Traveling is one of life’s greatest joys: you get to visit new places, have free time to explore them property and create special memories with your favourite people. No matter where you’re headed, there are a few travel essentials that will probably make your trip even better. Here are my top 5 travel essentials – the things you should not leave home without these!

1. Packing Cubes
I love travel, but packing and unpacking my things every few days can become extremely exhausting. A few years ago I discovered packing cubes and I’ve honestly never looked back. I roll my clothes into the packing cubes and keep them organised by type of clothing. For example, I tend to have a packing cube filled with dresses, tops and sweaters. In another I have pants and shorts. I have a separate packing cube for underwear, bras and swimswear. It keeps my clothes organised while I’m on the road and makes it so much easier to find something to wear.

2. Don’t Leave Without Travel Insurance
I have far too many friends that book trips and don’t invest in travel insurance. The truth is, if you can afford the cost of a vacation, you can afford a little extra in order to properly protect yourself on the road. If you’re traveling to a foreign country that does not have a reciprocal health care system with your home country, you could find yourself knee deep in a massive debt should you need emergency medical care. Travel insurance also protects you from stolen items, postponed trips for reasons outside of your control and so many other things. There’s plenty of cheap travel insurance out there so make sure you buy some. You can compare travel insurance online to find the best possible deal, to ensure you’re not spending too much on it.

3. A Camera
Yes, smart phones can take pretty great photos these days but there’s something special about having a camera to take your travel photos. The quality will be so much better, which is so important if you want to get any of your photos printed out. I personally love my Canon GX Mark ii – it’s small but it packs a punch with the image quality.

4. Lonely Planet Guide
Yes, Lonely Planet books are really popular, but for a good reason. They’re an amazing guide because they cover all budgets and allow you to see different options in each location. My favorite part of traveling with a Lonely Planet is that you can read it whenever you have downtime, such as on a plane, while waiting at an airport, in a taxi, etc. You don’t need to charge it and it’s never going to go flat, making it an ideal travel companion.

5. A Memory Foam Travel Pillow
If you’re ever fallen asleep on a plane or bus and woken up with a stiff neck, you’ll understand how mcuh a game changer travel pillows can be. I use them for long flights, trains and buses to keep my neck comfortable and to stop myself doing that weird head flop down thing while falling asleep. I’ve also used them as pillows when I have stayed in low budget hostels with poor bedding and as a cushion when sitting on a hard surface for a long time. They’re small, but a game changer!

What is something you never travel without? Let me know in the comments below.