Jetting in and zipping out all the time, the Outlook Traveller team picks some of the travel essentials they always pack when they are, well, travelling:

A digital luggage scale

For Amit (editor at Outlook Traveller) this digital scale is absolutely essential when airlines are charging you an arm and a leg for every extra kilo of baggage. He also carries a cashmere throw (“stylish, compact when packed, and extremely warm”) and a 500ml steel bottle to refill at hotels and keep the plastic footprint in check.

A bone-chilling book

Sharmistha (Deputy Editor, Outlook Traveller and Editor, OT website) carries the latest book to read—usually a murder mystery—for a gripping flight. She also carries a pen and notebook, a Nuxe lip balm, a fully charged power bank (she learnt the hard way after leaving behind a charger for a 10-day trip) and a small emergency kit (with necessary tablets, bandaid, basic make up, pins, cotton etc).

Noise-cancelling headphones

A pair of noise-cancelling Headphones is a must. Zagrav (Social Media Manager) swears by it—to avoid unpleasant conversations and get a good sleep too—and add to that a neck roll and a light-blocking eye mask, and you’ve got the trifecta of comfort.

Something for self care

“A face mask and scrub—travelling is tiring for the skin too! A self-care session, especially, on longer trips is just what you need,” adds Anshika (Correspondent). “And a nice, formal dress. You never know when you need one.”

Birding essentials 

Resident birder, Precious (Features Writer), tries to do birding wherever she travels. For that she carries, Birds Of The Indian Subcontinent (a field guide by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp) and her birding journal to note down the species and sometimes, descriptions. She also keeps apps like eBird and Indian Birds downloaded to submit her checklist and mark the location for other birders.


Lasya (Contributing Editor, OT Getaways) relies on her Kindle E-reader so that she can cope with her changing moods while reading.

An analog camera

No stress and light luggage—Puneet (Senior Photographer) is clear about what he wants from a vacation. He recommends carrying flip flops, a lightweight rain-proof jacket and swimming shorts for every trip. For his equipment, when it’s non-work trips, he prefers a phone camera or a good old analog camera to document the trip without the hassle of carrying lenses and charging batteries. GoPro is a new addition to his list.

Flight survival kit

Shruti (Deputy Photo Editor) banks on compression socks for flying long haul and a face hydrating mist (Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water is a good one). She also always keeps some chewing gum to equalise the air pressure during takeoff and landing.

A hoodie

For Meenketan (Features Writer), it’s as simple as having a pair of earphones and a hoodie or jacket to keep up with the cold temperatures in flights.

Small packs of food 

Bhavika (Senior Features Writer) has made it a rule to carry small packets of foxnuts (makhana) and dry fruits for long journeys—airplane food can only take you so far. She also carries a large zipped folder in which to keep currency, Forex card, passport and visa papers, along with a small gluestick and pen.

 Maps (digital or otherwise)

“If you are travelling overseas and have no intent of buying a local sim, do not completely rely on Wi-Fi to access maps on your phone. Ensure you download maps on your phone before you board that flight or go out exploring into the woods. Also, if possible carry a physical map too just in case you forget to download maps on your phone,” shares Gandharv (Assistant Editor).

To know more about team’s travel tricks, read the Outlook Traveller team’s travel secrets!