The ultimate travel essentials checklist 2024

A quick and easy guide to travel essentials for international and domestic holidays. 

Whether you’re planning an international holiday or a domestic vacation, one can never escape the feeling of having forgotten something upon arriving at the airport. Fear not, for we have compiled the ultimate travel essentials checklist for holidaymakers. From travel essentials for long-haul flights to carry-on necessities for weekend escapes, this definitive list will detail exactly what essentials are needed for travelling on planes, trains and everything in between, no matter your destination.

Black suitcase with phone charger in it
© Unsplash/ Benjamin Rascoe

Travel essentials for long-haul flights

Neck pillow
Save yourself from the dreaded bobblehead effect by investing in a soft yet supportive neck pillow that allows you to rest easy and wake up crick-free – memory foam is a fantastic option. 

Noise-cancelling headphones
The constant drone of the plane can cause headaches and make it difficult to fall asleep. Noise-cancelling headphones are a travel essential for planes, trains, buses and ferries as they cut out atmospheric noise and allow you to enjoy some peace and quiet while on the go. 

Loop Earplugs Quiet 2 is an affordable noise-reduction earpiece at $34.95. Available in four colours, the soft-touch silicone earplugs filter out noises for better sleep and calm travel experiences with 24 dB (SNR) noise reduction. Extra points for the compact case which takes up little room in your hand luggage.

Compression socks
It isn’t always possible to get up, walk around, or stretch on a flight, which can cause swelling in the legs and feet from a prolonged period of sitting. Compression socks promote circulation and reduce swelling in legs and feet, and if you get a pair made from natural fibres they’ll keep your toes snug, too! 

Packable travel blanket
Long-haul international flights often have very cool cabin temperatures. To ensure a comfortable flight sneak a packable or wearable blanket into your carry-on.

Carabiner
Perfect for attaching an umbrella, packable jacket or poncho, hand sanitiser or other knick-knacks to your backpack or person, a carabiner is one of those things you didn’t know you needed. 

Shop our top picks

Fleece reversible blanket in Beige or Navy, $29.90 each, Uniqlo. Compression socks in Black and White, $39 per pair, Paire.

two folded blankets
© Uniqlo
A black and white sock
© Paire

Bluetooth transmitter
No one likes using airline-supplied earphones. A Bluetooth transmitter will allow you to use your own wireless headphones or earphones while enjoying in-flight films. 

Eye mask
The best way to avoid jet lag is by strategically sleeping a portion of your long-haul flight away. A lovely silk eye mask is gentle on the skin and effective at blocking out light.

Backpack
A sturdy backpack that can comfortably carry all of your travel essentials is non-negotiable. Look for a model that has a slot for your laptop or device, a place for your drink bottle, cushioned shoulder straps and concealed pick-pocket proof compartments.

Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes
A helpful travel essential to have in your carry-on is antibacterial wipes and on-the-go hand sanitiser. When suitable for use on both hands and surfaces, wipes can sanitise tray tables, chairs, and armrests, or refresh dirty, sticky hands. 

Shop our top picks

Silk sleep mask in Black, $55, Sssh Silk. Antibacterial Instant Hand Sanitiser in Refresh Green Clip & 2-in-1 Hands & Surfaces Anti-Bacterial Wipes, both Dettol.

Black silk sleeping eye mask
© Sssh Silk
Two dettol products
© Dettol

International travel essentials 

RFID protectors
Thieves and pickpockets are present everywhere, and their methods of obtaining information are getting more sophisticated. An RFID protective sleeve, wallet, or bag will protect your cards or passports from being digitally copied and fraudulently used.

Packing cubes
Packing cubes are the unsung heroes of all travel essentials and will allow you to fit more in your suitcase while maintaining a higher level of organisation. 

Portable door lock
If you’re looking for a little extra peace of mind when it comes to security, look no further than the portable door lock. There are a few models on the market, but you should look for one that is easy to use, comes in one piece, and can be installed and removed quickly in case of emergency. 

Digital luggage scale
Avoid exceeding your checked luggage allowance by testing the weight of your suitcase and carry-on item before leaving your hotel by packing a handy digital luggage scale.

Open suitcase with items inside
© Unsplash/ Marissa Grootes

Travel wallet
It’s incredibly handy to keep your passport, cards, boarding passes, travel SIM cards, and other paraphernalia in one spot. Invest in a travel wallet that makes transitioning through airports, railway stations and other ports effortless.

Bluetooth luggage tags
Keep track of where your luggage, passport, backpack, phone, keys, and other essential items are by fitting them all with an Apple AirTag, Samsung Galaxy SmartTag or Tile Mate. When in range, they send out a secure BlueTooth signal to your phone which can then be tracked in the Find My app. 

Portable power bank
Our phones have become one of the hardest working tools on our travel essentials list. Used for snapping photos, filming videos, translating signs and getting directions, phone batteries can deplete quicker than we think. Carry a portable power bank to ensure you’re never caught with a flat battery.

Bag lock
Most suitcases feature built-in locks for zips, but many backpacking units and day packs do not. A bag lock is a quick and easy travel essential that ensures no one can sneak sticky fingers into your luggage when you aren’t looking.  

Shop our top picks

Travel wallet with RFID protection in Black, $151, Anorak. Apple AirTag in Pink case, $479, Hermes.

black travel wallet open
© Anorak

© Hermes

Universal travel essentials

Travel-size toiletries
International liquid, gel, and powder restrictions often require cosmetics and other toiletries to be decanted into smaller containers. Look for travel-size containers that are water-tight, easy to pack and sturdy enough to withstand any rough-housing. 

Magnetic hat clip
Whether you’re carrying a beanie, cap, straw hat, or fedora, a strong magnetic hat clip that can attach to your handbag or pack will ensure your hat doesn’t get lost, or end up crumpled beyond recognition. 

Suitcase
It goes without saying that a suitcase is a travel essential. Look for a suitcase with a durable yet lightweight construction, four rotating wheels on the base, built-in locks for zippers, and hard-wearing retractable handles. 

Packable raincoat
Regardless of whether your destination is hot, cold, wet or dry, rain is always a possibility. 

Hat

This classic fedora, the Tarlo from ooGee comes with a leather belt, buckle and rafia braid for UPF+50 sun protection. Best of all? It’s fitted with a ComfyFit internal size adjuster for the perfect fit and making it wind-resistant. $155.

© ooGee

Shop our top picks

Check suitcase, from $375, July. Hat clip, $24.95, Klipsta.

© July
Hat clips in multiple colours
© Klipsta

Universal travel adaptor
If you happen to be on a multi-continent journey, carrying a single travel adapter for every type of electrical outlet just isn’t economical. Instead, buy one adapter that can be adjusted to suit the voltage and outlet of any destination – extra points for an adapter with USB ports. 

Luggage tag
Lost luggage is a traveller’s worst fear, but finding a lost bag or suitcase requires your items to be clearly labelled. A brightly-coloured luggage tag that details your name, email, phone number, and best address while abroad is the key to successful recovery. 

Camera
For those looking to capture high-quality holiday memories, a user-friendly, lightweight digital camera with 4K capabilities and a manoeuvrable screen is a travel essential. 

Collapsible drink bottle
Give up single-use plastic bottles and stop buying bottled water! Carrying a collapsible drink bottle with you at all times, instead. 

Silk pillowcase
Avoid breakouts or skin irritation by taking a silk pillowcase with you. 

Shop our top picks

Duo Face Saver Case in Terracotta Dreamin’, $260, Nidra. J.Burrows 2 Port USB Travel Adapter in Grey, $21.99, Officeworks.

two orange pillows stacked on top each other
© Nidra
travel adapter
© Officeworks/ J.Burrows

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