With my next trip less than a month away, I thought I’d share my 5 favorite pieces of gear I take on all my trips.  

I have a few ‘essential’ pieces that I take with me on every trip. These pieces range from how I organize all my computer/phone/camera cords and batteries, my makeup bag and what of course the bags I use for my carry-on and purse.

1. Travelon Anti-Theft Hobo Bag

Let’s start with my purse, since really, this is something every woman probably thinks about when they’re traveling. I’ve tried ample purses on my different trips, never falling in love with one until I found this one right before my German Christmas market trip.

Travelog Anti-Theft Hobo Bag on Amazon

I’m a bit picky when it comes my purses when traveling. It needs to be cross body. There needs to be enough room (but not too much that I’m carrying a backpack – I like to travel with my DSL camera so it needs to fit in my purse. I tend to carry a lot of things with me – bottle of water, change purse, note book and pen, snacks, tour book, map etc. It also can’t be bulky when I’m carrying it (again, don’t want to lug a backpack around nor do I want my purse giving me a headache because it’s too big and heavy). I found this bag and absolutely love it.

A few features of this bag that are key for me. Security. No one is going to be able to cut this purse from my body. I can lock up my zippers so no sneaky hands can get inside. It’s also RFID blocking which means my credit cards are safe from any electronic devises trying to snag my number (sneaky people). There are a lot of styles you can choose from (I love the Hobo look, it hugs my body, isn’t bulky and it’s very comfortable to wear as a cross body).

2. TravelPro Luggage Maxlite

I overpack. It’s something I’ve come to accept and while I attempt to take less with each trip, it never really works. I also hate lugging around a heavy carry-on bag over my shoulder as I’m walking through the airports – some airports are huge! My trip to Paris has me in a 5-hour layover in Chicago…so using the luggage similar to below is my only option IMO.

Travelpro Luggage Maxlite

Since I’m headed over to Europe, I have a few books (and by few I mean a few dozens) that have been translated into German that I plan to leave at hotels, airports, train terminals etc while I’m there – so I will be bringing a small travel suitcase with me on this trip. I’ll admit – I have a lot of these (which means my children all have one each they can now use) but my absolute favorite has to be similar to this one that I picked up last spring while on a layover in Munich.

What I like about this carry-on piece is that I’m able to put my laptop in the front compartment with ease.

This is important to me.

I don’t like placing it in a bag that I’ll carry because it can get heavy, be knocked over, bumped etc. It also gives me space inside the actual piece to store my computer cords, books that I plan on leaving behind, shoes or anything else I need.

3. Lug Hula Hoop Carry-All Messenger Bag

I love this bag. I will not go on a trip without it anymore. I’ve bought numerous bags to take with me on the plane in the past, always trying to find one that suits all my needs – and this one is it!

Lug Hula Hoop Carry-All Messenger Bag – Amazon

If you like a bag with compartments – this is perfect. I have a place for my laptop, my iPad, my Kindle, my phone (a little place at the top for easy access), pens/notebooks, water, cords, shoes …the list goes on and on. It also fits over the handle of my suitcase so I’m not lugging it on my shoulder all through the airport. There are two areas on each side of the bag for water (or bottles if using this as a baby bag). I posted about this bag over here if you want to know more. I don’t go anywhere without this bag now.

4. Packing Cubes

7 Sets Travel Organizers – Amazon

I love packing cubes. I’m almost addicted to these and not having them stresses me out. I love how they keep my suitcase organized. I separate my pants from my tops, my undergarments from my bathing suits etc…it saves me from having to toss out all my clothes just for that one tank top I was looking for…you know what I mean? And when I arrive at a hotel, all I do is take the cubes and place them in the dresser drawers, unzip them and voila, easy access.
A word of warning though…these packing cubes are like magic. And by magic I mean they hold a lot, which can mean overpacking, which in turns means extra weight which can lead to paying extra at the ticket counter….so be careful that you don’t overpack (and yes, I’m speaking from experience. Thankfully each time this has happened to me, I have a friend I’m traveling with who brings an extra large suitcase and has room for a few items so I don’t get dinged…). I also use these to store my computer cords (phone charger, extra camera batteries etc).

5. Deluxe Travel Kit Organizer with Hook

Deluxe Travel Kit Organizer with Hook – Amazon

Guy or girl, you have toiletries you will need to take. Know what you are allowed to travel with in your carry-on if you’re determined not to use a large suitcase. I’ve tried several different types of bag for my make-up, shampoo etc…from small compact cases to large ones that hang on a towel rack. By far, this is my new favorite one.

First off – when you order on Amazon there are a lot of color options to choose from. This one is mine…isn’t the pink nice 🙂 There’s a lot you can hold in these and it hangs (in case there’s not much table space in the bathroom). I love the side compartments because it keeps things more organized for me.


These are all things that I use on a regular basis with my trips (and will use with my upcoming trip to Paris and Germany). Do you have any of these (or similar)? Anything else you would recommend?