Packing Lists Travel

Top Five Travel Essentials

My job requires travel, so I’m frequently on the road (or more appropriately, in the air). I actually hit a slow spot travel-wise recently and have been home for a while, but I’m heading out again this week. Growing up, I was definitely a homebody and never expected I’d get a job that required travel, but I’ve really come to enjoy it!

I’m planning on expanding this into a whole series of posts, but I thought it would be good to start off with my top five travel essentials. Everything listed below are good for both work and personal travel, and they are all items I own and love!

Tech Organizer

Capra Gadget Travel Bag in Dark Brown Leather

Embarrassing story: I once went on a weeklong work trip and forgot my laptop charger! Luckily, I was traveling with a coworker of mine who let me borrow her charger for the day before my replacement Amazon order arrived. That following Christmas, my parents gave me a beautiful leather cable organizer case to hold all of my cords. My dad (who was apparently not the gift-picker) was surprised that I was so excited to get it, because “it’s just a case, right?”

I actually find it to be super useful! I keep all of my tech accessories in there: iPhone cable, mini-USB cable, power bank, spare laptop charger, travel mouse, headphones, adapters, number pad… Okay, I carry a lot of stuff. But it’s really helpful to have a dedicated spot so I don’t forget anything important, whether it’s leaving it at home or (the worst!) leaving it at the hotel.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Deuter Wash Center Lite II

My parents are always looking for handy travel items, and gave me one of these toiletry cases. It’s a really great lightweight and durable toiletry bag – it has a handy-dandy hook to hang over a towel bar and keep all your items corralled, which is super useful if you end up in a place with no counter space. I keep mine packed and ready to go at all times with airline-approved toiletry sizes.

Lightweight Carry-On Suitcase

Delsey Hyperlite 2.0 20″ Carry-on Expandable Spinner Suitcase

I use a lightweight carry-on suitcase for all of my trips – preferably soft sided, since those seem to be lighter than the hard sided suitcases (and you get a little more wiggle room if you’re running low on space!). “Spinner” suitcases are ones with four wheels instead of two. They’re a lot easier to maneuver around busy airports.

I have a Delsey Hyperlite 2.0 spinner in bright orange – not the most fashionable color, but you can see that sucker from a mile away! The bright orange has been discontinued, but this olive color is really beautiful in person and is more easily identified than black.

Delsey suitcases typically come with a warranty – this model in particular is 10 years. I actually had to use it recently, as I was having trouble withdrawing and storing my retractable handle. My local suitcase repair shop is a Delsey warranty service center, and they fixed it without any issues.

Over-Ear Headphones

Bose Soundlink II Around-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones – noise canceling option

Although a lot of people swear by it, I’m not a fan of noise-canceling headphones – I tried a pair and got motion sick almost instantaneously! It’s speculated that this occurs when your inner ear detects the vibrations created by white noise, but your eyes don’t detect any coordinating movement (via Gizmodo). I’m pretty prone to motion sickness to begin with, so it makes sense that they don’t work for me.

I’ve found that over-ear headphones without the noise-canceling ability still do a really good job of blocking out a lot of sound. I use the Bose Soundlink II and highly recommend them! Each charge lasts for hours – I’ve taken them on a transatlantic flight and wasn’t even close to running out the battery. They also remember multiple devices. I’ve paired mine with three different devices and the headphones will automatically connect when you turn them on.

Laptop Bag

Knomo London Grosvenor Place 15″ Laptop Tote Bag

If I HAD to choose, this is probably my favorite thing on this list. My job provided branded backpacks for our laptops – while convenient, they weren’t exactly the most stylish, especially in a dress and heels. I was looking for a more feminine laptop bag that would work as a carry-on as well, and bought the Knomo London Grosvenor Tote. I love it so much, I’m dedicating a whole post to it (so stand by!)

This post contains affiliate links, but none of these items are sponsored!


  1. HI! I love your post as I travel almost 200 days a year for work. I am looking to purchase the Capra Leather Gadget bag and have a quick question, do your Bose headphones fit inside? I am looking for a small bag to load with my “inflight” items. I can quick grab it from my backpack, once on the plane. It will hold all those items I need inflight, without having to dig around while people are waiting to sit down. Thank you!

  2. It does fit inside! I don’t use the case that came with the headphones and just keep them in the gadget bag, it can get a little bulky depending on how many other things are inside. Usually I have a Dell laptop charger, a number pad, a mini mouse, my headphones, a portable battery, and a couple different charging cables inside the bag and they all fit comfortably.

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