm X70 has been dubbed “enthusiast compact” (by cnet.com) because it delivers excellent photo quality for the price.
4. High Capacity Powerbank
Recommended product (see photo above): Anker PowerCore 20100 mAh.
A powerbank (a portable charger) is a must for everyone, not only for avid travelers. It’s always good to have a powerbank and a cable in your bag wherever you go. You never know when you will be able to charge your phone when you are on the go! With powerbank you don’t have to worry about this. Just connect your phone to the power bank when necessary, and you’re all set!
A high capacity powerbank, such as the Anker PowerCore 20100 mAh, is the best option. Charge it once and use it to charge several of your devices, not only your phone!
5. Travel Adapter
Recommended product (see photo above): Milool universal travel adapter.
In different countries around the world electricity sockets differ. And travel adapter lets you to use them to power and charge your electronics. Plug in the adapter into the socket first, and then you can plug in your electronics into it – using the same power cable you use at home.
Travel adapter is by far one of the most important packing essentials!
6. Good Headphones or Earbuds
Recommended product (see photo above): Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II).
The chances are high that you’ll want to listen to music while traveling. That’s why you should pack good earbuds or headphones. I am currently using the Apple EarPods, and Kaspars has Beats Solo3 headphones, and both of us are satisfied with our purchase. Apple EarPods are surprisingly comfortable and have good sound quality, whereas the Solo3 are durable yet lightweight, and are easy to transport because they are foldedable.
If you are looking for noise cancelling headphones or earbuds we recommend to check out Bose products. They have great (although pricey) headphones, QuietComfort 35, as well as earbuds – QuietComfort 20. If they are too costly for you don’t worry! There are good inexpensive alternatives, too. Such as the COWIN E7 noise cancelling headphones or TaoTronics noise cancelling earbuds.
7. Water Resistant and Shockproof Phone Case
Recommended product (see photo above): Pelican iPhone Case.
To protect your phone from damage and moisture get yourself a water resistant and shockproof case! Believe me, it’s a must have! We have destroyed a couple of phones already – one of them got wet in the rain and stopped working, another one fell on the asphalt, and its screen got ruined. It’s sucks! You don’t want your holiday ruined because of broken gadgets, right?
8. Dry Sack
Recommended product (see photo above): Osprey UltraLight 3 dry sack.
Throw a dry sack in your bag before you go on a day trip or sightseeing trip. It might come in handy if it starts to rain. A dry sack hardly takes up any space but it will save your electronics, wallet and passport from moisture. If you have more things to protect, think of getting yourself a 10 or 20 liter dry bag.
9. Lightweight Rain Jacket
Recommended product (see photo above): Columbia Watertight II rain jacket.
A good rain jacket is one of the most important travel essentials. Wherever you go take a rain jacket with you! Even if there won’t be any rain it will protect your from wind and keep you warm.
Note, that this kind of jacket is not as warm as a coat! It can keep you warm in 40 – 50 degrees (4-10 °C), if you have other layers.
Choose a lightweight rain jacket that doesn’t take up much space yet is waterproof and breathable, such as Columbia Watertight (women’s – Arcadia).
10. Comfortable Shoes
Recommended product (see photo above): Skechers Skech Flex sneakers.