To make the most of your adventures, it is vital to equip yourself with the perfect travel companions. From practical gadgets to stylish accessories, these handpicked essentials become more than mere items — they become trusted allies that enhance your travel experience in ways you never imagined.

Here are the 17 best travel essentials you’ll need on your trips, whether you’re going off-the-grid, exploring local cultures, or seeking inner peace within yourself.

1. Bellroy Tokyo Totepack – Saltbush

The epitome of travel elegance and functionality, the Bellroy Tokyo Totepack ($299) is an essential for the modern traveller.

One of its standout features is the padded laptop sleeve, providing secure protection for devices up to 16″. Whether you’re embarking on a business trip or capturing breathtaking moments on a spontaneous adventure, your valuable technology will remain safe and sound. In addition to providing reliable protection for laptops or iPads, this totepack also caters to the needs of travel enthusiasts with a passion for photography. While it does not have as many compartments as a traditional camera cube, this backpack compensates with its sleek aesthetics. Personally, I keep the lenses and the speedlite in the two inner side pockets, keeping them separate from the camera. But of course, you can use the pop pockets for your essentials such as a water bottle, umbrella, and even a pair of shoes.

Navigating bustling cities and bustling airports can be challenging, but with the Tokyo Totepack’s vertical front pockets, accessing your essentials on the go becomes a breeze. Say goodbye to rummaging through your bag and hello to effortless organisation. 

More importantly, for a backpack with such high storage space, comfort is paramount when on the move. The backpack shoulder straps are padded, negating most of the weight on your shoulders. The Totepack (if you haven’t already deciphered it) is ingeniously designed to transit from a backpack to a tote bag whenever the need arises. All you have to do is unbuckle the shoulder straps, and tuck it into the designated pocket. 

The Bellroy Tokyo Totepack is available in nine colours for $289 at The Boarding Gate. It’s my personal favourite, but if you would like to explore more options and snag a good deal, from 29 May to 11 June, you can get up to 70% off all luggage, backpacks and travel accessories at Singapore’s No. 1 Travel & Lifestyle Fair, located at Suntec City Atrium.

Bellroy Tokyo Totepack – Saltbush

2. SuperV USB Quick Charge AC Travel Adapter

Photo: Shop PWP

One plug is truly all you need with this universal adapter. 

Experience unparalleled convenience and versatility with the SuperV USB Quick Charge AC Travel Adapter ($39). Its stand out feature lies in its The SuperV USB in its detachable F plug, which is a round two-pin plug that is designed for “deep-set” plugs. This is great for countries like Korea and Vietnam, where most accommodations require an F plug. While the common universal adapter is equipped with the two-pin plug, its cubed-shape prevents it from reaching the circular sunken hole of an F plug. However, with the SuperV’s detachable F plug, this limitation is effortlessly overcome, ensuring seamless compatibility with the unique socket designs of these countries.

The SuperV USB Quick Charge AC Travel Adapter allows for a 3-pin plug, 3 USBs, and 1 Type-C output, and is available in two colours — black and white. 

SuperV Universal Adapter

3. YouTrip Card

When you travel to a lot of countries, exchanging to different currencies can be such a hassle.

The YouTrip card streamlines your journey with its multi-currency wallet, which offers competitive rates. Skip the money changers. The card extends convenience with zero FX fees, a one-click lock system for lost cards, and seamless integration with in-apps and mobile wallets. Moreover, it ensures your financial security through instant payment alerts and round-the-clock monitoring.

YouTrip Card

4. SuperV IM168 Wireless Mini Iron

Photo: SuperV

A common problem that most of us face while travelling is having crumpled clothes.

You can’t do anything about if you’re staying in a hostel, and even if you can get your hands on an iron, setting up is a hassle.

The SuperV Portable Iron ($69.9) ensures your travel outfits stay sharp and crease-free. Setting up is a breeze — just turn it on, wait 30 seconds, and you’re ready to smooth out those wrinkles. What sets the SuperV apart is not just its efficiency but also its travel-friendly design. Weighing in at a mere 345g and measuring a compact 14.1 x 7.1 x 7.1 cm, which is the size of an iPhone, it’s incredibly portable and won’t hog valuable luggage space.

SuperV Portable Iron

5. Phone tripod

You don’t wanna miss capturing moments, especially when you’re travelling alone.

It’s quite a hassle and dangerous to ask strangers to take your photos or videos, particularly in countries with language barriers. Hence, a phone tripod stands as a versatile tool that captures memorable moments.

6. PacSafe Cruise On The Go Crossbody 

Photo: Boarding Gate

When it comes to bags, there’s an increasing need for an anti-theft travel bag that.

Crafted from 100% recycled polyester, the PacSafe Cruise On The Go Crossbody ($100) stands out with its comprehensive features and water-resistant design, ensuring protection and functionality throughout your journeys. Secure your belongings with intelligent zipper protection, cut-resistant materials — especially the anchor straps — zipped passport pocket with RFID blocking technology, and hidden pockets for valuables.

The bag is also designed with dedicated compartments that keep your belongings organised, including pockets for your phone, cards, and keys, along with an internal attachment for wallets. Lastly, a padded sleeve accommodating a 7-inch tablet.

PacSafe Cruise On The Go Crossbody

7. Toiletry bag

A toiletry bag is a travel essential that ensures organised and compact storage of personal hygiene items, simplifying your daily routine while on the go. From skincare to medicines, you can store multiple things you need, making it practical companion for every journey.

8. Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray

Photo: Watsons

A facial spray is important to keep your skin hydrated, especially when you’re visiting a country with dry weather.

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray (from $10.3) stands out as a popular facial spray for all skin types, providing a soothing mist for instant refreshment. Friendly for sensitive or allergy-prone skin, and even for babies, this spray instantly softens and soothes. It’s recommended for daily use after cleansing, effectively removing residual impurities.

An additional benefit for those visiting hot countries, spray cools and relieves without causing skin dryness. With it compact and versatile design, this facial spray ensures your skin stays revitalised throughout your travels.

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray

9. Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo provides a convenient solution to refresh your hair without water, making it an ideal choice for on-the-go grooming. This allows you to maintain clean and voluminous hair during your travels.

We recommend getting a travel-sized dry shampoo so you can carry it around the day.

10. Protective cable case

To simplify your travel needs, a protective cable case is ideal to keep your charging cords from turning into a tangled mess. More importantly, it protects them from getting all beat up in your bag.

With handy compartments and secure fastenings, it’s the easiest way to keep your charging gear organised. Just toss it in your bag, and you won’t have to dig around for your cables when your devices need a boost.

11. Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel 40L

Photo: Boarding Gate

A crucial travel essential, especially for avid shoppers, is an extra foldable duffel bag, and the Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel 40L ($179) emerges as an ideal choice.

Beyond stylish, the bag has extra-large opening and lockable zipper ensuring convenience and protection during your trip. Long distance to cover? The Migrate Duffel is designed with rucksack suspension straps, allowing you to carry it on your back comfortably instead.

Furthermore, the entire duffel is crafted from an easy-to-clean exterior material, facilitating hassle-free maintenance after your journey. Its seamless bottom bathtub construction also adds a layer of protection, preventing the contents from getting wet even when placed in damp conditions.

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel 40L

12. Hand sanitiser & alcohol swaps

Health is a priority while traveling, and essentials like hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes are crucial for maintaining cleanliness and germ-free conditions on the go. These must-haves help you stay protected by easily sanitising your hands and wiping down surfaces like tray tables or doorknobs.

13. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser

Photo: La Roche Posey

Skin dehydration is a common problem most travellers face due to air travel, changes in climate, and exposure to different environments. Furthermore, the recycled air in airplanes and varying humidity levels can strip moisture from your skin, leading to dryness and discomfort.

Applying moisturizer helps to replenish and lock in moisture, preventing skin dehydration and maintaining a healthy complexion. Formulated by dermatologist, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser (from $27) helps as a daily moisturiser with SPF30 protection that helps protect your skin from sunburn. Suitable for all skin types, this oil-free moisturiser helps protect your skin barrier and give up to 48 hours hydration.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser

14. Sunnystep Shoes

Balance Runner, Sakura ($135)

Embark on urban adventures with Sunnystep shoes, the ultimate choice for avid travelers who love to explore cities on foot. These remarkable shoes boast a blister-free design, ensuring unparalleled comfort from the very first wear. Lightweight yet supportive, they effortlessly carry you through bustling streets and hidden alleyways, keeping your feet refreshed and energized

Furthermore, travelling often means packing light, and Sunnystep shoes are the perfect travel companion in this regard. With their lightweight construction, they can easily be folded and packed without adding unnecessary weight to your luggage. Plus, their versatility allows them to complement any outfit, be it casual or more dressy, making them a stylish choice for both day and night. With a minimalistic and versatile design, Sunnystep shoes come in a range of colors to suit your personal style. Whether you prefer a classic cream, sleek silver, timeless white, or versatile black, you’ll find the perfect shade to match your outfit.

Durability is another key feature of Sunnystep shoes. Even if you’re a bit clumsy or find yourself accidentally stepping into muddy areas, these shoes are easy to clean and maintain. A quick wipe with a wet tissue is all it takes to keep them looking pristine.

Click here to learn more about how I backpacked Thailand for three weeks in these shoes.

Sunnystep

15. Samsonite X MK Rolling Tote

Photo: Samsonite

Specifically designed for carry-on convenience, the Rolling Tote ($590) combines Parisian chic from Maison Kitsuné with Samsonite’s renowned practicality. This is part of the newly-launched “Carry Your Wonderlust” collection by Maison Kitsune and Samsonite.

Sporting the iconic ‘Camo Fox’ print in black or gray, it doesn’t just look stylish — it comes with an array of features for smooth travels. Safeguard your belongings with an integrated 3-digit TSA lock and anti-theft zippers. Enjoy versatility with top and side carry handles, and find organisation with two dividers, one with mesh pockets and a laptop slot and another zippered divider for efficient packing.

Tailored for shorter trips and as a carry-on, this collaboration between Maison Kitsuné and Samsonite redefines both style and function for the modern traveler.

Maison Kitsuné x Samsonite Collection

16. Veken Packing Cubes

Photo: Amazon

Pack and unpack with ease with packing cubes. Packing cubes has long been in the travel game, and to be honest, many travellers do not see the potential in investing in a high quality packing cube. Sure, the $5 alternatives from Shopee works, but how resistance are they? I have tried Shopee packing cubes which zips break within a few uses. 

Instead, invest in a high-quality packing cube. We recommend Veken Packing Cubes, created with a thick nylon material. Not only is it more durable, but is also waterproof. The Veken Packing Cubes set comes in four different sizes and a laundry bag and a shoe bag, accommodating to any types of travel — whether it’s a short business trip or a month-long adventure in the mountains.

Available in 13 different colours, the Veken Packing Cube is priced at $21.99 on Amazon.

Veken Packing Cubes 

17. Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

Photo: Apple

The Twelve South AirFly Pro is no stranger to travellers, but it’s about time to actually invest one. $84 for the ultimate flying companion is a low-cost investment. Forget muffled and ear-piercing complimentary earphones that cuts your ear canals, the Twelve South AirFly Pro allows you to fly in comfort with your trusty AirPods in your ears.

However, for those who are unfamiliar with this technology, the AirFly Pro allows you to connect your AirPods with the in-flight entertainment systems. Simply plug the device into the headphone jack on the plane, and connect your AirPods to it. No more settling for uncomfortable airline headphones or compromising on audio experience.

But the AirFly Pro doesn’t stop there. It offers the ability to pair two sets of AirPods or Beats wireless headphones simultaneously, allowing you to share the same movie, podcast, or video game with a fellow traveler or a loved one. It’s the perfect solution for couples or friends who want to enjoy their entertainment together.

This versatile device also serves as a wireless splitter for headphones. With a simple flip of a switch, you can effortlessly send music and directions wirelessly from your iPhone to your car’s AUX IN, transforming your road trips into a personalised audio experience.

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

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