This morning I woke up to a phone alert that my one-way return flight from Hawaii to San Diego had dropped almost one hundred dollars. Like the crazy person I am—awake and ready to go at four in the morning—I squinted my eyes at my phone screen, clicked, and purchased that discounted flight. And just in the nick of time, too. Only three hours later that same flight had skyrocketed up almost $200!
I don’t know about you, but traveling, to me, has become a necessity. It doesn’t have to be wild, around-the-world trips with lavish hotels and out-of-budget expenses. And it doesn’t have to be all the time, or for the sake of posting on Instagram. To me, travel is about expanding my horizons, getting to new places, meeting new people, and taking advantage of the life and career I have in the best way that I can.
I love airports, I love flying, and I even love packing! But anyone who travels frequently knows that one of the worst feelings in the world is forgetting something you absolutely needed.
From all-weather gear, to portable chargers, to convenient backpacks, here are my travel must-haves that you need to include in your carry on next trip.
1. This nifty seven-in-one water bottle.
Okay, hands down, this is one of the best (and coolest!) bottle purchases I’ve ever made. (And I’ve bought a lot over the years!) While I won’t talk negative about the nifty ‘beer-hiding bottles’ and ‘portable k-cups’ I’ve purchased, this Multi-Flask by Precidio Design is definitely my favorite.
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to do is bring a bunch of different bottles/containers for different drinks. That’s why I appreciate the Multi-Flask so much.
This bottle comes with two bottles—one that’s an insulated thermos and the other that’s a plastic, BPA-free water bottle—and a variety of inserts (which can all fit within the two bottles!). This adds up to seven different options total!
You have the hot coffee, hot tea, cold thermal bottle (because of the interior insulation of the thermos, which lasts up to 24 hours!), protein shaker/smoothie, water bottle with spout, infuser bottle, and cold brew with brew basket.
The caps are either wide-mouth for thicker drinks, ‘sip’ lid for hot beverages, and even an opening for a straw! Everything is also easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and super convenient. Now when you travel you can have everything you like with the simplicity of two bottles!
[Here’s where you can check out + purchase your Multi-Flask!]
2. This tiny but mighty umbrella.
Hedgehog products have my heart, officially after the long rainy season we’ve had in California. What I love about their umbrellas is
a) how small and portable they are and
b) how durable they are, even with the smaller size.
Hedgehog umbrellas are 15 ounces and measure only 13 inches when closed. They are lightweight and tiny enough to throw in a carry on with ease!
Every Hedgehog umbrella comes with dual carbon fiber ribs to prevent from turning inside out, even in the highest winds. They use what the company calls, ‘Rib Suspension System’ design that actually gives more flexibility as the weather gets stronger, keeping you protected and dry. The umbrellas have interchangeable canopies, too, if you want to be stylish while traveling.
[Here’s where you can get your own umbrella!]
3. A lightweight down jacket for any weather or temp.
No matter how much you try to prepare for the weather on your trip, it’s inevitable that something changes, totally thwarting all your best-laid plans. That’s why I’m thankful I invested in this lightweight, down jacket.
It’s warm enough to protect against cold, water repellent for rain, and compact enough that you can roll or tuck into a carry on or purse. It’s also fashionable, too, and comes in nine different colors: pink, black, grey, blue, light blue, navy, and red.
PS: It doubles as a great airplane pillow, too!
[Here’s where you can purchase your own down jacket.]
4. This mini but strong portable charger.
I’ve written about my favorite luxury travel products, and that’s where this EcoFlow RIVER Rapid made its first appearance. Because it’s so small, yet super powerful, it’s gracing this list, too!
This tiny charger is only 3 inches tall and has a 5000mAH capacity, which (in laymen’s terms) means it delivers 18W of charge. Plus it has a quick-charge USB-C port for any and all devices that are compatible.
As a Lenovo laptop user, I’ve relied in this charger may times to bring my computer back to health (not to mention my cell phone on the daily!). It works well and fast.
[Here’s where you can snag your own EcoFlow RIVER Rapid.]
5. This small (and necessary) luggage scale.
Have you ever stressed about whether or not your checked bag would meet the weight limit? Have you started sweating bullets in the middle of the airport as you transfer things from checked baggage to carry on? Been there, done that (many times).
When I finally invested in this portable luggage scale, my life was changed. Not only is this gadget super convenient but it’s smart, too. You can make sure your bags are within the limits before you leave the house.
[Here’s where you can buy your own.]
6. This ‘secret’ infinity scarf.
I’m a big fan of infinity scarves in general. I also love the Infinity Pillow, which is a pillow literally shaped (and worn) like a scarf. (You can read more about that right here.) But this scarf is another travel must-have, and perhaps even more useful in terms of all that it can transport and hide.
This scarf has a secret pocket along the inside that’s big enough to store your wallet, keys, and even phone. It looks just like a regular scarf and comes in nine different colors!
[Here’s where you can order your own travel scarf.]
7. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
If you’re into over-the-ear headphones these Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones are the ones for you. In a sleek black or gold color, these headphones look good and block out all annoying noises (which is perfect for your flight). They fold to fit in a small travel case and can run up to 30 hours on a single charge.
[Buy your over-the-ear pair right now.]
If smaller is your thing, these Plantronics BackBeat Go headphones are awesome because they’re lightweight, totally compact-able, and meant to fit securely in your ears. (They’re also less expensive, if budget is a top consideration for you.)
These headphones last less long than the above (only 10 hours as opposed to 30 on a single charge) but they have a dual-use cable to allow you to both charge and listen simultaneously—a must-have for longer flights!
[Here’s where you can get the Plantronics headphones.]
8. A fit-everything-inside travel backpack.
I love this travel duffel because it’s a converter—both a backpack and traditional bag—and can be worn on your back, carried with handles, or across body/over the shoulder.
The bag comes in six colors and two sizes: standard (23 inch) and large (about 5 inches wider). It’s made from a tear-resistant material and breathable mesh, and it has a ventilated compartment on the bottom for shoes, plus multiple pockets. It’s definitely one of my travel must-haves as a carry on or additional backpack.
[Here’s where you can order your own duffel backpack.]
PS: There are a variety of other travel must-haves out there. Feel free to share your own in the comments section below! You can also browse other best gifts for travelers.