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15 Must-have Long Term Travel Essentials

07 Mar, 2024

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Eva Mitchell

We set off for one year of travel around the World in May 2023. After nearly ten months of travelling the world, it has become clear what long term travel essentials are actually worth their weight. Here is a list of our must-have travel products that are in our suitcases right now

Disclaimer: This post contains links to our preferred travel products and services. When you purchase through these links, your purchases can generate a small profit for us, without any added cost to you. This helps us to continue offering top-notch travel advice and savvy savings tips on how you can make cents of travel. Rest assured, we only share links to products and services that we personally love to use.



1. Sand-Free Travel Towel

Of all our long term travel essentials, this sand-free travel towel has to be my all-time favourite! I have used it to lay on at the beaches and pools around Europe, for picnics in parks and the sand-free feature came in super handy while watch the sunrise in the Sahara Desert sand dunes.  

Favourite features of this gorgeous travel towel: 

  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
  • Colourful with a beautiful design (ideal for those insta holiday snaps!)
  • Large size for easy drying
  • Packs down to a small size

Buy your sand-free travel towel

2. Edifier Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones

Our Edifier noise-cancelling headphones were a bargain from Amazon! We ordered these right before we left Australia and have not regretted the purchase for one second. These Edifier headphones are ideal for long plane, train or bus trips. The noise cancelling mode blocks out everything from background plane noise to chatty Cathy on the bus. Bliss!


Favourite features of the Edifier Headphones:

  •  Easy to connect Bluetooth functionality 
  • Comfy fit
  • Noise cancelling mode with or without music playing
  • Extremely affordable!
Buy your edifier bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones

couple running in Sahara Desert

3. Joby Compact Light Kit Tripod

It’s always awkward having to ask someone else to take a photo of you and the results are never that great. That’s why we love our Joby Compact Light Kit Tripod! This tripod has been a game-changer for taking the perfect snap together while travelling. It is lightweight, sturdy, affordable and slots into the side pocket of the Tenba Camera Backpack like a breeze. The Joby Tripod is definitely a long term travel essential we can’t live without!


Favourite features of the Joby tripod:

  • Lightweight
  • Packs down to a manageable size for everyday travel
  • Comes with handy slip for storage 
  • Extendable up to 1.3m
  • Comes with cellphone mount
Buy your joby compact light kit tripod

4. Passport Holder

Whether you are travelling for a week or a year, you will want to purchase a passport holder to ensure your passport is protected while you are travelling. Amazon has an amazing selection of passport holders at all price points. We are currently using a basic fabric one however it is not waterproof. In the future, I will be upgrading to a leather look one for extra protection but for now, my fabric passport holder has done the trick over the past year.  

Buy your passport holder

5. Tenba Fulton Camera Backpack

This is the ideal backpack for your husband or partner so he is always ready to take that perfect holiday shot of you two to share on the gram! The Tenba Fulton Camera backpack is a must-have long term travel essential for the tech savvy. Tim chose the Tenba Fulton Camera Backpack which has been ideal for storing our camera gear while we travel. The Tenba Fulton Camera Backpack really shines when it comes to the multiple easy to access compartments available to store all of your tech gear and everyday travel essentials. 


Favourite Features of the Tenba Fulton Camera Backpack:

  • Multiple easy-to-access compartments 
  • Grab your camera on-the-go from the secure camera compartment that is conveniently located to access
  • Fits a 16" laptop in the internal laptop sleeve
  • Roll top to fit maximal gear in upper compartment
  • Two side pockets fit for a drink bottle and tripod
Buy your tenba fulton camera backpack

6. Bellroy Backpack Classic Plus

This one is for the ladies! After extensive research on the best travel backpack for women, I stumbled across the Bellroy Classic Plus Backpack. It features S curved straps, a comfortable padded back, a chest strap to support the load and isn’t too long which all contribute to this backpack being ideal for female travellers. 


On top of the incredible fit the Bellroy backpack offers, it also has many practical elements. Starting with a laptop compartment and multiple smaller compartments that are easy to access. There is plenty of space in the main section which I found large enough to fit 5 days worth of clothes into for our biking trip around Tuscany. The design is sleek and inconspicuous however due to this, there is no drink bottle holder on the outside. I would highly recommend the Bellroy backpack for women travelling the world as it is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and practical. 

Favourite features of the Bellroy Classic Plus Backpack:

  • S curved straps for comfort
  • Chest strap to take the load off your back
  • Ideal length of bag for an average height woman (not too long)
  • Multiple practical compartments of varying sizes
  • Handy 16" padded laptop sleeve
  • Sleek design
Buy your bellroy backpack classic plus

7. Voja Lojel Suitcase

I love my Lojel suitcase! It has lasted for over 4 years of short trips and 10 months of full-time travel and counting! It is a durable but light-weight polypropylene hard-shell suitcase that features a secure zipless closure system, contributing to its antitheft design. One of the coolest things about Lojel is that they make suitcases in bright colours rather than boring black or grey. I opted for a gorgeous light blue colour for my Lojel suitcase. 

I purchased the largest size Lojel suitcase which has been great for winter travel however I would have preferred the medium size for summer travel. This is because the extra space is unnecessary in the Summer when you are usually only allowed 20kg on most flights.


Favourite features of the Voja Lojel Suitcase:

  • Zipless closure system (no broken zips to worry about!)
  • Fun colour options (easy to identify on baggage carousel)
  • Smooth handling with replaceable easy-glide wheels
  • Lojel's 5 year warranty and replacement guarantee
  • Strong internal zips
  • Light-weight hard-shell case

Find Lojel retailers here

8. Travel Packing Cubes

To use packing cubes or not? Packing cubes have become such a polarising topic for travellers. I am 100% a packing travel cubes gal! They are essential to create and maintain a tidy suitcase, so when you are trying to find that one item, you don’t have to turn your whole bag upside down. My favourite set of packing cubes from Amazon have lasted over a year already. 


Favourite features about travel packing cubes:

  • Light-weight 
  • Budget-friendly
  • Mesh makes it easy to see what is inside
  • Cute colours to choose from
Buy your travel packing cubes

9. Portable Powerbank

Having a portable powerbank is essential when travelling long-term. Google maps can drain your phone battery ridiculously quickly when travelling, so it is best to always have a charger with you because you never know when you might need it. We have been saved countless times during our travels thanks to our handy portable powerbank!

Buy your portable powerbank

10. Silicon Travel Bottles

Having good quality, easy-to-use, squeezable and washable travel bottles are an essential long-term travel product. These come in handy when you are ditching your suitcase for a few days to do a short side trip, especially when you are flying with hand-luggage only. We used our silicon travel bottles when flying to Finland for 3 nights over Christmas and during our bike trip around Tuscany. 


Favourite features of Silicon Travel Bottles:

  • Squeezable for ease of use and to avoid wastage
  • Leak-resistant 
  • Ideal for carry-on as only 100mL capacity each
Buy your silicon travel bottles

11. Plastic Cutlery Set

You wouldn’t believe how handy it is to have a simple cutlery set with you when you are travelling on a budget. You will have picnics, takeaway food and snacks on trains and buses where cutlery will come in handy. This is something we didn’t think to buy before leaving for our travels and ended up purchasing a plastic cutlery from a local shop in Italy within the first two weeks.


I would recommend you be more organised than us and check out amazon for a plastic cutlery set before you leave. We would have preferred a metal set however the extra weight of metal compared meant it made more sense for us to buy a plastic set. 

Here's a tip:

Purchase a salt and pepper when you arrive in a country if you plan on cooking your own food or having picnics.

Buy your plastic cutlery set

12. International Travel Adapter

No matter where you are travelling in the world, make sure you bring a power adapter suitable for the country you are visiting. If you are travelling between multiple countries you can purchase adapters that will fit every type of plug. These are great for long term travel to get you started in each country however many multi-adapter plugs don’t have a earth so I wouldn’t recommend charging laptops with them, especially in buildings with old power plugs.

Buy your travel adapter

13. Laundry Detergent Sheets

These are the BEST! I wouldn’t travel without laundry detergent sheets now. They take up minimal space, they are solid, so you don’t have to worry about spillage or liquid in your carry-on. We find that each pack lasts us months! I usually use 2 or 3 sheets for a large load of washing or a single sheet if I need to handwash some clothes at a hotel.

Buy your laundry sheets

14. Orbis Travel Eye Mask

If you are planning on taking long-distance flights, trains or buses, you will want a comfortable travel eye mask. The Orbis travel eye mask I brought is super comfortable and is moulded to your face meaning minimal light will enter and you will have room to open your eyes without your eyelashes being restricted by the mask.

Favourite features of the Orbis travel eye mask:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Adjustable strap to accommodate different head widths
  • Space to open eyes comfortably 
Buy your orbis travel eye mask

15. Ziplock Plastic Bags

Travel hack 101! You will always want to have at least a few ziplock plastic bags on you at all times. Ziplock bags are one of the best budget long term travel essentials that will make your life so much easier. It’s always convenient to have a handful of these at the ready for storing your carry-on liquids or for your DIY sandwich picnic by the beach.  

Let me know in the comments, what you would add to this list of long term travel essentials?

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A word from the authors

Eva and Tim are the creators behind this world-class travel finance blog.

In 2021 they decided to travel the world for an entire year and begun implementing savings strategies to achieve their goal of long-term travel. By May 2023, they quit their jobs to embark on their year-long adventure, sharing their invaluable practical and achievable savings, planning and travel tips they learnt along the way/with the aim to help others Make Cents of Travel.

You can find Eva & Tim on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram as Make Cents of Travel.

About Us

Hello, Hola, Ciao! We are Tim & Eva, a couple of kiwis who have spent the last few years saving for and planning our epic year-long adventure around the world. Our goal is to inspire fellow wanderlust souls (just like you!) to Make Cents Of Travel by sharing our experiences and strategies we used to turn our dream of long-term travel into a reality.


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