Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran
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Traveling is so rewarding, but packing sucks! After countless international flights under my belt, I’ve gathered some absolute life life-changing travel must-haves I don’t travel without. These must-have travel gems are how to survive long flights in economy and will make your next travel 100% more comfortable!

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

 Travel Must Haves You Need

I know you can throw a rock and hit a blogger talking about their must have travel essentials. Most of them are obvious and not that great. You won’t find that here.

All my favorite travel things and must haves when traveling are my absolute favorite and I use the products myself. It’s not just about the product, it’s about the exact product.

My MO has always been to pack light and carry only flight essentials that are worth valuable carry-on and backpack space. After many trials and tests, I’ve finally narrowed down my top 14 travel essentials that have made all the difference. Starting with the most important:

The Best Travel Must Haves

I’ve tested and used this carry-on luggage since they first came on the market.

Yes, the branding and aesthetics were the selling point for me in the beginning, but I’ve used the same luggage now for 7 years and countless international flights, it’s lightweight and made out of durable polycarbonate that’s flexible, and it makes packing for a two-week trip possible when you pack smart.

I often travel with the bigger carry-on for 2 weeks and a backpack for my camera gear. it is one of my absolute travel essentials. 


  • 100-day money-back guarantee
  • First overhead on most major airlines without a problem
  • Aesthetic design
  • Durable Zipper and Wheels (seriously has been smooth and held up against countless cobblestones of Europe)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty ( If something breaks they will fix it)
  • Physical stores in the US
  • Pretty Colors 
  • Optional Battery Pack


  • Investment of $300 and more expensive than other brands

My Take: 

  • It’s a travel essential for me, if you invest in luggage that will last you for years to come, you won’t have to spend money replacing it in the future. I 100% recommend this luggage as I have now multiple sizes and colors and have had zero issues with the quality
  • Very well worth the price as you get all the value! Need more convincing? I too thought it was expensive for luggage, but once I had another brand of luggage wheel and zipper explode on me during our trip to Rome, you realize the use and value and you’ll be able to depend on it not to fail you is very much worth paying for a quality product.
  • Try it for 100 days and if you’re not convinced you can return it with free shipping. 

Travel Carry On Luggage

must haves when traveling

wtf is pocket wifi?

Well, a Pocket Wifi is something that will take your travel stress down two levels because it is that awesome. I finally got one on my trip to Italy as I was driving through Italy and needed fast reliable wifi. It is a little device that is essentially a pocket router.

You can rent or purchase the device and purchase. A data plan for increments of 7, 15, or 30 days at an affordable price compared to traditional mobile data plans. Oh, and you can connect up to 10 devices! It’s very popular in Japan, but the rest of the world hasn’t caught up yet.

Seriously it felt like I didn’t have to even think about wifi and data. it was so easy to use and made driving in Italy a breeze. This Pocket wifi is the one I used .


  • Easy To use and set up
  • Small easy to carry
  • No need to deal with changing the tiny pesky sims cards that somehow always get lost or drop into the most inconvenient places *eye roll*
  • As cheap as $20 for international wifi for 10 7 days


  • An additional thing you have to charge and carry

My Take:

I’ve relied on public wifi and google maps which has left me lost and wasted a lot of my time in the past. Now that I have found and used pocket wifi, it is safe to say I will not be looking back.

I purchased the simple no LCD (not necessary to have the LCD from my experience, it just drains. the battery more, and is more expensive) one for less than $100 bucks and I’m planning on using it on my Japan trip and other trips. It’s so convenient and easy it’ll make navigating and looking up confirmations when you’re abroad! 

A packable footrest 

Oh my gosh, seriously how did I ever make it through those grueling 10 hours of flights in the economy without this long flight travel essential? Let me say it in all caps for the people in the back. It’s THE BEST TRAVEL MUST HAVE, if you’re under 5”3 llike me.

If your knees hurt because your poor feet just dangle and don’t the ground all the way. It’s easy to use, it does not disturb the person in front of you since it hooks onto your table tray (in the closed position), and it improves circulation in your legs preventing the scary deep vein blood clots.

I’ve tried a few iterations of this, and I’ve found the one that has checked all my boxes and is the most reliable and comfortable one. Trust me, for less than $30 you’re knees will thank you. 


  • Adjustable height
  • flat even surface so your feet don’t get smooshed like other footrest
  • lightweight and easy to pack
  • affordable


  • another thing to bring but honestly, it’s essential for a long-haul flight 

Magnetic Hat Clip


‘m I the only one who wore all my hats onto the plane? As someone who wears many hats, I used to travel with my hats stacked on top of each other on my head.

As silly as it looked at the airport it worked, but on this last trip to Italy I purchased the magnetic hat clip and attached it to my backpack. It has secured 2 hats without a problem. Tip-Stack your hats and clip the clip on the Im the top hat only jot both!


  • easy to attach to your backpack or purse
  • strong magnet stays put and doesn’t fall 
  • made out of durable silicone doesn’t get dirty or wear 
  • can carry up to 2 hats at a time


  • annoying to put on take off if moving from backpack to purse

I’m stubborn by nature and have always used earplugs on planes to sleep as all headphones hurt my ears after a few hours of wearing them. So I finally gave in and tried the Apple Aipods Pro’s, OMG, Apple dominates in a lot of things because they do things right! The noise canceling is some magic and it is an absolute lifesaver. I sleep like a baby.

Even a crying baby in the back row couldn’t wake me! I switched over to an iPhone after using Android just so I can have the sweet sweet noise-canceling magic. It’s true, you get what you pay for. don’t skimp on your noise-canceling headphones it will make it so much more comfortable to fall asleep.


  • Amazing sound quality 
  • Even better noise canceling than any earphones I’ve tried (mainly Samsung and Sony)
  • Long battery life
  • Alerts you if you leave without them 
  • comfortable for all flight wear
  • comfortable to sleep with


  • the newer and better versions come out every year
  • expensive but you get what you pay for

My take:

move over ear plugs, apple airpods are here. I purchased the AirPods pro 2 and it does have a significant improvement in the noise canceling functionality than the previous ones. You have to get the pros, without the noise canceling, they aren’t that amazing.

Lavender Mint Tea Bags

I always pack a few of these with me on the plane, I like to drink Lavender mint tea since I’m cold most of the time on the plane and they soothe my dry throat. These tea bags are one of those must-have travel items that make all the difference. They double as depuffing eye bags! I ask for hot water from the nice flight attendant and brew my own cup of tea. 

Anti Chafing Stick 

If you don’t have this problem, consider yourself very lucky! I have thighs that touch and with all the walking I do I always end up with painful chafing on my inner thighs and it hurts like hell. My friend told me about this anti chafing stick and oh my gosh, It’s one of my travel must-haves. If you have thighs that touch like me, consider this the best travel tip, my gift to you. 

I always pack a few of these they are so versatile! Instead of using fancy makeup bags, I put all my makeup and beauty essentials in a zip lock bag, it’s easy to find what I need and it prevents my makeup from ruining a nice makeup bag.

Another thing I use it for is to put all my camera batteries, chargers, and any USB wires in. I find it it’s more economic and uses less space than purchasing a fancy cord bag. It also can double for your dirty clothes! So so many uses!

You know those inconvenient travel moments when you get a splinter, or you need scissors to cut a tag, or you need a file to file down a hangnail? Well, this next travel tip will for sure come in handy.

It’s a tiny multi-tool set, that’s thin as a metal credit card, you can put on your wallet that has a tsa-compliant tools. It’s handy and convenient and doesn’t take up a lot of precious room.

reusable water bottle 

Not that life-changing, everyone and their moms has a reusable water bottle. But which one, makes all the difference. I will not be recommending those giant Stanley cups all the pregnant women seem to love so much right now. They work great for at home use but It’s huge and not travel friendly.

For me, it’s about functionality and aesthetics. I found that it’s most comfortable and easiest to drink through a straw but I want to be able to gulp my water sometimes too! So this water bottle is amazing because it allows you to do both.

It’s also leakproof which is an absolute must-have, and it’s lightweight and fits on the side pocket of most travel backpacks. Of course, they come in a gray-white color that it’s just so pretty and aesthetic. If you haven’t noticed….I’m a huge proponent and someone who purchases items that marry quality, functionality, and aesthetics. 

Again, not a life-changing idea here, but which portable charger makes all the difference? This super lightweight one packs an amazing 1000 mah battery and has been with me on all my travels since 2022. You know, when the plane plug decides to not work or this is when you can recharge without having to move your seat. 


  • Very small and lightweight
  • less than 100
  • fast USB charging port


  • None really? 

My Take:

If you’re going to carry a portable charger make sure it’s this tiy one that packs a pubnch and will take your battery from half full to full in no time. 

Portable Battery Bank

must haves when traveling
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Again with the dry airplane air, my biggest travel tip is to carry this juicy lip balm to keep your lips hydrated, I love this one because it’s tinted the perfect nude color and has SPF. The worst feeling is having dry lips and no lip balm. I love the subtle and refreshing smell of the lip balm too.

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