11 Things I Never Travel Without

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on July 19, 2019 by Mark Crone

Whether travelling for work or on vacation, you want your trip to be smooth and easy. To do that, you need to pack a few things to make your trip as easy and comfortable as possible. Here’s my list of things I always travel with (and never travel without):

1. Money/Credit Cards

Credit cards offer the convenience and security of access to your funds and credit any time. Even with a credit card, you’ll still need travel money for tips, snacks, cabs, and other “cash only” items. It’s easy to get major exchangeable currencies like the U.S Dollar, Great British Pound or Euro before you go. Other currencies, for example Poland’s Zloty, are best purchased in small quantities for your stay while in that country.

2. Travel SIM


While Wi-Fi is tempting, it’s not secure in public places and is very limiting when you travel. A SIM card saves on roaming and data charges while keeping you connected. TravelSIM is my choice because its pre-paid (providing cost control), works in over 170 countries and incoming calls and messages are free.

3. Tablet/iPad

Between flight delays and in-flight entertainment, this is an absolute must to keep informed and entertained. There’s nothing worse than getting on a 4-hour flight without the airline app required for viewing in-flight entertainment, or a 4-hour flight delay while sitting at an airline gate. Watch Netflix, look at social media, receive emails, or your Kindle. On the plane, you can watch movies that you’ve missed. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination!

4. Hard Case Luggage


I usually travel with a small backpack (for my gadgets) but always take a smaller hard case luggage as well. They’re lightweight, sturdy and easily fit in the overhead bin. Your belongings are better protected with a hard shell, they’re easy to pack and unpack, and even easier to roll around the airport.

5. Portable Power Bank & Adapter

A pocket-sized portable charger is a great toy to have for travel or anywhere. Keep it in your pocket or bag to charge your phone when you can’t find an outlet. When you’re travelling abroad, it’s also a good idea to invest in a combination adapter/converter. You can plug it into different electrical outlets and convert power from 220/240V down to North America’s 110/120V to use your devices.

6. Noise-cancelling Headphones


These are essential in today’s world of packed flights and delays. Travel is certainly easier when you can “noise cancel” the snoring neighbour beside you, the crying baby and/or the arguing couple. With these headphones, deep relaxation and sleep are within your reach. One of the best choices is the Bose QuietComfort 35. Although there are wireless ear bud options from Apple (AirPods), they aren’t really noise-canceling and aren’t nearly as effective as over-the-ear headphones.

7. Note Pad/Pen

I always carry a notebook and pen when I travel. Nothing fancy required here, just a small notebook and everyday pen (often a hotel branded giveaway). You can always jot down your thoughts, to-do list, next blog post, etc. at any time and won’t forget to hit “save”.

8. Toiletry Bag


Amenities and toiletries vary greatly by accommodation and destination. An Air BnB may not have any; a resort may have soap on the wall in the shower; a better hotel may have product that leaves you with skin rashes. It’s easy enough to pack a toiletry bag with small travel-sized containers. If you’re not checking your bag, make sure you pack your <100 ml liquids in a small clear bag to show at security.

9. First Aid Kit

A small and basic first aid kit that includes medication is a must. Painkillers, band aids and other medical essentials come handy during travel, especially if you get a small cut or catch a cold. With a first aid kit, you’ll save time and money being able to take care of yourself!

10. Water Bottle


A water bottle or travel mug is a real travel essential. If you’re off to explore, hike or even just relax on a beach, you need to stay hydrated throughout the day. And by bringing your own reusable bottle, you’ll be doing your part to save the planet from plastic water bottle waste.

11. Phone and/or Camera

You won’t forget your smartphone when you travel (or camera if you have one). You’ll need it for your boarding pass and other important travel apps. But you may well forget your phone charger, so here’s your reminder: don’t forget it! If you happen to forget one, go to the front desk of any large hotel and let them know that you forgot your charger in the room. Chances are, they’ll pull out a basket full of various chargers that were left behind. Choose the compatible one for your phone, and you are back in business.

And of course, don’t forget the essentials like travel documents and travel insurance. You can’t get around the world without your passport, and you shouldn’t travel without the protection or peace of mind that travel insurance provides.

Safe travels,



38 thoughts on “11 Things I Never Travel Without

  1. Rachel Laws January 25, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    This is super helpful! I always travel with mostly the same items, yet have never looked into travel sims – thanks for the recommendation


  2. h.r. January 26, 2020 / 5:55 am

    I’ll be traveling sometime very soon, so this definitely helped refresh my memory on all of the things I need with me when I go! Great post, can’t wait to check out more of your writing!

    -h.r. | http://www.thornsandall.com

  3. travelforawhile January 27, 2020 / 1:12 am

    I have to look into travel sims and I also like the idea of having your own bottle and stop using so much plastic. Great post, Mark.


  4. itsjustjessie12 January 28, 2020 / 12:13 pm

    This is a great post with all great options and things to travel with! I highly agree with them all!

  5. Chantelle January 28, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Great list!
    I need to look into the travel SIM. I haven’t done that before!

  6. sahaankita450 January 29, 2020 / 10:36 am

    Wow! You really made someone’s job easier!

  7. Lisa's Notebook January 31, 2020 / 9:52 am

    Some great tips here, Mark. I always have a notepad and pen and my phone too (of course) but I’ve never thought about a Travel Sim, that’s such a good idea, I’ll definitely look into that for when we go away later this year. Thank you for the recommendation 🙂

    • markstraveljournal January 31, 2020 / 10:01 am

      Travel SIM may be the best tip, works great. Thanks for the comments

  8. Corinne January 31, 2020 / 9:19 pm

    Great list. I never travel without painkillers (or any other Rx meds) and a portable luggage scale if I have to travel with a suitcase. A book is also a must! 😀

  9. Harry February 5, 2020 / 11:48 pm

    Great list, Mark! Pocket-sized charger is essential and loved to add an camera for sweet memories.

  10. Holly March 1, 2020 / 4:11 pm

    Super helpful list, thanks for sharing! I agree with the power bank, now that I have a decent one I couldn’t travel without it. You don’t realise how much google maps drains your battery so it’s key to have a portable charger.


    • markstraveljournal March 1, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      …and it’s easy to remember these essentials, it’s something else from the packing list that gets left behind. Cheers!

    • sofeea5664 March 7, 2020 / 10:48 am

      These are my go to as well. I also never travel without some sort of aspirin or pain killer as sometimes the altitude change or quick weather change can give me a headache.

      • Holly March 8, 2020 / 12:36 pm

        I’m the same, I’m like a walking pharmacy with every medication possible packed!

  11. Sarvarius Evane Ravencrow March 5, 2020 / 7:51 am

    This advice is clearly from someone who has travelled more than once and has the mistakes of not having what you have listed here before.

    Good advice.

    Travel well.

  12. briannacreef March 7, 2020 / 9:35 am

    I have no idea why I never thought of a first aid kid, but that’s genius! Thanks for sharing!

    • markstraveljournal March 7, 2020 / 9:39 am

      Thanks. A first aid kit is almost too simple, usually an afterthought

  13. Sherry March 8, 2020 / 2:47 pm

    This is a great list! I need to add the noise canceling headphones though. That would be so helpful while traveling.

  14. Cherryl October 28, 2020 / 9:38 am

    i’m with you on all of these 😊 ✈️

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