When people travel, no matter what sort of trip they’re going on, they’ll no doubt have those few items they are unable to travel without. For some, it might be a stuffed animal that makes the plane rides a bit easier; for others, it could be their laptop or iPhone to stay connected to friends and family.
As travelers, we all have different needs and priorities, but sometimes there are just those items that come in handy no matter where we’re going.
After years of wandering the globe and experiencing trial and error whilst packing, I have a few items that I could never – ever – travel without.
So whether you’re heading out on a weekend getaway or setting off on a long-term trip, check out my list of odd essentials I’ll never travel without. You never know, they could end up on your list of must-have travel items as well!
For the past 4 months, I’ve been wandering around Southeast Asia and my Birks are everything to me. No joke, I don’t think I’ve worn any other pair of shoes I brought with me for more than one day.
Birkenstocks are the most reliable and comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. And they last forever. And the best part? Birkenstocks now offer a line vegan styles. How awesome, right?! You can buy cruelty-free shoes AND travel around in comfort.
Maybe these aren’t really odd essentials of sorts but damn, do I get some strange looks wearing them in cold weather… but they’re just so comfortable! And if I can recall, Birkenstocks and socks are totally in style right now. 😉
You can purchase a great vegan pair here! (Sometimes for cheaper than the actual Birkenstocks website!).
2. Eye mask and earplugs.
After staying night after night in loud hostel rooms and riding on crazy overnight buses, I’ve come to cherish my comfy eye mask and earplugs. Sleep is one of the loves of my life and I get pretty upset if I don’t get enough of it.
So, if I’m spending the night in a bustling hostel dorm room with numerous people, I like to put on my eye mask to block out the light and shove in my earplugs to quiet any disturbances. It’s truly been a blessing to have these with me!
3. Blossom cup.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking “wtf is a blossom cup…” but stay with me here. So, a blossom cup is similar to a Diva Cup, but more affordable. And if you are unsure what a Diva Cup is, it’s basically a period cup that takes away the need to use tampons and underwear liners.
And it. Is. Awesome.
No kidding, I originally brought it with me on my backpacking trip to Asia so I didn’t have to carry a large box of tampons with me but holy moly, I wish I would have known about this thing years ago! It’s seriously a life changer. And good for the environment – as well as your body! It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients or perfumes, and it’s totally reusable.
You can get the Blossom Cup for yourself here. (You won’t regret it, I promise!).
4. Travel power strip.
This thing has been such a helpful thing to backpack around with. Especially when I forget to charge all my things and they all end up dying at the same. With this handy dandy power strip, which has two traditional outlets and two USB plug-ins, I can charge all my things at once.
Or if I’m not using all the plug-ins, it’s a quick way to make some friends in a hostel or homestay because I offer it to other people so they can get their electronics charged up! So it’s not only practical, but it gives travelers a way to connect (ha ha 😜) with others.
You can get one of these babies here.
5. Tiger Balm.
If you’ve ever visited regions of Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, you might have come across little tubs of Tiger Balm, aka a miracle balm. Before I’d visited Thailand, I had no idea what it was but once I found out about it, it seemed to be everywhere! And it’s super cheap. And super awesome.
Introduced to the world by a Chinese herbalist, Tiger Balm can be used to treat itching (super handy for putting on annoying mosquito bites), sprains, headaches, congestion from allergies, and more. It’s also really helpful when using it as a mosquito repellent! Or rubbing it on your chest if you have a cold. I find myself using it often to relieve headaches. No doubt, it’s definitely an odd travel essential I can’t go without.
You can get your miracle Tiger Balm here.
6. Exfoliating glove.
While traveling, I frequently get the feeling that my skin is “dirty” and sometimes can never get the dirtiness off. Ever get that feeling too? It’s horrible! Like if you’ve been riding a motorbike all day or walking around in the suffocating heat sweating your ass off. Not a fun feeling, amirite?
That’s why I absolutely love traveling with my exfoliating glove! After using it and having it scrub away all the nastiness, I feel soo so so much better and cleaner. It’s amazing. And even better? It’s super easy to pack since you can scrunch it up and stick it anywhere in your bag!
Get your exfoliating glove here.
7. Packing cubes.
Do you ever find yourself searching through your bag, unable to find what you’re looking for because it’s such a jumbled mess? Me too! That’s why I now find myself never traveling without my handy dandy packing cubes.
They help me keep everything in my suitcase and backpack super organized and I can usually find something I need within seconds! With these packing cubes, I can keep my shirts, pants, underwear, swimsuits, and toiletries all separated and keep neat. It’s fantastic!
Get your handy dandy packing cubes here.
8. Vacuum packing rolling bags.
Another win for a someone who loves to be super organized – aka me! These things are the best for when you have limited space but still would like to carry more clothes than you need. Also me.
Perfect for carry-ons, small suitcases, or a weekend getaway backpack, these vacuum packing bags keep your clothes neat and tightly tucked away. All you need to do is fold up your clothes, stick em’ in, close the bag, and roll em’ up. BOOM! All your clothes that used to take up half your bag now take up about a 1/4th of it. Super handy!
Watch a video on how to use these vacuum packing rolling bags here.
And then get your own vacuum packing rolling bags here.
9. Packable clothesline.
Many think I’m a weirdo for carrying this around with me while traveling but let me tell you, it’s came in so handy! Just imagine, you’ve just washed your clothes, yet you’re staying in a 20 bed dorm room with absolutely no where to hang them to dry. So, now you’re stuck with dripping wet clothes.
This hasn’t happened to me! Because I always carry my packable clothesline with me. Super small and super easy to roll up and stick in my backpack, this little thing is extremely handy. Especially when I’m in the middle of nowhere, like parts of Southeast Asia, and have limited amenities – like being unable to dry my clothes effectively. It’s no fun when you have to stick wet clothes into your bag!
Get your packable clothesline here.
10. Solid perfume.
Who wants to smell bad or stinky while traveling around the world? Not me! But who wants to carry multiple little bottles of liquid perfume with them, that just takes up loads of space in your liquids bag and ultimately ends up getting thrown out because it’s a waste of valuable packing space?
It can be hard to justify bringing along liquid perfume and that’s why I always travel with a container of solid perfume! Easy to pack and takes up very little space in your toiletries bag, solid perfume is your go-to item to smell amazing.
Get your solid perfume here and smell brilliant.
Well, there you have it! My favorite, odd essentials I’ll never travel without.
Tell me, what are you favorite “weird” or “strange” items you never travel without? Let me know in the comments!
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