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Top 10 Travel Items at the Top of My Packing List

Updated on August 20, 2018
Sherry Chapman profile image

Knoxville, Tennessee writer, animal lover, traveler, caregiver and seeking the unconventional life in bits and pieces.

Coming In For a Landing in Las Vegas.
Coming In For a Landing in Las Vegas. | Source

Traveling tools are very important to me. They definitely make the difference between an organized trip or a disheveled one. A rejuvenating trip or an exhausting one. An adventure or a bad dream. Vacation memories will last our entire lives, so investing in quality items to aid in comfort, utility or even luxury are well worth it.

I want to share with you the top 10 travel items that I use and love. If any of these items were to fail today, I wouldn’t hesitate to repurchase the item again. You will see that the last three are practical items but I still consider them essential to my packing list. Sometimes an item may only cost a couple of dollars but that doesn’t make it any less important.

 The New York City metro is a great way to experience the city underground.
The New York City metro is a great way to experience the city underground. | Source

My style of traveling usually fits within several parameters. I am a lightweight packer (who goes by the one-bag philosophy), mostly urban and mostly solo adventurer. I have done some international travel but usually stay within the United States. I will use any mode of transportation available to me whether it is plane, automobile, bus, train or boat. So with that in mind, here is my list.


1. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior Backpack

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Junior 19 Inch Carry-On Travel Backpack - Fits Up to 17.5 Inch Laptop - (Blue Yonder)
eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Junior 19 Inch Carry-On Travel Backpack - Fits Up to 17.5 Inch Laptop - (Blue Yonder)
This backpack has been around for a few years now and has been hugely popular. So popular that Amazon has their own copied version of it that gets great reviews as well. When I decided I would only travel with one bag and carry-on only, this is the bag I purchased. It did not disappoint. The quality and versatility of this bag are amazing. It loads like a suitcase instead of a backpack, it has meticulously thought out compartments and pockets, you can carry it as a shoulder bag, even the interior is orange so your contents are easily seen in low light environments. I have used this bag for more than 10 trips lasting from a weekend and up to a week. It is the perfect size for me. Based on its measurements I estimate it at around 42 liters. When I fly I bring this bag on the plane and store in the overhead. It has numerous easy access pockets and a laptop compartment. You can use the back straps and carry it like a traditional backpack or conceal the back straps, hook on the shoulder strap and carry as a shoulder bag. Everything I need and no excess. When you use this backpack, it is so easy to see the attention the designers paid to every detail. I get excited for the next trip so I can live out of it for the next seven days or so — it’s that outstanding.
 
 Nearing my stop while using the city bus and Washington D.C.
Nearing my stop while using the city bus and Washington D.C. | Source

2. eBags Slim Packing Cubes

eBags Slim Classic Packing Cubes for Travel - Organizers - 3pc Set - (Titanium)
eBags Slim Classic Packing Cubes for Travel - Organizers - 3pc Set - (Titanium)
These eBags Slim Packing Cubes are another hugely popular travel item. I didn’t really get the whole packing cube thing until I tried them. While you are traveling staying organized is paramount, and that is exactly what these packing cubes do. I prefer the slim set since I travel with a backpack. I put my bottoms in one, tops in another and miscellaneous in the third and it works very well. When I need something I take out the packing cube I need and keep everything neat in the process. Another benefit to using these packing cubes is that it will compress your clothing within the confines of each bag, Who doesn’t want more space in their bag for souvenirs? They also have a mesh screen on one side of the cube that allows your clothing to breathe. I have several eBags products and their quality has been proven time and time again.
 

3. Sleep Eye Mask With Adjustable Straps

Sleep Mask, 100% Blackout 3D Contoured Sleep Eye Mask, Comfortable & Super Soft Sleeping Mask with Adjustable Straps for Women, Men, Concave Molded Night Eye Mask for Sleeping for Travel Yoga Naps
Sleep Mask, 100% Blackout 3D Contoured Sleep Eye Mask, Comfortable & Super Soft Sleeping Mask with Adjustable Straps for Women, Men, Concave Molded Night Eye Mask for Sleeping for Travel Yoga Naps
Remember when I said I will travel by plane, car, bus or train? Let’s just say I have gotten a lot of use out of this sleep mask. I have a hard time sleeping when in motion so I need all the help I can get. These are comfortable, adjustable and do exactly what they are supposed to. Just putting them on seems to close off the world around me and helps me relax. The actual mask doesn’t make contact with your eyes or eyelids which is what makes them so great. Who wants to put an eye mask on and smoosh your eyes and smudge your eyeliner? It takes up minimal space in my baggage, so I don’t mind bringing it along even if I don’t end up needing it.
 
The Washington DC metro is a great way to get around the city
The Washington DC metro is a great way to get around the city | Source

4. Mpow Selfie Stick With Bluetooth

Mpow Selfie Stick, Lightweight Extendable 31.9 Inch Monopod with Bluetooth Remote Compatible iPhone 11/Pro Max/ XS/Max/XR/X/8/8P/7/7P/6S, Galaxy S20/S10/ S10 Plus/S9/8/7/6/Note 10 and More, Black
Mpow Selfie Stick, Lightweight Extendable 31.9 Inch Monopod with Bluetooth Remote Compatible iPhone 11/Pro Max/ XS/Max/XR/X/8/8P/7/7P/6S, Galaxy S20/S10/ S10 Plus/S9/8/7/6/Note 10 and More, Black
Say and think what you will about selfie sticks but I am totally Team Selfie. I usually travel solo and I look back at the amazing photos I have taken using this. I have also used it to get shots high above crowds, to extend over bridges or buildings, record video, and get fantastic group shots. This Mpow stick gets 4.5 stars because it is that good. The Bluetooth works easily, the phone attachment is strong and it is very lightweight. I use the wrist strap and it extends with ease. It goes in my daypack on every trip. It enables me to be independent and get out-of-this-world photos.
 
The Staten Island Ferry  in New York City is free!
The Staten Island Ferry in New York City is free! | Source

5. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black
This is the most expensive item on my list and I wouldn’t include it if it wasn’t life-changing. The Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones are top of the line and worth what they cost. My trips, although not across the world, still require travel time that eats up the first day and last day of my trip. If I am going to spend that much time in noisy airports, planes, and buses, I can justify the purchase of these. Let’s just talk about the noise inside the cabin of a plane. The inside of a plane at cruising altitudes has a noise level of approximately 85 decibels. Taking off and landing exceeds 100 decibels. Temporary hearing problems will result in sustained levels of 85 or more decibels and after eight hours permanent hearing loss will result in levels over 90 decibels! I cannot fully describe how lovely the experience is when I slip these soft-as-pillows headphones on. The feeling is almost decadent. With the noise-canceling feature turned on, the world is effectively turned off. The sound quality is equally as superior and as I mentioned, the comfort is luxuriant. If you can’t justify the cost and you know someone who owns a pair, beg them to let you borrow them on your next trip. You really owe it to yourself to try them out and see for yourself.
 

6. Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

Fire 7 Tablet  (7" display, 8 GB) - Blue - (Previous Generation - 7th)
Fire 7 Tablet (7" display, 8 GB) - Blue - (Previous Generation - 7th)
I will be honest here in that I have bought two of these over the past 6 years. The first one came to an unfortunate end after a drop. The one I own now I have had for several years and it works fantastically. For the price, you cannot beat the quality and functionality of the Kindle Fire 7 Tablet for traveling. I primarily use this tablet for reading blog articles, watching Amazon Prime or movies loaded on an SD card. For these functions it performs great. The battery is very good especially since I am using it a lot for video. It charges quickly and I use my portable battery charger to charge it on the go. I won’t go into every feature but other apps that I use are Pandora, Kindle (for reading books), YouVersion Bible, meditation apps, YouTube and lots of games. It is a fantastic travel accessory and keeps me from having to use my phone for everything. This isn’t a tablet I use for everyday use, it is reserved mainly for travel and fits the bill perfectly.
 
 Me and MegaBus have logged many miles together.
Me and MegaBus have logged many miles together. | Source

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee

(2 Pack) Starbucks Via Ready Brew, Italian Dark Roast Instant Coffee, 8-Count each
(2 Pack) Starbucks Via Ready Brew, Italian Dark Roast Instant Coffee, 8-Count each
Coffee drinkers unite! My motto is don’t travel without good coffee. Let’s face it, the coffee options can get weak when outside of your normal daily grind (did you catch the multiple puns in that sentence?). I won’t apologize for wanting good, quality coffee while I am out seeing the world and Starbucks Via Instant Coffee packets equals good coffee. You might say it can’t be good if it’s instant. But Starbucks went about producing an instant coffee completely different from any other out there. The process they use results in a surprisingly rich and tasty cup of coffee. They fit in your pocket and all you need is hot water. Perfect for travel.
 
Carnival cruise ship docked in the Bahamas.
Carnival cruise ship docked in the Bahamas. | Source

9. Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Toothbrushes

Colgate Wisp Mini-brush With Freshening Bead Spearmint 4 Each
Colgate Wisp Mini-brush With Freshening Bead Spearmint 4 Each
Colgate Wisps disposable toothbrushes are awesome for travel. They aren’t as effective as a regular toothbrush, toothpaste, and water, but how many times do you find yourself less than fresh and without access to any or all of the three things I just mentioned? In between a normal tooth brushing, these little gems will clean your teeth and leave you with a fresh, minty taste in your mouth. You will love the before and after feeling of your teeth post Wisp. Throw several into your suitcase and thank me later.
 

10. Ginger People Gin Gins Chewy Ginger Candy

The Ginger People Gin Gins Original Chewy Ginger Candy 3 Oz (pack of 2)
The Ginger People Gin Gins Original Chewy Ginger Candy 3 Oz (pack of 2)
I love to travel but the actual transporting of me and my body doesn’t love me back. I suffer from motion sickness on planes, in cars and just about everything else that rolls, soars or floats. When that queasy feeling sneaks in, I start scratching through my bag looking for my Gin Gins. Ginger aids with nausea and other stomach issues. So there is actual science in this candy treat. A couple of these chews will help every time and I have learned to count on them. Knowing that I am prone to motion sickness, there are several things I do to prevent or at least minimize the symptoms of it. I know once I am in motion not to read or look down or backward for extended periods. I also try to sit near the front on public transport and buses. But even my preventative measures have limits and when I start feeling bad the Gin Gins help calm down the queasiness going on inside me. They are a fantastic solution for me and I LOVE the taste of them.
 
 Which plane is mine?
Which plane is mine? | Source

There you go, my top 10 travel items that I won’t leave home without. Just writing this article has fueled my wanderlust fire and has me ready to start planning the next trip. I have to admit that these products are so beloved by me that I use the excuse of travel just to use them!

As I stated earlier, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace any of these items, due to loss or failure, with the exact same thing. If you own or use any of these products, let me know in the comments what you think of them. Happy travels!

Comments

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    • cleoaddams profile image

      Cleo Addams 

      21 months ago from USA

      Great article! I'm going to Italy soon, so these tips will help. :)

    • Sherry Chapman profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Chapman 

      21 months ago from Knoxville, Tennessee

      Thank you Eurofile, I am glad you liked the article. LOL, I used to be a big packer as well. But I got tired of carrying it around. So freeing when I can hop from plane to train to the street with just a backpack. But everything is a trade-off though. Sometimes I buy too many souvenirs and no room to pack them in.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      21 months ago from UK

      I really appreciated reading this article. It was interesting to read your packing tips. As I definitely can not describe myself as a light packer I think my list would be somewhat different and much longer. My father once told me that I would even take the 'kitchen sink' on holiday if I could, which was a slight exaggeration, but I am more of a 'just in case' packer than a light packer.

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