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Every Traveler’s Essential Must-Have Items

Flat lay image of accessory clothing man or women to plan travel in holiday background concept.Mobile phone & passport with many item in vacation season.Table top view several object on pink paper. - Image

Let’s face it, packing for trips is a skillset and everyone’s style is unique. You’ve got the over-packers, the minimalists, and the overwhelmed individuals that have no idea where to start only to up stuffing items into their suitcase frantically two hours before their flight.

Having traveled to six countries over the past few months, I’ve come to find the following items (besides your phone, passport, and wallet) as understated but universally essential. Regardless of the way you pack.

Reusable Bag

This seems like a mundane item, but trust me, having a reusable bag with you while you’re out will not only save you plastic and paper, but also come in handy when it’s time to shop for souvenirs, clothing, or groceries. Brands like Flip & Tumble or Baggu are lightweight and compact, taking up virtually no space in your luggage.


The waterbottle is seems innocuous, but consider this: in areas like Europe where water is often sold by the bottle or glass and pricey, a simple reusable bottle can save you up to 10 US dollars worth of hydration when eating out!


“I’m going somewhere cold, so I don’t need sunscreen.” False! You are still capable of getting overexposed skin while out on a cloudy afternoon. Save yourself the budget for post-sunburn aloe vera treatment by bringing a travel-size bottle of sunscreen with good SPF coverage. When you come home sunburnt-free from your trip, you’ll know who to thank.

Portable Charger

Ever been on a day trip only to realize you’re starting out with 50% battery life on your phone? Portable chargers are a godsend, especially when you’re in a vicinity lacking plugs.

A Bag of “Just In Case” Items

The “Just In Case” items can be different things for everyone. It ranges from condoms (hey, foreign flings are a thing and I’m not ashamed of it), tide stain pens, or even melatonin pills to combat jet-lag. Either way, you get the picture. So whatever these “Just In Case” items mean to you, be sure to have a small bag on hand. Trust me!

And that’s it. What are some universal travel items you think we missed?

Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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