I spent over 120 days a year traveling and have perfected my packing routine. Here are 12 things I refuse to leave behind.

After years of working as a travel writer, I've perfected my packing routine. Carly Caramanna
I'm a travel writer who travels at least 120 days a year and I rarely check a bag.
My carry-on is full of items like my sound machine and packing cubes that cost less than $35.
Filling my bag with useful gadgets minimizes packing time and relieves travel stress.
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My sound machine drowns out background noise and takes up little space in my bag.
I pack my Sleepbox sound machine wherever I go. Carly Caramanna
A good night's sleep is crucial to making the most of a packed itinerary.
If my accommodation has thin walls or is sited over a busy city street, I always have a sound machine on hand to drown out unwanted noise.
My favorite is made by Sleepbox and costs $20. The compact device is programmed to different tones and volumes. It also serves as a night light.
I've found countless uses for gallon sized plastic bags.
The resealable plastic bags take up very little space in my hand luggage.Carly Caramanna
Few items in my bag are as useful or versatile as gallon-sized, resealable plastic bags.
They come in handy in so many situations - from packing a wet bathing suit to storing a messy, broken beauty product.
In order to keep my hand luggage tidy, I pack every single outfit down to my underwear in its own plastic bag.
Thanks to my sleep mask, I can turn a blind eye at any hour.
I never know how much light a hotel room will have in the morning, so I always travel with an eye mask.Carly Caramanna
My eye mask makes a noticeable difference when I try to lie down and rest. After a long day of travel, it feels like pulling a soft blanket over my eyes.
Mine is silk and made by BeeVines. It comes in a variety of colors, and a two-pack costs $10.
I go through so many temperature swings when I travel that I always have a portable fan on hand.
The portable fan I carry is tiny but can cool me down pretty quickly. Carly Caramanna
Portable fans are small, but they pack a powerful punch.
Running through hot theme parks or packing into public transit, I'm always thrilled to pull one out of my pocket.
I've tried over a dozen fans and swear by a $14 fan from JisuLife. Its compact design and battery life are unrivaled by any other I've used.
As an added bonus, the fan has a built in flashlight and USB port so I can use it to charge my phone.
I have two wet brushes - one for my home and one for my carry-on.
I travel with the same type of wet brush that I have at home.Carly Caramanna
I always pack a duplicate of the same $12 hairbrush I use at home.
I've found the Wet Brush brand to be my favorite. They are easy to clean and help untangle knots even when I don't thoroughly condition my hair when I travel.
To avoid germs on hotel or Airbnb floors, I wear sandals throughout the room.
I put on my mules as soon as I took off my shoes. Carly Caramanna
When I check into a hotel or Airbnb, it's impossible to know who or what was on the floor before I arrived.
To create a barrier between my feet and potential germs, I keep my carry-on stuffed with a pair of slide sandals and slip them on when I'm not wearing my regular shoes.
Keychains can provide storage without taking up space in my bag.
The keychains are small, but they can actually hold a decent sized bag inside.Carly Caramanna
To avoid bag check-ins, I have to strategically use the space in my carry-on. Having a keychain with a foldable pocket in the front is a great hack.
When the bag is unrolled, it is no longer than a few centimetres. Still, it's big enough to use for beach towels, groceries, or dirty laundry.
I also bring a hard shell keychain to store my cords and keep my phone charger and headphones tidy.
Wipes are a light and practical addition to my bag.
When I travel I come into contact with a lot of germs, so I wear antibacterial wipes.Carly Caramanna
I bring several packets of tissues with me in my hand luggage. They're easy to pack and they can really come in handy when I'm on the go.
Coconut towels offer a refreshment from the heat and are a perfect addition to my bag when venturing into warmer climates.
I use antibacterial wipes to disinfect tray tables on airplanes and to clean my hands before a curbside meal.
In case I spill a glass of wine on my white shoes or step into an annoying puddle, I also have a couple of shoe shine cloths with me.
Setting spray is the secret weapon in my makeup arsenal.
Setting spray helps me keep intact the little makeup I wear when I travel. Carly Caramanna
When I travel I keep my makeup routine very simple.
No matter how little or how much product I wear on my face, this $15 set from Urban Decay will always keep my makeup intact—even after long, hot days.
My phone is my lifeline when traveling, so a portable charger is invaluable.
I rely on my phone when I'm on the road, so a portable charger always fits in my pocket.Carly Caramanna
When I travel, I rely on technology and use my phone for everything from managing hotel reservations to checking train tickets.
There must always be enough battery, so I insist on having a portable charger with me 24/7.
I have tried many portable chargers but this $25 EnergyCell charger is the best because it charges my phone battery so quickly.
I keep my toiletries organized in small, colorful packing cubes.
The packing cubes I bought come in a variety of colors.Carly Caramanna
My carry-on is always packed with travel-size versions of the hair, body, and beauty products I use at home.
I put the items in small packing cubes, which I then separate by color for organizational reasons. As soon as I get home from a trip, I check which cubes need refilling.
A reusable water bottle keeps me from buying plastic alternatives.
Carrying around a reusable water bottle reminds me to drink and keeps me from using plastic bottles.Carly Caramanna
Hydration is always important, but especially when I'm on the go.
The 750-milliliter Corksicle is a bit bulky and pricey at $33, but it's an important addition to my bag. When I have it with me, it constantly reminds me to drink water.
Plus, not only does the cost of buying bottled water add up, but using so much plastic is bad for the environment.
Read the original article on Insider

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