My Ultimate Travel Must-Haves

I hate to gloat, but I am only one week away from my trip to France and Italy!!!! It is total insanity around here as I am in full-on prep mode. On top of wrapping up all the loose ends associated with closing my business for a couple of weeks, I am dotting ‘i’s and crossing ’t’s to be sure my little one is squared away while I’m gone. I am beyond blessed to have a family who is willing to step in where needed so that I can build my business (thank you!!!!).

One thing I totally geek out about is packing! Some people hate it, some procrastinate it, and some (me!) make an art form out of it. When it comes to surviving long flights and complicated trips, I’ve definitely learned a few things. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my travel must-haves for your next Jetlag Experience.




Europe in particular is always a little tricky because it is best to limit yourself to a carry-on. The problem with that is, naturally, getting wine souvenirs home. My strategy for this trip is to pack my carry-on inside my medium-sized suitcase and check the whole thing going there, then bring home a carry-on and suitcase. Sure, I could easily get everything into one checked bag, but all those liquid souvenirs will be pushing the weight limits as it is!


SIDEBAR // If you can manage, edit down and carry-on. Rental cars and taxis are tiny, and chaotic train stations/cobblestone streets/hotel stairwells are the last place you want to be shlepping bulky suitcases around.


I am a serial over-packer, but I can (barely) get everything I need for 2 countries and 10 days in my carry-on bag (I’ll show you how in just a sec), which leaves me an entire suitcase for all of my *souvenirs.* {I’m a sucker for French souvenirs if you didn’t know!} This has been the subject of lengthy debate in my mind, but souvenirs trump convenience this time.

This list is super useful whether you decide to carry on or check your luggage. These items are all about simplicity, comfort, and functionality during your long-haul travels.


#1: Appropriate footwear.

You may think this is probably more an issue for the ladies, but I can get by in Europe with fewer shoes than my hubby! Want to know how? Tieks. These teeny-tiny little ballet flats are durable and comfy and can be worn with a variety of outfits. Sure, they’re a splurge, but no one said awesomeness was cheap ;).

photo cred:
photo cred:

#2: beats (or noise-canceling headphones).

These are a necessity that I was not initially sold on. I don’t like my hair getting shmushed, so I am an earbud girl. But then I watched my brother-in-law relax on a plane—totally oblivious to the sugar-guzzling children next to him. I am now the proud owner of beats studio wireless headphones. They block out noise, connect via bluetooth (or with a cord if you wish) to your devices, and the battery will get you from Dallas to Paris with time to spare.


#3: Spacepaks and Seat Pak Pro.

I absolutely adore these super-cute compression bags from Flight 001. I use the clothes bag, undergarment bag, and toiletry bag. All 3 can fit into a carry-on (depending on the shape). I did a dry-run and was able to comfortably get all the clothes I need for my trip into the 2 compression bags…those plus my laptop, a pair of riding boots, and a hairdryer all crammed their way into my carryon! My airplane “personal item” will hold my toiletry bag, Seat Pak Pro (also Flight 001 – this holds my iPad and all the stuff I use on the plane to not go nutso, then it hangs from the tray table), blanket, pillow, eyemask, hat, chargers, etc. Check out this video to see the amazingness:

#4: Random supplies.

  • All-in-one adapter. Don’t buy 25 different adapters when one will do!
  • WineSkins and Vinni bags. For my souvenirs. *Alternatively, I recommend the Wine Check bag.
  • Rest + Recovery items. Neck pillow. Lightweight Flight 001 blanket and molded eye mask (I love that it doesn’t touch my eyelids).
  • Backup batteries. Obviously!
  • Pretty hat. Because of the shmushed hair and the need to be photogenic on social media.
  • Documents + Data. I keep photocopies of my passport and an extra passport photo in my bag.
  • Ziploc baggies. Always. Everywhere I go. All the sizes.
  • Sleeping pills. No #JetlagPlease!


And there you have it! No touristy necklaces wallets holding your passport. No laundry detergent or clotheslines. No travel alarm clock. No picnic accessories. And nothing I can easily and affordably buy while I’m there! I will be comfortable on planes and trains and in lines and hotels. I can’t wait to share my stories with you soon!