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10 Things I Never Travel Without

The past two years seem like they have been a whirlwind of travel! And the past six months have been even crazier — summer in Florence, Provence and the Loire Valley, a Mediterranean Cruise, Boca Grande, the Napa Valley, and Los Angeles.

I have been home from L.A. for just a week and I am already back on the road. This time I am headed to the Northeast for some more research and fall fun! Needless to say, sometimes I feel like all I do is pack and repack (I never seem to fully unpack though). The good news is that with each passing trip, I refine my packing process (you can see more of my packing posts here).

Today I wanted to share some items that no matter what, I never travel without. Obviously I never travel without my laptop, phone, wallet, toothbrush, and other basic essentials. This list is (hopefully) made up of items that you may not think to travel with, or simply aren’t familiar with.

1) T3 SinglePass Luxe
Hair appliances can be the worst to travel with. They are usually bulky, heavy, and require adaptors and converters for international travel. Not to mention if you want curls you need to pack a curling iron, but if you want straight hair you need a straightener or blow dryer. I no longer bother with blow dryers and multiple hair styling tools. I have one go-to tool that is slim, light, dual voltage, and can straighten my hair or give it waves/texture — the T3 SinglePass Luxe. In one pass my hair is smooth and shiny, or with a simple flick of the wrist, I have soft waves. And any styling tool that works world-wide with no switch or converter is a huge plus in my book!

2) Wrinkle Releaser
I used to travel with a steamer, but I am always looking for ways to streamline and simplify. Travel-sized wrinkle releaser takes up a fraction of the weight and space in your bag than a steamer. Not only does it really take out almost all wrinkles, it also freshens your clothing (big plus when you’re on the go and can’t access or have time for laundry). For tough wrinkles I spray and then let the garment steam while I shower.

3) Ziplock Bags
Forget fancy cosmetic bags, heavy duty, gallon-sized Ziplock bags are the way to go. I pack all of my toiletries in them, plus a few extras in my bag. When something spills, I simply toss the old bag. Ziplock bags weigh less then toiletry bags and can double as on-the-go food storage, laundry bags for smelly items (or wet swimsuits), and shoe bags to keep your dirty shoes off your clean clothes. Finally, in a pinch they work as small space bags.

4) Camera (Not Your Phone!)
It may seem like a pain to bring a large camera along with your phone around with you everywhere, but I have never once regretted having a high-quality version of a photo I loved. You can read more about the camera I travel with here.

5) Cellphone Battery Case
My built-in battery case has been a lifesaver on numerous occasions. I go through them pretty quickly (wear and tear and droppage, whoops), but they are worth their weight in gold as far as I am concerned. I can use GPS, text, Instagram, or play games all day without worry.

6) A Hat
Hats may seem like they are more trouble to travel with then they are worth, but I disagree. Hats are the secret to looking great without much hair and makeup effort (a bonus when you’re traveling and will be taking lots of pictures). I pack mine in the bottom of my suitcase or simply wear them on the plane (yes, I have worn multiple hats on my head through the airport, #noshame).

7) Shower Cap (+ Dry Shampoo)
Ok, so the dry shampoo is obvious (I swear by this one). Less washing equals less time spent on your hair and less hair accoutrements you need to pack. But a quality shower cap is the key here. You never know what your shower situation may look like and you don’t want the moisture and heat from the shower wilting or ruining your hair. Trust me, this shower cap will change your life!

8) Neosporin
I have a weird Neosporin addiction. I use it to heal everything from hangnails to chapped lips to blemishes (all of which increase exponentially when traveling). I mean it prevents scars and infections, why not lather yourself in it? Plus it is great for treating blisters.

9) Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream
This stuff is miraculous. And like the Neosporin, I use it on more than just eyes. If I am in a particularly dry climate or get an unexpected sunburn, I will use it on my entire face or dry/burnt area. It is super moisturizing and brightening.

10) Floss
Obviously, I use floss to floss my teeth. But floss can be super handy in a pinch. It can be used as makeshift thread or string to fix or tie something together. I am basically MacGyver… but with floss.

You do you swear by when you travel?