Our Top Travel Items + Packing List

Fitting your life into a suitcase for X number of days can be a bit overwhelming. While the days leading up to a vacation are filled with excitement, they can also be filled with stress and chaos as you try to wrap up any work, figure out what to bring, and then actually complete the (sometimes) dreaded task of packing your bag.

Between work travel and personal travel, we are jetting off to different destinations more than ever before. And after quite a few trips, we have gotten into a good groove when it comes to packing and prioritizing what to bring with us. So today we’re sharing a handful of our top travel items that make traveling not only easier, but also more comfortable AND giving y’all a detailed packing list to help make packing for your trip quicker and less stressful!

Since items vary by trip and by person, this packing list may not cover everything you need for your travels, but we hope it gives you a good starting point and makes the days leading up to your vacation a bit more worry-free. You can download the packing list here. (Make sure to go to File -> make a copy so you can customize it for your own needs!)

Looking for a backpacking packing list? You can find ours here!

Note: We’ve linked a handful items, as well as included clickable images below, so you can see exactly which products we take with us. Full disclosure–if you click on these links and make a purchase on Amazon, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

Our Top Travel Items

These items have improved our traveling experiences so much and we never leave home without them!

Away suitcase
We had heard raving reviews about the Away suitcase for a long time before we actually purchased one. Despite the reviews, we were always scared of the price tag, but after Alaska Airlines changed their carry-on luggage size policy, we were suddenly in need of a smaller carry-on and decided to splurge on the Away Carry On Suitcase (the smaller sized one).

And we are now a part of the fan club that raves about it whenever we can! We have taken this suitcase on multiple week long trips and have been able to fit everything we needed for one person for a week (toiletries, shoes, one outfit per day, one workout outfit per day, AND some extra shirt options) in the suitcase no problem. We sometimes wonder if this suitcase is from Mary Poppins!

On top of its ability to hold a lot of stuff, it also rocks because it is the approved size for international airlines, has built in TSA approved locks, and has an ejectable charger so you don’t have to run around the terminal trying to find an open outlet (the worst!). While the price may be daunting, we couldn’t recommend this suitcase any more!

Travel Pillow
Even though they aren’t the most fun, we tend to take a lot of overnight flights or super early flights to save money and maximize our time wherever we go (you can read our other tips to save money and maximize time here).

The worst thing about these flights is trying to get some decent sleep while trapped in a small space. We bring our travel pillows with us on every early morning or late night flight and while nothing replaces sleeping in a bed, it definitely helps make sleeping on a plane much more comfortable. We both have Travelmate Memory Foam pillows that are cheap and get the job done!

Bluetooth Headphones
Airplanes are now including outlets on board, which is a huge perk when you’re wanting to keep your phone fully charged for after you land, but it also poses a problem if you want to charge your phone (iPhones specifically) and listen to music, movies, or podcasts.

We both recently got bluetooth headphones to solve this dilemma and not only does it make it possible to listen and charge simultaneously, it’s also really nice to be able to throw our phone in the pocket while we listen and not wrestle with more wires. I

If you want to take it to the next level, we suggest noise cancelling bluetooth headphones, like the Bose QuietComfort 35’s, but those are a bit out of our budget, so we are sticking to AirPods and AUKEYs (a great affordable option) for now!

Note: Wired headphones are still good to have on you if you’re plugging into the airplane TV screen, so make sure to pack them just in case!

Portable Charger
We carry a portable charger with us everywhere and it is truly a lifesaver! When we were in the UK, we were draining our phones very quickly using Google Maps and taking photos and videos, but our portable charger saved the day and always kept our phones from dying.  

We have the RAVPower Battery Pack, which is super affordable, and we love it! It’s so nice to never have to worry about finding outlets or getting in a tricky situation where you need to use your phone, but it’s dead.

For YEARS we made fun of Chacos and how ugly they were, but we recently had the urge to try them, despite going against everything we ever said about them, and fell madly in love! Shoes can easily take up half of your suitcase traveling, so having versatile shoes is key.

We bought Chacos for this very reason–they can be worn walking around the city, hiking, in the rain and mud, at the beach, and more! Kathryn wore her Chacos all around Barcelona and her feet hurt less than when she wore her gym shoes all around the UK.

Yes, they aren’t stylish, but comfort and versatility is more important to us (there is a reason we aren’t fashion bloggers lol). The only downside about Chacos is that they aren’t good for cold weather, so keep that in mind, but for warmer destinations, you can’t beat ‘em!

There are quite a few models of Chacos, but Kathryn has the ZX2 Classic and Adam has the Z2 Classic.


Packing List

Alright, now that you know our top travel items, it’s time to start packing! Click the image below to download our packing list Google Sheet (or pin it for later!). Note: To use the sheet and create your own customizable version where you can add items, remove items, and check off items, please follow these instructions:

  • Web Browser: File-> Make a Copy
  • Mobile: Go to the menu at the top right of the Google Sheet -> Share & Export -> Make a Copy
Packing List | Travel Packing | Travel Packing List | What to pack | Packing list for vacation | Travel | Vacation

about us

Hi y’all! We’re Adam, Kathryn, and Kona, an adventurous married couple (+ pup!) living on the road in our self-converted sprinter van! You can often find us driving all around the US and Canada, scoping out the best coffee shops, eating tacos and ice cream (we’re a 5+ taco and 2+ scoop household), and enjoying nature.


affilliate disclosure

This website contains affiliate links from websites such as Amazon.com, Booking.com, and Rentalcars.com. If you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!


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  1. Suzanne

    More great information and love the packing list!


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