Travel Tips: My Top Travel Essentials

An open suitcase filled with trendy clothes, toiletries, and a camera sitting on the floor next to a notebook and a pair of silver sandals.

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Summer is in full swing which means it’s prime travel season! As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I’ve learned there are a few items I CAN’T leave home without.

Trust me, between my day job, TravelBash and my husband’s basketball games, I have experienced my fair share of “Aww Shit” travel moments from forgotten items—like that time I almost had a meltdown in the airport because I couldn’t find my headphones!

Planning vacations may be one of my FAVORITE things to do, and planning an unforgettable vacation always starts with PACKING!

Since I am practically a Professional Vacationist, I figured I should put together a quick list of some go-to items I always throw into my purse/backpack/carry-on, or whatever you want to call it these days.

Courtnie’s Travel Essentials

First things first….my carry-on/personal bag itself. I am not going to lie, Henri Bendel who recently closed was my go to for weekend trips. With that said there are two companies that NOW rule my world: Beis + Calpak.

I don’t usually throw out names because I am not big into designer brands, nor do I happen to be a huge purse or bag lady. However, I was a loyal #HenriBendel girl, and with that said, the Jetsetter Convertible Nylon Backpack is my go-to for all personal trips and the West 57th Briefcase for work. With their closure, I have moved to The Weekender by Beis. Please do not ask if my closet is full of travel bag/luggage etc… I promise I purge each season. Anywho, for my bigger bag and carry-on luggage, my go to is #Calpak, if you haven't heard of them I suggest you check them out!

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, a few items you will find inside are:  

  1. HEADPHONES — So you guys will be proud of me, I have upgraded and so glad I did. Remember I said before you can have the nice fancy noise cancelling headphones or Beats by Dre, but I was so cool with just the same ones that came with the phone…. thanks, Apple! OH how the tides have shifted lol!!!!! I love love love my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and yes I am still singing Apple’s praise with the AIRPODS but I am now sold….yep I am a believer!

  2. Reusable plastic bags — For accidents, food, or any other reason. For example, maybe your makeup spills, maybe you need to put your wet bathing suit or sandals somewhere, or maybe items just need to be separated. You never know! #GrandmotherTip

  3. Magazine/book — I carry both! Nothing like the good ol’ smell of the library, and of course Travel + Leisure, oh how I need thee!

  4. Eye mask — For those long flights (and the annoying people sitting next to you sometimes).

  5. Pair of sneakers or flats —  Your footsies will thank you later. Comfort is key! (If you opt for the flats, try Tieks; I just tried them out this year, and they’re so comfortable, especially when traveling for work. And no, I’m not sponsored by them, I just really like the flat!) My second go to are Soludos Sneakers. Fly and good for travel…Try them yourself.

  6. Sunglasses — “Kill’em girl” sunglasses are a must for both eye protection and sassiness. I am known to wear sunglasses even when the clouds are out. I have 3 in rotation, right now my Tory Burch are my go-to pair.

  7. Charger Pack — Do I even have to explain? You shouldn’t leave home without one! No excuse for phones going dead these days—says the person who’s phone just went dead recently. One of my favorites is the Anker Powercore Portable Charger.

  8. IPad Pro — So, I don’t like carrying big bulky laptops everywhere, yet I wanted something I could use when I was on the go, but still had everything I need for work. Many people love the MacBook Air, so if that’s more your speed, go for it! The new IPad Pro though…. gotta love it! I can listen to music/ read books/ catch up on Netflix and Amazon video, and of course, feed my Google addiction. While I try to unwind while I’m on vacation, the new tech lover in me must have my iPad, cell phone, charger, and headphones. (And yet, would you believe I just got a Facebook a few months ago? No, really!)

  9. Water Bottle — H20, Agua…. Hydration is a must! With a water bottle you can always refill it throughout the day, and avoid having to buy one everywhere you go. You must stay hydrated—that jetlag is a real thing. A few of my favorite are the Nomader and S’well.

  10. Nunn Active Hydration Tablets — This is basically Gatorade without the sugar. They keep you hydrated and add electrolytes—which also serve as a magical hangover cure!

Note: I neglected saying my cell phone/passport and wallet. I figured these should be the very basics. In my wallet, I always carry a credit card/ debit card/ insurance card and license…. I also throw in some TravelBash business cards. (wink wink)

Then there is the Mini Beauty Bag—guys, all ladies have one!

Inside that bag, you’ll find the following:

  • Face towelettes & blotting sheets

  • Eye drops

  • BITE Agave Lip Balm (I love, love, love BITE- pick it up at Sephora or there is always AMAZON!)

  • Mini hand sanitizer (because people are nasty sometimes; and that means those planes, handrails, escalators and elevators are, too!)

  • Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm (who wants to look like a raccoon?!)

  • Mini Hand lotion

  • Extra ponytail holder and a couple of bobby pins (My hair's a mess after a plane ride!)

  • Floss (because the dentist says so!)

  • Mini Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray (you never know when a girl’s gotta go.)

Travel Note: Hopefully, you know you should be careful. TSA is throwing everything out these days, so make sure you have no more than 3 oz. liquids in a small plastic baggie. If you are TSA pre-check, this will help. I will discuss TSA pre-check & the benefits in another post, but I would hate for you to lose that new perfume or lotion because you neglected to double check.

Last year, I spent a fortune on some spa bath smell-good stuff from Bermuda and hubby, not listening of course, puts it in his backpack—as if I didn’t tell him to put it in his checked bag…. furious! The point is: just be smart.

Some Other Quick Packing Tips

I would also make sure to tag all of your bags, in case of any mix up. Protect your IPad, kill em’ girl sunglasses and Passport with cute traveling cases, as well. There are tons of options so you shouldn’t have a problem finding any stylish accessories for your next travel adventure.

So, what am I missing?? What needs to be added to the list? What are some of your can’t-live-without items?

Say Hello and shoot me a note, I would love to hear from you. Now that you know what to pack, you are ready to jet-set!

Eat, Drink & Be Carried Away