Top Travel Items to Keep in Your Pack

Traveling, whether by land, air, or sea, can be a combination of thrilling, exhausting, and frustrating. Luckily there are a few things you can keep in your pack to make your travels that much easier. For reference, everything mentioned below can fit in a 30-liter backpack. Anything bigger than that is unlikely to fit under the seat in front of you.


No need to break the bank on this one. While yes, you can certainly shell out a few hundred for noise-cancelling, acoustic-booming, world-peace-bringing headphones, there are plenty of options available that will do the minimum viable job of blocking out crying babies, jet engine hum, and that really loud guy laughing in 16B.

Travel Pillow

Some airlines have adjustable headrests that prevent your head from lolling side-to-side, but from personal experience, those are not very reliable, and I’ve woken up many a time with my neck cranked violently to one side. Whether it’s a packable inflatable pillow typically used for camping, or one of the soft neck pillows that you see in every Hudson News airport store, you’ll be thankful you have one especially if you’re flying cross-country or internationally.

Power bank

I want to paint a picture for you. You are on level 164 of Candy Crush (is that still a thing?). Your phone screen plunges into darkness. The battery has died, and the world descends into chaos. Okay well maybe not that last part, but no one likes a dead battery! On some archaic airlines, USB-A ports are not a thing. However, when they are available (likely on the seat-back in front of you) you need to unplug everything if someone in your row needs to get up. The travesty! With a power bank, not only will you have multiple charges, but you can take it on the go, so you can stretch your legs AND break your high score. No more staying tethered to your seat. Welcome to the revolution.

Journal and Pencil

Whether it’s your next great business idea, or just a glancing thought, it always helps to have something to write in.

Lacrosse Ball

Sitting, as we now know, is not healthy for you. Undo the hours and hours of sitting in a cramped, uncomfortable seat with this simple, yet, devious little ball. Hips, calves, feet, all are going to stiffen up during your trip. Sure, you might get a few looks while you roll around on the ground waiting at the gate, but trust us, you will feel much better. And your body will thank you in the long run. Win and win.

Extra Layers

If your airline offers blankets on your long trips, congratulations! You are now the proud owner of what amounts to an oversized, razor-thin shred of tissue paper. Bringing an extra layer can double as a pillow if you forget to bring the latter, or if your flight is particularly cold. Bonus points for a hooded sweatshirt AND over-the-ear headphones.

Something to read

To some, the best thing you can do on a flight is either sleep or pass the time as quickly as possible. For someone who has a nasty habit of falling asleep before taking off and then waking up before taking off, passing the time for me has become an art in and of itself. In the nonstop world we live in, it can be tough to find time to just sit and be in the moment. Well when you’re on an airplane, you really don’t have any other options. Whether it’s your favorite crime thriller, or you tend to favor Oprah’s book list, something to read will help your flight go by much faster.

While you don’t need every single thing listed here, these items will certainly make your travels that much easier. 

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