My favorite travel items! I’m a bit of an obsessive packer for trips. I like to pack light but I also like to be prepared for all contingencies. After traveling around the world with our family, here are the items that I love best. You can also check out my favorite travel games or gift ideas for kids who love to travel!
For Your Carry On
I get it, you might like paper books better. But this paperwhite Kindle is waterproof and lighter than even 1 book. I download books for free onto it using the app Libby from our public library. Don’t forget to pick up a cute case, too, to keep it protected. Find it here.
For those long travel days when your phone or iPad batter is running out. We like this one because we can charge 2 devices at once. Find it here.
We ALWAYS stock on on Melatonin before a trip. This is my favorite brand because it is a low dose (1mg) and the taste is tolerable. Always helps with jet lag or just excited kids having a hard time falling asleep in a new place. Find it here.
Travel Bags and Staying Organized
You need something to keep all your charging cords organized. This one was worked well for us. There are also slightly larger versions if you have bulkier chargers. Find it here.
I recommend getting a different color packing cube for each person in your family. I use a double sided one for each of my kids. Most of their clothes go in one side and their underwear/socks/swimsuits go on the other side. My husband and I have our own colors and usually use 2-3 each. My kids are using Eagle Creek ones that I bought in 2006 and they have held up great! Find it here.
Anti-theft, Convertible Travel Bag
This is the bag I took on our family gap year. I love the anti-theft components like it has RFID blocking, is slash-proof, and has a locking zipper. I usually wear it as a backpack but can convert it to a messenger bag when we go into a museum that doesn’t allow backpacks. Find it here. I recently bought a smaller anti-theft bag to try on future trips, as well as an anti-theft waist pack.
Osprey Backpack – Carry On Size
This backpack detaches into two separate parts and can become a duffel and backpack. If you are a light packer this is a great option especially because it meets the stringent standards for carry on for European budget airlines. This isn’t the perfect backpack, but we’ve yet to find a better solution for a European carry-on. Find it here.
Packable Travel Duffel
We used the 80L version of this bag on a 4 month trip in SE Asia and it held up great. We like to bring a smaller packable duffel (like 20L size) in our luggage on trips. Gives us space for souvenirs or just to repack if we need to. Find it here.
More Items I Always Pack
Ex-Officio Travel Underwear
This underwear is quick-drying and odor resistant. You can easily wash in by hand in your hotel room, wring it out to dry, and it will be ready for you the next day. You could actually just get by with 2 pairs of these for a long trip. Find it here.
Contigo AutoSeal Water Bottle
We are pretty passionate about this being the best water bottle ever. It keeps drinks cold and has autoseal “technology” so it doesn’t accidentally spill in your bag. It has a nice handle AND a cover so the mouth piece stays clean. Find it here.
These are so versatile! I usually wear one as a scarf on the plane. We also use them as blankets on the plane, to block sun in rental cars, and of course as towels! The exact turkish towels we bought are no longer available but these are similar. We bought a pack of 6 but you can also buy them individually. Find it here.
For International Trips
We love this as an alternative to buying bottled water when traveling internationally. This version is rechargeable so we don’t have to worry about buying new batteries if the charge runs out. We used it for 3 months straight across SouthEast Asia with no issues. Find it here.
Universal Travel Adapter
Took this adapter on our gap year of travel and it worked great! We loved that it had those 4 USB slots as well as a regular plug adapter. Find it here.