My Travel Must-Haves

I’ve been privileged to travel frequently over the past 5 years in ways I only dreamed of as a kid. My solo style tends to be very budget-friendly, though when I’m with others it can be a little more luxurious. Regardless, there are some staples whenever I leave home. Here are my top travel must-haves:

  1. A quick-dry towel that packs up nicely is something I travel with even when I’m not hostel-hopping. It also works great as a flexible beach or picnic blanket. I’ve had mine for 4 years now and it’s still in prime condition.
  2. Also known as a lifesaver in the digital age, external batteries are a must for me. I’ve had various versions of this Anker external battery for years. They’re small and compact and hold multiple charges for my Galaxy S8.
  3. Dr. Bronner’s – I literally do not travel anywhere without this. For the uninitiated, it’s got 18 uses in these tiny plane-friendly bottles. My top 3 uses are as hand soap, body wash, and shampoo.
  4. A multi-use scarf. This can be any large scarf or sarong that you have. I always carry one with me as it can be 1) a scarf when it’s windy or cold, 2) a wrap when it’s cold or I need to cover up to enter a sacred site, 3) a sarong for the beach or to cover my legs for sacred sites, 4) a beach towel so you don’t have to pack one of those, 5) a head covering when you need that, and 6) a pillow cover when you have questionable linens. It should be easy to wash, and I prefer solid colored ones that are easier to match with all my outfits. Here’s one similar to the one I brought with me during this latest five-month sojourn in Asia.
  5. Travel Laundry Clips – These things are seriously genius and are especially perfect for germaphobic hostel-hoppers like me. I never knew you could revolutionize a clothespin, but here it is. With these wonderful loops, you can hang up your towel or laundry anywhere you can loop these clothespins around. You can also use these to create a privacy curtain with the aforementioned utility scarf. They’re also handy at home if you need to hang dry something off your shower rod (hi fellow apartment dwellers!).
  6. Despite being someone who grew up with torrential Florida thunderstorms, I actually didn’t own a rain jacket until I was in my mid-20s. But this Marmot rain jacket was a lifesaver in Asia. It’s perfect for travels to warmer locales as it serves as a rain jacket, a windbreaker, and a packable extra layer for slightly chilly mornings and nights.
  7. Sun protection is guaranteed with this Neutrogena daily moisturizer with SPF 50. I’m not always the best about putting on sunscreen everywhere, all the time, so at least with this my face is protected.
  8. I’m pretty darn adventurous when it comes to eating whatever, wherever when I travel, so it’s always a good idea for me to keep some Imodium nearby for the Bali Belly, Montezuma’s Revenge, or whatever else you get. Real talk though: when I do get sick, it’s usually from restaurant food and not street food. 

Plus, my must-haves for travel blogging:

  1. My Samsung Galaxy S8 had the best smartphone camera at the time of its release. Make sure you get it unlocked for easy SIM card changes while traveling!
  2. Not rich enough to shell out for a Macbook? This Asus Zenbook is the best MacBook Air substitute I found (in Feb. 2018) with similar specs at a fraction of the cost.
Things I pack for every trip