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5 Essential Items For Virtually ANY Trip

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

A tell-all on my five favorite things in my backpack

1. LifeStraw Bottle

  • If you are going anywhere in which you cannot drink the tap water- meet your new friend. I have been traveling for five months across South America and haven’t purchased a single bottle of water. This bottle has a two-stage filtration system and is far more convenient than using drops or tablets where you have to wait 40 minutes to 2 hours before drinking the water. Once the filter is done, it simply stops sucking through the straw so that you will know and there’s no risk of consuming contaminated water. Then simply replace the filter and you’re good to go! I brought a backup filter with me but this current filter has lasted me for 5 months already! Also, I have not been sick once, so ya know it works. At around $30-40, this bottle has already paid for itself (probably 5 times over). Plus, single-use plastic is SO out of style.

  • Sometimes when I go to use sink water to fill my bottle people frantically try to stop me, followed by me explaining this ain't your mama’s water bottle. People love the idea, exclaiming they need to get one for their next trip. I’ve even had other travelers offer to buy it off me. Saves money AND the planet? What more could you want? Click the link below to purchase yours.


  • For UK readers ->

Be cool like me, be plastic-free.

2. Anker power bank

  • I’ve tried a lot of different portable power banks but this one has been by far my favorite. It’s small enough to fit into a fanny pack and yet holds the battery for a long time. It gives at least two to three full charges for my iPhone. It is perfect for long bus rides, full tour days, power outages, or when there’s not a lot of outlets available. Trust me when I say it’s the biggest bummer when your phone dies in the middle of taking pictures or videos in some incredible place. OR when it dies before you arrive at your next stop and you don’t remember the address to your accommodation. It’s been a real lifesaver.

  • Get yours here->

  • For UK readers ->

Never go anywhere without my Anker!

3. Quick-dry towel

  • Most hostels do not offer a towel or some charge you to rent one, so having your own comes in VERY handy. These quick dry towels are much smaller than your average towel, making them travel-friendly and easy to fit in your backpack/suitcase. The material dries way faster than a normal one which is perfect for when you’re on the move and need items to dry quickly! They come in different sizes so you can pick which would best suit you.

  • Here's a link to my favorite towel brand ->

  • For UK readers ->

You're a towel.

4. Packing Cubes

  • My first round of backpacking I didn’t have packing cubes- big mistake. For South America, I bought these compression packing cubes and LOVE them. They come in different shapes and sizes, fit a ton and when you use the second zipper it compresses, compacting the items. These cubes make it so much easier to organize your bag and helps to not have to pour the entire contents of your bag on the floor when searching for something. Oh and most importantly- they are durable. I may or may not be guilty of shoving a ton of clothes into these puppies. :)

  • Once you go cube, you never go back ->

  • For UK readers ->

5. Sarong

  • One of the most versatile items I have in my backpack. Whether you’re using it as a beach towel, cover-up, yoga mat, a quick fix for “temple attire” or as a privacy screen for your hostel bunk, you’ll be happy to have this lightweight, compact companion. It takes up nearly no room and I promise you’ll find a use for it, regardless of your destination.

  • Find many styles here ->

  • For UK Readers ->

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Full disclosure: if you chose to buy any of these items through the links provided, I do get a minor percentage back. Helping me to continue my travel dreams and helping you to find just the right items to make yours the perfect adventure.

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Janette Allen
Janette Allen
May 25, 2019

Sarongs are a must! So versatile! And I don't think I could live without my travel towel and packing cubes!


Great tips Allie, some I've not thought of before! Love the Lifestraw Bottle!

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