Time for a little Lonely Planet show and tell. Travel gives us a chance to escape our everyday trappings and routines. But that makes it easy to grow some pretty strong connections to those few things we take do take along. In fact, it’s easy to look at regular little items – hats, water bottles, luggage – as beloved constant companions in these ongoing journeys.

With that in mind, we checked around Lonely Planet to learn about some personal favorite travel items of the most well-traveled staff in publishing.

Our editors independently select the best products to help you have amazing travel experiences. If you purchase through links on our site, Lonely Planet may earn a commission from the retailer.
What else do you need? © Tom Davis / Lonely Planet
What else do you need? © Tom Davis / Lonely Planet

AnneMarie McCarthy | Senior Editor, Content Strategy

Stojo collapsible cup

I put my Stojo collapsible cup to good use all summer and not just for coffee. I have the big 12-ounce version, making it perfect for getting refills at the bar at music festivals. The lid and straw means I can dance away without spilling anything or creating more plastic waste. Pocket Cup 12 oz, $15; stojo.com.

Alexander Howard | Lead Editor, Homepage

Bose QuietComfort 25s

After one VERY long flight in the vicinity of an unhappy child (and its poor parents), I bit the bullet and bought some noise-cancelling headphones. The result is nothing short of airplane bliss – gone is the aggravating airplane noise that accompanies any flight. While I could’ve sprung for a bluetooth-only version (the QC 35s), the wire on these barely gets in the way while I’m stuffed into my usual economy seat. Plus the price (more than $150 less than the 35s) couldn’t be beat. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, $177; amazon.com.

Digital editor Alicia Johnson in Dominica wearing her REI bucket hat
Digital editor Alicia Johnson swears by her REI bucket hat. Image © Peter Green/Bushman Tours.

Alicia Johnson | Digital Editor

REI bucket hat

From Panamanian rainforests to a lazy canoe ride down a Tennessee stream, my REI army-green bucket hat comes with me everywhere. It can be stuffed into any bag with reckless abandonment and has saved me from sweltering hot sun, torrential downpours, and bad hair days. Similar hats, rei.com.

The cure for chronic over-packing: Eagle Creek packing cubes © Tom Davis / Lonely Planet
Packing cubes are the cure for an unorganized suitcase. © Tom Davis / Lonely Planet

Jack Palfrey | Digital Editor

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have almost become something of a cult. People tend to love them or think they’re ridiculous. I fall – proudly – into the former category. When I spent 12 months traveling around Asia a few years ago, these beautiful blue pieces of polyester provided a shred of organization amidst the chaos of living out of a backpack day in, day out. They meant I could organize my worldly possessions into four distinct sections: clean clothes, dirty clothes, tech (aka my laptop) and, what I rather inventively labelled, "life crap" (passports, visas, vaccination docs etc) – thus making things simple to find in a hurry and, crucially, pack away again. In my humble opinion, these departmentalizing dreamboats – or sanity sacks, as I like to call them – are an invaluable piece of kit on longer trips.  G4Free packing cubes, $25; amazon.com.

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L travel pack exterior
This backpack will put your carry-on suitcase out of business. Image © Cotopaxi

Mike Nelson | Director of Growth

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack 

I’m a huge fan of this backpack – I’ve been slowly converting as many people as I can here in the office. It’s replaced my carry-on and is the only thing I travel with now. It fits nicely into any overhead space, fits my laptop in an easy-to-access compartment, and the quality is top-notch. Allpa 35L Travel Pack, $200; cotopaxi.com.

Amanda McCadams | Social Media Editor

Lifestraw water bottle

I'm really digging my collapsible Lifestraw water filter/bottle. It eliminates single-use plastic, which is HUGE in my book, and I can drink water from anywhere, plus it collapses and doesn't take up mega space in my cramped camera-bag carry-on. Lifestraw Flex with Collapsible Squeeze Bottle, $35; lifestraw.com.

Man's hands holding Kindle e-reader in a cafe
One tiny e-reader versus a bag stuffed with books is just smart packing. Image ​© Amazon​

Sarah Stocking | Digital Editor

Tablet/e-reader

I never go anywhere without my Kindle Paperwhite. I need to read at night before bed and also love to read on the plane, but traveling with a bunch of heavy books is terrible! I also LOVE asking for book recommendations about wherever I’m traveling too while I’m in a destination, and it makes it easy to purchase and read a new book no matter where and when! Kindle Paperwhite, from $130; amazon.com.

Meghan O'Dea | Digital Editor

Paddywax candles

As a traveling homebody who loves to nest as much as experience unfamiliar places, I like to bring along little niceties that make me feel at home on the road. Paddywax makes lovely travel-sized candle tins, and I always pack my favorite Tobacco + Patchouli scent to create continuity between destinations. Apothecary candles, from $5; paddywax.com.

'War-wound red' Doc Martens © Daniel Fahey / Lonely Planet
'War-wound red' Doc Martens © Daniel Fahey / Lonely Planet

Daniel Fahey | Content Sources Manager

Doc Martens

As essential as carrying my passport and exactly the same color, my war-wound red Dr. Martens aren’t just a pair of threadbare bovver boots – they’re the Swiss Army Knife of the footwear world. Scuffed, scratched, and dirtier than a miner’s fingernails, my five-year-old DMs are river resistant and plow through snow like a Russian freight train. 

I’ve hardly taken off my Docs since I bought them: they’ve roughhoused in rural Wales, bog-waded across Switzerland, and earned winter tans on the golden sands of Praia da Marinha, Portugal, and the promenades of Port de Pollença, Mallorca. Their best asset, though? There’s room to squeeze a sneaky bottle of scotch inside them, if I'm ever packing light on a hike, from $140; amazon.com.

Power strip charging e-reader, camera, laptop, phone, activity tracker
Project manager Rebekah Markowitz never leaves home without her trusty power strip. Image © Rebekah Markowitz

Rebekah Markowitz | Project Manager, Creative Services

Portable power strip

One thing I never travel without (even when visiting my family), is a portable power strip with both plug and USB slots. Most hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs have a limited number of outlets – I recently stayed at an Airbnb where I had to move furniture just to find one! I travel with a lot of electronics, like a computer, phone, tablet, camera, portable charger, and activity tracker, so it’s a pain when there are only a couple of outlets. I'm usually only at my hotel at night while I’m sleeping, so I’m not around or awake long enough to swap everything out. Having an easily portable power strip solves that problem and allows me to charge everything I need at once while I catch some Zs. Similar power strips, anker.com.

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