Travel wallet, eye mask, noise-cancelling headphones – we all have certain items that we simply cannot travel without. We have put together a list of our 40 best must-have travel items according to our Travel Experts.
1. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are a fan favourite here at Flight Centre. We just love them, and many of us can't travel without them. They are great for watching movies on long-haul flights, they are great for listening to music while you travel, and they are especially great at keeping unwanted noise out. Noise cancelling headphones are one of the most useful travel accessories for long haul or red eye flights.
“Noise cancelling headphones are great for drowning out the plane and the people around you and also allows you to enjoy your own entertainment.” - Robert Caldwell
2. Packing Cubes
If you are a messy packer, you are probably familiar with sitting on top of your suitcase as you struggle to zip it up. In that case, packing cubes will probably be your best friend. They are great for keeping your luggage neat and organised meaning you have more space for the things that matter, like souvenirs.
“Packing cubes for my suitcase helps to keep me super organised and also helps with my life-long issue of overpacking.” - Donna Pearce
3. Travel Pillow
Jetting off on a long-haul flight? Taking off early in the morning or late at night? A travel pillow (sometimes called a neck pillow) could be the difference between arriving at your destination ready to go or arriving ready to go to bed. Plus having something to support your neck can help to avoid neck pain.
4. Eye Mask
are going to need your energy. To make sure you are able to get your sleep, we recommend an eye mask or a sleep mask. If you are bothered by noise, ear plugs can be a great way to make sure you get some uninterrupted shut-eye.
“An eye mask is great so that I can make sure I can get some slumber and be energised for when I arrive.” - Matilda Williams
When travelling to another country, you'll often find that that country has different electrical outlets, meaning your chargers and devices may not work. A travel adapter is one of the most important travel gadgets you can pack in your suitcase, because it allows you to plug into any outlet making sure you can stay fully charged anywhere you go. This can be especially important if you are travelling with electronic documents.
“Make sure to pack your adapter in your carry-on baggage. It will be a real life-saver if your luggage gets lost in transit.” - Luke Wilson
6. Compression Socks
These are great for a long flight. Compression socks help with blood flow and aid circulation which prevents swelling and stops your feet falling asleep.
7. Travel Wallet
Imagine being at the airport, and you are fumbling in your bag looking for your boarding pass. Take the stress away with a travel wallet or document organiser.
When you are travelling, your travel documents, especially your passport if you are travelling internationally, are some of the most important items for you to pack. A travel wallet helps to keep them organised and safe. It also makes for a more seamless airport experience by making them easier to find.
8. Toiletry Bag
Have you ever arrived at your destination, only to open your suitcase and discover a major shampoo explosion? If only Ross from Friends had this list, he could have avoided this catastrophe.
A toiletry bag can help to save space as well as keep your clothes safe from leaks and keep your toiletries organised in an easy-to-find bag.
9. Luggage Tags
“Is that my bag? No, that shade of red is slightly too dark”
You would be surprised how many suitcases look like yours on a baggage carousel. Make your luggage easy to spot with a luggage tag. They can also add some much-needed flare and personality to a bland bag.
10. Tripod and Camera
When you are travelling, Instagram worthy pictures that will make your family and friends jealous is a must!
“I tend to do a lot of photography when I’m travelling. A camera and tripod is great as a solo traveller to make sure you get the picture you want, without having to rely on other people.” - Liam Lavery
11. Laundry Bag
Have I worn this pair of underwear yet on this trip or are they clean? Solution. Keep them separate! A laundry bag is a great way to keep your clean and dirty clothes apart. Plus, it keeps and dirt and smell off your clean clothes.
12. Carry-On Bag
Phone, wallet, keys, passport, charger, headphones, boarding pass... The amount of items you need for a flight can be extensive. Having a carry-on bag is absolutely essential for a much more seamless airport experience. Your carry-on bag could also double as day bag in your destination.
13. Water Purifier Bottle
In some countries, the tap water is not safe to drink, so having a water bottle that can purify your water on the go is super handy. Plus, it reduces your reliance on plastic bottles, which is great for the environment and can be a great way to save money.
“They are like wet wipes, but biodegradable (made mostly out of water). They are great for so many situations and fit easily into your day bag. Travel with your baby, tick! Spill something on the plane - tick! Clean the table before you eat - tick! Wipe your hands and face after eating pizza in Italy (unless you lick your fingers clean!).” - Barbara Davidson
15. Money Belt Or Bra Pocket
In some countries, having a wallet in your pocket is pretty much an invitation for pick pockets. A money belt or bra pocket can be a great way to stash your cash safely.
16. Baby Carrier
When the kids are little, a baby carrier can be a blessing in an airport. It makes getting on and off planes much easier and can also be great for getting around your destination.
“As a new parent, a baby carrier is essential for the airport, layovers and in the destination itself.” - Craig Gardiner
17. Battery Pack
In 2023, we rely on our phones for a lot! Maps, translation, snapping pictures, tickets, music... the list is pretty much endless which makes a portable battery pack one of our essential travel items.
“I take a battery pack everywhere I go because I rely on my phone so much for Google Maps and tickets etc. If it dies, I'm toast!” - Sarah Goosem
“A battery pack is great for long-haul flights, bus and train journeys to keep your music going and make sure you can always contact people.” - Vicki Fletcher
Entertainment while you are travelling is a must. Pre-downloaded Spotify playlists and Netflix series can be great for getting through long flights in a sometimes uncomfortable airplane seat. Books can also be a great option, one of our team once took the entire Tomorrow When The War Began series on his trip to France – and he loved it!
“A Netflix binge is a great way to make it through a long-haul flight!” - Joshua Pollok
“Pre-downloaded Spotify playlists and Netflix series are a must on long-haul flights” - Nick McGinley
Imagine stunning white-sand beaches with beautiful blue water, and there you are looking like a plum. Avoid this situation completely, and make sure you pack some sunscreen.
“In some places, such as tropical islands, sunscreen can be very expensive. So save some money and your skin, and take some with you.” - Vicki Fletcher
20. Gaffa Tape
21. An Empty Space
Did you really go on holiday if you don’t bring home a few souvenirs?
“No matter where I go, or for how long, I always manage to return with more than I left with” - Ben Weston
Between the dry in-flight air and changes in climate, air travel can wreak havoc on your skin. That's why we recommend bringing moisturiser on your next trip to make sure your skin stays silky smooth!
“Face masks are good for long-haul flights, but a great moisturiser can really save your skin on arrival. It also helps with jetlag!” - Vicki Fletcher
It might come as a surprise that not all cultures use toothbrushes, which makes remembering to pack yours all that more important! You may not always be able to pick one up in your destination.
“I can't stand having unclean teeth or the "furry feeling" and the thought of having bad breath scares me” - Nathan Varney
24. In-Destination Sim Card
If you don't have an affordable global data plan, and you don't want to rely on WIFI on an international trip, an in-destination SIM card can be an affordable option.
“You can't always rely on WIFI when you need to access WhatsApp, socials, Google Translate or most importantly, Google Maps! You can usually pick up pretty cheap SIM cards in-destination with a lot of data. If you are going to the UK and Europe make sure you get your sim card in London, it is cheaper, easier and can be used through all European countries.” - Amanda Zeleznik
25. Selfie Stick
When you are travelling, you will want to capture the memories forever. Whether you are travelling solo, or you are travelling with your besties and want to get a group pic – a selfie stick is a great option! There may not always be someone around to take your picture, plus, in some destinations, handing over your expensive iPhone to a stranger to take a picture might not be the smartest choice.
“My selfie stick came in super handy on the Great Wall of China with my friend! We got so much of the amazing background in the photo with us without having to ask strangers to take photos of us every other minute.” - Skye McRae-Mitchell
“They protect you from the sun. They hide those hungover post-party eyes. And who doesn’t look and feel better in a pair of cool shades!” - Kylie Johnson
27. Hand Sanitiser
Post-pandemic, hand sanitiser has become essential for protecting your health while travelling. The last thing you want is to spend your trip in a hotel room because you have a pesky cough. Be safe, wash your hands regularly.
28. Shoe Bags
Dirty shoes and clean clothes don’t tend to mix well. Shoe bags are a great way to keep them separate. This is especially important if you plan to do a lot of hiking or expect your shoes to get muddy.
Even the most tropical of destinations can get chilly. Even if you don’t end up wearing it, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
“You might get cold, you should bring a jacket” - Mum
30. Spare Clothes That Are Easily Accessible
Whether you are flying, driving, catching the train or any other form of transport, it’s a good idea to have a spare pair of clothes that is easily accessible in case you spill food or get what you are wearing dirty.
This is even more important for parents of young children, where the chances of ending up with something on your clothes increases exponentially.
31. A Few Days’ Worth Of Toiletries
A few days’ worth of toiletries in your carry-on baggage can be a life-saver. Losing your luggage is a bad experience, but having no toiletries will make it even worse. Having a few toiletries on hand will help you out until you are reunited with your belongings. Plus it could save you the stress of having to go buy some on your first day in an unfamiliar city.
32. Electronics Organiser
Phone charger, laptop charger, headphones, SD cards. In 2023, there are a lot of electronic accessories we need to pack. An electronics organiser can help keep them neat, tangle-free and all in the same place. You can also get waterproof cases that will keep them all safe.
33. Travel Insurance
While travelling is a relaxing and fulfilling experience, you never know if you are going to hit a bump in the road. Having travel insurance can protect you from unexpected expenses and help to smooth out any dramas that may arise.
At Flight Centre, we recommend Cover-More for both domestic and international travel insurance.
34. Travel Credit Card
Carrying wads of foreign cash can be a risky endeavor in some destinations. Keep your money safe and organised with a travel credit card. We recommend using a Travel Money Card which allows you to load up to 10 currencies and can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted.
While this might seem like an obvious one, forgetting this could turn that 18+ hour flight into an absolute stinker... and not just for you! Plus, if you are anything like me, having some on hand will give you some much needed peace of mind.
36. Mosquito/Bug Repellant
Packing mosquito or bug repellant is one of the best decisions you will make, especially if you are planning to travel to somewhere tropical. The uncomfortable itching feeling definitely doesn’t help you relax.
In some countries, mosquitos can be carriers of disease, which means bug repellant can be a real life-saver!
This item may not seem important until you need it. Having a padlock is a great way to add an extra layer of security and to keep your luggage safe from prying hands.
We definitely recommend having one on you in case you need to part your luggage between checking-out of your hotel and your flight back home.
38. Lip Balm
Not only can changes in climate and the dry air wreak havoc on your skin, but it can also leave your lips dry and cracked, which makes for an uncomfortable experience. That is why we recommend lip balm or something to keep them hydrated.
“Cracked lips ruin anything, keep them hydrated!” - Whitney Wong
39. Sleeping Devices
A long-haul flight and a child that can’t get to sleep is a recipe for disaster! Luckily, many airlines allow sleeping devices such as a flight hammock or inflatable pillow to help the little ones, and the big ones, get some rest.
40. An Open Mind And Sense Of Adventure
“When you travel to the places I travel to, you need it! I've been stuck at borders for hours and it's out of your control, so you make the most of it and find the positive in it, and time flies. Nothing is an issue. You open yourself up to more adventures and great conversations with new friends, with fantastic travel stories when you return!” - Katherine Benvenuti