My 30 Travel Essentials
Hello from West Hollywood, where I’ve just packed life into a suitcase as I am heading on tour with a band tomorrow.
The fact that I’m going on tour with a band is kind of hilarious, considering I don’t have a musical bone in my body but I live with them, they are my good friends and they are letting me sell their merch. We are touring the USA for a month in a Mercedes Sprinter van and sleeping in hotels. This is going to be an awesome way for me to see some of the country and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity.
Besides the clothes I take, which are dependant on the destination and trip duration, my travel essentials tend to stay the same - no matter how I’m travelling or where I’m travelling to.
Here’s what I’m taking on tour and take on pretty much every trip I embark on:
Although being totally detached from distractions sounds like such a luxury, having my phone on me means that I can Uber around, capture moments and call for help in an emergency. I have a Tastefully Tash phone grip on the back of my phone to stop me from dropping it.
I had a French exchange student stay with my family in Sydney when I was in high school and as soon as she walked through the door, I was obsessed with her chic style, in particular, her navy blue Longchamp bag. When I went to go and live with Chloé’s family in France, they gifted me with my very own navy blue Longchamp bag and ever since then, it has been my absolute favourite travel bag of all time! It has a European kind of elegance to it while still being portable as it can be folded small. It’s waterproof, which is a huge plus, and it must be a Mary Poppins bag because it can fit way more in it than you’d think.
This Mon Purse travel wallet was a birthday gift from my friend Robyn and I am absolutely obsessed with it! It helps good travel wallet is such an investment because it helps keeping all of your important documents together. My one says “Ella” on it in gold too and I’m obsessed!
5. A DAY BAG
When I’m out exploring, I want to leave everything but the essentials behind and just carry my phone, keys and wallet. This little Kate Spade is good, small, stylish day bag. It’s great for being on-the-go and it goes with just about anything!
Carrying (and regularly charging) a portable charger is one of the best decisions you can make when travelling. Before I started doing this. I’d waste hours of my time sitting in cafes with my phone plugged into a wall because all of the ubering, photo taking and Google-mapping had burned through my battery.
I’m the kind of person that likes to always be on the go when I’m seeing new places, so this portable phone charger has changed my life. I’d also recommend carrying a short phone cable - it’s a whole lot more convenient and doesn't get all tangled up in your purse.
I like to travel with AirPods because they can connect to both my computer and my phone, now that Apple has decided to swap from the normal headphone cable. They are also super portable and there are no cords to get tangled!
Forget flimsy sunglasses - travel requires some seriously sturdy ones. My ultimate travel sunglasses are any by the acclaimed Kiwi designer, Karen Walker. Her sunglasses are stylish but strong. I always get compliments on mine!
10. NECK PILLOW
I’ve been through an ordeal trying to find the perfect neck pillow. I’ve had ball-filled ones explode on the plane, stiff necks for days after terrible nights of sleep, and, when I’d finally found the perfect neck pillow, I had a stranger at Auckland Airport literally come up behind me, unclip it from my bag and run away!
Every time I get on to a plane I smell like an awful cocktail of different perfumes after trying everything in the Duty Free stores. So far, the best perfume I’ve found is Si by Armani - I love it.
12. MAKE UP WIPES
Skincare routines are all good and well, but sometimes after a big day of travelling it’s nice to just wipe the day away and jump straight into bed.
I use the Pearlessence Micellar Cleansing Water Facial Wipes With Coconut Water because they are gentle on my sensitive skin and thoroughly remove my waterproof makeup.
13. A GOOD BOOK
Whether I’m at an airport, on a train, lying on a beach, waiting for a bus, in a hotel bed or on a plane - travelling is when I get my best reading time in. My all-time favourite travel book is ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer. Let me know your travel book recommendations in the comments below!
14. HAND SANITISER
I have a phobia of the hand soap that is in fast food restaurant bathrooms and some places I travel to, you’re just lucky if the toilet even flushes! So, I always carry around these mini Bath & Body Works hand sanitisers.
15. KEEP CUP
When I’m travelling, I drink even more coffee than I usually do - simply because I love the ritual of it! I love trying out new coffee shops all over the world but I hate the damaging effect that takeaway coffee cups have on the environment so I always carry a Keep Cup with me.
Snacks are always necessary. Always! I like to make sure I have some on hand, packed in a container, which I can then use for leftovers and to-go food while travelling to reduce my use of single use plastic. They aren’t the prettiest and most boutique containers but I love everything by Sistema - they are a tried and true New Zealand brand.
17. A WATER BOTTLE
We’ve all heard it said that “hydration is key” but if you really want to go by the books when it comes to water consumption while travelling, store this perfectly shaped memobottle in your handbag, right next to your current read. I find this shape of bottle absolutely ideal for carrying anywhere.
I always carry a stash of cards with me. There is nothing more thoughtful than a little handwritten note and they are a great way to say thank you and express your appreciation for the people you encounter while travelling. My absolute, all-time favourite card line is Paperlove Boutique. All of their cards are gorgeous, but here are some that I’m currently carrying:
It doesn’t matter if I’m going to a tropical island or the snow, I’ll always carry a pair of swimmers with me, just in case. I’m a water baby and I never want to miss out on awesome opportunities. Your business hotel could have a great rooftop pool, the cold mountain town you’re staying in could have some natural hot springs nearby or you could be touring with a band, get kicked off and end up on a boat in Chicago (the last example happened to me recently!).
Jandals, thongs, flip-flops - doesn’t matter what you call them, they are a travel essential. Even if I’m not going to be near a beach or pool, I’ll take some to wear in the shower because I’m a bit weird about standing barefoot in showers that lots of random people have stood in. Maybe I’m just crazy? These simple Havaianas are my go-to pair.
The chaos of travel as well as swapping between different climates when travelling makes me sweat more than I usual so I like to use this clinical anti-perspirant deodorant by Mitchum.
I have one bag for makeup and another for toiletries and skincare. I won’t go into everything that’s inside these bags, or we’d be here all day but leave a comment if you’d like me to do a post on it. I like to keep my makeup looks very simple and bring products that can be worn both day and night. All of the products I bring are travel-sized so I can get them through airports. Again, I just keep them in clear bags for security reasons.
26. A PENCIL CASE
26. MY JOURNAL
I have an obsessive need to document pretty much my entire life - especially when I’m travelling. Journalling is one of the best ways to record the magical moments that unfold as you venture into the world. My undisputed favourite brand is Moleskin - a creative classic. They have so many different types of journals for all different kinds of documentation - from watercolour to writing. The possibilities are endless!
Despite whatever efforts I make, my diet isn’t always at it’s best when I travel so I like to take the following supplements to ensure I am nourishing my body with what it needs:
I also like to carry this vanilla flavoured plant-based protein powder because most of my meals while travelling are heavier on carbs and fats and, as well as being great after workouts, this powder helps to keep my diet more balanced.
I’ll admit that lately, I have not been the best at applying sunscreen but having it on hand is important because it, at least, makes me think about it. I need to be making a more conscious effort to protect my skin from the sun every day and not just when I’m lying out.
I always made the mistake of forgetting to pack an umbrella and then I’d waste precious hours abroad trying to avoid getting wet of find places to buy cheap and crappy umbrellas. This fun little leopard-print umbrella by Kate Spade saved my life. Yes, that’s three Kate Spade products - can you tell I used to live right near an Outlet?