Editor’s Note: We asked our writers to put together a list of their 5 travel must-haves. Now, we’re sharing all their travel-savvy wisdom with you. Check back each week to see a new list of items our writers won’t leave home without.
When heading out on a new adventure, packing is often the part of the trip that most people dread the most. The usual worry is that you’ll get to where you’re going, and realize that you don’t have something that you need. A forgotten pair of shoes, the wrong clothes for an occasion, not enough underwear. We’ve all been there.
Over the past few years of traveling, I’ve realized what my must-have items for traveling are. These are always the first items to be packed, and the ones I reach for again and again when on the road.
Phone: This may seem like an obvious one, but a phone can now serve many functions. In the past, I’d need to remember a camera, music player and a phone. Now, my phone is my camera, my music player, my eReader and my way of watching movies or TV shows on-the-go. Earplugs are also a must-have accessory for this item.
Lightweight Scarf: This item was only recently added to my must-have list, but I’m definitely glad it is on there now. A lightweight scarf can serve so many purposes on the road. It’s always great to have layers for varying climates, especially if you are traveling on a plane (I’m always cold on planes). The scarf can act as a wrap to keep you warm, towel to keep you dry, balled up as a pillow to keep you comfortable, or shield from the sun on a particularly blistering day.
Lotion: Lotion is a must-have for me because I have sensitive skin that tends to be finicky when traveling. Packing a lotion that I know works with my skin will keep me looking and feeling great when traveling. I also burn easily, so lotion is a must-have when traveling in sunny locales where I may need some extra skin nourishment after a day outside.
Comfortable Shoes: Although flip-flops and sandals are a must-have for warm destinations, I always also bring a pair of comfortable shoes. You never know when you might go on an impromptu hike, need closed-toe shoes to go zip lining, or just want to give your feet some added support when trekking around a new city. Wear your shoes on the plane to save room in your bag when packing.
Over-the-shoulder Bag: An over-the-shoulder bag is an absolute must for me when traveling. Not only do I feel more secure with my valuables in this type of bag, but it also frees up my hands for other things. I rarely have to worry about if I set my bag down somewhere, and I can position the bag in front of me instead of on my hip if I need to keep a guarded eye on my things in a busy location.
Chic Travelers: What can’t you leave home without? Tell us your travel must-haves in the comments below!
Photo credit: Jen Fromal