Some posts contain compensated links. Please read this disclaimer for more info.
Our Guide To Travel Necessities (Updated For 2020)
Yippee, it’s a new year, which means new travels! We’ve updated our travel essentials checklist, so below you’ll find the key travel necessities for 2020. Happy shopping, travelers!
No travel necessities list could start any other way: suitcases. Here are our best picks for 2020.
Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Travel Luggage, 28-Inch/80 Liter
The price for this travel bag had me raising my eyebrows, but I’m completely won over now. This is no ordinary bag! As a convertible wheeled pack, roll this beauty along like all other travel luggage at the airport, and should your destination have a little more complex terrain (cobblestone streets, gravel, etc.), enjoy the bag’s extra large wheel feature for smooth off-road rolling.
In case you find yourself in a situation where even the off-road wheels aren’t enough, don’t panic. This bag converts into a travel backpack, complete with foam shoulder straps and a mesh lumbar and hip belt. Roomy, durable and lightweight, there is so much to love about this piece of travel bag, a solid part of any travel essentials list.
Bluesmart Smart Carry-On Travel Luggage
Ever wondered if your carry-on or checked luggage will meet the weight limits? Or realized your phone has no remaining charge, and not a single airport outlet is available? Ever reached your final destination and your luggage is nowhere in sight? These are such common travel frustrations, and all have been solved by this nifty luggage brand.
The Bluesmart Carry On Luggage has a built-in scale to let you know its weight, 3G, and GPS capabilities to track it’ location should it ever go missing, and a USB recharging dock for all of your devices! Leave the hassle of luggage behind with this new, connected, smart carry-on.
Once you have your main suitcase sorted, it’s onto one of the important things to take travelling: travel backpacks. Warning, we like those with security features/ I guess you could say we are very security-conscious with our backpacking gear.
Kelty Redwing 32 Liter Backpack
Mr. Chasing the Donkey and I love a great day trip, and that always means hauling along a few items for the Baby Donkey and his set of travel headphones he never leaves the house without. We love this sized-down version of Kelty’s best-selling Redwing bag for storing all the gear we need for a day out exploring. This travel backpack can be loaded from the top or via side panels and has amazing U-zippers to keep everything safely stored.
Lightweight, durability and comfy straps with ventilation make this a trusty backpack for a great price. In our book, this is one of the ultimate travel must haves, especially for shorter trips.
Kelty Redwing 50 Pack Black
For those in need of a serious travel backpack, Kelty has made one heck of 50L bag in its popular Redwing line. The pack is incredibly spacious, holding enough gear for staying out in the wilderness or backpacking through Europe for multiple days. With a lightweight frame, lots of features for assisting with air-flow, and amazingly comfortable AirMesh shoulder, waist belt, and lumbar straps, the bag is designed for longs days of use.
With lots of zippers, compartments, and hybrid loading features, organization is attainable and re-packing the bag is easy. Mr. Chasing the Donkey and I agree: this pack is an incredible value for the size and function it offers making it one of the best travel backpacks.
Pacsafe Camsafe V25 Anti-Theft Camera Backpack
If you’re like us, you love to capture beautiful photographs of your travels. And, if you have that gorgeous camera with all the bells and whistles for snapping those incredible shots, you also have the stress that comes with hauling expensive equipment around the world. Leave some of that stress behind by storing your camera in this durable, lightweight backpack that comes with some really cool anti-theft technology.
Features like stainless steel wire mesh in the fabric protect against slashing the bag, and smart zippers have security hooks making it virtually impossible for pickpockets to snag your gear. If you’re an (amateur) photographer, this is unquestionably one of the best things to have when travelling. It’s not only great for cameras but tablets, laptops, wallets, passports and other valuables. Love, love, love this product!
Pacsafe Venturesafe 150 GII Anti-Theft Cross Body Pack
Made with the same stainless steel wire mesh in the fabric as the Pacsafe Camsafe, enjoy the same security against slash-and-run theft in this cross body travel pack that can be worn either across the back or chest. This travel pack features wire-reinforced straps with extra buckle support, ensuring it doesn’t leave your body if you don’t want it to. It also has an RFID-blocking pocket to keep your credit cards, IDs, and wallets safe from unwanted hackers.
With a 2.2-liter volume and lightweight, durable comfort, we love to use this travel pack as a small carry-on, on long hikes or as a day pack for Mr. Chasing the Donkey when we are out exploring new towns. We think this is one the best travel backpacks for this application.
Pacsafe Luggage Venture Safe 25L GII
Ok…we can skip explaining all the great fabric, zipper, strap and RFID technology on this guy. It’s the same as the Pacsafe Cross Body Pack and Camera Backpack already mentioned! This travel pack is different from the others in that it is a 25L backpack, basically your traditional daypack design. Loads of compartments make organizing easy, while a sleeve designed for laptop storage or a 3L hydration pack gives this bag added versatility.
We think this is one of those essential things you need while travelling, as well as a great day pack, simply because of all the security features.
Pacsafe Luggage Metrosafe 200 Gii Shoulder Bag
Just one more Pacsafe bag for this section, we promise! If you are looking for a smaller, sleeker shoulder bag that can still protect your belongings with the excellent Pacsafe fabric, strap and RFID technology, this is your best bet. A padded sleeve holds iPad/tablet-sized devices, while multiple organizational pockets in the roomy central compartment are available.
The bag is lightweight, making it easy to carry all day. Plus, with that sleek design and those adjustable straps, it can sub as a travel purse worn either across the body or carried as a travel handbag. Guys, don’t let this description chase you away, though. The bag is convertible enough to look just as sleek on men as on women.
Overland Equipment Donner Bag
This classic shoulder bag is practical and durable, yet incredibly stylish. A side pocket for your water bottle, a 6-pocket front organizer make searching for your lip balm, phone and keys an easy task, while a roomy interior makes this bag perfect for a day around town or on tour. If you don’t have enough stuff to fill a full-size backpack, but want the flexibility of bringing a few essentials along on your day trip, you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
ECBC Lance Daypack for 17″ Laptop, Grey (B7103-30)
Suitcases and backpacks done! Now, it’s time to get yourself a kick-ass travel wallet or at least add it to your list of travel necessities because these are among the most important things to bring when travelling abroad.
Zoppen Multi-purpose RFID Blocking Passport Travel Wallet
Stay organized and protected with this awesome RFID blocking travel wallet. This slim, chic travel wallet comes in loads of fun colors and will ease your stress by keeping all your important items safely stored in one place.
Hold your phone, passport, credit cards, ID, sim card, travel tickets, money, key, and pens all in specified compartments. How’s that for organization? The added bonus of RFID blocking will keep your items safe from hacker’s scans, making it one of our recommended items for international travel.
Dash Co. RFID Blocking Slim Travel Wallet
If you’re looking for a super slim and minimal travel wallet, Mr. Chasing the Donkey loves this one. It weighs less than an ounce, is incredibly durable and offers three compartments for organizing cash and cards. The awesome RFID blocking feature keeps your information safe while on the go. A no bulk solution to your traveling wallet needs.
Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag
It might seem odd, but this portable, 5oz washing machine has saved our sanity many times. It is self-proclaimed as the “modern take on the old-fashioned washboard” and we love it! For those who need to pack light or simply want to eliminate the hassle of finding a laundromat while traveling, drop your clothes in the Scrubba along with water and detergent.
Rubbing the bag activates small nodules inside to help remove dirt and odor from your clothing, leaving them clean and ready for another day of adventure. So lose the stink and the stain while camping, backpacking or on holiday. Also, note, this bag can double as a dry bag.
Microfiber Towel By ECOdept
These fast-drying, antibacterial, microfiber towels are favorites to take on our camping expeditions or trips where water activities are involved. Baby Donkey loves the super soft feel of the material, and we love the large size (52″ x 32″). We’ve used these towels both at the beach and after showers and have been pleased with how absorbent they are. The towels come with space-saving packs, so no need to worry about them taking up precious room in your luggage.
A definite must if a towel is on your list of things needed for travel this year! This towel is made of 100% microfiber material and is the best towel in the game at absorbing water and drying quickly. It’s the perfect towel for the road.
Active Roots Travel Towel
Another great travel towel, is one like this, as this travel towel folds up into an incredibly small and portable mesh bag. It is a multi-purpose towel that can be used as the perfect camping towel, backpacking towel, yoga towel, beach towel, gym towel, pool towel… Simply put, it has you covered.
Hiking & Camping
Active Roots Camping Hammock
There’s nothing as liberating as sleeping outside under the stars and the best way to do that is in a hammock. This strong yet lightweight hammock can carry up to 500 pounds of weight, plenty to support both you and your partner. What’s so great about this particular hammock is not only its size and carrying capacity, but the fact that it folds up into a tiny ball that you can stuff in a little sack.
The whole package doesn’t weigh more than 2 pounds, significantly less than a tent with poles. And that’s exactly why so many backpackers and hikers prefer hammocks over tents. When it comes to hiking and other adventures, a hammock like this is one of the unmissable travel necessities.
Matador Pocket Blanket
We couldn’t decide what category to put this useful little blanket into… camping, hiking, space saving? It could easily fit the requirements for all of them. This ultra-compact pocket blanket fits in the palm of your hand once folded and stored – no joke – yet folds out to provide coverage over 63″x 44″ of space! The water-repellent, puncture-resistant and weighted corner features make it perfect for protecting gear, food or your pants from the ground. You’ll be set for a picnic no matter where your travels take you.
Aladdin 3 Collapsible Bowl Set
Again, another item we couldn’t decide what category it fits best. We’ve used these brightly colored, collapsible bowls on picnics, for storing snacks while hiking and even on camping trips. The bowls stack together nicely, are BPA free and are leak-proof. Plus, the added convenience of collapsible, flat storage once empty makes them perfect for hauling around. This set includes three different sized bowls (32oz, 16oz, and 64oz) along with lids for each. They are a great camping accessory.
Space Saving Travel Necessities
If you added a small suitcase or backpack to your travel shopping list, you definitely want to add one of these handy space saving travel necessities.
eBags Pack-It-Flat Travel Toiletry Bag
We love the guaranteed-for-life warranty that comes with this nylon, coiled zipper pack. Hold your toiletries in four easily accessible compartments and use the removable hanging hook to make it into a counter-top kit once you arrive at your final destination. The flat design allows you to pack it right on top of your duffel bags, saving space and hassle while on the go. This travel toiletry bag is brilliant, period.
Conair 1875 Watt Dual Voltage Folding Handle Hair Dryer
I’m going to be honest here. My hairdryer is one of those travel accessories that goes with me when the place we are staying doesn’t provide one. A girl needs her hairdryer, right? I love this sleek, compact version made by Conair! Its dual voltage feature means it can be used worldwide (phew!) and it’s folding handle lets me tuck it in my carry-on bag with no fuss. Plus, it has all those must-have features, too. It is adjustable, has controls, heat and speed settings, and a lovely 6-foot cord so I can peek out of the bathroom to check on the Little Donkey and his mischief.
Kitdine Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Set
These BPA-free silicone travel bottles that are TSA approved for carry-on baggage can easily be filled with your own shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other liquids. They’re perfect for flying. The bottles are soft, flexible and durable, and can withstand temperature changes. The lids have a great seal, so no need to worry about liquids leaking during transport either. We absolutely love the high quality of these travel bottles and the flexibility they provide for bringing our favorite toiletry products on airplanes.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Set, Packing Cubes
Organizing and packing for a trip can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when trying to save space in the few bags you are allowed to bring. I was so excited to finally get my hands on a set of these packing cubes! The lightweight packs allow you to fold and compress your clothes for a tighter fit into luggage, saving tons of space. I also love how organized our luggage stays throughout our trips when using these cubes. A brilliant way to pack efficiently and keep our suitcases from looking like a tornado came through.
GE Personal Security Door Stop Alarm
Safety is important to me. It might not seem like much, but a door alarm can provide the reassurance needed for sound sleep while on the road, especially if you find your hotel is severely lacking in the security/door lock department. This compact, battery powered model sounds an alarm if pressure is put on the doorstop, alerting of unwanted entry and scaring the culprit away. An affordable way for the whole Chasing the Donkey family to get a worry-free night of ZZZ’s.
Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L Anti-Theft Portable Safe
If you haven’t figured it out from our “Backpack” suggestions, our Chasing the Donkey family LOVES Pacsafe gear. This portable safe is no exception. With a TSA-accepted 3-dial combination lock, the capability of folding down flat and weighing only one pound, we can easily stash this safe in our luggage to use throughout a trip.
Secure the stainless steel cable to any fixture in a hotel room, rental car, near the beach or at the bar and know that your camera, wallet, and other possessions are safe while you explore. The fabric is a stainless steel wire mesh embedded into poly canvas… not something thieves will mess with. We love the peace of mind this excellent product gives us while chasing the Little Donkey on a beach day or leaving our laptops in a hotel room without a provided safe!
Men’s Travel Shoes
Mr. Chasing the Donkey can’t praise these casual, all-terrain shoes enough. The water-resistant mesh fabric is flexible yet sturdy, while the nonslip rubber soles provide traction for all types of sport and activity. The bungee straps make the shoes super-easy to slip on and off, so no hassle with laces. Not to mention, Mr. CtD receives a lot of compliments when wearing this around town!
Other great stocking stuffers for men who travel can be found here.
Women’s Travel Shoes
Jambu Women’s Tidal Terra Marine Water Shoe
For many women, shoes are among the most essential things to pack for travelling. And to have at home, too! These cute, stylish and oh-so-comfortable hybrid shoes are perfect for all types of terrain. If you only want to take one pair of day shoes on your next trip, these are it. Stroll along the beach, get wet in a tide pool, explore cobblestone streets, wander the forest or just grab coffee in town.
The memory foam footbed gives feet extra cushioning, making the shoes great for all-day use, while the criss-cross design of the straps adds both cuteness and security on your foot. Don’t let shoes weigh your bags down when you can enjoy a broad range of activities with just one pair. The biggest challenge with these? Trying to pick just one color!
Jambu Women’s Spin Ballet Flat
Have I told you yet how much I love Jambu shoes? If you weren’t sold on my favorite hybrid pair above, these ballet flats might just tickle your fancy. Style and function go hand in hand with these shoes. With rubber soles, excellent ventilation and a sleek, barefoot-inspired design, your feet will thank you after a day of walking and adventuring. These are great shoes to pack in your carry-on, as they don’t require much space, which is a huge bonus when trying to pack light! Not to mention, they are so cute you can easily wear them for casual outings throughout the year, not just on holidays.
Crocs Women’s Adrina Flats
The Crocs brand is known for the Croslite material used to make their soft, comfortable, breathable and lightweight footwear. I would venture to say the brand is also known for a look that doesn’t suit everyone. Not to worry, though, Crocs has re-designed their footwear to offer a more appealing style with this shoe. Super-cute, open-toed flats with a small platform heel (0.5″) are perfect for walking around town or casual water fun. Happy feet and style can go hand in hand with Crocs!
Women’s Travel Accessories
SHOLDIT Women’s Infinity Clutch Wrap Scarf
Travel with a feeling of security by keeping your valuable flight documents, passport, cell phone, money and other personal items close. This unique infinity scarf is both a cute accessory and a useful gadget with a zippered pocket for storing all of your valuables. Not only is it convenient for airline travel and other public transportation, but it’s also perfect for a day or night around town. Keep your valuables close and look fabulous doing it!
Staying Connected In 2020
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display
When I have free time…. err, when the Baby Donkey finally goes to sleep for the night… I love to read. My Kindle Paperwhite is another one of those travel necessities I can’t leave home without, as holidays are the perfect opportunity for me to soak up some sun and catch up on the latest top-selling books.
What do I love about this version of the popular e-reader? The white background of the page gives the appearance of a real book. A built-in backlight adjusts using sensors that detect the natural lighting around you. The resolution is much higher than older versions, giving each page a crisp look. The screen glare has been eliminated, and a new font has been developed to create less eye-strain. The battery charge lasts forever. Well, maybe not forever, but a solid 4+ weeks! Plus, thousands of titles are at my fingertips at any moment, and 4GB of storage are available for keeping books on the device.
So much to love about this Kindle and so little time to read all the books on my list. Guess I need to start planning my next holiday!
GoPro HERO4 SILVER
The GoPro is one of the best selling cameras on the market today. This version offers users the first ever feature of built-in touch display that allows for the framing and playback of shots with just a tap and swipe. Capture high-quality 12MP photos in all varieties of lighting, speed and exposure or shoot 1080p60 & 720p120 videos to share instantly on social media via the GoPro App and built-in WiFi/Bluetooth.
Wear the camera to capture extreme moments and do so with ease. The camera is incredibly durable and waterproof. There are just too many delectable features this camera offers for the photography, videography and adrenaline enthusiasts that we suggest you take a peek at all the details for yourself!
Bandit Action Camera Premium Pack
Looking for the GoPro’s newest rival? Capture the highlights of your adventure with one of Mr. Chasing the Donkey’s favorite pieces of technology – the Bandit Action Camera. Shoot three hours of non-stop HD video or take 16 MP photos on this lightweight, small, action cam. The camera has GPS and motion sensors to locate and tag some of the wildest moments of your filming based on heart rate, G-force, speed, altitude, and acceleration.
Coolest feature? The built-in media server allows you to edit your footage without needing to download first. Additionally, you can use the companion app to share your videos in just moments via smartphone. How’s that for communicating with friends and family back home? So leave your cables at behind, get on the slopes, under water, on two wheels or any other adrenaline junkie adventure, and start rolling.
LifeProof FRE POWER iPhone 6 Waterproof Battery Case
The LifeProof iPhone 6 protector is one of those absolute travel must haves in our home! We use our phones for navigation, last minute travel plans, emergency contacts and so much more while traveling, and nothing could be more frustrating than damaging a phone while on the road.
This protector is water-, dirt-, snow- and drop-proof and has a built-in scratch protector. Our favorite feature, a built-in battery, keeps our phones charged with 2x the battery life, perfect when outlets are nowhere to be found. Do not, and I repeat, do not leave home without your iPhone stored safely in this case!
Important to note, this product it is designed for use only with the iPhone 6.
Belkin SurgePlus 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector
Charge all your electronic devices – and I know you’ve got a few – without worry while traveling. This 360-degree rotating surge protector offers three outlets and two USB ports for your national or international travel needs. So cheer up and charge up. There’s no reason to be stuck with low battery life on holiday! Often overlooked, this is a great travel gadget that you need to take along with you on your next trip, one of those totally underrated things to take while travelling.
Phew, so many great things for you to consider. We hope we did not overwhelm you! Tell us, which travel necessities are going on your list for 2020?
More Packing & Travel Gear Tips
- Garment Carry-On Bags
- Travel Umbrellas
- Travel Blenders
- What to Pack For Croatia: The Ultimate Croatia Packing List
- What to Pack For Sailing Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Help You Pack Light
- Gift Guide For the Traveler in Your Life
- What to Pack For A Beach Trip With Kids
- What to Wear on Long Haul or Overnight Flight
- Best Travel Shoes For All Occasions
- How to Find the Best Travel Wallet
- The Best Travel Flat Iron
- The Best Travel Pants for Women
- Ultimate Packing List For Women