Travel Essentials

I LOATHE packing. I love to travel, but I hate packing. I’m a chronic overpacker, and it stresses me out (but not nearly as much as getting somewhere and feeling like I have nothing to wear). My packing list has to be very specific, or I will forget something, and it’s usually a full sheet of paper long.

I went to Chicago over the weekend (if you want to see my trip details check out my latest post), and I thought I’d share my travel essentials. I think, for the first time ever, I actually didn’t forget anything, although I did run out of floss.

These are items I take on every trip with me. I’m not including clothing options, because that varies depending where I’m going, when, and how long I’m staying. One thing I will say about my clothing when packing is that I like to have options. I pack more than necessary. What if it rains and you get soaked? What if you spill something on your shirt or pants? I always like to have at least one extra set of shirts and pants.


  • essentialsA toothbrush and toothpaste – duh. I got my travel toothbrush from Sephora.
  • Floss – again, duh. This is necessary for me, and I usually keep it in my purse, just in case I get something stuck in my teeth while I’m out and about. There’s nothing worse than not being able to get something out of your teeth and having no way to get it out.
  • Deodorant – nobody wants to be out and about anywhere without deodorant.
  • Face wash – Sometimes I can get by with just taking face wipes for a short trip, but I knew I would be wearing full makeup this weekend, so I packed some actual face wash also.
  • Face wipes – I like taking my makeup off with cleanser at night, especially when I’ve worn a lot of makeup during the day, and wiping my face with a wipe in the morning to remove any leftover makeup that I may have missed or any dirt and oils left on my skin throughout the night.
  • Moisturizer – My face is very dry, and I have to moisturize daily. I definitely have to have this on trips.
  • Body wash – showers are obviously necessary. I know most hotels have this in the room, but I like to take my own just in case.
  • Body spray – I have a little travel-size container for body spray. I got mine at Kohl’s, but a lot of drugstores and clothing stores carry them, and Sephora also carries them in the travel section. I keep this in my purse for freshening up when I’m not at the hotel, and I use the same one in my hotel if I want to. It’s great if you do sweat a little and want to make sure you’re not stinky. Sample perfumes also work great. You can always go to Sephora or Ulta and ask for a sample size of a perfume you like, and just toss that in your bag.
  • beauty-essentialsA contact case and glasses – I am pretty much blind without my glasses or contacts, so this is a must for me. I have to have a pair of each with me for all my trips. I also take an extra pair of contacts with me just in case I drop one, or one rips or gets smudged.
  • Chapstick – I can’t go anywhere without chapstick. This is definitely a necessity for me.
  • Bobby pins – I try to wear my hair down as much as possible when I travel, but bobby pins are something I keep with me just in case I need them. It may rain, or I may get hot and want to put my hair up, or I may just want to pin my bangs back. Either way, I always pack bobby pins.
  • A brush
  • Band aids – if I’m on my feet for a long period of time, I’ll probably get a blister. It doesn’t matter what shoes I’m wearing, this seems to always happen. So I keep some band aids in my purse just in case.

Random items:

  • A rain jacket (I know, this falls under clothing. But it doesn’t matter where I go, this is an essential for me)- I ALWAYS pack a rain jacket. Always. I don’t trust weather apps. If I don’t take a rain jacket, it never fails. It WILL rain. I like to have this with me just in case.
  • A portable phone charger – you can find these almost anywhere. Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, and most other drugstores carry these. These are great if you’re going to be out and away from a hotel all day. It’s a great way to make sure your phone will stay charged all day, allowing you to use it for photos or keeping up with your travel buddies (or making sure you don’t get lost). I got a retractable charging cord from Walgreens, which I love for travelling. I can toss it in my purse and it doesn’t take up much space or get tangled with everything else in my bag.
  • for-the-purseMakeup – Let me know if you want to see my travel makeup list, but makeup is definitely something I travel with.
  • Jewelry – I always take a few different jewelry options. I keep them in a little monogrammed pencil pouch when I travel to keep them organized. I get little sheer bags at the Dollar Tree (in the baby shower section) to put my jewelry in so necklaces don’t get tangled and earring sets stay together.
  • A phone charger – Again, duh. I usually pack at least one wall charger and a couple of cords, just in case one stops working.
  • Sunglasses – I definitely need sunglasses for travel. I keep these in my purse so I don’t misplace them and can have them with me at all times.
  • Downy Wrinkle Release – I like to pack this in case any of my clothes get wrinkled on the way to my destination. Some places you stay may not have an iron, and this is a quick fix to help get wrinkles out.

I think that’s it for my essentials! Is there anything you think is an essential travel item that I don’t have listed? Do you see anything I’ve missed that I NEED to pack? Let me know in the comments below!