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My travel packing essentials

No doubt everyone’s travel packing essentials are different but I thought I’d share the items I always travel with that make my trips more comfortable. A few of these items were particularly good for our trip to Europe. Hopefully you’ll find some of these suggestions helpful for your next trip.

My travel packing essentials – for the plane

Noise Cancelling headphones

No matter where I am travelling, if I’m getting there by plane, I pack my noise cancelling headphones. Although they are a bit of an investment, they are totally worth it. I find I sleep better and of course I like them for watching the inflight entertainment too. I also pop a pen in with my headphones so I have one handy for any immigration forms that need filling out at the end of the flight.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Hubby and I both have a Bose set which I can recommend and Amelia recently got a pair of Sony headphones (pictured above) which she finds really comfortable and says they have a good sound. Hers are also a bit more sleek and stylish.

You can find both Bose headphones (like mine) and Sony headphones (like Amelias) on Amazon.

Neck pillow

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Even with a neck pillow I find I get a crick in my neck when I sleep on a plane but nevertheless I find it easier to get comfortable with a neck pillow. I like mine which has tiny beans in it but the noise bothers Amelia. She has a memory foam one instead.

You could just get a standard memory foam neck pillow, or go the whole hog and get a kit like this one, that also comes with ear plugs, eye mask, and travel case.

Warm cape

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

A couple of my friends gave me this warm cape as a birthday present years ago. I don’t think they would have ever imagined how much use it would get. It’s perfect for air travel. Airlines provide a blanket but I tend to get chilly around my shoulders. I also find this useful in hotel rooms when they are too chilly. It’s super cosy and I like having something of my own to snuggle up to when I travel. Obviously it’s also lovely and warm when wearing it out and about.

Here’s a similar one that also comes in a range of colours.

Phone battery pack

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

I always pack for the ‘in case scenarios’. So, with that in mind I travel with a power bank for my phone just in case my phone runs out of battery or I can’t recharge it at my destination straight away. Hubby bought the battery pack pictured above for $40 at one of Aldi’s sales. It’s been great but it does cover the phone’s camera. It charges my phone quickly and holds more than one charge which I appreciate when I am travelling. The power bank attaches with suction pads and doesn’t have any leads which I particularly like. And it sticks like glue – it’s not falling off while in use.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

We bought Amelia a Snap Wireless power bank (pictured above) for her phone at Christmas for around $70 and she loves it. The main feature we like is that it doesn’t cover the phone’s camera so she can be charging and still take photos with her phone. The one downside is that the magnetic part that attaches to the phone isn’t as strong as our bulkier black Aldi one pictured above.

If you’re travelling with someone, you could both go in on a two-pack like this one, so you’re both covered.

Snacks & medication

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

I always travel with a refillable water bottle because you never know how long it will be before you’re offered a drink on a flight. It’s good to keep hydrated and have your own supply. Plus, it cuts down on all those plastic cups the flight attendants wander the aisles with during the night. I also travel with some snacks because, well, I get bored and peckish! I always have Panadol, any regular medication, hand santiser, santising wipes and band aids in my hand luggage. Lastly, a new addition to my packing essentials is a face washer in a zip lock bag to refresh myself. Am I the only one old enough to remember the days when you sat down onboard and the flight attendants brought you a warm face cloth to refresh yourself? Well, those days are long gone so BYO face cloth! Probably still happening at the pointy end of the plane should you be cashed up, or lucky enough, to be up there.

Oh, and if you read my post on our lost luggage experience. you’ll know why it’s good to have a spare pair of underwear and at least a change of top with you on the flight.

My travel packing essentials – cold weather travel

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

When we travelled to New York in winter I invested in this Kathmandu puffy jacket (it wasn’t cheap but it’s proved a good investment) and it came in handy on our European adventure too. It’s light weight but super warm. One of the great things about this jacket is that it fits into the little bag pictured. That makes it a fabulous travel jacket. If I get too warm during the day I’m able to pop it into the bag and attach it to my backpack. That’s also handy for transitioning from summer temperatures in Australia to a colder climate.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel
My hand luggage with neck pillow and jacket attached.

When we flew to Europe we left hot temperatures here in Australia so I had my jacket attached to my backpack ready for our arrival in chilly Paris.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

We took hot hands with us and found them a great way to warm up in the early mornings on train stations and in the evenings when walking around cities. I bought these at Chemist Warehouse for around $7, but you can also order them online from Amazon. We found one each was enough so we didn’t go through that many.

My travel packing essentials – wet weather

We all hope that we’ll have clear blue skies for our travels but being prepared for wet weather is essential. The weather forecast for our trip to Europe didn’t look too favourable. As it turned out we only had one downpour that called for serious wet weather gear but we were glad to be prepared.
My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will TravelHubby and I both bought these Kathmandu wet weather jackets in the sales and they proved a good buy. Hubby wore his quite a bit just because it also proved good wind protection. Hubby’s is green – don’t want to be twining.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

With so much wet weather predicted for our trip, we were keen to find something light that would keep our lower halves dry. Kmart had these light-weight wet weather pants for $15. We figured it wasn’t a big investment and they certainly were travel-friendly because they were so light and able to be carried in a backpack, just in case. We only used them once but they were brilliant. Not only did they keep us dry but they added a layer of warmth to our otherwise cold legs. They were a good investment and will definitely be taken on trips when the weather is likely to be unfavourable.

My packing essentials – anti-theft precautions

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

After hearing about pick pockets and phone theft (people having them swiped right out of their hands walking down the street in the UK and Europe) Amelia ordered us all a wrist strap for our phones. At no time did I feel in danger of having my phone swiped but who would really know. I did feel more secure having it attached to my wrist, knowing it wouldn’t be easy pickings for a would-be thief. Here’s a six-pack you can get quite cheaply, so everyone’s devices are protected.

Keeping my passport safe

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

On our last trip I clipped a small zippered purse/pouch inside my handbag which fitted my passport. It meant that I could carry it without worry about it accidentally falling out of my bag or being pick pocketed. This one also prevents RFID chips being scanned, so you can keep your credit cards in it too, if you’re concerned.

My travel packing essentials - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

I usually leave our passports in a safe in the hotel but we found we needed our passports when we were out and about for several reasons. As a traveller in Europe, if you buy anything over 100.01 Euros you are able to claim the tax back, which is a nice bonus. Many stores prepare the paperwork for you but you need to present your passport to do so. In Italy we also found out that everyone must have valid ID and be able to present it for random checks with the police. Amelia and I had to show ours while sitting on a platform at the train station in Italy. They literally went along asking every single person for their ID and took the information down. All AirBnB hosts also take a photo of your passport for their records. We were whipping out our passports all over the place!

Our standard packing essentials

I previously shared posts about other packing tips which you can read but to recap, we never leave home without a power adapter for our destination, a power board for our multiple devices which need recharging, packing cells and some clothes pegs and line.

We hope that our list helps you prepare for your next trip. If you’ve got some travel packing essentials that you think may hep others, please let us know over on our Facebook page or in comments below. Sometimes, an item that seems so obvious to you, might be something another person has never thought of.

You may also like to read

Our lost luggage and two packing tips to help if it happens to you. 

What to pack and how to prepare for Walt Disney World Resort

Equipment that makes it easier to travel with our wheelchair user

Have hospital bag will travel


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