My Must-Have Travel Essentials

March 1, 2018

The best must have travel essentials for a carry on bag

This post has been a long time coming, and as I was prepping for my upcoming trip across the pond and in a swarm of packing and prepping, I thought I would share with you all some of my travel essentials! I will admit now: I’m a severe overpacker. It’s an issue. I’m working on it. Trying to, at least. Just ask my husband and he would be more than happy to let you know how very true this is. 

Though I still might be a bit of an over-packer, I have improved drastically over the years. Below are a few of my must-have, can’t live without items that keep my sane during what can sometimes be chaotic travel. Whether you’re headed abroad for a few weeks, or just away for a weekend, these travel goodies will make you feel like you have a piece of home with you along the way. And they’ll all fit in your carry-on. Yep. You heard that right.

All images are shoppable, just simply click the photo and voila! Travel dreams, achieved. 

Tech Accessories Case aka My New Obsession

This was a recent purchase, and I am never looking back. There is nothing that grinds my gears more than jumbled cords. Can I get an amen to that?! If you’ll be working on the plane, this will keep all your accessories organized in one place. See ya never, messy cords!

 .                            Click here to subscribe

Classic Leather Tote

Don’t know what I would do without my large leather tote. I think this is an item every woman should have in her arsenal. I got ours while we were on our honeymoon (potentially my favorite purchase I’ve ever made) but Madewell makes an incredible one that’s very similar. Get yourself a quality one, and it will last you for years to come. Plus, a well made leather tote is a classic that will never go out of style. 

Rose Water Face Mist

It’s a fact that airplanes just suck all the moisture out of your skin. Suck it right on out. You can spritz this refreshing spray on your face when you land to make you look dewy and fresh. And like you didn’t just get off a transatlantic flight that you got no sleep on…so basically it’s magic. I usually snag one of these at Nordstrom Rack where they’re always available, but if you don’t have a Rack around you, they’re still super affordable. 

The Neck Pillow of Neck Pillows

It’s embarassing how much I’ve spent on neck pillows when we get to the airport and I have a moment of “damn it, I forgot my neck pillow, AGAIN” Leading to another purchase for a neck pillow that will end up in our neck pillow graveyard at home. No, more! This one is fabulous and won’t let you to strain your neck. 

The Dreamiest Creamiest Hand Cream

Speaking of planes drying your skin out, this is essential. I have the worlds driest skin, and an intensive hand cream is so necessary, especially if you’re traveling during the winter months. This is one of my favorites, it keeps your hands incredibly moisturized and smells so yummy, but isn’t obnoxiously overpowering. 

Comfy Pants for the Win

Comfort over everything. Especially if you’re making an overseas flight. These black pants are my favorite, they won’t make you feel uncomfortable the entire trip, and you’ll be so glad you have them when you land. Comparable to Lululemon, but half the price. 

Help! I’ve Got a Headache

I’m one of the lucky ones who gets headaches on the reg. If you’re like me, you know there’s nothing worse than feeling that pain kick in and not having anything to help ease it. Take these with you so you can zap any aches and pains mid-flight.

Embrace the Glam: Eye Mask

I feel like when I (previously) thought of eye masks I instantly thought of Miss Diva Extreme. Then I boarded an international flight for the first time, and I was singing a different tune. These will help you drown out the light so you can get some precious hours of sleep on the plane. 

Transportable Water Bottle

If you’re going to bring one thing with you on your flight, don’t forget your water bottle. Stay hydrated during your flight and you’ll land feeling as refreshed as possible. My hyrdoflask is my favorite, I don’t go anywhere without it now. It’s a bit pricier, but if you leave the West Coast with cold water, you’ll land with the ice still intact on the other side of the world. Worth it.

Healthy (and Yummy) Snacks

100% necessary. Because planes operate on their own schedule, and that schedule may not be in line with how hungry you are. Grab some healthy snacks (try to avoid salty things) for the ride. I love the RX bars, they’re filling and healthy and super easy to slip into your tote!

Cozy Sweater slash Blanket

Need I say more? Planes are freeezing. This one from Madewell is super cozy, and will serve as both a blanket and a sweater on the plane. Is there anything better? I think not. I love this fun rust color, but it comes in all the neutrals your heart could desire. Madewell does it again!

Passport Holder to Inspire Wanderlust

Okay okay, so this one isn’t totally a “necessity” but it sure is fun. Anthropologie has some of my favorite passport holders, and if nothing else, they give you that extra boost of motivation to go explore. On a more practical side, they will keep your passport in tip-top shape! 

Book/Kindle for Pure Entertainment

I just recently jumped on the kindle train, and I’m never looking back. As much as I love holding a delicious book in my hands, when you’re traveling, sometimes not hauling a book around is a bit easier. 

Portable Electric Toothbrush

Okay this might seem like a strange one, but stay with me. If you’ve been on a flight for `10+ hours, I can guarantee you one of the first things you’ll want to do when you land is brush your teeth. This bad boy is light, small, and electric. It will fit perfectly into your toiletry bag!

Headphones. Enough Said.

If you’ve ever been on a flight sans know that these might just be the most important things on this list. A flight without headphones is like a Friday night without pizza. It’s just not worth it. These noise canceling ones are definitely a splurge, but they are SO worth it. They will seriously change your travel game. Insider hack: you can usually find refurbished ones online for a way cheaper price!

TSA Approved Toiletries Case 

TSA approved AND stylish? Welcome to 2018, my sweet. This case from Madewell (I think I have an obsession..) is the perfect travel bag for all of the toiletries of mentioned on this list, and it will easily fit all of them into a well organized place, that will make it through security in a breeze. 

The Yummiest Lip Balm

Throw this in your cute new toiletry bag because this stuff is legendary. I pick one up whenever I see it in the drugstore, because I go through these like crazy. I may also lose them like crazy. But, they’re incredibly affordable so…you win some, you lose some I suppose!

Laters Germs! Hand Sanitizer Spray

I’m not usually a huge germaphobe, but since I’ve gotten both the cold and flu this year, I’m not taking any chances. This hand sanitizer spray smells divine, and will fit into that cute toiletry bag that we talked about earlier. Plus, it’s all natural so no icky chemicals will be getting into your skin. Win, win!

Laptop..Because Girl, You Better WORK!

If you’re a multi-tasking lady boss, chances are you’re going to be working while you’re on the plane. Don’t forget your laptop! I’ve linked my favorite case above that I get so many compliments on! And it’s less than $15 big ones. 

Bonus Items:

Travel Cubes

Oooookay so these things are life. changing. I repeat: LIFE. CHANGING. I owe this discovery to my sister in law who introduced them to me on a trip Zach & I took last summer. Essentially these sort all of your tops/bottoms/intimates/dirty items/etc into organized pieces. If you have multiple stops on your trip and want to remember where everything is, these will be SO incredibly helpful.

The Ultimate Backpackers Backpack

I’ve sung this backpacks praises before, and I won’t stop anytime soon. I’ve fit more than two weeks worth of clothing in this bad boy, with room to spare. If you’re going to Europe (or anywhere with multiple stops) I HIGHLY suggest taking a backpack. It’s much easier than rolling a suitcase down cobblestone streets. 

My Favorite Suitcase, Ever

However, if you’re like “umm, there’s no way I’m fitting everything into that backpack, Steph” then let me suggest my favorite piece of luggage in the history of all time. This hard cased spinner is what luggage dreams are made of. Besides being incredibly gorgeous, it’s so well made and stands up against the roughness that is air travel. 

The Only Weekender Bag You’ll Ever Need

Getting away for just a weekend? This Sole Society bag has been a staple of mine for a few years, and for good reason. It fits a ton, is super stylish, and very easy to transport. Be warned: everyone at the airport will ask you where you got it. Go you, you stylish traveler, you. 

What are some of your must have travel items? Share with me in the comments, or join the party over on Instagram!

The comments +

  1. Monique

    March 1st, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I love your travel essentials. I need to get that neck pillow. And I always forget a water bottle.

  2. Lorraine Patterson

    May 25th, 2018 at 8:53 am

    It appears that the post is no longer shoppable. Since pictures are not shown and product information was not listed, it becomes useless. Please let me know if this is resolved.

  3. Stephanie

    August 17th, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Hi, Lorraine! So sorry about that, the site just had a bug. Everything should be shoppable, now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hold up...




I'm sharing my insider secrets and my must have Instagram apps to help you blow up that gram!

download the free guide!

Artboard 3