Ah, the airplane bag. If there’s a favorite part of packing, then this is it. This is my wheelhouse. I remember loading up my bright blue Eddie Bauer backpack when I was little, making sure I had something to do during every hour of my flight.
Nowadays, it’s more about making sure I have all of the essentials, outside of my clothes, that can fit nicely in one bag. With my trip to Spain and Portugal fast approaching, I put together a list of some of my travel essentials. Some of these, obviously, can go into your suitcase, but I find that I like having access during my flight.
My Travel Essentials
1. Travel bag
I bought this for Thailand and Cambodia and have pretty much used it on every domestic trip thereafter too. It doubled as my airplane bag and my purse until I found a smaller one that I liked at the night market while in Southeast Asia. I bought it in turquoise because it was different than the normal black I go with. I’ve received quite a few compliments. It has a secret compartment for my important documents (#13) as well as an iPad holder in the front. I got this on eBags.com. I lurrrrve them. Seriously. You can often find sweet deals on travel-related items.
2. Purse or Day Bag
After painstakingly going through many options, I chose the PacSafe Metrosafe 200 GII Anti-Theft Shoulder Bag to use during the day while in Spain and Portugal. When we went to Thailand and Cambodia, we used this Patagonia lightweight, easily collapsable backpack in black and loved it. Mostly because the hubster was the one who carried it and I was left hands-free without a purse. But, since he won’t be coming with me to Spain and Portugal, I needed something safer than a backpack, especially for when I’m off on my own. This offers RFID protection in its front pocket. Basically, that means people can’t steal my shit. I realize everyone wants to be me and this prevents assholes from stealing my identity through my credit cards or my passport. It also has Slash-proof straps so no one can cut my straps and run. Plus, this is big enough to carry my DSLR without it looking like a camera bag. Bonus! This will be my first time using it, so I’m excited to see how it pans out. No, it’s not as pretty as my fashionable purses. But again, function over form, people. I also got this on eBags.
3. DSLR Camera
Yup. I’m bringing this bad boy. Which means I’ll need to protect it, without carrying around a separate bag for it. Do you see the functionality theme? I found out about the camera cover thanks to tips from Be My Travel Muse. She uses it, so I bought it because she’s a pretty rad traveler. We’ll see how it works. The camera I have is a Canon Rebel T3.
4. Point and Shoot Camera
For times when I don’t want to bring around the bad boy (see above). I’ll have my Canon Powershot SX260 HS to put in my purse. It’s been a great camera so far. I highly recommend it. The only thing I would change is where the flash that pops up. It’s in a weird location, so very often, people have their finger over that area. It has led to many entertaining moments, with people wondering what just pushed on their finger.
Ain’t nobody got time to be carrying around a laptop, unless you’re, you know, on a business trip or are traveling for more than a few weeks. I use my iPad to Facetime (when wireless is available), research cities with the TripAdvisor app and check my email mostly. My iPad also doubles as a Kindle with the Kindle app so I can read self-improvement books along the way. No, I’m not joking. What’s fiction?
6. Wireless keyboard
I want to write while I’m traveling. This allows me to blog (lucky you) while still on the road without lugging around my MacBook Pro. You can see it here when I was blogging on our anniversary.
7. Surge Protector
I love this multi-outlet surge protector. I can easily charge everything at night without worrying about things blowing a fuse. Plus, it has handy-dandy USB ports for even more charging opportunities.
8. Chargers and Gear Ties
Obviously, you’ll need to charge your electronics, so bring your chargers. I learned about these ties from one of my favorite travel bloggers: The Planet D. These have been a lifesaver for a type-A personality like me. It keeps all my wires wrapped up tightly and in place. It may seem silly, but anything I can do to minimize hassle, including unwrapping wires, I find very valuable. They come in fun colors too. You can do green for your Apple gear (get it) and orange for your camera gear and maybe black for your external hard drive… I’m just saying that’s something you could do, not that I do that… I again, got them on Amazon.
9. Converters and/or Adaptors
I think I’ll only need an adaptor for this trip. Most of my electronics convert or step up/down on their own. If I desperately need a converter while there, I can easily buy one. I bought these adaptors from Amazon. Can you tell we love our Amazon Prime membership?
10. Compression Socks
“If you’re lucky, I’ll wear these for you tonight. Me-ow.” The hubster doesn’t find me entertaining 100% of the time.
My body usually does fine on long-haul flights. But the last time we traveled, my ankles swelled even though I made sure to get up every so often. The red wine proooooobably didn’t help. Mind you, this was after one 14 hour flight and another 8 hour flight. So I think I held up pretty well if my ankles only swelled a bit. Anyway, I want to hit the ground running (pun intended ) when I get to Barcelona, so I’ll be putting these on prior to my flight just to make sure.
11. Ear Plugs
Much to the hubster’s chagrin, I’m a light sleeper. Sleep is sort of necessary, so I bring this puppies. Always.
12. RFID Sleeves
Many banks are now passing these out when you get a new debit card. It protects your information from assholes who can just simply STAND NEXT TO YOU and use a device to read your card. Who thinks about this shit? Jerks, that’s who. RFID sleeves ensure your stuff is jerk-proof.
13. My Documents Folder
As specified here, these are all the essentials I’ll need in case something happens and I can’t access it online.
There are other items not pictured here, like a change wallet. You tend to get a lot of change while in Europe. Find a cute change purse at Target to remedy this. It will be tough, but you can handle it. I just gave you an excuse to go to Target! You’re welcome.
Other miscellaneous items include: Band-Aids, trashy magazines, a couple granola bars and water. Bring water. Hopefully out of your own reusable bottle (just don’t have it filled when you’re going through security).
Those are my go-to items. Obviously, adjust for your needs. I hope you found this helpful and if you did, pass it on or let me know!
Did I miss anything? What are your travel essentials?