Suitcase: This little Delsey carry on suitcase is amazing. I’ve gone to Cuba, Iceland and numerous other places with this little carry-on because it is light weight, has one pocket that is best for packing cubes (as compared to clam-shell luggage) and has wheels that are flush with the bag (not sticking off the end) which allows for easier overhead storage space.
Luggage Lock: I use these whenever I know I’ll be walking through a new city that is crowded or through a train station. These little locks give your bag that extra protection and keep all my valuables safe and secure. I picked up a lock 2-pack from TJ Maxx.
Backpack: I cannot say how much I love not only this backpack, but brand – PacSafe. I found it while researching ‘lockable’ backpacks and this pack did not disappoint. All of the zippers lock and can be secured so all of my items are safe when I’m going from one place to the next. It is designed with travel in mind, such as RFID safe blocking pockets and materials, zip clips to deter pickpockets, eXomesh slashguard material in both the front and straps to guard from cut & run. (Did I also mention it has a built-in raincover?!) I bought the camera bag version to safely store my Canon 70D camera when in Iceland, but they have a regular backpack too, that doesn’t include all the camera padding. A 10/10 on this one.
Purse: Another purchase from PacSafe after my incredible experience with their anti-theft backpack. Granted, it’s not the most stylish purse but it’s features beyond exceed the cosmetic appeal. I always travel with a small lock on my purse to help keep my valuables safe, so it was a no-brainer with this purchase as it has all the anti-theft features as the backpack, and includes lockable zippers to put my mind at ease when walking through crowded areas. A must-have for places especially like Spain!
Money Belt: A hideous creature but one of the best travel items I own. This belt goes with me on all my travels and it helps keep all my passport, ID, and important travel documents and money tucked safely away where I know no one can get to it. Pick one up at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks.
Wallet: I went through 3 different PacSafe styles until I settled for this RFIDsafe V50 anti-theft RFID blocking compact wallet. I was looking for a travel safe wallet that could hold coins and protect my cards. This one was the winner as it fit perfectly in my money belt, without being too bulky and thick as a trifold wallet.
Neck/Back/Butt Pillows: Yes, you read this correctly, pillows, as in multiple. I sound like a crazy person for traveling with three pillows but when you’re flying 6, 7 sometimes 8 hours at a time whether by boat, train or airplane, these pillows are a lifesaver.
The Cabeau Neck Pillow is AWESOME as it the memory foam helps absorb any shock, say from the plane moving, along with a flat back, meaning it won’t push your head forward and cause neck pain.
Another complain I always had while flying was my pack hurting from the uncomfortable plane seats. The Portable Ergonomic Sleeping Lumbar Pillow is another memory foam purchase and is great as it rolls up tight and can compress to easily fit into one of my extra camera slots in my backpack.
The last pillow was GREAT find while at Marshalls. I cannot find a link to one online but this is worth carrying around for long train or airplane rides, when you’re stuck in your seat and that little free pillow they give you isn’t cutting it. It also has these convenience handles that button together to make for easier storage.
Packing Cubes: I never travel without these, as they are another incredible invention are a necessity whenever traveling with a carry-on. These help so much when I just need one outfit. Simply pull out the cube, grab what you need, and throw it back into the suitcase without having to mess up every article of clothing inside.
Watch: My FitBit Alta comes with me everywhere, and I’ve always been a fan of sporty watches so this one is my go-to for time and fitness tracking (you do SO much walking while traveling, so might as well make your steps count!). Just make sure you have the band that locks so pickpockets won’t easily get it off.
For a more fashion alternative, I love my Arvo Awritacrat with a neutral band. It’s a great minimalist watch that is functional and beautiful.
Guidebook: For every big travel I do, I pick up my favorite brand, Frommer’s Guidebooks, at the library before I go. They are wonderful because each guidebook comes with a map of the city (even though our tour guide gives us a more detailed one once we reach the city) and gives me great reviews on tourist must-see places in each spot.
Travel Paper Organizer: This baby is perfect for keeping all my confirmation and important document and travel paper work organized. It fits securely in my backpack’s laptop pocket and doesn’t take up any room. It is also a steal at only $7.99 on Amazon.
Earbuds: A staple item for any traveling, and I always pack them for those just-in-case moments when the airplane doesn’t provide any for your screen.
Wall Charger: This charger is a MUST HAVE when traveling international. This one charges so quickly and gets the job done without any complications.
External Charger: I would NOT travel without one of these. The EC Technology 22400 Power Bank is a brick that helps charge your smart devices. Its affordable at around $36 on Amazon and stays in my backpack. If I ever loose battery on my phone, this external chargers can make or break a trip, especially when I’m using it for taking all my photos.
Phone Case: My phone never goes without a LifeProof FRE waterproof case. There is too much risk while traveling, so this waterproof case with built-in scratch protector keeps my phone safe and clean. Color: Black
Camera: This Canon 70D DSLR camera is a bit heavy for a new traveler but if you’re looking for the best, high-quality pictures and videos, this camera (or any of the Canon DSLRs) is one to beat. If you aren’t looking for something so bulky, try a mirrorless camera, or stick with your iPhone as they are pretty advanced in taking great pictures too.
Sleep Mask: I already use a sleep mask every night when I sleep (the pressure on my eyelids helps me fall asleep faster). I got mine at Giant Eagle but any silk sleep mask will do.
Water Bottle: Especially when traveling internationally, and I’m not 100% sure about the water quality in a country, this Brita Fitlter Water Bottle is a great! The 20 oz. soft-sided water filter bottle has a filter that sits inside the bottle, that helps filter out any particles that are often found in water. I also recommend the soft-sided bottle vs. the hard plastic as on a previous trip, numerous other people in the group has their water bottle break or leak halfway through the trip. It also fits easily in the side pocket of my backpack, or in my purse.
Medicine Box: My co-workers make fun of me for carrying a tackle box in my purse every day, but it is by far one of the most important things I pack with me on each trip. I bought this small box at Wal-Mart and it helps keep all my medicines, sprays, ointments, Band-Aids and any other medical-related items neat and organized in my bag. Don’t be that person who is always bumming off everyone for a Band-Aid or Advil on the trip.
Vitamins: With moving from place to place, your immune system is coming into contact with so many surfaces and germs. I always bring my One a Day VitaCraves Immunity Support multivitamin and Airborne to help keep my immune system strong both before and during my vacation.
Toiletry Bag: The bag I own is from a million years ago, but it’s small and compact and is able to hold all my cosmetic and toiletry items. Mine is more of a brief-case style but here is another version that I would recommend.
Curling Wand: This is the absolute BEST curling wand! The NuMe Magic Curling Wand (25MM) creates very natural looking curls, and I love it’s dual voltage, meaning I don’t have to worry about having a plug converter or mess with changing the voltage on the curler. I can plug it in with my adapter and it won’t catch on fire more or less, which is always a plus!
Student ID: A lot of young travelers forget to bring their student ID with them while traveling. You can get discounts off certain museums and get cheaper ticket prices for certain items just by flashing your student ID. Every little bit helps, so don’t forget to bring your old BuckID.
Money: It’s best to go to your bank and order some Euros. Its a very simple process and your bank will give you a call to come and pick up your ordered bills once they’re in. I always get all bills in either 5s or 10s. Anything higher than a 20 and it becomes harder to break while traveling. Make sure to order enough (with the conversion rate) to pay for lunches, dinners, entrance into museums and places you want to go inside, and budget how much you think you’ll spend on emergency items and souvenirs (TIP: to save the space in your suitcase, instead of buying souvenirs, write a blog instead using an app on your phone).
Box: This dropbox app is where I keep photocopies of all my travel documents, ID, Passport and any other important thing I need as backup, just in case something happens to my wallet, I have it on my phone.
Google Maps: Google Maps is a wizard when you don’t have cell service in a foreign country. You can view your location offline and even create a customized map with all the locations on your trip for easy access. Check out this great website on ‘How to Use Google Maps Offline Without Data or Wifi.’
My Currency Converter: My Currency Converter free app is the simplest, most beautiful currency converter you’ll ever find. It supports over 150 different countries from all around the world. Find you how much your currency is worth in just a few short moments, even if you aren’t connected to the internet.
Madrid Metro: The best travel app for using the Madrid Metro with an offline map and route planner.
Barcelona: Barcelona Metro includes the official TMB metro map and a handy route planner. The free app works both with and without an internet connection to help you navigate around Barcelona on public transport, wherever you are!
Find My Friends: I use this app as peace of mind for my family members to keep an eye on me whenever I travel solo or with a group. They are able to see my location and make sure I’m safe.
Viber: This is the best app for calling and texting while traveling. Although all the hotels you stay at have WIFI and most of the main places we go have WIFI, make sure to use this website to learn how to turn off your phone’s data and turn on WIFI. Also get the app Viber to call and text people from back home for free. Just make sure you both have it downloaded and properly set up before you leave.
Light Pullover: I’m big on layering when traveling, so this neutral light collared sweatshirt is perfect for the plane or a warm but light layer for the evenings. I also appreciate the dark, neutral color.
T-Shirts: These are my base colors to serve as my main layer. By choosing neutral colors that go with everything, it’s easy to dress up and down. They are light and flowy, but have clean lines which help blend into European style more. Colors: Black & Navy.
Shorts: I’m not a big dress person so shorts are my best friend when traveling. J Crew’s 4” Chino Shorts have been my brand of choice this summer, as I’ll be bringing multiple colors to mix and match with. These are both classy and can be dressed up or down. Colors: Storm Grey, Honey Brown & Navy.
Jeans: You can never go wrong with a dark pair of skinny jeans. They easily dress up an outfit or are great for a day of adventure. I’ll be taking along my two new favorite Banana Republic Skinny Zero Gravity Ankle Jeans (Dark & Light Wash).
Nice Outfit: I always pack two nice pieces to wear for group dinners. By having pieces that can mix and match, you can create multiple different outfits, without adding more items to your bag. Accessorizing is key! The Navy Dot Cotton-Blend Tank is clean cut but is also heavy. Pair with a statement necklace like my Ann Taylor Red Seed Bead Tassel Statement Necklace gives me a pop of color for a fun evening out!
Little Black Dress: This one goes without question. It can be used as a casual sun dress or a classy dress for dinner out. I found mine at Marshalls but here is a similar one (mine has a knee-length hem line).
Swim Suit: I love this suit for it’s sleek but not completely basic design. It’s the perfect size but with not obnoxious colors or patterns. Color: Black
Coat: I switch between a few coats I own, depending on the climate I travel to. My Nautica Hooded Raincoat (I have a Hunter coat pictured, but the one I own is linked) is perfect for Spain as it is lightweight, but will still keep my warm and dry if the weather changes. I will also NEVER buy a coat without a hood. Its a no-brainer when there is wind or rain, especially when traveling.
Sneakers: These tennis shoes got me through walking all over London, Paris, Rome, Greece, Iceland and Cuba and I cannot speak higher of these shoes. I need something that is light and has tons of arch support and these are like walking on air. Color: Light Magenta Grey/Hyper Punch/Magnet Grey
Casual Shoes: These tan Sperry shoes are both cute and comfortable and perfect for walking. I prefer the Sperry Top-Sider Women’s Bluefish Boat Shoe because it has the taller tongue that keeps the shoe secure on my foot.