• Menu
  • Menu

Our Top Essential Travel Items for 2021

Our Top Essential Travel Items for 2021

Wondering what we take with us when we travel? We have been on the road now since 2013 and we have the top essential travel items that we would not leave home without after many years of trial and error.

Since COVID 19 in 2020, we have added some essential health items that you need to carry with you on your travels in 2021.

(Editor Update 2021)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable).

Some are items like our Osprey Luggage that have been with us since 2016 and still going strong.  These will not need to be replaced.

A vacation packing list is different from our packing list for long term travel as we now only travel with carry-on luggage.

These days with the regulations of some of the airline carriers our carry-on luggage can be considered overweight, so we have to be diligent with current regulations of each carrier that we travel on.

Health Essentials for 2021

For travels in 2021 the most essential health travel items are:

    • face masks
    • hand sanitiser

New travel products are always coming online and this year we are looking at reliable selfie sticks to travel with.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable).

Travel CheckList and Travel Insurance

Before we head off on our travels we have a travel accessories checklist.  This covers who is carrying what technology, passports, tickets, currency and health insurance documents in their day packs or on our bodies.  We split our credit cards up between us, as we have learnt the hard way by being robbed in Ecuador on the way to Otavalo.  We can’t stress highly enough about taking out travel insurance, honestly, you just don’t know when you are going to need it.

In 2017 we had to claim twice for Duncan. The first time when he pulled a muscle in his back travelling in Ireland and the 2nd time (same trip) when we found out that he had high blood pressure when visiting the dentist in Bangkok, Thailand.  That involved getting on the first available flight home to Sydney (thanks to Skyscanner) to see our Dr and to have tests carried out, in fact, many tests.

If you are from Australia or New Zealand click here for the latest travel insurance deals.

If you are from the rest of the world click below for the latest travel insurance deals.

What Essential Travel Items We Don’t Travel With Now

We did initially travel with TSA locks on our bags, but we found that in Ecuador they were cut off and were pretty useless after that so we haven’t bothered since.

We also found that a luxury leather travel wallet that we once had too cumbersome for us, they take up too much space in our day packs. It fact, it was the luxury leather travel wallet, that was easily stolen in Ecuador.

We are not carrying any cameras these days.  We have had quite a few years enjoying our Panasonic Lumix but we find that our mobile phones are doing the same job. In fact, Duncan has just purchased the new Samsung Galaxy Note Plus.

Jane will upgrade her Apple iPhone 6s to the new Apple iPhone 12 in 2021. We have been waiting for the 5G on Apple phones.

Travel Gifts: We don’t buy travel gifts for family or friends anymore, we just do not have space in our luggage.  In fact, we don’t buy any material possessions as we spend our money on experiences instead.

What is New in Our Travel Kit

Since 2018 we have been travelling with packing cubes.  They have cut down packing time, clothes are easily found, they are so easy to place in our Osprey Luggage, we can’t understand why we have not used them sooner. There are many different types and sizes available.




How Do We Carry Our Must Have Travel Items eg Passports, Credit Cards and Cash etc

Duncan now wears a small travel wallet on his body that has our passports and currency in. Jane wears travel trousers that have deep pockets suitable for carrying credit cards and phones.

Jane is considering a travel scarf. She is currently weighing up the pros and cons of each item below.

How do you choose the right travel destination for your trip? Our guidelines will help you plan whether you are travelling with family, as a couple or a solo traveller.

If you are planning your next adventure we can give you our top tips and tricks for saving money on travel from flights to accommodation and more.


What Are Our Must Have Travel Essentials (What To Pack For A Trip)

#1 Travel Essentials – Travel Insurance 

It is so important, we cannot stress enough how important it is.  Our passports and credit cards were stolen in Quito, Ecuador.  The costs involved in replacing the documents, travelling to the Australian Embassy in Guayaquil, the other end of the country to where we were staying, came into thousands. Our saying is if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel.

If you are based in Australia click here for more details and for the latest quote on your travel insurance.

The recommended time to take out travel insurance is when you start paying for your flights or deposits on accommodation, tours or cruises.

#2 Travel Essentials – Luggage – Osprey Carry On

We are now travelling with our Osprey carry on luggage set.  After two what we call ‘failed attempts’ with a local Australian brand we are very happy with the strength and durability of these products.  We have also downsized from 100 litres to 65 litres and now travelling with only a carry-on at 46 litres and a day pack.  Using carry-on luggage has saved us close to USD200 in the first three months of trialling these bags, the savings have been in public transport and airline luggage fees.


Travel Essentials Osprey Luggage

#3 Travel Essentials – Osprey Day Pack

To partner our Osprey Carry On, we use the Osprey Day Pack which carries all our electronic technology and important documentsTravel essentials Osprey day Pack

#4 Travel Essentials – Apple Mac Computer

We are now travelling with 2 Apple computers – a Macbook Pro and a Macbook Air.


mac Book Pro Travel Essentials


My trusty workhorse, that is fast and efficient and the only way I can work on the road effectively writing stories and reviews.

#5 Travel Essentials – Powerboard


Travel Essentials powerboard



iPads, iPhones, two laptops and a camera that all require charging each night at once, it could be a nightmare, but not with the powerboard that we travel with.  All we need is one powerpoint and to remember to plug it in (yep, it does happen especially after a long day on the road).

#6 Travel Essentials – Travel Adaptor

travel adaptor travel essentails


Another essential that any traveller needs is a Travel Adaptor.

#7 Travel Essentials – Trail Wallet – Travel Budget Apptrail wallet travel essentials



The Trail Wallet is an easy app to use to track our expenses whilst on the road.  We set up our travel budget for the trip, upload the currencies of the countries we are travelling to and Trail Wallet does the rest for us.

#8Travel Essentials – Seagate 1TB External Hard Disk


Seagate External Hard Drive Travel Essentials



Last count we had over 40,000 photos for 3 years of travel.  We are actually running with 2 hard drives and looking to purchase another hard drive.

#9 Travel Essentials – USB StickUSB Stick travel essentials



Always handy to store files for printing, moving photos around and general documents.

#10 Travel Essentials – Moleskin

I am a bit ‘old school’ and need to travel with a notebook to write down things I see and hear when I travel.



#11 Travel Essentials – Apple iPhone

Jane’s Apple iPhone 6s will be replaced in 2021.


The iPhone is Jane’s workhorse as well, apart from housing all the apps that we use the camera is vital for Jane’s video work.


#12 Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Duncan is now a proud owner of the new Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

Other Products That We Carry With Us



Our Health and Safety

Our fitness level is important when we are on the road, check out our post on how we stay fit whilst on the road long term.

We would recommend that you include in your travel packing list a small first aid kit. Always keep your first aid products up to date.

We always carry a head-lamp, it is an item that we have used many times in the past from going down tunnels, finding things lost in the dark and when the electricity goes out.


What do you carry with you every time you travel? We would love to hear your travel essentials list.


Are you on Pinterest? We are at To Travel Too and we have many travel-related boards check us out at Pinterest.  

If you enjoyed our article why not PIN it for later.





Our top travel essentials

We have created our own To Travel Too Travel Shop with Amazon with over 300 travel products.  Some that we use ourselves others that other travel bloggers have recommended to us.



Is there any travel essentials that you travel with?  We would love to hear from you.







Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.