‘We all know unpacking is the last thing anyone wants to do when they return from a long trip. To save me the effort, I keep 11 travel essentials in my case at all times…’

Many years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for my cases to sit on the lounge floor for actual days. I would simply grab stuff I needed and promise myself I’d absolutely, definitely empty it after I had a nap. Or when I’d been to the supermarket to restock my fridge. Or after work on Monday, and so on…

These days, even after a US road trip and long-haul flight, the first thing I do when I get home is unpack. It can be a pain if you travel often, so there are certain travel essentials I never remove from my luggage.

I take these things on every flight and now own several of each item. It might not always be cost-effective, but it’s also not expensive and it saves me so much time. It’s also so much less frustrating in the airport lounge when I realise I’ve forgotten something…again. These are the 11 travel essentials I never unpack from my case…


I have no need for converter plugs in North Wales (who knew?), so these live in my suitcase. This way, I don’t get to San Antonio only to have ‘THAT’ discussion about who packed the wrong plug…


I have an innate ability to lose earphones. They’re a bit like lip balm in that I own a TON of them but never EVER seem to know where they are.

I bought a cheap pair of Gummi earphones in Asda recently after, once again, leaving my Apple earbuds in my gym bag at home when I flew to Naples.  Now, they just stay in my luggage and I always know I have them to watch Stranger Things with on my flight.

Lip Balm

I’m not exaggerating when I say I honestly own more than a dozen tubs and tubes of lip balm. I have one in every handbag I own; two in my desk drawer at work; one in my car; various in random coat pockets, and one on my nightstand.

I now keep a little tub of lemon sorbet balm in the mesh pocket of my case (it’s from Primark and it’s LUSH).  This means my lips are never horrible and dried out by the sun.

Cotton Pads

As it’s one of those things I tend to overlook, I keep a bag of pads stuffed in my carry on and just replace it when it runs low. I mainly use them with my regular cleanser, but often also to apply after sun if I’ve been out all day in the heat.

100ml bottles

I dispense my shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitiser and Les’ hair gel into little plastic bottles I buy in Superdrug. I keep them topped up from the full-size containers in my bathroom cabinet.

Everything, apart from my daily make-up, lives in my luggage in clear plastic bags. This means they’re always ready to take out when heading through airport security.

Flip Flops

Granted, on occasions, such as trips to Latvia in March, flip-flops are not entirely necessary but, as they’re not exactly essential footwear in Wales, either, I keep ’em packed at all times.  I have two pairs; one at home and one in my case.


Again, these are not always useful in Wales.  My sunnies spend the majority of their life, hidden away in my luggage, pining for the sun.


I keep spare cables for iPads, Kindles and phones, as well as a spare car charger neatly tucked away. The only additional cables we tend to pack are those for Les’ electric shavers, as he uses these every day.


I have the worst feet in the world. I had them operated on when I was 12 and they’ve been a pain in the, well…feet ever since. Les and I walk constantly on our travels so we’re always on the move.

This means my feet are in continual need of repair in the form of plasters, pads and gel insoles. I wouldn’t survive for more than a day, so my First Aid Foot Kit is always stocked and ready for action.

Hair Ties

Like every other woman in know with long hair, I live life with a band around my wrist. I have the curliest, most unruly mop in all the land. I rarely bother with blow drying or straightening when I’m overseas as it’s a complete waste of time.

The moment the temperature is above 15 degrees, I have the biggest hair ever. I have to tie it back, so I keep a supply of bands, clips and grips in my bag.  In the land of essential travel essentials; these are right up there with my passport.


These have to be in my hand luggage.  There are few things I hate more than landing and realising I have to complete a visa waiver with no pen. Keeping a few in my bag means that should never happen.

When we were in Morocco recently, our hand luggage was stowed in the hold due to lack of room and we ended up pen-less at customs.

Luckily, we found a friendly, pen-bearing cleaner in Marrakesh airport. We borrowed his pen for the paperwork to get us through immigration to get the pen I’d cleverly packed in my carry on. Even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry…

What are your travel essentials?



Suz x