5 Things I Always Keep Packed in My Suitcase

I travel a lot and am often asked what to pack or the best ways to pack. Hands down the best way to pack and stay organized are in packing cubes. What to pack really depends upon where you are going. However, no matter what part of the world I am traveling to next, in addition to a good book, these are a few things that I keep in my suitcase at all times.


How many times have you wished for more hooks in your hotel room or cruise ship cabin? One in the bathroom is never enough. For that reason, I often find myself draping my things over the back a chair or on a doorknob. To solve this problem I now travel with a set of over the door hooks in my suitcase. They easily hang right over any door, no mounting hardware needed. Now my jackets, scarves, bags and even the last shirt I wore all have a neat place to be stored in my temporary room.

Reusable Shopping Bag

These pocket-sized bags by Flip and Tumble are my favorite. Not only are you helping the environment when you use them (say no to plastic please) but these bags double as a beach tote, gym bag, or shopping carryall. I like this reusable bag in particular because it has a single strap with a shoulder pad, making your load feel a little lighter. Plus this style makes it a bit more modern looking. It takes just a few seconds to roll it up into the internal stretchy pouch sewn into the side of the bag. It leaves you with a compact ball you can put in your pocket or throw in your purse. And it is machine washable.

Oversized Scarf

Climates and dress codes are always changing. You never know when you might be cold, need protection from the sun or just something to dress up an outfit. I always keep a solid lightweight scarf packed in my suitcase to use as a sunshade, wrap or even a blanket.

High-Speed Portable Charger

Almost the same size as an iPhone X, this ultra slim portable charger is so thin it easily fits into your pocket. I love that this compact power bank comes with two USB ports. Perfect for charging two phones, or a phone and an iPad, at the same time. It offers high-speed charging capabilities and also has an LED Flashlight. You can order it in gold, black or silver and it comes in a padded carrying case. Note that this cannot go in a checked bag, carry-on only.

Extra Long Power Cord

Not all hotel room power outlets are strategically placed for charging your phone. Therefore a 3 ft cord isn’t going to cut it when you just want to lay in bed and scroll through your email. I keep a high-quality, nylon braided 10 ft long cord with me for just this reason. It is extremely flexible and more durable than the plastic coated ones.

Toss any of these items in your suitcase and leave them there along with these travel-size beauty products. You will be all set for your next trip.

Are you going on a cruise? Try these expert tips for what to pack for a cruise.

Commenting area

  1. I love the hooks! Great tip!

  2. I love the idea of keeping these items in your suitcase so that they don’t have to be found and packed when you’re ready to travel. I keep a couple clothespins in my suitcase. They come in handy for propping up my toothbrush, keeping it off the counter (YUCK!), and swimsuits seem to dry faster when they’re not folded over on the line in cruise ship bathtubs.

    • Dana Freeman May 30, 2019 at 11:51 am · · Reply

      Yes! Clothespins are amazing for everything. A great suggestion for propping up the toothbrush. I hadn’t thought about that.

  3. Really great tips. I’d never thought of the hooks, but makes sense now you say it. I’d also add a reusable water bottle and stainless steel straw to the list.

  4. This is exactly how I travel, the most important things that I can’t forget to place in my backpack.

  5. We rely on various twist ties from Nite Ize — they can double as hooks, secure things like our mac powerbricks in the plane to keep them from falling out of the plugs, help close unruly curtains, and much more. Like My Rig we carry a stainless steel straw and of course a collapsible water bottle.

    • Dana Freeman June 4, 2019 at 8:29 am · · Reply

      Twist Ties! Good one. Kind of like clothespins. Can be used for a number of different things

  6. Rhonda Albom June 4, 2019 at 5:22 am · · Reply

    I keep a number of these items with me when I travel. I would also add a short USB charging cable for those times when you don’t want the standard sized cable draped over things.

    • Dana Freeman June 4, 2019 at 8:30 am · · Reply

      Yes, probably a good idea to have the short one too. I just try to minimize the number of cables I bring since I need different ones to charge laptop, etc.

  7. Great list! I’ve never thought of the hooks, but I can see how they would really come in handy. I always travel with an extension cord that has several ports and outlets, but sometimes it still doesn’t reach to the bed. Wondering why hotels don’t get that, but, in any case, your suggestion of an extra long charging cord would solve that problem.

    • Dana Freeman June 5, 2019 at 10:44 am · · Reply

      I think newer or renovated hotels take the outlet position into account. Often now you see them in the base of the bedside lamp. But you just never know!

  8. I am so torn between using a suitcase and a backpack by itself. I’m travelling alone and long-term, which means of course waiting for luggage isn’t an issue beyond my own impatience lol. But like this list shows, you get more space for luggage and little necessities you just don’t have the luxury of with a backpack!

  9. Omg, this is such a great list and things on this list are so different from other lists I’ve read int he past. I have never thought about packing extra hooks or extra long cords. There have been plenty of times where I’m traveling with multiple people and there just isn’t enough hooks int eh bathroom for all our towels!

  10. Except hooks, I keep them all in my bag as you rightly said, they can be required anytime and anywhere. I agree with having hooks, and I’ll definitely include them during my next travel. Such practical tools!

  11. The Holidaymaker June 6, 2019 at 8:18 pm · · Reply

    Sadly, I don’t have any ingenious tips to share. And, I never travel light, not yet anyway. But what I do need, and so glad you have it on your list is the portable charger! I need to get one before I travel next.

  12. You have no idea how eye opening this list is to me! I thought I was a great packer but I think having a hook will change my life haha. Great idea about the reusable shopping bag too 🙂

    • Dana Freeman June 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm · · Reply

      It will change the way you travel! I love having all of my stuff visible, yet needly stowed away.

  13. Great list and many of these items I have bought specifically to leave in my bag and never take out so I don’t accidentally forget to bring them. Another thing I pack is a few extra ziplock bags.

  14. Magnetic hooks are great for cruise ships as most cruise ship walls are metallic..

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