15 Things We Absolutely Cannot Travel Without


Wanderlove / June 2016

Collectively, us girls here at Wanderlove believe that less is more when it comes to packing. Not to be dramatic, but you are pretty much a slave to your material possessions, considering they are literally strapped onto your back all the freakin’ time. When you have to hike up a flight of 50 stairs, you start to see why we follow this packing philosophy when scooting and tooting our way to foreign countries. We’re also a fan of the smaller backpacks and since our packing space is limited to 46 liters each of goodies, we have to make room for the important things. While you may think some of things are self explanatory, you may also think, “WTF?” to some of the others. All we can say is, with way too much experience packing and unpacking our packs, we know what the F we’re talking about.

So here you go, the things we just can’t leave home without:


Our philosophy used to be, “Oh, we’ll just buy one there.” However, now that we have bought one there, and there, and there… we have enough sarongs. Now whenever we embark on a tropical beachy getaway, we bring our own. And we have plenty to pick from!

Bathing suit

Even if we aren’t headed to a tropical destination, you know we’ll find a reason to strap on that SUMMERLOVE SWIM bikini. Whether it be a lake, hot spring or even an indoor hot tub… we’ll find somewhere to get in the water and are in need of a swimsuit, or 5.


This may be one of those WTF moments we warned you about, but one of us has an odd obsession with cotton swabs. What’s wrong with wanting clean ears?


While our younger selves may have questioned our fashion sense, we are now trekking all over the globe with our Birks. Why? Because they rock. They can be uber casual, but you can still pair them with your dress for one of those nights where you try to look decent and traveler chic. Not to mention they are super comfy.

First aid kit, complete with anti-itch cream

This a no brainer, and if you’re anything like us, it’s a must have. For starters, we are both accident prone. We’re also super active and band-aids are often necessary for those blisters after a long hike. As for the anti-itch cream, well you never know when the mosquitos are going to attack you in full force or when the bed bugs will want to come out to play. Gross.


If our lips aren’t happy, they’re probably feeling chappy. There’s nothing worse than cracked freakin’ lips and continuously licking them only to make ‘em even more chapped. Truth be told, you’ll always find a few tubs of the good stuff in our bags, plus some backup sticks.

A Kleen Kanteen

We love nature. And because we love nature so much, we support going green and doing our part to help out the environment. One way we are able to do that, is by reducing the amount of plastic water bottles we buy abroad and filling up our own reusable ones instead. Not to mention, we are a little obsessed with the insulated Kleen Kanteens.

A robe

We aren’t talking about those huge fuzzy, take-up-your-whole-backpack kind of robe, nope. We are talking about the silky takes-up-no-space kind of robe. It’s a little piece of home on the go, and when you hop out of the shower at a hostel, you don’t have to walk around the dorm in your towel or uncomfortably get into your clothes when your body is still half damp. It’s the little things in traveling.


While there’s a great possibility (especially with our track record), of losing, breaking or letting your iPhone go for swim, it’s still worth it to bring on every trip. Why? The photos! Sure we also travel with other cameras, but this is an easy to reach and use camera, that will fit in your tiny ass purse as you explore new cities. Just be sure to insure it before you go 😉

Hammock w/ tree straps

We’re always scouting out new places to hang our ENO Hammocks, and can’t seem to ever leave without them. They are so compact that we don’t feel bad about bringing them, and they are so easy to hang up, that we never get too lazy to use them. It’s a win-win situation.


For all of the adventures we find ourselves on: jumping off waterfalls in Yosemite, riding bicycles in Belize or explore Mayan Ruins in Mexico, we just can’t seem to go anywhere without these little guys. Plus GoPros are so teeny, they take up literally no space at all in your pack.

Headphones and a kickass playlist on Spotify

We have this really awesome habit of creating playlists for every trip we take. That way whenever we go back to the list, we are reminded of what an incredible time we had in that one place. The trick is to make sure you download that playlist before you leave home so you can listen even without wifi. And of course, we always pack our headphones so we can retreat back into our dreamland of our minds as we travel around the world.

A trusty notebook

Since we seem to be constantly learning new life lessons, and going through crazy experiences, we both like to jot these things down to remind future Jess and Julie just what we learned on our travels. It’s crazy to go back and read where you were and how you felt, and just how much you’ve grown from those experiences.


Every since purchasing our trusted blankets in both Vietnam and Indonesia, we can’t seem to travel without them. They have become a staple to every hostel, campsite, or hammock that we stay in, and provide that home cozy kind of feeling. Not to mention, we feel a lot cleaner sleeping in our own linens!

Snacks on snacks

We get hungry alright?! And when we are needing a bite, but not wanting to sit down for a full blown meal we turn to our protein bars. We’ve found that it’s always good to have a bit of emergency snacks to fight off the hanger.

A good book

We always start off with one awesome paperback novel. There’s something great about the smell and feel of an old book, are we right? Once we’ve finished our first compelling stories, we trade and then we find a book exchange and so on… We love being able to pass on our great reads to other travelers, and then picking up some unlikely reads along the way.

Travel insurance

The best part about always packing travel insurance, is that it takes up no room at all! Boo-ya! As we mentioned before, we are accident prone… but then again, so is everyone when they are out exploring and trying a handful of new things every other day. It’s a crazy and awesome world out there, and we’d rather be prepared.

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Suit in Feature Photo: SUMMERLOVE SWIM 

Tags: advice, backpacking, Cover, featured, Packing, What To Pack



One Response

  • Melissa // March 12, 2017

    Hi! Love your articles! Found your blog through searching for tips on motorbiking through Vietnam and it’s some of the best advise I’ve come across! Would you mind sharing your spotify username so we can check out some of you playlists? Thanks! And keep doing what you’re doing!

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