Travel Guides

20 Travel Essentials I Never Go On Vacation Without

May 30, 2018

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In collaboration with barkTHINS. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Taste of Koko! 

Travel Essentials I Never Go On Vacation Without

I travel 2 – 3 times a month for the past 2 years so it’s definitely taken a couple of trips to pack and unpack all the necessary travel essentials. Everything from the best luggage, packing cubes, cord organizers, lip balm, and snack – here are all of the travel essentials that I pack for every vacation.

SEE ALSO: Perfect White Bikini For Summer



Away luggage
Away luggage


Let's start with the luggage. I really love Away's minimalistic luggage that's not only stylish but also durable. I have the small carry-on in black, bigger carry-on in silver aluminum, and the large in Grey Malin alpine. On the right, that's me dragging my large Away through the snow in Germany after I dragged it on and off trains through Spain, France, and Italy last month.

  1. Cuyana Small Carryall Tote


    A tote bag with side strap is so handy when traveling so you can wear it across your chest in the airport but also super important when traveling through Europe. Pickpocketers are evil! Cuyana’s small carryall tote is lightweight with premium leather, gold zipper closure, and interior zipper pocket. You can even get it monogrammed, I got mine monogrammed with Koko!


  2. Travel essentials

    3. barkTHINS

    I don’t know about you but I always have a serious case of the munchies when waiting for a flight and it goes worse mid-flight. So I always pack a bag of barkTHINS in my carry-on – barkTHINS is a snackable, thin, crunchy dark chocolate bark loaded with real, simple ingredients that are non-GMO and Fair Trade certified.

    barkTHINS is offered in nine (9) different varieties: Dark Chocolate Almond w/ Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Pretzel w/ Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut and Almond, Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed w/ Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Blueberry w/ Quinoa Crunch, Dark Chocolate Peanut w/ Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Mint, and more and more!

    I might look like I’m snacking on the dark chocolate almond with sea salt (above) but I actually added the Dark Chocolate Blueberry w/ Quinoa Crunch and Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed w/ Sea Salt and mixed it up. Can you do that? Absobarkinlutely.

  3. Travel Essentials
  4. 4. COIN PURSE – I don’t use a coin purse in the US but I was surprised by how useful a coin purse is when traveling internationally. You’ll want to have coins handy in Europe and Asia to buy street food, pay for train tickets, and more. I love my Cuyana leather coin pouch made of Italian leather and comes with a tassel that makes it super easy to find in my bag.
  5. 5. ZIPLOC FREEZER BAGS – I like to keep a couple of Ziploc freezer bags in my luggage to compress underwear and swimsuits. Also great for packing snacks and anything that might spill.
  6. 6. PACKING CUBES – keep your tops, bottoms, dresses, and underwear sorted and organized with packing cubes. A must have on any travel essentials list.
  7. 7. HANGING TOILETRY BAG – I use to have separate bags for makeup and toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo but then consolidated everything into one hanging toiletry bag. The hanging toiletry bag is super handy in small bathrooms that have no counter space.
  8. 8. ZIPPERED CLEAR POUCH – I save my receipts and keep them organized for tax purposes so I keep a zippered clear pouch in my luggage. Also handy to put your passport and cash in.


  10. 9. CABLE ORGANIZER – there’s nothing worse than tangled cables so I’ve kept my iPhone cord tangle-free with the CableKeep. You can even place your phone on top of the CableKeep and off the dirty airport floor.
  11. 10. BATTERY PACK – the iPhone X does take longer to charge but I can get about 3 full charges out of this battery pack and the rose gold color is pretty!
  12. 11. WD STORAGEWD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive is my go-to external storage for the past 5 years.
  13. 12. BOSE EARPHONES – I have both the Bose Noise Cancelling Earphones (wired) and Bose Soundsport (wireless). To watch movies on the plane, you have to have wired earphones so I always carry the Bose Noise Cancelling Earphones and they’ve been a lifesaver on long flights.


  15. 13. QUIP TOOTHBRUSH – just switched to the Quip toothbrush and it’s been teaching me to brush longer. Loving the sleek design!
  16. 14. SWELL WATER BOTTLE – did you know you can lose 1 to 2 liters of water on a 10-hour flight?
  17. 15. SANITIZING WIPES – tray table surfaces have more than 8x the amount of bacteria than the lavatory flush buttons. GROSS. Call me a germaphobe but I’m wiping down everything.
  18. 16. OSTRICH PILLOW – the Ostrich pillow doubles as an eye mask when you slip it over your eyes and keeps your head cushioned. I’ve used mine for 2 years now!
  19. 17. GLOSSIER LIP BALM – I always keep the Glossier mint lip balm in my purse at all times. A lifesaver on flights when my lips get so chapped.
  20. 18. LEGGINGS – let’s be real, I wear leggings 24/7 but always on a flight. My favorite pairs are the Athleta Salutation 7/8 Tight and Live In High Waist Leggings.
  21. 19. CASHMERE SCARF – I’m always freezing on the flight and this scarf (currently sold out) doubles as a scarf and blanket.
  22. 20. FLATS – stay stylish and comfortable with a pair of flats like these from Rothys.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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