Your Travel Shopping List: Essentials Before Your Next Flight

by | Dec 12, 2022

For most of us, the coronavirus crisis was frustrating. Plans we’ve carefully made vanished as travel ground to a halt. So it’s no surprise that now that travel has come roaring back, we’ve wasted no time getting our travel shopping list together and getting ready for our next flights.

After all, why not fuel that wanderlust mood into ensuring that we maximize our time spent on vacation when we can fly back into the skies? As we check items off our bucket list, let’s make sure we’ve purchased all the essentials.

A Travel Pillow

I was a late convert to travel pillows but now it’s a must-have when I pack for travel.

While travel hacking with points cards and seeking out great deals means I’m often flying in the pointy end of the plane, I still frequently fly coach as well. There’s nothing worse than being unable to fall asleep on a long, economy flight.

Luckily, a solid pillow can help! My favorite is the AirComfy Ease Inflatable Travel Pillow which sells for $19.99 on Amazon.

These little pillows are super comfortable and can ensure you can adjust to a comfortable solution on your flight. Best of all, they don’t even take much space: the inflatable pillow comes with a little packsack to store it when you’re not using it.

Travel Shopping List: a comfortable travel pillow goes a long way on a long flight

Universal International Travel Power Adapter

An international power adapter is an absolute must for any traveler. My personal favorite is the SAUNROCH Universal International Travel Power Adapter which costs just $19.59 from (currently with an additional 20% off).

The compact five-in-one device comes with four USB ports. One of them is USB-C for super-fast smartphone or iPad charging while the other four are traditional USB ports. It also has a universal socket for charging anything else.

The adapter can be used pretty much anywhere (over 150 countries!) with plugs for the United States, Europe, UK, and Australia.

I love this adapter so much that I now own three of them (and have given two away as gifts). Do yourself a favor and order one for yourself. You’ll thank me on your next trip.

Travel Shopping List: a international adapter with USB-C for fast charging

A Light Suit

Travel Shopping List: Good Looking Suit That Fits

Okay, this one is for the gents out there! A suit —or at the very least, a blazer — is an essential item to have in your bag when you’re traveling.

You never know when you may need to put together a more formal look for a date or event on a trip. And there’s nothing worse than not having a fitted suit in your suitcase. Unless you’re in Antarctica wearing a penguin suit.

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line suit, Hall Madden, the custom bespoke and made-to-measure menswear brand creates suits after multiple, in-person fittings with a trained fit specialist with prices to match. If that’s a little outside your budget, luckily, they’ve launched Lords of Wool for everyone else who needs a good-looking suit that fits. I’m personally a big fan of their tweed suits.

While not a true custom suit, Lords of Wool can shorten sleeves, lengths, and adjust the taper based on client feedback and photos and make the suit from scratch. A solid deal starting at $385 for a blazer and $500 for a basic suit!

Travel Shopping List: a light, well-fitted suit from Lords of Wool

Noise Canceling Headphones

It’s no secret that noise-canceling headphones are an in-flight necessity. Who hasn’t been on board a flight when a crying baby made you wish you had brought along a quality pair?

My choice for noise-canceling headphones is Sony’s WH-XB910N EXTRA BASS Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Of course, some might claim that Apple’s over-ear AirPods Max are superior. But personally, I consider Sony’s top-of-the-line offerings are widely considered the industry leader in the noise-canceling headphone market.

Unless you already have or you’re ready to spring for the AirPods Max, the Sony options are a fantastic value at half the price.

Travel Packing List: a quality pair of noise-canceling heaadphones

First Aid Kit

Okay, I admit. I don’t follow my own advice here. There is no “first aid kit,” per se, on my travel packing list.

But while having a full kit may be less of a “need,” it’s definitely a good idea to bring at least some essential first aid items with you on trips.

Personally, I always pack Ibuprofen, Emergen-C, band-aids, and Neosporin when I travel.

You may want to put Hydrocortisone, Pedialyte powder, a blister care pack, or something else in your suitcase depending on your travel style.

Pro-tip: Emergency contraception can be hard to get in some countries abroad. 

Of course, wherever you’re traveling to, making sure you are properly protected with travel insurance and trip coverage is important.

Travel Shopping List: make sure you have some medicine like Ibuprofen or Advil

Passport Cover

A nice cover to carry your passport in is a nice touch for you as a frequent flyer who wants to protect your passport and express your personality.

And you’re definitely not starved for choice!

From this beautiful Hermès for $540 to less spendy options on Amazon there’s definitely a passport cover for you.

Whatever you choose, a holder will protect your most important travel document and allow you to express your personal style on the road.

Travel Packing List: a passport cover is essential

Face Mask

Covid might be over but some international destinations still require masks. It’s getting old but why not have some fun?

There are plenty of funky options like these animal-themed masks out there. That said, I’m keeping it simple and comfortable with this mask from the American Mask Project ordered on Amazon. It starts at around $3.00 for a pack of two.

While it might not be the fanciest mask out there, this expandable and machine washable black mask gets the job done.

Travel Shopping List: face mask to stop the spread of coronavirus

Other Stuff

Packing Suitcase after checking everything off the travel shopping list

Whatever you have planned for your next escape, there are deals to score all over the internet. Now’s a great time to start stocking up! I hope this travel shopping list is helpful but maybe there’s something else you need to pack?

A top-of-the-line drone, or a more casual one?

A fancy camera like the Sony Alpha A7 III?

Filtering water bottle? Rain jacket?

A one-to-three adapter so you can always grab a charge at the airport?

A backup power bank?

Of course, if you’re planning a trip now, make sure you’re protected. American Express premium cards offer some of the best travel protection on the market making them a great choice for any traveler.

If you have other suggestions of travel essentials to pack, drop a comment and link in the comments to let us know!

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Giovanni Hashimoto

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.
All posts by Giovanni Hashimoto


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