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My Travel Must Haves

I still remember the moment during one of our planning meetings about our trip to Italy when my professor said that they were only allowing us take a carry-on size bag for 18 days. My jaw dropped and I didn’t think he was serious.

Unfortunately he was, and for an over packer like me, it nearly triggered a full blown panic attack.  I take a carry-on size bag for weekend trips, not 2 and half-week trips.

Well I did. I managed to fit everything I needed (plus a little more) in a carry on size bag. Looking back, it was a good lesson, but it did require some careful planning. I learned how to only pack the necessities and the must haves.

After exactly a month in Europe today (didn’t I just leave?!?!) I have narrowed it down even more and I’m here to tell you what I think are my absolute travel must haves.

BAND-AIDS | I am the girl who always has band aids with her. You never know when a new shoe is going to give you a blister or you have a bad hang nail!

IPHONE CHARGER | This is essential for me and something I always have in my bag. Especially now that I’m working in Paris and I’m not always with a group. I use my phone a lot to figure out the metro so having it die is not an option! Definitely worth every penny.

HAND SANITIZER | I’m addicted. After the metro? Before you eat? After a long day of touring? Won’t leave the house without it.

CHAPSTICK | The number of chapsticks I have laying around at home is kind of ridiculous. I think I have one in every purse and then a few extras just to be safe. I had to limit the number I brought over to Europe!

HAIR TIES | Everyone has those days when your hair just won’t seem to cooperate no matter how much hairspray you use.

RICK STEVE’S GUIDE BOOK | I swear by this man. We had a bit of a bump in the road when we were at Pompeii and our tour guide fell through. Thankfully one girl had the Italy Rick Steve’s on her phone that included a guided tour and maps of Pompeii! Literally a life saver. I had never really heard of him before this past trip and now I don’t know if I’ll go to a city without buying his book! He has amazing suggestions and guided tours for most of the big attractions. He’s funny and makes the history about everything so interesting!  

PILLOW/ BLANKET | My mom bought me this handy gadget before I left and I was hesitant to take it. I didn’t want to have to tote it around with me. Thankfully I took it because I used it more than I ever imagined. Most of the hotels would get cold during the night and I would sleep with it on every single night. It was also perfect for our long bus rides in-between cities for sleeping. Could not recommend one more.

PEARL EARRINGS | You never know when you’ll need an extra pair of earrings. I feel absolutely naked without earrings in so I always travel with a backup.

HEAD PHONES | Make a fun playlist before your trip to jam out to before your long flight or car ride! You’ll thank yourself later.

TIEKS | I swear by these shoes. If I was rich and not a broke college student, I would by a pair in every color. Not only do they fold up super small, they are also the most comfortable flats you’ll ever wear. I ordered the navy right before I left and I think I wore them the majority of the trip. I don’t think I could get through Italy without them. I also wear them probably 2-3 times a week for my internship and made my mom send me my pink pair! I have definitely gotten my money's worth in these flats.

What are your travel essentials?




  1. I definitely need to invest in some Tieks. Everyone I know raves about them, but they are just so expensive. I think they might be worth it though from all the reviews I here.
    The Postcard Journals

  2. Rick Steves also has the besttt travel videos!

  3. I've been pining (is that how you spell it?) after Tieks for so long. It's the price tag that keeps me from buying them, even though I've heard great things and I think I will really get my money's worth!

  4. I'm going on a trip next week and this travel guide will definitely help me pack! Thanks for posting!!
    xo ClassToCloset

  5. This is the perfect list of things to have while traveling! Will for sure have to come back to this when I go on my next trip.


  6. I loved this! I'm traveling on a plane for the first time next weekend and I love seeing what you thought was essential!