Travel Packing Essentials

Embarking on a journey, whether a weekend getaway or an extended adventure, requires careful consideration of essential items to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. From practical tools to comfort-inducing gadgets, the right travel essentials can make all the difference between a trip fraught with inconvenience and one filled with seamless moments. In this article, we delve into the must-have items every traveler should pack before setting out on their next expedition. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time adventurer, these indispensable travel companions are sure to enhance your journey and make every moment away from home more comfortable and convenient.

Packing Cubes

Once upon a time when hurrying across a very busy airport concourse I reached into my bag to get a sweater and along with my sweater and out flew some underwear which promptly landed at the feet of a very serious looking man who looked at me disapprovingly over his glasses.

I have used packing cubes ever since and you should too. Aside from saving you the embarrassment of having your underwear land on a strangers foot they will keep your pack tidy and enable you to always be able to find what you need.

What packing cubes I travel with

Two medium cube ( L 27cm x W 19cm x H 8cm) for my clothing.

One small cube (L 27cm x W 19cm x H 8cm) for underwear.

One shoe bag which fits one pair of shoes and a pair of flip flops.

One extra small cell for general bits and bobs.

One small padded cell for a torch, mini Bluetooth speaker.

One small dry sac to protect electronics when going anywhere ‘wet’

One cable organiser which I have just discovered and I love it. In it I store all my charge cables, power adapters, and USBs that used to float around my pack.

Calico draw-string bag for dirty clothes. Although a word of advice transfer your washing to a plastic bag before you drop it off at the laundry as you may not get it back.

Swiss Army Knife

You do not need a knife with a hundred different tools but we have found the medium pocket knife pretty jolly useful from opening a bottle of wine to the time OH got a fish bone lodged in his gum.

These are the tools I like in a Swiss army knife

  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Corkscrew
  • Multipurpose hook

And Ok yes I travel with a Spork much to OH’s amusement, I find it handy when trying to eat on long haul trains and buses and it fits neatly into one of my packing cells.

Torch and/or Headlight

A torch is essential in your travel knit…critical when fossicking for something in your pack in the middle of the night on that bus/train or trying to find the toilet in the dark in a remote homestay.

Whether to use a torch or a headlight is a personal choice. I like the headlight and OH likes a torch.


A padlock is small and takes up no space at all in your luggage but can save you from all sorts of headaches by allowing you to secure your luggage.

Useful to lock you pack / suitcase and to secure lockers in hostels and guesthouses.

Medical Kit

A basic medical kit is a good thing to pack especially when travelling in remote areas. Remember vast areas of the world do not have many of the simple medicines that are readily available to us.

The medical kit we carry comes for the Australian Travel Doctor and has basic first aid equipment such as bandages and antiseptic as well as some basic medicines. It also comes with an excellent booklet on travel illnesses and how to treat them.

Travel Adapter

Today we have so many items that need charging a universal travel adapter is essential. Countries or regions have different types of plugs so it necessary to ensure you have a unit that you can plug your cable into that will then plug into the power socket in the country you are in. 

Ziplock Bag

I always have a stash of sandwich size ziploc bags in my pack. Handy for storing anything wet such as soap and toiletries or dry and clean.