Some Surprising Items To Add To Your Packing List

As most of you know, when it comes to packing, I am all about minimalism. I like to travel light. So, very little finds its way on my packing list and into my luggage without a really good reason.

The other day, I was browsing through the JD Williams website when I came across Spanx. My eyebrow rose a little and I thought, Now that’s one thing I would never pack! But then it struck me, if I was going to be attending a wedding or a special event while I was away, I might actually end up needing to pack something like that to make sure I looked my absolute best.

It’s funny how one person’s unnecessary thing is another’s must-have item! Here are some items that many travelers swear are essentials for them.

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Essentials to add to your travel packing list

Elastic bands

Some people like to use elastic bands as a way of compressing their clothes and other items when they pack. It is a great tip. Filling the cube is important when you want to travel light.

A viscose towel

This is one of my personal essentials. I always pack one. Viscose is lightweight, folds tightly, and dries very quickly.

A 3-in-1 jacket

Another one of my essential packing list items is a 3-in-1 jacket. This style of coat ensures that you are ready for any type of weather. If it is warm when you travel, you can just wrap it around your waist. On a cold, wet day you can wear all three layers or just two if you want to.

A secure way to carry your valuables

You need to keep valuable items like your phone, cash, hotel keycard, and other cards safe. A money belt is a good option, but bulky. For day-to-day use, a belt loop wallet or bra stash is usually better. You can find out more about keeping your valuables secure when you travel by reading this article.

A lightweight scarf or sarong

A nice wide scarf can come in handy and be used in several ways. It’s a great addition to your packing list for its multi-functionality. It can keep your neck warm on cold days. You can use it as a makeshift pillow when you travel. It can also be used to keep you a little warmer if you have to sleep at the airport. The right one can also be used as a sarong for the beach.

Silk is a lovely fabric. It looks great, is very lightweight and is a fairly good insulator too.

A water purification pen

If you are traveling to a country where the water is not good to drink, it is worth packing some sort of water purifier. Of course, you should follow the advice and only drink treated water whenever you can. But it is also a good idea to have a water purification pen on you for emergencies.

Noise-cancelling smart earplugs

For those of you who are easily disturbed, a set of noise-canceling smart earplugs is ideal. They are tiny but can help to keep you sane and ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep.

A pay-as-you-go data hotspot

For some travelers, a data hotspot can be really useful. You just have to buy the hotspot. Then, buy a day pass on the days you need to use the internet a lot or send data-rich messages. This is a great way to keep your data bills under control.

Travel comforts

If your travels are going to include long-haul flights, extensive bus rides, and cheap-and-cheerful hostel stays, you may want to invest in a few travel comforts to make these situations more enjoyable – or even just bearable! These can include an e-reader to keep you entertained, a comfortable travel pillow, and a refillable water bottle.

It’s also worth getting one of the best eye masks for sleeping to help you fall asleep on transports and improve your sleep quality. A good sleep mask for travel will be compact, soft yet sturdy, and block the light fully. These items may seem like luxuries, but trust me, they’ll soon become cherished essentials!

More packing tips

Over the years, I have written quite a few different articles with packing lists and tips, covering everything from being ready for adventure travel to minimizing what you take with you. If you want to read some of these posts, you can do so by clicking here.


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Hey, I'm Camille! I quit my life to travel the world in 2013 – and I haven’t stopped since! I have visited 40+ countries as a location-independent travel/lifestyle writer and digital marketer. I like hammocks, scooters, eating, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I was chosen as a top travel influencer by, and have co-founded Helipad Marketing to help travel & lifestyle brands soar with killer online marketing.

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