Travel Essentials: What to Pack for Vacation

Mike and I just got back from an amazing trip to Europe, and we know it wouldn’t have been as amazing if we hadn’t packed our Travel Essentials! These are must-brings on a big vacation (or any vacation, really) and are essential for different reasons.

Below, I’ve highlighted some of our Travel Essentials—must packs—on our trips, and why.

Let me know if these line up with what you have to bring on your vacations!

Note: I am a #TeamTELUS ambassador, and throughout the year, highlight different TELUS related initiatives, products and services that are important to me. This post is part of a paid partnership with TELUS, and features several TELUS products that are essential to my vacations (plus a bunch of non-TELUS items too). This does not impact the opinions of the post.

Travel Essentials: What To Pack For Vacation

Travel Essentials - What to Pack - Team TELUS - Vacation Guide

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Hand Sanitizer (Travel Size)

When you’re traveling, you might start to feel a bit yucky. Long travel days. Hikes. Maybe you’re taking trains and buses like a local. Your hands are bound to get dirty—or at least, feel dirty (mine certainly do!) and that’s where some travel size hand sanitizer comes in real handy.

Where to Buy:
Any grocery store, dollar store or pharmacy.

Mophie (Portable Phone Charger)

Travel Essentials - Travel Guide - What to Pack - mophie

A good book, a good drink, a good view, and my handy mophie phone charger!

A portable phone charger is essential for my life in general—so it’s especially important on vacation. If you’re anything like me, I always need my battery life to hover around 80% charged (or up) lol. My Mophie ensures I have access to maps, notes, social media and my phone camera—all important apps when I travel! This particular Mophie is slim, and easily fits in anything (including pant pockets!) I’ve also had Mophie phone charging cases too, which are a bit bulkier but also do the trick (and involve less cords).

Where to Buy:
Mophie Powerstation: $37.49
(Click to buy through TELUS)
Mophie Charging Phone Case: $40-$100
(Click to buy through Amazon)

Power Converter/Plug Adapter

If you’re traveling outside of North America, chances are your plug-ins are t going to fit with the outlets. That’s going to be an issue for things like charging your phone, your iPad, laptop, or even plugging in your hair straightener. For our trip, we got two converters, one that said it would work with a hair straightener and one that was strictly for electronic devices. Just to be safe, and also so we didn’t need to share plugs.

Where to Buy:
Insten Universal Adapter Plug: $10.98 
(Click to buy through Amazon)
DOACE Power Transformer, Adapter, Converter Combo: $44.99
(Click to buy through Amazon)


Travel Essentials - jaybird sport x3 headphones - Travel Guide - What To Pack

You need headphones for travel days!

On our most recent trip, Mike and I had some pretty long travel days—4 hour flights, 8 hour flights, 4-5 hour train rides. Long chunks of travel like that gives me time to blog (including writing most of this post!) It’s also a good time to listen to some audiobooks, podcasts, watch some pre-downloaded Netflix shows (This Is Us Season 2 anyone???) or just have music playing while we try to sleep. Headphones are therefore essential to this process. Mike has Beats by Dre, and I use Jaybird X3 Sport (wireless, for my iPhone X) which you can get through TELUS (the phone too lol).

Where To Buy:
Jaybird X3 Sport Wireless Headphones: $159.99
(Click to buy through TELUS)

Water Bottle

We didn’t realize just how vital having your own water bottle can be until we visited Europe (particularly, Italy) where you’ll get charged to have water in restaurants! Rather than losing 3 Euro ($5 CAD!) with every water request when you dine, be sure to bring a reusable water bottle with you and fill up at public fountains, or buy bottles at corner stores for just 1 Euro and transfer it into your bottle.

Where To Buy:
Any grocery store, dollar store, or online.
(I am also partial to S’well water bottles

TELUS Easy Roam (Phone Travel Package)

Travel Essentials - Social Media - TELUS Easy Roam Package

Thanks to TELUS Easy Roam, I could post awesome vacation photos like this one on social media, as it was happening!

I mentioned how important keeping my phone charged is. What’s the point if I can’t use it to access Internet services? When we travel, we have to have access to data, and with TELUS’ Easy Roam Package, we can use our phone like we’re at home. For just a small fee per day, you can use your phone plan as you would any day—freely accessing data and calling. TELUS Easy Roam kept us connected, let me share travels in real time on my social media channels, and let Mike call his parents every few days to check in our dogs and cats. A data package is a MUST when we travel!

How could I post awesome vacation photos like without it?! 

Where to Buy:
Easy Roam Package: $7 per day
(Click to buy through TELUS)

Deodorant (Travel Size)

I don’t know about you, but I generally like to keep deodorant handy in various spots from my car, my office drawer, my bathroom at home, and when travelling—my bag! I wrote about those long travel days—hours and hours in a plane or in a train seat. Some deodorant can go a long way in making you feel comfortable and refreshed, and knowing that that funky smell in the cabin is not coming from you. (Hopefully there isn’t a funky smell at all but, at least there’s some comfort knowing you’re not the culprit).

Where To Buy:
Any grocery store, dollar store or online.
(My preferred brand is Lady Speed Stick)

Big Travel Bag (and a little one too)

Travel Essentials - big travel bag - Guide - What To Pack

I love my big travel bag! It fits a ton of stuff.

When I travel, I like to bring a bigger bag (can be like a satchel, duffel, or tote) that acts as my “big” travel bag, for travel days. This thing will house my passport, purse, wallet, phone, headphones, deodorant, hand sanitizer, camera, chargers, cords, snacks, lotion, water bottle, you name it. It’s my carry-on personal item that comfortably holds, well, a lot, including a small travel bag that I’ll then use more on day-to-day travel outings. It’s important for me to have a big enough bag that can hold essential travel items, and still work as a cute purse, but also be able to swap to a smaller bag when I need. It’s just convenient!

Where To Buy:
Anywhere! In stores, online, or on your travels. I can’t recall where I got this big bag, which is one of my favourites, but I think I got it fittingly while on vacation.

Digital Camera (DSLR)

Phone cameras are incredible these days, for sure. I love the camera on my iPhone X. Mike’s Samsung camera is also awesome. And I’ve heard the camera on Google Pixels are unrivalled. But there’s just a quality about a DSLR, or mirrorless camera—an actual camera not just your phone’s camera—that can’t be beat. And for me, someone who blogs often about food and travel, ensuring I’ve got some high quality photos of where I’m eating and sights I’m seeing, is essential. And I do that by making sure my trusty DSLR, a super light weight, compact Nikon d5500, is with me on all my travels!

Bonus / related item: a selfie stick. Because sometimes it’s easier to selfie photo at a landmark than asking someone to take it of you.

Where To Buy:
Nikon d5500: $828.40
(Click to buy through Amazon)

As for a selfie stick, I got ours as a swag bag at a Cactus Club event.
You can also find them being sold at almost any landmark in Italy (lol).
Or, online, like on Amazon (I really like Amazon)

Tile Mate (Item Tracker)

Who can relate to panicking when you can’t find your phone (even though 9 times out of 10 it’s in plain view, or somewhere that you’re sure you already checked lol). Yeah, me too! But I don’t have to worry about that anymore, because I use something called a Tile Mate. A Tile Mate helps you find your things, easily. Phones, cameras, wallets, keys, whatever is valuable and maybe prone to getting misplaced—your Tile can make sure you can locate these items any time (even if the phone for example is on silent!) 

Where To Buy:
Tile Mate Item Tracker: $37.49 
(Click to buy through TELUS)

Travel Essentials - What to Pack - Team TELUS - Vacation Guide

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Those are my Travel Essentials—products keeping me happy, comfortable, connected, and clean wherever I go!!

I’d love to know what your “must packs” are for your trips!

Leave a comment below, or let me know on social media!



  • Peggy O'Neill says:

    Hi Linda, Happy to see that your enjoyed your trip to Europe so much. Yes, all your trips are great. Can’t say I’d travel with all the techies you have suggested, but I wouldn’t be taking photos of all the food items you would. Best regards,

  • Emma Browne says:

    I recently read an article on some car rental tips and it helped me a lot. It turns out that choosing the right rental company and carefully reading the terms and conditions can save a lot of time and money. It is also important to take into account all the details and recommendations regarding insurance and terms of use of the car.

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