What to Pack

10 Things We Can’t Live without No Matter Where We’re Headed

For some people, packing is a 10-minute affair, a barrage of items flung into a bag just before leaving. For others, it’s an arduous task started a week or more before departure. Methodologies and styles aside, it’s what’s inside the bag that counts. These days, most of what you need is available for purchase around the world, so packing should never feel daunting. However, traveling can always be a little more comfortable, which is why we compiled this list of 10 travel essentials to make your weekend getaway or extended holiday more enjoyable.

1. Reusable Water BottleStart with your basic human needs! A good travel water bottle is essential for long flights, hikes and your overall well-being. More and more airports these days offer filtered water stations. Use a foldable water bottle from Vapur to save on space. Or, save yourself the trouble of finding filtered water by choosing a bottle with a built-in filter that can handle water from a river or stream. The Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier eliminates not only bad tasting water but heavy metals, chemicals and pathogens.

2. Passport/Wallet Organizer

When traveling abroad as a family, the need to organize passports and documents increases. Travel is far less stressful when identification and boarding cards stay in one place and one place only. Passport packs serve as multi-purpose sanity-savers, and certain ones can even charge your phone! Whatever your style preference (waterproof, city chic, multi-use), there’s an organizer to help you.

3. All-in-One Phone-to-Radio Adapter

“I always pack the following in this order of importance,” says Kelsey Ramsden, author of Success Hangover. As a business consultant, TEDx speaker and globally recognized as one of the top women entrepreneurs, she knows a thing or two about hopping in and out of planes, trains and automobiles. “First, I bring an all-in-one phone-to-radio adapter so that no matter the hotel, I can hook my phone to the radio or speaker and get my vibe going in the room. I like to set the audioscape whenever I can, because I travel to places for work I might not otherwise choose, and this makes every hotel room in any city feel like home.”

4. Baseball Hat

“And second,” says Ramsden, “a baseball hat for the return flight! I often take the red-eye home and it’s important to look at least halfway decent at 5:30 am when I deplane. A great hat goes a long way!” Even if you’re not on a red-eye flight, pack one to help guard against too much sun when you’re out and about.

5. Portable Charger

Unless you’re purposefully planning an off-the-grid experience, having a portable phone charger is a lifesaver. Having your own device on hand spares you the stress and hassle of fighting for a charging space at the airport, skimping on battery use until you reach your hotel, or losing contact altogether. Caveat: you do need to charge the charger. However, once you’ve done so, you can get up to five or six charges with a device like the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD.

6. Packable Jacket

Puff, pack, play. Packable warm jackets make an ideal travel partner whether you’re traveling for business and want to stay comfortable en route or you’re heading out on an outdoor adventure for the day in cooler climates. Check out these options by TNA from Aritzia.

7. Packable Tote

A fold-up portable tote can be a multi-purpose travel companion: subbing as an impromptu grocery bag, low-key purse/beach bag, and of course, a way to bring home gifts from your travels.

8. Magnesium & Melatonin

Time zone changes wreak havoc on many travelers’ circadian rhythms, muscles and sleep quality. “I use both melatonin and magnesium to help regulate my sleep,” says Jean-Christophe Born, a French opera star and producer. “The magnesium is good for muscle relaxation, and melatonin helps for quickly adapting to a new time zone.”

9. Rain Jacket & Comfortable Shoes

One can never underestimate the importance of comfortable shoes and a quality rain jacket. “I spent a week in Morocco last year, and to my surprise, it rained everyday!” says Jacek Kafel, a world-traveling triathlete. “The trip would have been ruined without a rain jacket and my quick drying On Running shoes.” When it comes to rain jackets, we recommend RAINS for quality and design.

10. Talisman

“This world is vast and I’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last two decades,” says Samia Shalabi, jewelry designer and owner of Karazi Design. Based in Bali, she travels the globe every month. “I pack light to keep it easy, just the essentials, but the one thing I always have with me is a necklace, my talisman. It’s called an elis and was handmade in India, it’s for protection and fearlessness. So far, it’s worked.”

Whatever your lucky talisman is, be sure to bring it along. Bon voyage!

Courtney Lochner is a writer based out of Chicago but is frequently escaping to Europe. Passionate for all things food, wine and travel, her work has been published in magazines like Glamour Magazine, Inspirato, and Runway Live, and her short story became a film produced by Moxie Pictures.

How to's

How to fold, roll, cube

Love to travel but hate packing? We’ve broken down the steps for three essential packing styles: folding, rolling and cubing. Whether you’re headed on an international adventure or a local business trip, find your style and follow the outlined steps for stress-free packing!