I have generally been a light packer when it comes to traveling. Sure, when I was in high school I packed a suitcase full of clothes for only 8 days in Spain and France (not proud of that). But then when I was studying abroad for 4 months in university, I only brought a suitcase and a backpack, compared to my roommates who brought 2 suitcases and another duffel bag.
Now, as a solo traveler, I am only using a 40 L backpack for all of my trips, regardless of length (1 week to 2.5 months!).
Over time, I've had to get creative with my packing methods and the essentials I bring with me on my adventures. I only pack what is absolutely necessary and still make it light enough to carry long distances without hurting.
Outside of clothing (that's a whole other topic, haha), here are the travel essentials I take with me wherever I go.
Traveling with only a carry-on can be difficult, especially when trying to meet weight requirements.
My solution - the G4Free 40 L Backpack (purchased on Amazon). It is very spacious and can fit up to 10 kg of weight. It also fits great on my back for longer treks.
My Nike Drawstring has been traveling with me since university as my mini grocery bag and now as my day travel companion.
Both bags are brightly colored to draw attention day or night.
- Klean Kanteen
- Manna (2)
I have had difficulty in the past finding water bottles that successfully keep the temperature of my drinks consistent. But, I absolutely love my Manna and Klean Kanteen bottles.
They keep my drinks cold or hot up to 12 hours (or almost 24 hours if I add ice!). I fill my bottles with water, juice, tea, hot chocolate, and spiked drinks from time to time.
I often travel with two bottles and they come in handy while hiking, camping, sunbathing at the beach, or going out on a cool night.
- iPhone & chargers (4' & 6')
- Portable charger & cord
- USB plug
- Universal Travel Adapter
When it comes to electronics and accessories, I am an extreme minimalist.
My iPhone 5S (yes, I know it's old) is my camera and my laptop all in one. And I always carry two iPhone charging cords just in case.
My universal travel adapter has 2 USB ports and was only US$6 in Singapore! I carry a USB adapter for it should I need another port. My portable charger was a high school graduation present and has not quit on me yet after 5 years and 15 adventures. Though, I do expect that I will be purchasing a new one soon...
I suck at sleeping on planes, seriously! I toss and turn or end up watching the in-flight entertainment hoping to drain me enough to finally pass out. It never goes my way.
But, thankfully, on long flights, train rides or a nap in my hostel dorm room I found a few tricks that make my life easier and I can sleep, even for a short while.
My Trtl pillow is amazing! I use it to wrap around my head while on a plane or train, and it's great to put under my hostel pillow for extra support. My headphones block out some of the extra noise. And my eye mask I snagged from Virgin Atlantic airlines and love it!
My Mission Enduracool towel is probably my favorite thing in my soap bag. It is x-small, but with very my short hair it works great to dry my hair and body quick!
I keep my shampoo and body wash in reusable plastic containers. I hope to move to more eco-friendly alternatives, such as shampoo and body wash bars soon!
I use La Mer lotion for facial moisturization, I have a Gillette Venus reusable razor, and a small bright orange loofa for exfoliation (not shown). PLus, all my other essentials, like deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, Q tips, etc.
And yes, surprisingly, all of those items (minus the loofa) fit into that small seafoam bag!
What travel essentials do you pack with you on your adventures?
What items can you not travel without??
Let me know in the comments below!