The Travel Packing List We Can’t Leave Without

Mandatory Travel Packing List - As we add more travel adventures on our time line, we have developed a mandatory travel packing list to make our little adventures more stressless.

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As we add more travel adventures on our timeline, we have developed a mandatory travel packing list to make our little adventures even more stressless. Now there are the usual suspects-camera, video camera, backpack, iPadsiPhones and a great collection of downloaded books. But then there are those items that may fall off your radar that have become essential for our travel packing list no matter if it is a lengthy or short holiday.

Ziplock Bags

We’ll start with weirdest item on our list first. And yes, you read that correctly, Ziplock Bags. I always pack 4-6 bags of various sizes. I use these bags for any and everything-wet bath sponges, wet bathing suits (in case we go swimming the morning of departure), toiletries and anything that could possibly cause a liquid spill disaster.

Journal and Pens

I always travel with a journal and a pen. My bullet journal is my life. It’s my planner and the “toilet” for my brain dumps. I put my initial travel itinerary in my journal before transferring to my phone for easy shared access with the husband. I also write any random thoughts (and maybe even a blog post or two) I have in my journal. The Glitter Princess even said this was her one item she can’t travel without. She is definitely her mother’s child.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are life. These are the game changers on my travel packing list. Packing cubes create space in our luggage or backpacks by using the roll and stuff method (roll the items, stuff in the packing cubes and zip as you stuff). For the return trip home, I always repack the cubes according to clean and dirty clothes and sort the dirty clothes into cubes to ease the massive laundry duty upon the return home.


I do not travel anywhere without a scarf. In addition to keeping me warm when out exploring a new city or country, I have used my scarf as a blanket on the plane or even a hood in the rain. A scarf is so essential for traveling, TRUST ME. I am partial to my favorite scarf (of course) but there are also infinity travel scarves with pockets that look highly practical and super cute.


It may be just me, but I have a thing about wet socks and feet touching the floor barefoot, it grosses me out. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my bare feet in the sand or pool. I know. I’m the crazy lady. So a good pair of slides is essential for my travel packing list. Depending on the shoes I pack and the destination, I may just wear my slides until I get past security to avoid the inconvenience of removing my shoes. Slides can even be used as house shoes (for my wet socks and barefoot issues) or shoes for trips to the pool or beach. Not to mention, slides don’t take up much space.

Tote Bag

You know the old saying about traveling, “You always come home with more than what you left with.” It amazed me how packing for the trip home was an epic failure of trying to make everything fit in our luggage and backpacks. As the primary packer, I was so over it. On our return trip from Malta, I ventured down to the local store and bought a cheap tote bag and filled it with our snacks, souvenir sand whatever else wouldn’t fit in our bags. And from that point on, I travel with a cute little tote bag to catch all our extra. You will be so glad you packed this little gem. Again, thank me later.

Wipes and Tissue

There is always a need for wipes and tissues (even when not traveling) and it is not reserved just for parents. Adults need them too. But, if you are a parent, wipes and tissues are a must for your travel packing list. On our third day of eating gelato in Milan, the Big Dogg was covered in chocolate sauce from head to toe (literally). But, I had my baggy of wipes and we cleaned up and carried on without missing a beat. I had shopping to do and did not have time to be derailed by gelato, chocolate sauce and a little person.


We never board a plane without snacks. Random snacks have saved my behind so many times. We have been in several sticky situations and I cannot deal with any member of my family when they get hungry. I seriously can’t. We have arrived late to destinations and had no access to food and have been in a hurry and had to bypass dinner at the airport and those snacks were right on time. They give me about a 2-3 hour window before all hell breaks loose.

Universal Travel Adapter

When traveling internationally, there is so much to plan for and you don’t want to be caught off guard. Not being able to plug in your essentials is definitely one way to be caught off guard. To be safe, a worldwide universal travel adapter will take the drama out of trying to figure it all out.

Universal USB Hub

Could you imagine arriving in a new country and not being able to charge your devices? Talk about epic fail. To avoid any mental breakdowns, I travel with at least two universal USB hubs for the entire family. Devices stay charged. Family stays happy. I keep my sanity. Mission accomplished.

Portable Phone Charger

So, about that one time we were in Germany going to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle and my phone died before we made it to the castle. The Glitter Princess decided to make a gaggle of videos on the two hour road trip as I decided to get a little (just a little) shut eye. And on this holiday, I was totally out the loop, everyone had a dang portable charger except for me. Duh. Never again. I won’t be stuck with MY iCloud full of random videos and a dead phone ever again.


I always have a pack of Uno cards in my bag. A good game of Uno keeps the mind sharp and gives us all an electronic break. The kids can play the game alone or the parents can join in. The game can be played on the plane, in the airport, or hotel-it doesn’t matter. But, what does matter is that everyone has something to do and that we all have a good time together.

I’m sure this list will grow over time and that’s not a bad thing. It has already taken me a few years to figure this list out so a few more years can only add more magic I suppose.

Hugs and love,

Dee Dee

Is there something you think we should add to our mandatory travel packing list? Please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

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Dee Dee Wheaton

Dee Dee Wheaton is the editor and main contributor of her family’s blog, The Wheaton Takeover. She writes and edits her posts listening to hip hop and r&b while sipping hot tea. Dee Dee and her family have temporarily relocated to Dublin, Ireland from Houston, Texas. They are traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday and loving life one day at a time. Through their blog, they share their worldwide excursions, experiences living as American expats in Ireland, lessons learned along the way and glimpses into their crazy life.

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