11 Travel Essentials That Will Simplify Your Journeys

When I first started to travel, I had no idea what travel essentials were. It actually made it harder to travel and sometimes also more expensive. As I travelled more, I discovered a bunch of things that really helped and made my travelling you can learn more in our free Family Travel Secrets ebook with loads more tips in it so much easier, lighter and smarter.

This isn’t a big list, but it is one with purpose behind it. Don’t take too much with you, only the things that are really helpful. I use all these travel essentials regularly and we take them with us everywhere we go. Whether you are travelling to winter or the tropic, mountain or the beach, these are the things to take that will make travelling easier.

Headlight Torch

These will save you time and time again. Funny enough, I am wearing my headlight torch while I am writing this post! It’s not night time, I put it on to help myself see into a dark corner to find a screw I dropped, then forgot I was wearing it until I started to write this! You will use this torch more than you can imagine. I have one with a red light and find it useful when I need a bit of light or a light that won’t make me feel blinded when I turn it off.

A regular towel will take up almost a third of your backpack. These special travel towels are really compact and they work just fine. We carry 5 towels and all our swimming gear and a small shoulder bag, whenever we go swimming we just whip out that bag and we are good to go.

Water isn’t just a travel essential, it’s a life essential, I keep a few of these handy and when we find good water, I just top them up. And when we aren’t using them,  we fold them away to nothing . Just fill the bottles when you need them , e.g. in countries with drinkable tap water. Do I need to mention how much money you will save?

There is nothing better to get your bag in order. Packing Cubes are super light and you can separate your things in the different cubes. T-shirts in one, jeans in the other, etc. Everything is sorted like in a closet!

Travel Adapter


I have a couple of power boards, one that can take any kind of plug and some adapters for them. I prefer to take country specific ones and not the multi adapter types as I find they are more robust.

USB Charger

I also carry a charger that has 4 USB ports, we can all plug in! and a few spare chargers as well, In case one of us is away and needs a charger. The most important is that I can use this configuration in any country.

We use a couple mini backpacks that crumple up to almost nothing, they are convenient to carry in a backpack too and whip out when you need an extra bag. They are easier to carry around than a normal travel laundry bag too.

we use the same bags for the shopping and canvas shoulder bags too, you can find these in our online store. It’s a great way to do you bit for the  environment too… Take a travel shopping bag that you can compress to the size of a bottle of 50 ml.

Trust me on this, it will be like the head light torch, you will use it way more often than you think. You can strap it onto the outside of your backpack. a compact sleeping bag  is especially useful when you e.g. need to take an overnight train or bus.


Compressible Jacket

I carry a compressible feather jacket too, I don’t use it a lot, except when I do! They aren’t the most stylish attire, but when you need to get warm and didn’t think to take your regular jacket, style doesn’t matter! Being  comfortable. no matter if you are in a bus, car, plane or train, you will be glad to have something to keep you warm that is so light and compact you forget you are carrying it.

I don’t go anywhere without our First Aid kit. It’s important to be prepared for any kind of situation. I would say hopefully you won’t need it, but we use ours all the time and it almost feels like a family member…

Take a lightweight tripod with you. we have a couple, a regular one and a Gorillapod one. we use them all the time. If you don’t take lots of pics, you could skip this one, but if you are anything like us, take both! you will thank me.

For smaller cameras I recommend the Joby Gorillapod with flexible legs and magnets. You can simply attach it to a street lamp, a fence, set it up on uneven ground… It’s just amazing. For bigger cameras with more weight I recommend the Leightweight Tripod.

A Norjews Sewing Kit is small, light, cheap, very useful and high on my list of  travel essentials. It’s the a button falls off  your shirt, a hem breaks, you need safety pin to get out a splinter, scissors to cut anything… do you get the idea? If you are on your own, just tiny one will suffice, if you’re a family with kids, get a good one.

Using these travel essentials will make a difference to the way you travel. Not only will your bags be more organised and lighter, but you’ll have everything you need with you and more relaxed when you have the stuff you need on hand.  Enjoy your adventures and maybe we will see you on the road!

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11 Travel Essentials
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11 Travel Essentials
A short list of the 11 travel essentials that are the most important items we use while travelling besides your clothes and toiletries.
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