Ah, TRAVEL! Experiencing another culture, tasting food prepared from ingredients that I’ve never had before, to seeing the cultures and historical sites of lands with rich histories. There are many facets of travel that is memorable. A trip can be for business or pleasure. However, the arduous time spent on the journey itself can translate into a good or bad experience. It is often the well-prepared traveler that reaps the happiest time out of the experience.
To fully enjoy the experience, preparation is critical before the actual travel. Below are recommendations from myself and fellow jet-setter friends of must-have things to take during a journey that can significantly enhance the travel experience.
The 8 Travel Must-Haves are:
- Travel Pillow + Sleep Mask
- Travel Bag + Water Bottle
- Passport Holder + Travel Credit Card
- Universal Adapter + Battery Pack
- Travel Essentials Pouch
1. Travel Pillow + Sleep Mask
If you are taking a flight to your destination and it spans more than 4 hours, I recommend traveling with a comfortable travel pillow and sleep mask.
In the past, I thought that these were wholly unnecessary, mainly because it is often provided for free by the airline. I could not grasp how important it was to bring my own.
For casual travelers, it is essential that you buy these and not wait to buy it before the flight. Most stores lining the airport will sell these to you, with a high price tag, of course. However, with research beforehand, you can find a high-quality product at a lower price online.
The other reason to buy these on your own, these items will help make long travels a whole lot more comfortable. Having your own travel pillow and a sleep mask guarantees that they are cleaner than the one often provided by the airline which is important if you will be napping on them in comfort.
Here are high-quality travel pillows and masks.
Muji Travel Pillow
Owning and bringing your very own headphones improves the quality of long flights in a significant way. I want to tune out the crying baby, people chatter, and the heinous sound of the plane engine. Having high-quality headphones can do that plus adds to a more enjoyable consumption of in-flight entertainment compared to the cheap earbuds provide on the flight.
When buying headphones, don’t cheap out. Buy the highest quality headphones you can afford. The essential qualities of excellent travel headphones are noise isolation and noise-canceling features.
What is the difference between noise-canceling and noise isolation? Noise-cancelling is an electronic technology built-in to the headphones that “cancels” out intrusive long-lasting sound waves from noises such as the annoying plane engine or the loud sound of the plane’s air circulation system. Noise isolation is just a way of covering your ear so that exterior sounds do not come in. An excellent travel headphone will have both of these features and do them very well.
You can also opt to do an over-ear headphone or in-ear earbuds. Either of these will work. My recommendation for both of these types is as follows. Also, good travel headphones include the necessary flight adapter plugs (which is essential to bring). This adapter is a two-pronged plug that a lot of planes use for anyone to plug into their entertainment systems.
Bose QC25 or Bose QC35 –
This headphone is the most comfortable on long flights and is first-in-class for filtering out noise for travel and everyday uses. I highly recommend these, I am using one now, as I am typing this article in a coffee shop and it is heaven. Having fabulous headphones with both noise-canceling and noise isolation creates a bubble of private space anywhere for you to tune out the loud world.
3. Travel Bag + Water bottle
A suitable travel bag is one where I can fit all my essentials to take on the flight. A great bag must be light, durable, and can provide enough space that I could need.
Because I love to keep my hands free at all times, I prefer a great travel book bag compared to a carry-all tote. However, this is my personal preference. Though I also love a functional tote, I have received recommendations from fellow jet-setters on their favorite bags.
Also, I highly recommend taking a small water bottle alongside a carry-on bag. Though we cannot currently take bottles filled with water (TSA regulation), an empty water bottle can be smoothly checked-in and refilled in the airport. This way is not only great for the environment, as one can avoid the use of one-time-use plastic water bottles, but it also saves money you money. Most airports have high-quality filtered water to let passengers refill their reusable water bottle before getting on the flight.
Travelon Anti-Theft Bag
Targus Newport Bag
Targus Geolite Bag
Anntrue Collapsible Water Bottle
Contigo Water Bottle
4. Passport Holder + Travel Credit Card
A passport holder that can store necessary travel documents and travel credit cards is great to keep me organized and safeguard my belongings. Buying a high-quality passport holder that will last a very long time is money well-spent.
For Travel Credit Cards, the best ones will provide great travel benefits. Often credit card companies may give generous sign-on mileage bonuses. These travel cards also include better travel insurance, with zero foreign transaction fees when using the card internationally. They also provide other benefits such as free Global Entry application, exclusive access to airport lounges, and other amazing perks.
Michael Kors Travel Zip
Bellroy Travel Folio
Leather Long Zipper Wallet
Men’s Clutch Wallet
Chase Sapphire Reserve – (this is not a referral link): Go here.
Having a fantastic camera is the best way to document and capture my travel experience. I am an avid photographer who loves to capture captivating images of my surroundings. This interest is more apparent when traveling and having a reliable camera is a must-have for me.
Although I know how to operate a DSLR, including understanding the ins-and-outs around the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, a regular traveler with no photography experience can still capture fantastic images. Most cameras nowadays provide advanced features to capture great photos without much fuss. And when in doubt, having an iPhone or the latest smartphones usually means being able to achieve high-quality images for travel and daily use. Here are some of my camera recommendations.
Canon Powershot G5
6. Universal Adapter + Battery Pack
When it comes to traveling internationally, bringing a universal travel adapter is a must, especially if your destination is in Europe and Asia. Most international countries use a different electrical outlet or electrical currency. Merely plugging in electronics in a different country without thinking could mean frying your electronics if you are not careful.
Additionally, having a battery pack that has a high-capacity and lightweight is essential. There will be times when there are no outlets available. Having a phone, iPad, and other devices that need some juice will happen, and a battery pack is a lifesaver.
Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000
7. Travel Essentials Pouch
I like to prepare all of my daily use travel essentials in a travel pouch. This pouch contains all the necessary items I use to get ready in the morning. These products can include my face wash, face and body lotion, toner, shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Preparing all of these items and storing them in a travel pouch ensures I do not have to rely on the hotel or the airlines to provide it for me. Primarily, I prefer the products I already own compared to the products I get for free from the hotel or the airlines.
Here are my recommended travel pouches and products that I consider my must-haves travel essentials.
Muji Travel Case
Herschel Travel Bag
Amazon Basic Travel Toiletry Organizer
During my travels, I like to take notes or write in my journal about the places I visit and the experience I am having. Though most people prefer to use their phone to write their diary in this way digitally, there is something special about writing on paper.
The journal notebook that I use daily is also compact enough to bring for travel as it is a small notebook. Here are some of my favorite notebook journal for your travel journeys.
Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted
Moleskine Classic Small Notebook