There are a lot of steps to take to having a really successful vacation. Once you plan an itinerary, book everything, remember to pack everything you need, get on a plane or in the car, arrive at your destination, check into your accommodations, and finally settle in, you still have plenty more things on your to-do list. For starters, you definitely need to know what things to have in your travel go bag so you can be sure you’re prepared for anything that comes your way while you’re on the road.
Luckily, I’ve been on a few trips myself — I’ve visited 10 new countries in 2019 alone — and I can help out in this department. Through my frequent travels, I’ve figured out what I absolutely need to have with me while I’m out and about, from a travel wallet to a hair moisturizer.
I should also note that, while the contents of my go bag are very important, I also have a very specific taste in what kind of bag I use. I’m partial to the Caraa Sport Studio Bag (I have the medium size in two different colors), and it has never done me wrong. It has so many pockets, a ton of space, and looks super stylish. I never leave the country without this bag, and even though it’s a bit of a splurge, I’d buy it over and over again.
On your next trip, make sure you bring these 12 things in your go bag so you can ready, (jet)set, and go.
1. A Travel Wallet
Yes, I actually use a different wallet for travel than I do in everyday life. What I love about this one from BÉIS in particular is the fact that it has so many compartments — so I can keep track of receipts, cards, and cash — and the pen with a stylus on the end is a really convenient addition.
Another plus is that the "currency" pocket is actually big enough to accommodate larger notes, like euros and pounds. (Quick side note: For safety reasons, I never keep all of my cash, cards, and IDs in the same wallet, just in case it gets stolen or I leave it somewhere.) This wallet serves as my "cash" one, and I keep my cards and IDs in separate pockets in my backpack or in my fanny pack.
2. A Bluetooth Remote-Controlled Tripod
It’s no secret that I love taking photos with a Bluetooth remote-controlled tripod. I feel like some of the best photos I’ve ever taken while on a trip, I was able to take by myself with this exact tripod.
I love that it collapses to about a foot and a half tall and only weighs a little over a pound, so it easily fits in my backpack and isn’t cumbersome to carry. It’s really sturdy so I don’t have to worry about it falling over, and of course, it captures all of the best angles.
3. A Pair Of Neutral Heels
I love carrying nude heels like this pair from Raye whenever I want to dress up an outfit for a pic. These are perfect for travel shots because they have a chunky heel.
Even though I’m not walking around in them for long, I still want to be comfortable (especially if I’m on cobblestone). I also love that this nude color matches any outfit I can think of, and the shoes immediately make my ensemble look more glam.
4. Lip Balm
Between trying new foods, coping with the heat of a destination, and getting dehydrated (because I always seem to be when I’m traveling), a solid lip balm is an absolute necessity. I love this Bite Beauty one because it has a slight brown tint and some shimmer to it to give my lips a little extra oomph, and it’s unbelievably hydrating so my lips feel comfortable and refreshed all day.
Whenever I’m exploring around a city and want awesome background music, these AirPods are always my go-to. Whether I’m taking a train or just walking around, having some tunes or a podcast playing keeps my mood light and my body energized. (I especially love when dramatic songs play because it feels like I’m in a movie.)
The small silhouette keeps these headphones perfectly inconspicuous. (Sometimes, I don’t even remove them when I’m taking a photo because my hair just covers them.) My AirPods never fall out of my ears, and I feel totally secure with them there. Plus, they’re super convenient when I have to make phone calls or want to listen to music while I’m out and about.
6. A Sweater Or Kimono
Somehow, even when it’s over 90 degrees outside, I can still find a way to be cold when I step into an air-conditioned building. That’s why my go bag always needs to have some kind of sweater in it. Since my brain is still in summer mode, I’ve been gravitating toward free-flowing kimono-style sweaters like this one from Free People.
It has a beautiful silhouette that works with a variety of outfits, and I love that it’s light and breezy for when it’s not quite cold enough for a knitted sweater. This kimono is perfect for both city and nature-focused getaways, and it’s so soft and comfortable, I seriously want it in every color.
7. A Reusable Water Bottle
Having a reusable water bottle in my go bag helps remind me to stay hydrated. I love this bottle from LARQ, especially for travel, because it self-cleans at the touch of a button. I’m bad about cleaning my water bottles when I’m at home as it is, and with limited supplies on the road, this just makes staying hydrated way easier.
8. Silk Scrunchies
I know that it’s going to sound silly to be so in love with a particular set of hair ties, but hear me out on this one. When I travel, I’m constantly putting my hair up and taking it down, which means I need a good hair tie that won’t tug on my hair — or worse, leave a dent that’s visible in my pics. These silk ones from Slip are so great for my hair because they do everything I need, and I can pick out different ones to match my outfits.
9. Hair Moisturizer
Between the open air on hop-on, hop-off buses, scootering around town, and well, Mother Nature, my hair can seriously look like a bird’s nest when I’m traveling. A sleek hair moisturizer like this one from Oribe is so great for a number of reasons. It hydrates my hair and tames flyaways. Plus, I love the way it smells and sometimes dab a little into my wrists if I forget to put perfume on.
10. Touch-Up Powder
I’m usually not one for wearing powder makeup on my face because my skin is really dry, but this one from Charlotte Tilbury is one I always carry with me for touch-ups. What I like about it is that it’s very light, so it doesn’t cake up. I mainly use it to take away shine when I’m sweating a lot, and I also use my finger to pack it onto the sides of my nose so I don’t get marks from my sunglasses.
It comes in super thin and sleek packaging so I don’t have to worry about it taking up too much space in my bag, and all I have to do is bring a brush or powder pouf to apply it.
11. Makeup Setting Spray
A stronghold setting spray is an absolute must for me, and it truly doesn’t get better than the Urban Decay All Nighter spray. This stuff locks in my makeup so it lasts all day long, and it also works as a refresher mist when my face starts to get dry. I love that it holds my makeup in place without making me feel dry or matte, and it leaves me with dewy, fresh-looking skin.
12. A Reusable Straw
My teeth aren’t super sensitive, but I just really love drinking out of straws. Not all countries have started using paper or bamboo straws yet, so I always carry my own just in case. Not only are these straws a small way of contributing to environmental conservation, but they’ve also proven to be an amazing conversation starter when I’m abroad. Win-win.
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