Ready to begin your travels but not sure what to pack in your travel pack?
Your travel pack is your smaller day bag or your day pack. It is what you wear while navigating airports, ancient ruins, and sandy beaches.
During my experience traveling for months at a time, I was able to identify just the key essentials I needed in my travel pack.
Putting just the key essentials in your travel pack helps ensure you have everything you need without being weighed down by anything unnecessary.
This article will tell you the key items you need in your travel pack to have the best travel experience.
The Best Travel Pack
During my experience traveling for extended periods, here are the key things I have learned to value in a travel pack:
- Compact – limiting the size of your bag forces you to reduce what you bring with you.
- Washable – if you wear your travel pack everyday, you are going to want something that is easy to clean.
- Clever compartments – even if your bag is small, having separate compartments in your pack helps you to stay organized and to easily locate what you need.
With these requirements in mind, I tend to favor belt bags or small cross-body bags.
For everyday travel, I use Lululemon’s Everywhere Belt Bag.
For a more elegant look, I love Lo & Son’s Nouvelle Crossbody Bag.
Finally, check out Backcountry’s belt bags to wear during more athletic activities, like hiking.
What to pack in your travel pack: Medicine & health
Now it is time to start packing!
The first group of items I include in my travel pack fall into the category of “medicine & health”. Here are the items that I always pack:
1. Hand Sanitizer – you touch a lot of public doors, handrails, and surfaces while traveling. I have a tiny hand sanitizer bottle in my day bag. I periodically refill it from a larger bottle throughout my travels.
2. Headache/pain medicine – it is a real bummer to get a headache or muscle ache while traveling and not have a way to relieve the pain. I have a small container of headache/pain medicine with me at all times.
3. Motion sickness medicine – I get pretty bad motion sickness, so I always have motion sickness medicine with me.
4. Kleenex tissues – Rather than pack an entire travel pack of tissues, I pull out 2-3 tissues and put them in a separate compartment in my travel pack. That way I still have access to tissues, but they’re not taking up a lot of room in my bag.
Extra: Throat lozenges – Dehydration, dust, and allergies can make your throat sore during travel. I add a few throat lozenges to my day bag when I’m traveling in an environment that I think might irritate my throat.
What to pack: Personal appearance & hygiene
I find it helpful to have these personal appearance and hygiene items with me in my travel pack:
5. Combo hairbrush and mirror – the ever practical brush/mirror combo is a must-pack.
6. Hair tie – I always keep a hair tie in my bag. It’s good for pulling hair off the neck on hot days. It also doubles as a rubber band or a loop to help close a broken suitcase zipper.
7. Chapstick – I am rarely without this chapstick. My mom keeps me stocked up because she knows I like it so much!
8. Gum – the onions from that Greek salad have a way of lingering. Bring along some peppermint gum for fresh breath throughout the day.
9. Floss – having food stuck in your teeth is no way to spend your vacation! I save the tiny floss packets that my dentist gives me and always carry one in my travel pack.
10. Sunglasses – Even cloudy days can be bright enough for sunglasses (especially if you are driving). I always keep a pair handy.
Extra: Sunscreen – For days when I know I will be outside a lot, I will toss in a mini sunscreen bottle or stick into my travel pack.
What to pack in your travel pack: Currency, cards, and identification
No matter where you travel, it is always helpful to have some cash and your ATM and credit cards handy!
11. Local currency, ATM card, credit card, and hotel key:
- Local currency – if you are traveling abroad, you will want to research currency in that country. In some countries, cash is king and credit cards are rarely accepted. In other countries, the local currency may have such a high inflation rate that they prefer U.S. dollars or Euros. Knowing this information in advance can help you decide what type of cash you might need in your travel pack.
- ATM card – when traveling abroad, I always carry an ATM card with me that has no ATM fees or foreign currency conversion charges. I use Charles Schwab’s investor checking ATM card.
- Credit card – I also only use credit cards that have no foreign currency conversion charges. I use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
- Hotel key – when staying at a hotel, I always store my hotel card in the same place in my travel pack as my ATM card and credit card. Then it is easy to confirm that I have my hotel key as I am leaving the hotel room.
12. Identification / Passport – I always carry my driver’s license in my travel pack so that I have some form of identification. On travel days, I also carry my passport. Otherwise, I leave my passport in my hotel room.
13. Pen – I am amazed at how often I need to use a pen or am asked by someone else if they can use my pen. It is a great item to include in your day bag.
What to pack: Electronics
And finally, the most used items in my travel pack – electronics.
14. Phone – I am a Samsung user because I think their cameras take the best pictures and videos. I think the images are so good that I often leave my mirrorless camera at home and rely on my phone.
15. Portable charger – I rely heavily on my phone for directions, so I never want to run out of phone battery. I bring along a portable charger to make sure I always have a full phone battery.
Time to pack!
While it can be easy to overload your travel pack, having just the essentials really helps to lighten your load and enhance your travel experience.
I hope this article has helped you to identify the essential items to include in your travel pack.