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I’m the type of traveler that always has to have the most efficient packing system and luggage.

Jason and I travel a lot, me moreso than him, and it helps tremendously if you have the right tools.

I am an over-packer but surprisingly, the system I’ve put together allows me to overpack, haha

I’m going to share with you all my travel essentials today.

The items are tried and true in my own travels and while it might not work for everyone, it has certainly worked for me and I can’t imagine traveling without them!

Luggage; hard vs. soft

I didn’t think I would like hard luggage because how it opens up and how you can’t really rest the top against the wall. You have to pretty much lay it out flat; taking up more space on the hotel floor.

HOWEVER, after many years of using soft luggage and then seeing the new AWAY suitcases, I have since changed my mind and believe that hard luggage is the way to go.

I like how much sturdier they are and for some reason, I feel like I can fit way more into hard luggage than soft luggage.

After several years, my soft luggage was all misshapen and the fabric was all gross.

Hard luggage doesn’t really get misshapen unless, I suppose, the baggage handlers throw your suitcase, but even then, they seem to hold up better. It’s easy to wipe the outside, too, when you get home with an antibacterial wipe.

I bought the AWAY Bigger Carry-On because if you can have a tiny bit more space and still have it be a carry-on, why not have that?! The only thing is, on international carriers, you can’t bring it on the plane but when we travel international, we never bring a carry-on. Just a backpack and handbag.

More recently, we bought the AWAY Medium suitcase and holy crap you guys, it fits A LOT but it doesn’t look that big nor does it feel that way when you are pulling it around the hotel.

Jason and I each have a bigger carry-on and a medium. It has truly made our trips better!

Packing cubes

Although not pictured in the above, I actually do use packing cubes on every trip.

I first bought packing cubes about 7-8 years ago and they are STILL in perfect shape.

You know I love a good chance to organize which is why I love packing cubes so much.

They keep everything organized and you can fit so much more into your suitcase if you roll your clothes into the packing cubes.

I like that most packing cube sets come in three different sizes so one can be for like pants/jeans/bulkier material, one can be for underwear/socks, and the other can be for tshirts/tops.

Toiletry bags

I have far too many toiletry bags than I care to admit but again, it helps me stay organized.

I bought this Cuyana travel case set several years ago and I love them. They fit so much and they’re such great quality.

I like the flat bottoms because you can sit them up on hotel bathroom counters.

I also find that Vera Bradley toiletry bags are great too. They’re typically lined with a waterproof liner so I tend to put my liquids into that but I also have a small one that I carry-on with for pills, hand sanitizer, and other items to aid in the prevention of getting sick while traveling.

Large carry-on purse or tote

I use this Cuyana zippered tote for both work and travel.

The amount of STUFF it can hold is INCREDIBLE.

I bought the insert they have on their site for this and it separates out my laptop and holds stuff in its side pockets.

But just the amount you can fit in the middle is amazing.

Although, it will be like carrying bricks throughout the airport but I still feel it’s worth it for the amount I can pack in it.

I should do a “what is in my carry-on tote” some time. You will be shocked at what I have been able to stuff into this tote.

Large, spacious backpack

Jason usually carries a large backpack.

Whatever doesn’t fit in my tote/purse, goes in his backpack because he usually doesn’t pack nearly as much as I do, haha

He usually carries our travel snacks and some electronics for me.

This is an old photo below but the backpack on the left is what he uses.

It is very deceiving at how much he can fit in that too!!

What are your MUST-HAVE travel essentials?

I’m always in the market for new travel items so lay it on me!

More travel tips to help you have a smooth journey:

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  1. I like a bag that has a secret pocket inside it. I always put emergency money(in case of being robbed) and a GPS tracking device(in case the bag is stolen or lost).