You could say I grew up on airplanes. The majority of my life, I spent summers travelling back and forth between the US and Europe, and now as an adult, I spend a good amount of time travelling for vacation. These vacation trips are in addition to the almost weekly travel that I do within the UK and across Europe for work.
I have a routine and know exactly what I need to bring with me. I have a go-to list for both personal or work trips. My dad trained my siblings and I for travel even before we started walking, so it takes me minutes to pack and head out the door.
To help me keep organized, I actually keep my toiletries and makeup in their travel pouches at all times. I also always have a converter in my bag and have a ‘go-to’ travel outfit of jeans, t-shirt, sweater, and sneakers. Already having these things ready to go save me a lot of time when I pack for my trips and need to get out of the door quickly. If you want to see my full packing list for a weekend trip, click here.
So what else do I never travel without?
- Headphones – If it’s one thing that ruins my trip, it’s realizing that I left my headphones at home, or worse, they stop working. When you spend hours traveling on airplanes and trains, having a good pair of headphones is worth the investment. Whether it’s for dialing in to meetings on the go, listening to a podcast, or just to cancel out the noise, so you can sleep, I never leave home without them. I have invested in a pair of Bose headphones, but in addition to these, I also have several pairs of Betrons. I keep one set of Betrons in the office, one in my gym bag, and one in my purse at all times. I’ve found Betrons to be the best “most affordable” headphones on the market. Ask my colleagues, when I have them in, I can’t hear anything that happens around me!
- Travel Battery – When travelling, your phone is your lifeline. Itinerary? In your email. Hotel reservation? On the Hotels.com app. Boarding pass? In the respective airline app. Need to pay? 50% of you would say, Apple Pay. If your phone dies, good luck trying to remember where to go, when you need to be there, and even more importantly, the phone numbers of the people you may need to call. Besides your mom and dad’s phone numbers, how many phone numbers do you have memorized? I’d guess very few. Simply put – don’t travel without an extra battery. I use Jockery, but several friends rely on a cheap one they’ve found on Amazon, or at the grocery store checkout. I get about 3 full phone charges on my Jockery battery.
- Mini ’emergency’ kit – If you travel like I do, you’ve had enough blisters and headaches from jetlag or lack of coffee to last you a lifetime. In my mini emergency kit, I always keep a good supply of bandaids, Ibuprofen, Tums (or anti-acid tablets), and anti-itch cream for pesky mosquito bites. Ladies, I’d also keep some tampons in your emergency kit, especially if you have a preferred brand. Pro tip – If you’re travelling outside of the US or Europe, also carry a small travel sized hand soap and tissues in case there’s no toilet paper.
- Scarf – Every airplane has a weird temperature. I don’t think I’ve ever thought “this temperature is perfect” while sitting on an airplane. Invest in a neutral colored scarf (I’d recommend grey or beige) and bring it with you everywhere. You’ll never be cold, or have to rest your head up against the germy window again.
- Travel Umbrella – When in Europe, especially the UK and the Nordics, it rains. It’ll rain when you least except it to, and most also during most afternoons in the south during the summer. A small umbrella is a staple of every Londoners wardrobe. I’ve been caught so many times in the rain, I’ve lost count. I use a small travel umbrella by Timberland. It’s not the lightest, but it is strong enough to survive most wind gusts.
Do you have different items on your list? I’d love to hear if you have other recommendations!