The 7 Travel Essentials a Writer Brings on Every Trip

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As someone who likes to travel light, I’m always on the lookout for compact and lightweight essentials. And while they’re slightly bulkier, I’d rather they had a second function to make them worthy of a coveted spot in my suitcase. After much trial and error, over my many years of travel, I finally feel like I have a good selection of travel essentials that I take with me everywhere.

Not only do these necessities make my life easier when I’m away from home, but having this list of must-have items also makes my packing process much easier. I no longer worry about what to bring, as I know I will have all my bases covered for grabbing those essentials, my usual toiletries, and appropriate clothing for the specific trip.

From quick overnight visits to long vacations abroad, I’ve brought these seven travel products for just about every type of trip, and they’ve always helped me feel well-prepared. From a carry-on with built-in charger to a portable steamer that makes unpacking easy, keep reading for the items I never leave the house without. Add one or two to your own collection of travel essentials before your next excursion.

Far from the hand bag

Ever since I had to lug a huge suitcase up the stairs of a London Underground station a few years ago, I’ve sworn never to check a bag again – so this handy carry-on from Away has done his beginnings. Although it’s compact enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane, it’s still big enough to hold all my stuff. I’ve actually taken two-week European trips with just this and a tote and it’s been fine.

It’s easy to navigate crowded streets and airports, and I like the divided compartments and the internal compression system that helps create more space. However, my favorite feature of the case is the built-in charger. This allows me to charge all my devices on the go. Just a note of warning, many airlines will require you to remove the battery from the bag before boarding, but luckily it pops out with just the press of a button.

LeanTravel Compression Cube Set

Since I only travel with compact carry-on, I’m always looking for ways to maximize the space in my bag, and these LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes are the easiest way to do that. Each set comes with six cubes: two large, two medium, and two small. Each has a double zipper to compress the entire cube into a more compact size once you’ve packed your stuff inside.

The tops of the cubes are mesh, so I can see what’s inside and not waste time opening them all to find what I’m looking for. Plus, they lay flat and didn’t take up too much room in my suitcase.

After an unfortunate night flight where the TV in my seat didn’t work, I always traveled with a tablet for entertainment. I recently updated to the latest iPad Mini and I love it. Before any flight, train ride or road trip, I make sure to download all the latest Netflix shows I’m dying to see and make sure my Kindle app is up to date with all the books in my queue. waiting for reading.

Its battery lasts up to 10 hours at a time, and it easily connects to WiFi, so I can surf the web too. The screen size is 8.3 inches long, which is the perfect size for watching movies and reading books, but it’s still small enough to fit in my purse without issue.

I never fly without this Ostrich Travel Pillow, and it’s so comfortable I’ve even started taking it with me on train and car rides. Not only does it provide the ergonomic neck support I need to sleep on a plane without waking up in pain, but its hook-and-loop closure also makes it fully adjustable, allowing me to find a custom fit.

I love that it has two different heights, unlike most travel pillows which are the same size all the way around. Best of all, the soft, breathable cover is removable and machine washable, making it super easy to clean. When not in use the pillow can be rolled up to be 60% smaller and it comes with a handy travel pouch.

Spanx Booty Boost Active Leggings

When it comes to packing clothes, I always look for versatile options that can be worn multiple ways to leave more room in my suitcase for other essentials or shopping while traveling. Although the choice of most pieces depends on the climate of the place or the type of activities in which I will be participating, these Spanx Booty Boost leggings always end up in my bag no matter what. (And I’m not the only fan – celebrities also love this Spanx style.)

These are my favorite travel pants because they are both flattering and comfortable. The four-way stretch material moves with me, while the high waist always stays in place, so I don’t have to constantly adjust. In addition to wearing them on travel days, I also wear them during workouts, races, and sightseeing. I love the plain black pair because they’re versatile enough to coordinate with everything in my suitcase.

Hilife Portable Garment Steamer

There’s nothing worse than spending all day traveling, only to open your suitcase to find your clothes wrinkled beyond wear. I hate ironing, so I always travel with this handy portable clothes steamer from Hilife. It heats up quickly and provides up to 15 minutes of continuous steam, which is more than enough to de-wrinkle an outfit. It weighs less than 2 pounds, so it doesn’t add a ton of weight to my bag, and its compact size saves space.

I’ve even found a second use for the smart gadget – I use it to give myself a refreshing facial while I’m on the road. It opens up my pores to allow my favorite beauty products to penetrate my skin faster. If you’re going to try this hack yourself, be sure to keep the steamer at least 8-10 inches from your face to avoid overheating or burning yourself.

Gillette Venus Mini extra smooth razor

I’ve been a long time fan of the full-sized Gillette Venus razor, so when I discovered the miniature version, I knew it would become a staple in my toiletry bag. Just like the standard size, the razor features five ultra-sharp blades that are surrounded by a “moisture ribbon” to simultaneously help prevent cuts and moisturize the skin.

The rounded head glides smoothly against my skin and the grippy rubber grip keeps me from dropping it in the shower. Its compact size already makes it more convenient to store than your average razor, but this travel-friendly item even comes with a storage case to keep it safe during transport. Plus, the package includes a blade refill, so I never have to search for a disposable razor while on vacation.