seven essential items you'll need on your next trip abroad

By: Sarah

As a frequent traveler and digital nomad, I’ve lived in 27 countries, visited 123 cities, and traveled 210,993 miles in the last two years (thanks Google timeline for the stats)! Because of all of this exploring I’ve learned a lot about what you need (and don’t need) when traveling the world. This list includes the absolute travel essentials to keep you traveling better, cheaper, and longer.

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Ceptics World Travel Adapter Kit | 2 USB + 2 US Outlets - Grounded

If you’re traveling outside of your country, you’ll likely encounter different plugs and voltage levels. If you’re not prepared to handle this, it could ruin your electronics. I remember on my first trip to Italy in high school I traveled without a voltage converting adaptor and fried my hair straightener the first day of the trip. For the rest of the vacation, I had to rock a poofy mess as a hair-do. It wasn’t cute.

Ceptics kit makes it easy to learn which adaptor to bring on your trip.

Ceptics kit makes it easy to learn which adaptor to bring on your trip.

If I had known what I know now, I would have bought a travel adaptor with surge protection and grounding. I recommend using Ceptics. They have a travel adaptor kit that can charge up to five devices at once with a smart voltage indicator. The kit comes with plug adaptors for 200 countries, so you are ready to go almost anywhere you could travel to in the world.

This brand is also helpful because they have a YouTube channel that provides tons of helpful tips for for people who have questions about traveling overseas. Click here to watch. 

VICHY Mineral 89

Did you know that a plane is drier than a desert? This means that long flights are pretty frightening for your skin. Since I’ve traveled nearly a quarter of a million miles in two years, I’ve tried a lot of skin care products, including moisturizers, serums, and masks. The one that I’ve found most effective in retaining moisture is Mineral 89, a Hyaluronic Acid Face Moisturizer created by VICHY Laboratories.

Boarding a plane with my Mineral 89!

Boarding a plane with my Mineral 89!

Mineral 89 contains 15 Mineral Rich Water with Hyaluronic Acid to fortify skin and make it more resistant to visible aging caused by pollution, stress to skin, and fatigue (aka everything you experience while traveling). It has 89% Mineralizing Thermal water that delivers a boost of hydration for a vibrant, healthy glow.

VICHY Mineral 89

VICHY Mineral 89

In addition to its long-term hydration effects, what I also love about it is that it is a lightweight, fast-absorbing 100% transparent face moisturizer that goes on with a clean, matte finish. Many other moisturizers make my skin look greasy or shiny, which is not a nice look when in public!

VICHYs Aqualia Thermal line

VICHYs Aqualia Thermal line

I also recommend their Aqualia Thermal line. It is great for dry skin and anti-aging. Each morning I apply their Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration. This thick cream soaks in quickly and is paraben-free with 97% Natural Origin Ingredients. It provides 48-hour dynamic hydration, allowing me to feel moisturized all day. At night, I use their Aqualia Thermal Night Spa. It is an ultra-comfortable, velvety sleep mask that infuses the skin with hydration overnight, when skin is most receptive to treatments. It is most effective way to wake up in the morning with soft, soothed, and supple skin.

banale omni pillow

I have tried so many travel pillows and the one problem they don’t solve that the Banale Omni Pillow does is portability. The Banale pillow is so compact you can fit it in a small purse, yet it can expand into a full size neck pillow and even a mini full pillow for sleeping. It can be turned in 3 different shapes: neck pillow, double cushion and bed pillow. It is made from 100% pure memory foam, which makes it extremely comfortable. After buying the omni pillow, no other travel pillow can compare!

Banalee Final.jpg

rechargeable cell phone case

One of my biggest struggles used to be my phone running out of battery while exploring a new destination. It makes sense that this happens because when you’re traveling you end up using your phone as a GPS, camera, computer, and a communication device. The best fix for this is getting a rechargeable cell phone case. I use the Trianium rechargeable cell phone case over an external extra battery because when I plug my phone in at night it charges both the phone and the case. I’ve tried external batteries before but I find them clunky and easy to forget to charge.

A cell phone battery gets used even faster when taking photos. Have the battery pack helps keep your charge longer.  Hair by  Sajah Beauty

A cell phone battery gets used even faster when taking photos. Have the battery pack helps keep your charge longer.

Hair by Sajah Beauty

The Trianium rechargeable cell phone case effectively provides 100%+ extra battery life, which is equivalent to add 30 hours talk time or 13 hours web browsing time. It also has a 360° comprehensive bumper design and hard-shell backplate that protects my phone from scratches and other daily wear and tear.

Trianiums rechargeable cell phone case is discreet yet powerful.

Trianiums rechargeable cell phone case is discreet yet powerful.

Portable Weight Scale for Luggage

Airlines are notorious for charging heavy fines for overweight baggage. To avoid getting charged, I travel with a portable weight scale. You can get these from a variety of brands online. The most important thing to look for is a long-lasting battery, a light-weight scale, and the ability to weigh your bags in pounds and kilos (this is especially useful if you are traveling internationally).

This is the luggage scale I use, however, it is no longer sold online. I recommend the one I linked to on Amazon above.

This is the luggage scale I use, however, it is no longer sold online. I recommend the one I linked to on Amazon above.

Kindle Paperwhite

I am a big fan of reading but what I don’t enjoy is the weight that books add to luggage (hence the luggage scale above)! Even though I prefer flipping through the pages of an actual book, I’ve switched to a Kindle when it comes to traveling.

Enjoying a book on my kindle

Enjoying a book on my kindle

The Kindle can hold tens of thousands of books, magazines, or comics and is as light as a feather. It also has a screen that mimics the pages of a book, which is nice because it doesn’t feel like you are reading from an electronic device. I recommend getting the Kindle Paperwhite because it is backlit and waterproof (meaning you can read it in the pool or bath worry-free)!

The kindle screen looks more like a book than an electronic device.

The kindle screen looks more like a book than an electronic device.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Before I got the Bose noise cancelling headphones I was a skeptic. I thought that they were way too bulky for travel. However, after testing them out, I cannot live without them!

They are perfect for travelers because we encounter a lot more noises than the average person. We’re flying on loud planes, walking around busy cities, or working from packed coffee shops. We have to learn to be efficient in non-work friendly environments.

My beloved Bose headphones that I have been traveling with since 2017

My beloved Bose headphones that I have been traveling with since 2017

This is where Bose noise cancelling headphones are a life changer. They offer three levels of world-class noise cancellation for a better listening experience in any environment, and are wireless. However, they also allow for a wire which means you can use them on planes to watch movies.

Those are my top travel essentials. For more tips on traveling, check out my travel resource articles below or read my specific destination guides on the “Travel” tab above. My guides cover thirty countries around the world.


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