26 things we always pack when we travel

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I’m always looking for ways to streamline how I pack for a trip. Despite thinking I’m already a pretty good packer, I still think I can be better. Maybe you feel the same way.

Some of the best tips I’ve adopted into my travel routine are recommendations from friends and coworkers. So to help inspire you, I asked my Business Insider colleagues to share the things they always bring when they travel, and I got some interesting responses.

Some are seemingly random (an audio splitter), some are convenient (a pair of noise-cancelling headphones), and some you probably didn’t realise you needed (a bottle of melatonin).

Check out our favourite travel picks below.

An audio splitter


Audio splitters are key for watching movies on iPad with significant other or friend. -- Antonio Villas-Boas

Belkin Speaker and Headphone Splitter, $US3.99 ($AU5.27)

An extra-long charging cable


An extra-long charging cable comes in handy when you're too far from the nearest power outlet. -- Jay Freshwater

Anker PowerLine+ 10ft. Lightning Cable, $US17.99 ($AU23.78)

A portable battery


The sense of security a big portable battery gives you is invaluable. If I forget to charge my phone/tablet before leaving the hotel -- and I always do -- it's nice to know I'll still be safe to watch a movie on the flight, or have enough juice to call an Uber once I get off the bus. -- Jeff Dunn

Anker PowerCore 20100 Ultra High Capacity Power Bank, $US39.99 ($AU52.86)

Noise-cancelling headphones


These Bose headphones have a huge battery life -- perfect for long hauls. They're so comfortable do you can even fall asleep despite their size, and since they're noise-cancelling headphones, they help combat aircraft noise. All of that, and the sound quality is excellent for all types of music. -- Roddy Salazar

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, $US349 ($AU461.34)

Streaming services


Netflix's new download feature was essential on a recent LONG trip. You can download movies on Amazon Prime Video, too. -- Antonio Villas-Boas

A portable Bluetooth speaker


A Bluetooth speaker might seem like a superfluous thing to bring on a trip, but it was actually one of the most versatile gadgets I packed for my most recent vacation. I used it to help me sleep (see the next slide for more on that), liven up my showers (because it's also waterproof!), and for some entertainment when I was relaxing in my Airbnb at night. -- Ellen Hoffman

Anker SoundCore Sport XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $US59.99 ($AU79.30)

A white noise app


I've been using Noisli every night for about two years now, and I wouldn't go anywhere without it. Right before I'm ready to go to bed, I pair Noisli via Bluetooth to my portable Anker speaker when I'm away.

It proved particularly helpful during the London leg of my last trip; my first-floor Airbnb was located on a busy street and Noisli helped drown out the traffic outside. -- Ellen Hoffman

Noisli for iOS or Android, $US1.99 ($AU2.63)

A neck pillow


This neck pillow is expensive, heinously ugly, kinda smells, and makes you feel like a post-op dog in a cone, but I haven't been awake for more than a few minutes on a plane since buying it. -- Sophie-Claire Hoeller

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow, $US39.99 ($AU52.86)



I always travel with melatonin to help me sleep and adjust to different time zones. I like this brand. -- Valeria Lai

Natrol Melatonin Timed Release Tablets, $US7.75 ($AU10.24)

A lint roller


This retractable lint roller is amazing and super compact -- I love it! -- Avery Hartmans

Flint Retractable Lint Roller, $US9.88 ($AU13.06)

A versatile scarf


I always bring my Vinyasa scarf from Lululemon when I travel. If you unbutton it, it turns into a wrap that makes a nice blanket while flying. You can also turn it into an infinity scarf or fold it up for a pillow. -- Ashley Lutz

Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf, $US48 ($AU63.45)

Ear plugs


A good pair of earplugs! I sleep in hostels a lot when travelling to save money and meet people. If you know anything about hostels, there are people partying to all hours of the night and you are usually sharing a room with a few people. Earplugs make sure I can get a good night of sleep no matter what's going on around me. For my money, Mack's Originals are the best I've tried. They're comfortable to sleep with and very powerful. -- Harrison Jacobs

Mack's Original Soft Foam Earplugs (30-Pack), $US7.40 ($AU9.78)

A waterproof phone case


This is perfect for those not-so-candid, water-selfie moments. -- Kayla Petty

Voxkin Universal Waterproof Case, $US9.99 ($AU13.21)

A travel steamer


I always travel with this small fabric steamer because ironing clothes takes too long! -- Chris Roth

PurSteam Fabric Steamer, $US24.99 ($AU33.03)

A travel adaptor


These all-in-one travel adapters with USB ports are lifesavers. Charge two phones at the same time and have your laptop powered on too. Never have to worry about voltages. -- Thomas Zoltner

Travel Inspira Universal All-in-One Worldwide Travel Power Plug, $US10.59 ($AU14.00)

A roomy tote bag

MZ Wallace

I love using this bag as a carry-on! It doesn't really have a shape so you can mould it into any space -- in an overhead bin or under your seat. It comes in a variety of colours, too. -- Lia Sur

MZ Wallace Large Metro Tote, $US225< ($AU297.42)/a>


I take my reusable water bottle with me everywhere I go! If I'm flying, I empty it before security and fill it up at a drinking fountain inside. I absolutely REFUSE to pay $US5 for bottled water. Not to mention, it's better for the environment as well.

I've been using the classic Nalgene bottle for over a decade and have never found another water bottle that I like better (and I've tried all the trendy ones). -- Emmie Martin

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle, $US11 ($AU14.54)

A multi-port wall charger


This is a must-have for someone who has lots of gadgets and travels as often as I do. -- Jana Meron

Anker 60W 6-Port USB Wall Charger, $US29.99 ($AU39.64)

A hanging toiletry bag


I always travel with a hanging toiletry bag to store my jewellery. A tip my mum gave me and it works like a charm.

The small zippered compartments are perfect. Little compartments are great to divide delicate pieces that would potentially tangle with other pieces of jewellery. Store your jewellery in this, hang it on a door when you get to your destination, and viola! -- Marri Milcarek

ODESSA Home Hanging Toiletry Bag, $US12.79 ($AU16.91)



I always travel with this sunscreen travel pack (for warm weather/beach vacations). -- Julia Le

Supergoop! At Play Tote Value Set, $US45($AU59.48)

Sanitizing wipes


To avoid getting sick when I fly, I buy individual packages of cleaning wipes. I wipe down the seat, the tray table, and the remote for the seat screen if there is one. I read an article many years ago about how disgusting your airline tray table is as well as the surroundings, and to avoid getting sick, this is one thing you can do to protect yourself. -- Cindy Pabst

Purell Cottony Soft Sanitizing Wipes, $US3.99 ($AU5.27)

An aromatic stress oil


I'm a nervous flyer, so I pack my carry-on with products that will keep me comfortable and calm. As soon as I find my seat, I rub Tata Harper's aromatic stress oils onto my pulse points and take a few deep breaths. It is a splurge, but this little bottle will last you years. And if you're terrified of flying like me, having some peace of mind is priceless. -- Kelsey Mulvey

Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment, $US80 ($AU105.75)



My new favourite thing is Texture -- it's like Netflix for magazines. I love reading magazines on the plane, so it's great to have access to almost every single one all on my iPad! -- Chelsey Hoffman

Texture App, 14 days free, plus 3 months for $US10 ($AU13.22)



Lemsip. Which in the US is called TheraFlu. It's a powder and you stir it up in hot water. It cures everything. Cough, cold, flu, sore throat, hangover, morning or night. -- Jim Edwards

TheraFlu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold, $US10.50 ($AU13.88)

A 12V wall charger


I bring a 12V charger, so my devices charge more quickly when I need quick power. -- Jay Freshwater

iClever BoostCube 12W USB iPad Wall Charger, $US7.99 ($AU10.56)

A perfume dispenser


Get one of these travel-sized perfume dispensers so you don't have to take the whole bottle. -- Kayla Petty

Travalo Limited Refillable Perfume Spray Dispenser, $US9.99($AU13.21)

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