10 Must Haves for International Travel

Thinking of making your first international trip?

Or just wanting to make sure you cover all the basics?

Please enjoy this list below of my absolute 10 MUST haves when traveling out of the country!!

Having a foldable & zip-able duffle bag is crucial for traveling internationally! Weight limits are a real thing when traveling and depending on the length of your trip and the time of year, typically every pound and square inch of space in your checked suitcase is vital. Bringing along a foldable duffle bag that fits in your checked suitcase makes for the perfect backup plan when coming home. If you decide to do any shopping [like I almost always do], you now have extra space to cary anything that may be extra valuable, breakable or large! That being said, if you plan to do the "folding duffle" method, make sure to only bring a personal item with you on the initial flight over. My personal item of choice is my large Louis Vuitton Neverfull or the Rebecca Minkoff Washed Nylon Tote that you'll see below! Typically airlines allow one carry on item and one personal item per passenger, I specifically love this Longchamp duffle because the quality of the material!

External power banks will be your absolute life lines! Whether you are on your travel days [bringing up your boarding passes or playing games to pass the time] or if you are at your destination exploring [snapping pictures and videos of your experiences]... your phone's battery depletes VERY quickly. Having a quality power bank [or two] to rely on is crucial. I've had the exact one above for the last year and once it's fully charged, it gives my phone 3 full charges AND in about 1/3 the time an electrical outlet takes. I HIGHLY recommend getting it!

One word: Organization!! This will help so much, especially if doing a multiple destination trip! I have these and you can organize according to your preference. I usually group tops together, dresses together, and jeans&jackets together and so on. Then once I start using items, I'll rearrange them and condense down to just the amount of cubes I need and put all my dirty clothes in my laundry drawstring sack. This is super helpful for people like me who dig through everything to grab just one thing. With these cubes, everything stays folded/rolled nicely until you are ready to wear it!

When traveling, keeping your most vital documents protected, organized and in one place where you can find them is really important. Over the last year I've made 2 trips without one [I used a zipper pouch] and 2 trips with the exact one below and it makes a huge difference. I kept my passport nice and tucked in, my drivers license, my credit/debit cards, cash, and also any tickets needed for a flight or excursion. This one even came with a mini pen which I thought was a cute addition at first until my recent trip to Costa Rica and I actually ended up using/needing it several times! Sometimes you don't really know what is helpful until you have it!

One of the last things I thought about when planning my first international trip was to check what type of outlets that country had and what amount of voltage they could handle. Having a power adapter that can morph into many different types is super handy and you can use it for the long haul. I'm not a fan of buying something that you will only use for a few days and then never again so having this adapter, we've already been able to use it in 3 different countries in just the year I've had it. It even comes with a nice little drawstring bag to keep all the attachments in when storing it. I usually research the country I'm traveling to and coordinate which attachment I need and then leave the others at home. I also really love that this has multiple outlets and USB ports!

A large personal tote/purse to have with you on the main travel days really comes in handy. I tried to do one trip without one and it was really difficult. I found myself trying to leave key items at home due to not having any room and then quickly regretted it later on. Do yourself a favor and take a big purse/tote! I love my Louis Vuitton Neverfull but I've recently invested in this pretty tote for my travels specifically. It's even bigger than my Neverfull MM and it has a zipper at the top which I think is invaluable when traveling with important documents and electronics I want to protect. I can fit absolutely everything I need in this Rebecca Minkoff and a definite bonus is it's stylish design!

7. TSA Luggage Locks

Seems simple enough but making sure to have luggage locks for your checked suitcases is very important. You want to protect your belongings and heaven forbid, if the airline mixes up your bags or sends them off in a different direction your suitcase will be even just a bit more secure. That being said, you have to make sure your locks are TSA approved. If you use just a regular padlock...well I'm not really sure what would happen. I assume they would cut into your suitcase, pull you aside and it could jeopardize your travel arrangements. I've never wanted to test my theories lol I usually attach mine to my suitcases once I've weighed my luggage at the check-in counter and then I throw it on before they tag it and send it off. Trust me, a few dollars spent on these locks will give you peace of mind with your belongings!

So this is a new one for me! I had previously owned a standard large & medium sized suitcase duo from Samsung. They worked perfectly for a long time...until I started traveling oversees. In this last year that luggage made it through two long international trips... but hanging on by a thread. I would be wheeling my suitcase down a hall and the entire thing would be leaning in one direction, I was very lucky a wheel didn't pop off while dragging it across the Italian cobblestones. I did a LOT of research before investing in my Delsey Chatelet Hardside Luggage. I knew I wanted a hardside suitcase to protect my belongings while traveling [airline loading crews are ROUGH on luggage] and so after a while I made a very confident purchase in my Delseys! I originally purchased the carry on and the 24in. I wanted to test them out before also purchasing the third piece of the set and OH. MY. GOSH are the incredible! They have every thing you could think of and are absolutely beautiful. The attention to detail in the materials is incredible. I traveled with my 24in to Costa Rica and it held up perfectly. In the next month or so I'll be adding the 28in to my set with confidence!

9. Hanging Luggage Scale

Here's a fun image: Packing the night before a trip and you have no idea if your suitcase is over the airline weight limit...what do you do? Hop on the scale once, jump off, and then hop on again with luggage in tow to compare weight difference? No? Me neither! [hah, yeah right!] We were those people that looked completely ridiculous jumping on and off the scales to check our suitcases. Now, what do you do when you are in another country and you went shopping recently and have no idea how much your suitcase now weighs? Let me introduce you to the BEST $11.99 investment!! This is incredible and makes that annoying task of weighing your suitcases so easy!

Traveling is all about the baggage...what suitcase, what duffle, what purse....well a backpack is no exception! I can't tell you how many times I WISHED I had a backpack to explore with instead of a purse! A heavy bag sitting on the same shoulder all day long. All. day. long. Trust me, even the best of bags will start to wear on you! This amazing little backpack is PERFECT! Just like it's duffle cousin, this Longchamp backpack folds up amazingly small and packs away until needed. Added bonus, water bounces off it as well [although it's not 'deemed' as waterproof]!


I hope with each trip I learn a few more tricks of the trade and with that, I'm willing to take all the "fails" first so you can jump right to the "wins" on what to use and how to use it! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!