A Travel Writer’s 12 Spring Travel Essentials

I don’t know what it is about spring, but as soon as the first long, sunny day hits, I immediately feel called to begin organizing and downsizing my closet, travel gear, and everything in between. Each year, following this grand purge, I bring bags and bags’ worth of clothes and accessories to my local donation center and what remains are my foolproof, tried-and-true travel essentials that I refuse to venture without. 

Following this year’s spring cleaning, the items that made it past the fateful clearance include Bluetooth trackers to keep an eye on my personal belongings and a pair of comfortable travel shoes that strike the perfect balance between comfort and style. If you’re also someone who travels with comfort, style, and safety in mind, then you’re going to want to keep scrolling to see the other favorite accessories that I’ll be traveling with this season. And even better, items start at just $6.

New Balance Unisex 9060 Sneakers

New Balance

If I could only wear one pair of sneakers for the rest of my life, it would be these incredibly stylish and supportive sneakers from New Balance. They effortlessly check all of my boxes as they are fashionable enough to wear with jeans, comfortable enough to sport on a hike without worrying about blisters, and durable enough to withstand the wears and tears of the many travel seasons ahead. I can’t recommend these sneakers enough, and if you’re in the market for a new pair, be sure to snag them while they’re still in stock. 

Need a backup pair because they’re all sold out? The brand’s Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneakers have won over more than 23,000 Amazon shoppers with their versatile, comfy, and well-cushioned design, and they’re on sale for $75.

Vera Bradley Hardside Rolling Carry-On


To accompany all of my spring flings, I’m holding onto this stunning Vera Bradley suitcase that’s adorned with beautiful flower illustrations. Aside from its incredibly spacious build, four directional spinning wheels, and handy TSA lock, its eye-catching design means that I’ll always know which suitcase is mine at baggage claim. At 22 inches, the carry-on is the perfect size for a week-long trip, but one Amazon shopper said that they were able to fit up to two weeks’ worth of clothes — similar to the 20-inch Rockland London Carry-On Luggage, which is extremely spacious and on sale for $64.

Cabeau the Neck Evolution S3 Travel Pillow


As a travel writer, I’ve tried more neck pillows than I can count. And while there are plenty of excellent models on the market, the one that I keep going back to and refuse to part with is this one from Cabeau. Made with ultra-soft memory foam to deliver 360-degree support, it’s the only pillow that I’ve managed to sleep six-plus hours with on a flight. It is also incredibly compact and packable, and comes with its own carry bag that’s spacious enough to fit my eye mask and other in-flight essentials, too. 

Apple AirTag


If there’s one item that I refuse to travel without, it’s an Apple AirTag. It sets up within minutes, and helps me travel with the peace of mind that my personal belongings are accounted for. As someone who has had their luggage misplaced and my bag snatched on international trips, I know firsthand that you can never be too safe. Attach one to your suitcase or throw one in your wallet to keep a closer eye on your valuables. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 

Veken Packing Cube Set


It’s no shocker that these Veken packing cubes have managed to make it past my annual spring cleaning because they’re the epitome of travel essentials. I particularly love the sheer versatility of this set, which comes with compression cubes for clothes, a designated shoe bag, laundry bag, and even a toiletry bag to ensure that everything has an easy-to-find place in your suitcase. With how streamlined they make packing and unpacking, these cubes are going to be on your “keep” list for life after you’ve tried them for yourself. 

Vacation Super Spritz SPF 50


Sunscreen is a year-round must, but as the warm weather comes creeping back in, it becomes even more imperative to keep your skin protected. As much as I love gel- and lotion-based SPF, nothing can beat the convenience of a spray; it can be applied as your base SPF and easily reapplied throughout the day for protection on the go. I’m keeping bottles of my go-to Vacation Super Spritz SPF packed for all of my upcoming beach, lake, and hiking days, and you should do the same. Oh, and as an added bonus, it smells absolutely divine. 

Jack&Chris Leather Passport Wallet Holder


It’s important to safeguard your most important documents, so that’s why I keep mine secured in this travel wallet that holds my passport, ID, credit cards, and other essentials. My grandpa actually recommended this wallet to me, and I can see why; it’s sleek, slim, and one of the best $20 purchases that I’ve made in a long time. 

Ai-dee Colorful Luggage Tag Set 


This simple, no-frills luggage tag set is the $6 purchase that you won’t regret making this season. It may seem like a no-brainer, but beyond attaching it to your suitcase to identify your luggage, it’s also helpful to clip one onto your backpack and other items in the case you misplace it. Plus, its durable, waterproof, PVC silicone construction and secure-fastening loop ensure that it’ll be an easy, one-time purchase that’ll last you a lifetime. 

Blume SuperBelly Lemon Ginger


Travel always tends to dehydrate me and wreak havoc on my gut, and as much as I love to indulge myself on a trip, I still try to maintain some semblance of my healthy routine while on vacation. In the past, I’ve found that Pedialyte is hard to pack (and a bit inconvenient to use on the go) and haven’t personally loved other hydration powder sticks until I tried Blume. I packed these single-serving powder packets on a recent trip and will always keep a few in my bag for future adventures. It’s delicious, easy-to-pack, and made with plenty of vitamins and minerals so I don’t have to worry about packing supplements. Plus, the ginger comes in clutch for soothing any turbulent travel tummies.

Abercrombie YPB Women’s NeoKNIT Joggers

Abercrombie & Fitch

I tried these joggers a few months ago and am absolutely in love with their buttery-soft feel and relaxed fit. They are the first thing that I pack for any and all kinds of travel, and while they’ve kept me incredibly cozy during all of my winter trips, they are breathable enough to bring along on all my spring travel plans, too. I’m also considering adding a few more to my collection so I’ll have plenty of comfy travel outfits at my disposal come spring.

Patagonia Women’s All Season Hemp Canvas Bib Overalls


My outdoor expert and professional gear outfitter friend Alice Bennett first recommended these heavy duty overalls to me back in the fall, and now I basically live in them. Beyond their durable material and comfortable fit (which may I add, are both phenomenal), these overalls are fixed with plenty of spacious pockets that I love to keep my phone and other personal belongings in. Speaking of, they’re actually the ideal pair of gardening overalls, and I’ve been known to stick a few freshly-harvested carrots in the side pockets. 

JBL Bluetooth GO3 Speaker


Catch me at the park, by the lake, on a stroll, and really doing any outdoor activity this season with this portable speaker that packs a punch audio-wise. This is truly the bring-everywhere travel accessory that you didn’t even know you needed. Between its waterproof build and top-notch sound quality, it makes an excellent travel companion, and I won’t be caught anywhere this without it. Even better, it comes with a built-in clip so I can keep it securely fixed to my backpack when I’m on the move. 

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