Travel Hacks

7 Must Have Items for First Time Travelers

Kacey Mya
January 16, 2024

You’ve finally taken the plunge and booked that trip you’ve been talking about. Don’t let packing your bag become a stressful part of that's where the fun starts.

All you’ll need is this handy checklist to make sure you don’t forget any of those essential items.

So what does that include?

Check out the list below for seven must-haves that will leave you feeling prepared, relaxed and ready to take on this new adventure you’ve booked.

1. A carry on you absolutely love (that meets airport regulations)


This is by far probably the most important item to begin with. Make sure you invest in a carry-on bag that you love – that is also universally approved as cabin baggage on all airlines. 

This will allow you to know exactly what you can pack, and you won’t have to worry about hidden baggage fees at check-in.

2. Tablet, pen and paper


It’s true when you travel you most likely enjoy staying connected to friends or family – even the office. An upside to bringing a tablet is that is takes up much less space in your bag and won’t weigh you down. You’ll have the connectivity of a full laptop (especially with new options like the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface equivalent).

It’s also useful to carry a notebook and some pens in case you want to jot down some notes or other important information about your destination during the flight.

3. Approved Toiletry bag

Make it easy on yourself when you arrive in your destination by packing a handy toiletry bag with shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, aspirin, facial wipes, toothpaste and some hand cream. You’ll be able to stay fresh with no problems all throughout your travels. A helpful tip for first-time travelers – invest in some refillable bottles to make sure you don’t exceed the approved carry-on size for liquids.

One of the best choices on the market are silicone bottles. They are approved by TSA, flexible for your carry-on and let you squeeze every last bit out of the bottle, which is always useful when you’re on the road.

4. Find universal power strip to stay charged

Staying connected also requires you to have the ability to recharge all of your devices. It’s not always easy to find power outlets in airports (that work or are available). Pick up a universal power strip that will eliminate this issue

5) Pack a change of clothes and a travel towel


You’ll definitely want to put an extra change of clothes in your carry-on. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination – but your bags don’t. Just in case that happens, you won’t be left with absolutely nothing. Another commonly forgotten item (even by avid travelers) is a proper workout towel. This is can be extremely versatile for quick clean ups in the airport terminal and for when you venture outdoors for a good hike. 

The towel won’t take up much space, and a good quality one will last you – so you’re always prepared for your next trip.

6. Invest in a travel mug

A helpful and handy part of travel gear you should never forget, but most do, is a leak proof travel mug when you pack your bag, and it’s not just for hot beverages. It’ll leave you a container to always refill when you’re looking for some water, but you can also throw some fragile or small items like sunglasses and jewelry.  

One very important note though: always make sure the water you want to refill your mug with is drinkable. This is extremely important if you plan on venturing out into the wilderness.

7. Throw in a foldable Tote/Sac for shopping


Finally, you’ll want to throw in a foldable tote or sac in your carry-on. 

What will you use it for? A lot of things actually. It’ll be super handy for grocery shopping while you’re traveling, and you’ll avoid paying for bags at the cash register. You can use it to separate your dirty clothes from the clean, flea market purchases or even a day at the beach. It’s seriously a great investment.

While you may have some other items you want to include in your bags, these 7 items are the most essential. They also won’t weigh you down – which is another important point to consider when packing for a trip. Lugging heavy bags through the airport is probably the least enjoyable thing ever.

But, you won’t be stressed, you’ll be ready to hop and that plane, and you’ll most likely find that one trip won’t be enough. As a prepared traveler, you’ll get a taste of that wanderlust bug from the very beginning, and you may never come back.

Kacey Mya
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!


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