in Travel

Handy Travel Essentials


I’m a really good packer. I grew up as a military brat and, as a result, have traveled a lot – I can throw a bag together at a moment’s notice and have everything I need for a comfortable trip. I have a system down and it works! Now that I’m in a relationship that is not only a plus one (my boyfriend), but a plus two (my boyfriend’s eight year old daughter) – a few travel essentials have been added to my list. With that, I wanted to share with you the items that I think everyone should have while traveling.

1. Packing Cubes

You just need these – just “Add to Cart” and click “Purchasenow. These packing cubes make filling a bag so much easier!  Packing cubes not only allow for organization, but also help compress clothes allowing for more room in your bag. Music to an over-packer’s ears! My boyfriend was able to comfortably pack two packing cubes and toiletry bag into his REI backpack. Little Miss and I checked in a bag (because we had to – we usually opt to carry on), and used five packing cubes to organize our clothes. With room to spare for shoes, I might add! This is my number one travel necessity – it’s seriously life changing.

Side story: I even received a compliment from my 85 year old Filipino Grandma – she was so impressed with my packing skills that she immediately asked me to buy her cubes for my grandparent’s trip to the Philippines. I had to tell you all this because a compliment from a Filipino Grandma is hard to come by – and usually, she’s the one schooling us grandkids, not the other way around. 🙂

2. Portable Battery Charger

When you’re in tourist mode, your phone is used a lot. Not only for photos, but also for navigation. With the amount of driving and picture taking, there was no way our phones would’ve powered through the whole day. This battery charger saved us a number of times. The charger allows for two devices to charge at a time, and allows for MULTIPLE charges. Genius. I didn’t have to charge the battery at all during our trip.

3. Hand Sanitizer Wipes and Toilet Seat Covers

Oh my goodness – public restrooms. They scare the hell out of me; I would much rather deal with a poltergeist. Anyway, over my dead body will I ever purposely sit my cutie little tush on an unclean toilet seat. Yes, I do practice the art of hovering; but not all toilet seat heights are created equal – some are just too damn high – so I can’t and neither can the Little Miss for that matter. With that, toilet seat covers came in handy. Also, I definitely had extra to spare and offered a couple seat covers to women equally disgusted. Did I make new friends? You bet your hiney, I did.

While most of these restrooms had working sinks, my hands felt even dirtier after washing my hands (that’s normal, right?). I really just wanted to ensure all of the germs were gone, so the hand sanitizer wipes came in handy. These also came in handy when Little Miss decided to eat with her whole face instead of just her mouth. HA! 

4. Expandable Getaway Bag

Perfect for travel! The getaway bag is classified as a personal item, which is a bonus because I rarely a check bag. This bag fits right under the seat, and my carry on luggage pops right in the overhead bin. Match made in heaven. Anyway, one of the main reasons I love this bag so much is because it EXPANDS. This allowed Little Miss and I to bring back a few things we picked up in California. For her: Harry Potter’s wand and random bobbles; Me: a shoebox full of lemons and calamansi (fruit that is a cross between an orange and lime) picked fresh from my grandma’s garden. Priorities, people, priorities. 

These handy travel essentials are just a couple of the items that I always pack, no matter where I go or for how long. These items, in particular, were lifesavers during our trip to California and honestly made the trip so much easier.
What are some items you always bring along on a trip? I’d love to know!


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