17 Solo Travel Essentials To Pack, According To Travel Influencers

Traveling with your besties or a partner is a great opportunity to create memories with your fave people. But traveling solo? That’s when you really get to explore on your own schedule and visit places on your personal bucket list. Whether you’re a solo travel newbie or an experienced globetrotter, you know one of the many benefits of traveling by yourself is that you can get to more of your dream destinations without having to coordinate with someone else. What you may not know, though, are the solo travel essentials to pack before jet-setting on your next adventure. Leave those to the pros. Elite Daily spoke with six travel influencers and experts who know the ins and outs of wandering the globe on your own, and they’re here to help you fill your luggage with only the must-haves.

Packing for any trip can be a roller coaster ride of emotions. At first, you’re excited about preparing for your upcoming excursion, but then the stress of making sure you only pack the essentials for your solo travel adventure comes in to ruin the mood. Since you’ll be traveling alone, you’ll want to prepare for anything and everything without overpacking with unnecessary items. To keep your bags as light as possible, we’re loading you up with a checklist of travel tech must-haves, stylish-but-necessary goodies, and items you didn’t know you needed to keep with you at all times. With the right products in your carry-on and/or checked baggage, you’ll be ready to solo travel to wherever your wanderlust desires.

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Travel Tech Must-Haves That’ll Come In Clutch

A Portable Charger That’ll Keep All Your Gadgets Powered Up

Since we use our phones for *everything*, a portable charger is an absolute must for all kinds of travel. As Valerie Joy Wilson of the Trusted Travel Girl travel blog points out, you definitely don’t want to be running on 1% battery “when you need to get an Uber or get someplace safe.”

Since you’ve got places to be, a portable power bank that holds a lot of charge will prevent you from needing to find a nearby café that has an available outlet you can use. No. 1 on Wilson’s list: an Anker power bank, which has multiple styles, sizes, and prices to choose from, depending on your personal needs and preferences.

A Versatile Tripod So You Can Take Iconic Solo Photos

The struggle can be extra real when you try to snap cute pics while you’re traveling on your own. Let’s face it, asking strangers to take a photo of you is no fun for either party, and setting up your camera on a ledge or tree branch can end in disaster. For these reasons, Emily Lysianne (aka @emmygoesplaces on TikTok) recommends bringing a portable tripod.

“You’ve got to get those solo travel shots, right?” she says. And those shots deserve the best. The tripod in Emily’s bag is the Kingjoy 60-inch tripod, which is perfect for your camera and phone. As another option, you can try the 75-inch version, which is just as versatile and lightweight, but offers a bit more height to vary your snaps.

Noise-Canceling Headphones To Get You Through Long Flights

“Long journeys require good music, podcasts, and of course, a pair of noise-canceling headphones,” Emily says. They can also help you sleep on a plane if you have a hard time tuning out background sounds. As for Emily’s pair of choice, she recommends Sony’s Bluetooth headphones, which can last up to 35 hours with just one charge.

A Disposable Camera To Snap Aesthetically Pleasing Memories

Y2K fashion trends are back, which means the travel essentials of the early aughts — like disposable cameras — are back as well. To capture your very own, one-of-a-kind shots of your adventures, travel influencer Raimee Iacofano (@raimeetravels) recommends you bring along a disposable camera.

These Fujifilm cameras have a film-like aesthetic that is “amazing,” according to one of the nearly 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, and similar to how BeReal encourages you to be your most authentic self, a disposable camera really captures the moment. Sure, sometimes your photos come out slightly blurry or off-center, but that’s the magic of disposables. Plus, as Iacofano points out, a disposable camera can get you “away from using [your] phone all the time.”

Apple AirTags So You Can Always Locate Your Luggage

There’s nothing worse than losing your luggage on a trip — but now, you never have to worry about that again. “A friend of mine recently traveled to Italy and shared the most unbelievable story about finding her lost luggage simply by placing an AirTag inside,” theme park journalist and host of the Very Amusing podcast Carlye Wisel tells Elite Daily.

Wisel, who’s currently overseas and using AirTags for the first time, says she’ll “never travel without them” moving forward. “Having access to track your own luggage makes me feel so much more at ease, especially since I’m never able to fit my belongings within a carry-on.”

Stylish Goodies For IG-Worthy Solo Travel

A Safe (And Cute) Camera Bag That’ll Last You For Years

If you go on a stunning vacation and didn’t take HQ pics for Instagram, did you really go on vacation? The answer is obviously no, which is why you need a camera bag that’s equal parts aesthetic, durable, and safe.

For anyone who’s upgraded their camera from just their phone to a DSLR, Wilson recommends The Claremont bag from Lo & Sons. “Not only is it high quality and looks amazing, but it’s also a fantastic camera bag that doesn’t look like you’re carrying an expensive camera,” Wilson says, adding, “I feel like it’s definitely keeping you safe because it does not attract attention.” In addition, Wilson says the crossbody design will “protect you from theft,” as it’s harder for someone to snatch off your body. Wins all around.

HQ Luggage That Won’t Break Before Your Journey Begins

Speaking of bags that last, Wilson also recommends investing in some high-quality luggage. “When you’re a solo traveler, you have to rely on yourself for everything, so any little mishap can sometimes feel catastrophic,” she admits. Having luggage and bags that won’t explode or break during your trip will help to prevent some unnecessary stress.

Wilson recommends Spectra bags from Victorinox. Not only do they hold up as you’re traveling by plane, train, or car, Wilson notes that they’re expandable, leaving you with more room for souvenirs. They also come in an assortment of eye-catching colors.

Vibrant Compression Socks To Prevent Blood Clots

Wilson says, “Compression socks are a must for long-haul flights,” because, according to the CDC, blood clots from long air travel are actually pretty common.

Since you’re going to be rocking long socks on your long flight, you might as well make sure they’re stylish. Some brands that the travel influencer recommends are Sockwell and Comrad. Each brand has cute designs and lots of colors, so you can easily choose a pair or two that’ll coordinate with any outfit you’re wearing.

A Cashmere Set For A Comfy But Stylish Airport OOTD

When traveling on long flights, you should always prioritize comfort, but you may also want to look Insta-ready. A cozy and fashion-forward compromise? A cashmere sweat set.

According to Wilson, a set of a matching cashmere sweatshirt and pants is perfect when you want to be “comfy but still look put together.” NAADAM has some really cute cashmere sweatshirts, and you can find some matching pants in their collection as well.

Travel-Size Hairspray To Keep Flyaways And Thefts At Bay

While hairspray is great if you plan to style your hair during your travels, Iacofano recommends travel-size hairspray as a solo travel essential to pack, because it can be used as pepper spray as well. “I always have it in my bag just in case,” she says. “It makes me feel a bit more in control when solo traveling, since you can’t always bring actual pepper spray on flights or while traveling in certain countries.”

Pepper spray aside, Living Proof’s flexible hairspray is always a great option, because it gets rid of flyaways without making your hair crunchy.

A Convertible Travel Bag With Extra, Extra Features

When it comes traveling the world in style, Shay Mitchell relies on her own line of Insta-ready travel bags and accessories. The Béis Convertible Weekender is the go-to bag that Mitchell uses for almost all her getaways, and it’s just as functional as it is stylish AF.

“I love The Convertible Weekender because it has more than enough room to fit what I need — and then some — and has a detachable bottom so I can bring just the necessities once I arrive at my destination,” Mitchell shares with Elite Daily. “It’s a one-size-fits-all, for sure.” In addition to a removable padded laptop sleeve, the versatility of its removable bottom compartment allows you to use it as a carry-on or purse. Plus, that same compartment can double as a packing cube.

Travel Essentials To Keep In Your Bag At All Times

A Colorful Travel Document Holder To Keep Your Passport And Vaccine Card Together

In 2022, having a passport and vaccine card holder is basically a carry-on essential. Since you’ll need to show both documents when traveling to a lot of countries, it helps to have them both readily available in the same place. This beauty from Amazon has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews and comes in a variety of colors.

However, Iacofano doesn’t just recommend you carry around this passport holder. She also tells Elite Daily, “I always carry printed-out copies of my passport/travel documents and other important information, like where I’m staying, just in case I lose something.” Having your info written down, not on your phone, can help you get you back to your hotel or Airbnb when technology fails you.

A Reusable Water Bottle That Also Has A Filter

For anyone planning to travel for a month alone, cutting unnecessary costs should be a priority. Bottled water in some places can cost up to $6, and one easy way to save some cash is to bring along a reusable water bottle and get water for free.

Emotional support water bottles are also trending on TikTok, and can keep you company on your solo journey. You may already have an ESWB that you love to place souvenir stickers on of all the countries you’ve visited, but if you need a recommendation, Iacofano says, “I prefer one that also has a filter, so I can also be safe drinking tap water in certain countries.”

A Microfiber Towel For Indoor And Outdoor Use

When a beach town is calling your name on your solo journey, a beach towel is a necessity, but which one should you pick? Emily recommends bringing a microfiber towel. “I love a big, round towel for beach days,” she shares. Not only do microfiber towels dry quickly and pack perfectly in your luggage, but they can also double as a bath towel if you’re staying in a hostel and need something for the shower.

A Padlock To Keep What’s Important To You Safe

It’s no secret that safety should be a priority when you’re traveling solo. “If I’m going to be traveling solo and staying in hostels along the way, I always make sure to pack a lock so I can secure my things in dorm rooms,” Iacofano says.

While there are plenty of padlocks to choose from, this one from Amazon has over 8,000 5-star reviews. One happy customer claimed these locks are “strong and sturdy.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re colorful and give off throwback high school locker vibes.

Hand Warmers To Prepare For The Cold In Any Season

Some of us just run cold, even if we’re vacationing in Palm Springs in the middle of the summer. “To me, nothing is more worse than finally being on vacation and being uncomfortably cold,” Wisel tells Elite Daily, “which is why, no matter the season or destination, I always pack a pair of hand warmers.” They’re small, which is great for your carry-on, and they “pack a punch.”

A Travel Journal To Keep Track Of Your Fave Moments

“Photos are fantastic, but don’t forget to write down a few memories, too,” travel journalist Stacey Leasca tells Elite Daily. Carrying a travel journal or notebook with you at all times can help you in the long run. You “can include rich detail about a place that a photograph can’t capture, the names of favorite restaurants, bars, or must-see attractions, and even the names and phone numbers of new friends you make along the way.”

Experts cited:

Raimee Iacofano, travel influencer

Stacey Leasca, travel journalist

Emily Lysianne, travel influencer

Shay Mitchell, actor and founder/CEO of Béis travel gear

Valerie Joy Wilson, travel influencer

Carlye Wisel, theme park journalist and host of the Very Amusing podcast

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