40 Best Travel Must Haves According to Flight Centre Travel Experts

We all have certain items that we simply cannot travel without on our way to some of the best destinations in the world. Here we've put together a list of our 40 best must-have travel items, according to our Travel Experts in the know.

woman standing in airport terminal holding a suitcase

4min read

Published 30 August 2022


We all have certain items that we simply cannot travel without on our way to some of the best destinations in the world. Here we've put together a list of our 40 best must-have travel items, according to our Travel Experts in the know.

1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are a fan favourite here at Flight Centre. We just love them, and many of us can’t travel without them. They're essential for watching movies on long-haul flights, listening to music while you travel, and keeping out unwanted noise.

Mixed heritage woman wearing headphones on airplane
Mixed heritage woman wearing headphones on airplane
Mixed heritage woman wearing headphones on airplane

2. Packing Cubes

If you're a messy packer, you are probably familiar with sitting on top of your suitcase as you struggle to zip it up. In that case, packing cubes will probably be your best friend. They are ideal for keeping your luggage neat and organised.

"Packing cubes are my best friends! They help me keep super organised and avoid my chronic over-packing habits" - Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije

3. Travel Pillow

Jetting off on a long-haul flight? Taking off early in the morning or late at night? A travel pillow could be the difference between arriving at your destination ready to go or arriving ready to go to bed. Plus, having something to support your neck can help to avoid neck pain.

woman at airport resting head on a travel pillow
woman at airport resting head on a travel pillow
woman at airport resting head on a travel pillow

4. Hand Luggage

Phone, wallet, keys, passport, charger, headphones... the number of items you need for a flight can be extensive. Having a carry-on bag can make for a much more seamless airport experience. Your hand luggage could also double as a backpack in your destination.

Cabin crew placing hand luggage in baggage component on aircraft
Cabin crew placing hand luggage in baggage component on aircraft
Cabin crew placing hand luggage in baggage component on aircraft

5. Adapter

Depending on your destination, this could be an essential item. Having a travel adapter will make sure you can plug into any outlet and keep you fully charged wherever you go.

"I really like to bring an extension cord with me, that way you only need one adapter to charge all your phones and electronics at once" - Lizzie Spearing

6. Compression Socks

These are great for long-haul flights. Compression socks help with blood flow and aid circulation which prevents swelling and stops your feet falling asleep. They're also a must if you're flying while pregnant.

7. Travel Wallet

Imagine being at the airport, and you're fumbling in your bag looking for your phone or tickets. Take the stress away with a travel wallet or document organiser.

Your travel documents – especially your passport – are some of the most important items to pack when travelling. A travel wallet helps to keep them organised and safe. It also makes for a more seamless airport experience by making them easier to find.

8. Luggage Tags

You would be surprised how many suitcases look like yours on a baggage carousel. Make your luggage easy to spot with a luggage tag. They can also add some much-needed flare and personality to a bland bag. For more tips on making sure your luggage stays yours, check out our how to protect yourself from lost luggage article.

9. Toiletry Bag

Have you ever arrived at your destination, only to open your suitcase and discover a major shampoo explosion? If only Ross from Friends had this list, he could have avoided catastrophe! A toiletry bag can help to keep your clothes safe from leaks and keep your toiletries organised in an easy-to-find bag.

"An airline-approved clear-sized toiletry bag is great so you're never caught on the hop at the airport. Simply pull it out of your carry-on at security and go straight through! It's a timesaver for me as I mainly only travel with cabin bags." - Charlotte Tolley

Toiletry bag
Toiletry bag
Toiletry bag

10. Laundry Bag

Have I worn this pair of underwear yet, or is it clean? Solution: keep them separate! A laundry bag is a great way to keep your clean and dirty clothes apart. Plus, it keeps any dirt or smells off your clean clothes.

11. Eye Mask

Sightseeing, exploring, discovering. Travelling is a lot of fun, but all that fun can get exhausting – so you're going to need your energy. Enter: the eye mask, the perfect item for getting some much-needed shuteye, no matter where you are in the world.

12. Tripod and Camera

When you are travelling, Instagram-worthy pictures that will make your family and friends jealous is a must!

“I'm a pretty awkward traveller and hate asking people to take my photo in-destination – having a tripod means I don't have to rely on strangers to get that perfect snap!” - Alexandra Cronin

"I often travel solo, so having a tripod helps me capture self-portraits without feeling like I'm holding up another person's time." - Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije 

Man using tripod and camera
Man using tripod and camera
Man using tripod and camera

13. Water Bottle or Water Purifier Bottle

Having a reusable water bottle makes it easier to avoid single-use plastic bottles, which is great for the environment. In some countries, tap water is unsafe to drink, so a water bottle that can purify your water is super handy. 

"I always pack an empty water bottle in my carry-on fill it up once past security and add a hydralyte tablet to avoid dehydration when flying." - James Boyle

14. WaterWipes

These uber pure wet wipes are not only biodegradable, they're all 99% water (plus a dash of fruit extract). They're kind to your skin and great for so many situations when you're out on your travels. Travel with your baby? Tick! Spill something on the plane? Tick! Clean the table before you eat? Tick! Wipe your hands and face after eating pizza in Italy? Tick! Unless you'd rather lick your fingers clean of course. No judgement here!

15. Money Belt Or Bra Pocket

In some countries, having a wallet in your pocket is pretty much an invitation for pickpockets. A money belt or bra pocket can be a great way to stash your cash safely.

"I use a money belt for quick access to my passport and cards - pretty handy when I have to make a mad dash to my gate, but also can't resist some duty-free shopping along the way" - Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije

16. Baby Carrier

A baby carrier can be a blessing in an airport when the kids are little. It makes getting on and off planes much easier, gives your two free hands at the check-in desks, and can also be great for getting around your destination.

17. Battery Pack

We rely on our phones for many things. Maps, translation, snapping pictures, tickets, music... the list is pretty much endless, which makes a portable battery pack essential.

18. Entertainment

Entertainment while you're travelling, is a must. Pre-downloaded Spotify playlists or books can be perfect for getting through a long-haul flight. Downloading Netflix shows to your tablet or phone can also be a great option – one of our team once watched the entire series of iZombie on a flight and loved it!

In-flight entertainment
In-flight entertainment
In-flight entertainment

19. Gaffa Tape

Gaffa tape is a truly incredible multi-use item. It can fix bags, lock doors, repair headphones and, if you're really in a pinch (and a glutton for punishment!), it can wax!

20. Sunscreen

Imagine stunning white-sand beaches with beautiful blue waters, and there you are, sat in the shade, looking like a plum. Avoid this situation completely and make sure you pack some sunscreen – particularly as it can be expensive to buy in-destination.

Sunscreen on beach
Sunscreen on beach
Sunscreen on beach

21. Any Empty Space

Did you really go on holiday if you don’t bring home a few souvenirs? Stuff any suitcase gaps with whatever signature item you love the most – Costa Rica-themed playing cards, or NYC shot glass, we're looking at you!

22. Moisturiser

Between the dry in-flight air and changes in climate, air travel can wreak havoc on your skin. That’s why we recommend bringing a moisturiser to make sure your skin stays silky smooth!

“I don't travel anywhere without some moisture surge by Clinique – it's expensive stuff but goes a long way, and stops your skin drying up like a crisp in the air” - Alexandra Cronin

"Your skin can get very dry on planes - that's why I always have some moisturiser on me" - Toni Wood

23. Decongestant Inhaler

Low humidity, dry air, potentially stuffy environments, and changes in cabin pressure can give you a blocked nose on your flight. Using a decongestant inhaler can help bring comfort to your sinuses.

"I swear by Vicks' inhaler - it relieves nasal congestion and stops earaches, especially during take-off and landing!" - Robyn Djuritschek

24. In-Destination Sim Card

If you don’t have an affordable global data plan, and you don’t want to rely on Wi-Fi when you are overseas, an in-destination SIM card can be a good option.

Man on mountain with phone
Man on mountain with phone
Man on mountain with phone

25. Selfie Stick

When you're travelling, you'll want to capture the memories forever. Whether you're travelling solo, or with your besties and want to get a group pic, a selfie stick is a great option! There may not always be someone around to take your picture, plus, in some destinations, handing over your expensive iPhone to a stranger to take a picture might not be the smartest choice.

26. Sunglasses

They protect you from the sun. They hide those hungover post-pool party eyes. And who doesn’t look and feel better in a pair of cool shades? We always like to take a couple of pairs too, just in case any get swept away by a big wave!

27. Hand Sanitiser

Post-pandemic, hand sanitisers have become essential for protecting your health while travelling. The last thing you want is to spend your trip in a hotel room because you have a pesky cough. Be safe, wash your hands regularly – and check out these travel safety tips.

28. Shoe Bags

Dirty shoes and clean clothes don’t tend to mix well. Shoe bags (or just any carrier bag!) are a great way to keep them separate. This is especially important if you plan to do a lot of hiking or expect your shoes to get muddy.

29. Jacket

Even the most tropical of destinations can get chilly. Even if you don’t end up wearing a jacket, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

“You might get cold, you should bring a jacket” - Every Mum, Everywhere, Ever

Woman zipping up hiking jacket
Woman zipping up hiking jacket
Woman zipping up hiking jacket

30. Spare Clothes That Are Easily Accessible

Whether you're flying, driving, catching the train or any other form of transport, it’s a good idea to have a spare set of clothes that are easily accessible in case you spill food or get dirty.

This is even more important for parents of young children, where the chances of ending up with something on your clothes (and theirs!) increase exponentially.

"I take an extra pair of clothing in carry-on luggage when flying long-haul. It came in handy when I flew to Australia last year and someone took my luggage from the carousel by mistake." - James Boyle

31. A Few Days’ Worth Of Toiletries

A few days’ worth of toiletries in your carry-on baggage can be a lifesaver. Losing your luggage is a bad experience, but having no toiletries will make it even worse. Having a few toiletries on hand will help you out until you're reunited with your belongings. Plus, it could save you the stress of having to go buy some on your first day in an unfamiliar destination.


32. Electronics Organiser

Phone charger, laptop charger, headphones, SD cards... In today’s world, there are a lot of electronic accessories we need to pack. An electronics organiser can help keep them neat, tangle-free and all in the same place. You can also get waterproof cases that will keep them all safe.

33. Travel Insurance

While travelling is a relaxing and fulfilling experience, you never know if you are going to hit a bump in the road. Having travel insurance can protect you from unexpected expenses and help to smooth out any dramas that may arise.

At Flight Centre, we recommend Cover-More for both domestic and international travel insurance.

34. Travel Credit Card

Carrying wads of foreign cash can be a risky endeavor at home, let alone abroad. Keep your money safe and organised with a pre-loaded travel credit card. Most can be managed by an app too, which makes splitting bills and sending money a breeze when travelling in big groups.

35. Travel Wash

If you're on a long trip, have messy little ones in tow, or are prone to spills, you're probably no stranger to washing items in your bathroom basin while away. A travel wash is ideal for those scenarios where the shower gel just won't do at that moment.

"I always have travel wash on me as I can't seem to have a meal without spilling something!" - Cat Salkeld

36. Mosquito/Bug Repellant

Packing mosquito or bug repellant is one of the best decisions you will make, especially if you're planning to travel to somewhere tropical. The uncomfortable itching feeling definitely doesn’t help you relax. In some countries, mosquitos can be carriers of disease, which means bug repellant can literally be a lifesaver.

Bug spray
Bug spray
Bug spray

37. Padlocks

This item may not seem important until you need it. Having a padlock is a great way to add an extra layer of security and to keep your luggage safe from prying hands. We definitely recommend having one on you in case you need to part with your luggage between checking out of the hotel and your flight back home. Visiting the US? Make sure your padlock is TSA approved.

38. Lip Balm

Not only can changes in climate and the dry air wreak havoc on your skin, they can also leave your lips dry and cracked, which makes for an uncomfortable experience. That is why we recommend lip balm or something to keep them hydrated.

woman applying lipbalm
woman applying lipbalm
woman applying lipbalm

39. Sleeping Devices

A long-haul flight and a child that can’t get to sleep is a recipe for disaster! Luckily, many airlines allow sleeping devices such as a flight hammock or inflatable pillow to help the little ones (and the big ones!), get some rest.

40. An Open Mind and Sense of Adventure

We all hope our travel experiences will go off without a hitch, but there are times when you might find yourself stuck at borders for hours, or in a situation that's totally out of your control. This is where your open mind comes in – try to make the most of the situation, and find the positive in it, and time will fly. Nothing is an issue! You'll also open yourself up to more adventures and great conversations with new friends, not to mention some fantastic travel stories when you return.

Flight Centre

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