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My absolute travel must have items

Gosh – I truly dislike packing for trips! I am the person who is literally putting crap in my bags as I am walking out the door. Sometimes, I even have to go back and grab some more stuff because I always procrastinate before a trip. I like to think I am totally organized and I am to some extent. I have lodging, car rentals, airfare, and all of the important stuff booked months in advance but it is the small stuff – the items like clothing and toiletries or chargers – that I tend to space out on.

But I have some items that I always take with me faithfully when I travel and I am sure you do too! Some are for comfort, some are for entertainment, and some are out of sheer necessity. Let’s take a look at my absolute travel must have items that I always have with me if I am flying/driving internationally or domestically. (Everything is linked for easy shopping!)

  1. First up, my most important item I take with me is my camera – one of my most treasured possessions. As a photographer, I live through pictures. The model that I use is a Canon 5D Mark III. I saved up for this bad boy for a LONG time. It takes incredible images if you know what you are doing manually (f-stops, depth of field, all that photography mumbo jumbo – that is another post in itself). The image size from the 22.1MP makes it so easy to print large scale travel photos too. But don’t be scared if you don’t have the $3000 to shell out for a camera body. I used my Canon Rebel XS kit on my very first study abroad trip to Siena and I didn’t really do anything but shoot on auto and produced incredible pictures. I will say that the video capabilities are pretty awesome too!
    • Extra Tip: Be sure to get an SD card of good size for your images. I have dual card slots in my camera (one SD and one CF in case of card corruption) and they both are 32GB in size. Always, and I mean ALWAYS upload your images to your computer when traveling as much as you can (daily if possible). If something was to happen to your camera, your images/videos could be lost forever.
  2. This one may be a bit self-explanatory but believe me, not having a camera battery charger is kinda important. I forgot it once and it was such a rookie move on my part. Been there, done that, don’t wanna join that club. Luckily my friend had one that I could borrow but that would majorly stink to run out of battery mid-trip. Don’t be like me!
  3. There is truly nothing like the portability of having a MacBook (or your own choice of laptop) versus relying on an iPhone or iPad. Not only are you able to upload and dump all of your photos to you computer, you are able to write content (if you are a blogger like moi), edit easily if you use PS CC, and easily upload from your computer. I love to use mine to wind down at night and write down my favorite memories of the day so I won’t forget. Traveling can be high-paced and full of so many amazing moments that your brain may forget the little details. I try to sit down and write everything I can at the end of the night while sitting in bed.
  4. Oh technology, how I am attached to thee. It seems these days, my phone is never more than an arm-length away. It is an unhealthy obsession whether I am checking my social media (everyday I’m scrolling…), email, or getting to that next level of candy crush. I love my tiny screen of information. When I am traveling, I love having my iPhone with me to kill some boredom especially on long flights. It’s also handy for you know, keeping in touch with people and such. BUT it is not required. I lived a whole month without my phone while I studied abroad. It’s possible – but ain’t nobody got time for that! My iPad Air 2 is more for convenience in reading or watching some shows if wifi is available on the planes.
  5. So I am not one to shell out money for a brand especially when there are alternatives of similar quality for much cheaper. So take that little nugget and digest it when I tell you I have some Beats wireless bluetooth headphones. In a round about way, I did pay for them but in actuality, they were an add-on when I purchased my iMac for my photography business. I had plans on selling them because I honestly didn’t think I would use them but oh my goodness, they are amazing. Their sound blocking ability while in flight is perfect for those annoying noises *engines and crying kids alike* when you have to sleep in order to not be jet-lagged. Now I am not telling you to go spend hundreds of dollars on headphones but I will tell you that they are truly lovely and the ear-padding is butter soft. Oh and the sound clarity is bomb! So read into that what you may.
  6. My day is not complete without a swipe of Burt’s Bee beeswax original chapstick. I have one with me in my purse and I always have some stashed in places I am at for long periods of time. When traveling to new places with different climates and humidity levels, my lips are usually the first to know. It may seem like something so small but a definite must have no matter where I go. Along the same lines, I like to have a pretty lipstick and a highlighter stick when traveling because it helps me not look like death of the traveler. Just a few swipes of each and I look like a human who just took a refreshing nap and not an 8 hour flight
  7. This beautiful leather journal has been my most reliable travel companion for the last 5 years. Full of pressed flowers, wine labels, doodles, ticket stubs, and written journal entries. I like that I have and can continually add different travel momentos to it. I feel like it will tell a very fond story when I am older.
  8. I just love this little instax mini camera. So much so that I wrote a blog post on why you should get it for your travels. In short, just think of all the cool instant photos you can take and share (or hoard like I do!) Be sure to pack plenty of film too!
  9. Rounding out the list of my absolute travel must have items is my WD passport external 2 TB hardrive. Not as fancy as a set of Beats headphones or a Canon camera or an Apple product but just as vital. I am a nut job when it comes to my pictures (see items 1, 2, 7 and 8). I am always so worried about losing them. So, that being said, I usually have an external hard drive to put an extra copy of my images/videos. You know, just in case! Be sure to buy one that is formatted for your brand of computer (Windows vs Mac!)

Some other items I take with me depending on a trip!

What are your absolute travel must have items? Comment below and it may end up on my list too!


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that should you choose to purchase something, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the blog up and running.

Sami Mastrario
Sami Mastrario

The cool aunt. Plant novice who loves to travel to cool places, eat unadventurous food, and take pretty photos.

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