We’re in our DINK era. Stay with me here, but when I heard this acronym recently, I immediately knew I was fully in this phase of my life, but I didn’t know it had a name…
Double Income, No Kids (DINK).
My husband and I both work full-time and strive to achieve a healthy work/life balance. We absolutely LOVE to travel and have really enjoyed the process of prioritizing traveling this year. We know this phase of life may not be forever and we are taking FULL advantage of being on the go as much as we can – enjoying each other’s company and seeing all that the world has to offer. You’re going to be hearing a ton more about these trips in the near future.
While fitting my entire life into a carry-on isn’t exactly my strong suit, there are a few items that have transitioned from being mere conveniences to essential travel companions. I’ve tested them ALL out and I’m here to share what made my short list of travel must-haves for 2023 and beyond.
If you’ve been here for a minute, you know that I recently penned an in-depth review of the Beis rolling luggage and Weekender Bag. These items are game-changers. I was initially drawn in by the fun colors, but I can’t even begin to explain the improved functionality that has made the purchase feel so worth it.
I love the rolling carry-on suitcase, but the The Weekender Bag is perfect for those spontaneous getaways or for trips when you need that extra space.
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There’s nothing worse than your phone dying -period. It’s my camera, my navigation, and I don’t want to feel like I can’t scroll while I’m waiting to de-board to save my battery. This is exactly why I never leave home without my portable charger. It’s essentially an extra battery pack that holds 3-4 full charges so you can charge your phone without an outlet.
The only bummer is that it is technically one more thing you have to charge before leaving the house, but if you use it sparingly, it’s very much worth it. It’s saved me more times than I can count!
Coupled with the charger, a cord organizer is another handy tool. Tangled cords can be such a nightmare in a large tote and it gives me the ick to be pulling and untangling the cords. I’m telling you, it’s such a simple pleasure that makes you feel all kinds of put together.
If you haven’t started using packing cubes yet, you’re missing out. These small fabric containers make packing and unpacking a breeze. Organize your clothes by type, day, or activity – I put an entire outfit together in one pack. I like to have one cube for each day so everything I need, including jewelry, is paired together. No more digging through your suitcase and throwing clean clothes all over the hotel room. It’s just the mature thing to do haha!
You’ll be amazed at how much more you can fit into your luggage, and how much easier it is to find what you’re looking for.
Has there ever been a good way to travel with a hat? I’ve usually just worn mine to the airport to avoid having it squished in my suitcase, but now I always carry my Top Tote! Top Tote is a cute, small clip that allows you to attach your hate directly onto your luggage. This innovative accessory allows me to carry my hat on the outside of my bag, ensuring it maintains its shape and is easily accessible.
It’s one of those things that maybe you’ve seen around, but didn’t know it had a name! I love these for gifts, too. I don’t know why they aren’t more popular because they are SO effective at protecting my hats.
In 2023, we are all getting TSA PreCheck, babe. The lines, the wait, the unpredictability – it doesn’t have to be this way haha. This service helps you get to your gate extremely quickly, but initially I wasn’t sure that it was necessary.
At a glance, TSA PreCheck promises reduced wait times and a breezier airport experience. TSA PreCheck is a U.S. government program that pre-screens applicants, allowing them expedited security screening privileges. Once approved, you can walk through security without having to remove shoes or take out your laptop or liquids. You pay an $80 fee to apply and once approved, it’s good for 5 years. At that time, you just re-apply and your 5 year time limit starts fresh again!
I think it’s worth it depending on how often you travel. I do, however, believe that TSA PreCheck is worth it no matter how often you travel. It’s affordable and stays active for years. I’ll never take my shoes off again at the airport if I don’t have to haha!
Lastly, but by no means least, is the hand sanitizer. You might be thinking, “Isn’t hand sanitizer just…hand sanitizer?” Yes and no. The Touchland Glow Mist Rejuvenating Hand Sanitizer has gone viral recently and it makes me insanely happy.
Packing hand sanitizer while traveling is an absolute no-brainer, but this one, in particular, is just so much better than others I’ve tried. It’s moisturizing rather than drying, and the scent is just to die for. I’m loving the rosewater one currently and it’s a small piece of my travel routine that makes me feel elevated and put together. It’s a bit of a splurge when other hand sanitizers are $1 at checkout, but just try this one and report back to me!
I’m not a travel maximalist. Over the years, I’ve become less inclined to overpack just to haul my belongings from gate to gate. I just want to know I’m going to have what I need on my trip and enjoy getting there as much as I can. These are truly my travel must-haves that make going to the airport just a tad smoother.
What am I missing from my list?! Share below and I can test them out and update this post as I have new favorites!