I found my favorite travel companion nine years ago in a flea market in Florence. When the crowds parted and the sounds of Italian hagglers hushed, it was like love at first sight.

I knew from across the plaza that this chestnut leather backpack and I would share many adventures together, and so we have. It was the best $100 I’d ever spent, and to this day I am convinced that the old man I bought it from cast some spell over the bag as just looking at it inspires me to travel.

When I am packing for a car-free day trip or weekend getaway, I always carry certain things in my old bag friend. And though it won’t be long until a diaper bag will replace this one, and Elon Musk will create a gadget that does everything—take notes and photos, make phone calls, feed me and tell me where I want to go before I even know—for now, I trust these belongings will come in handy on the open road.

In addition to the more obvious stuff one should carry, like cash, an i.d., bottle opener, a sense of adventure, here are my 11 favorite travel items.

World Travel Journal
Citi Bike Key
Garmin
Sigg Bottle
Omnisax garden bag
Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Park in the Sky bag
ipad Baggu
myType Keyboard
SleepPhones
Clif Bar

World Travel Journal | $60

Writing about a journey in the pages of a journal will never go out of style no matter how easy it may be to record your thoughts in a smart phone. I have filled dozens of Moleskines and Ecosystems, but this beautiful leather notebook gives you ample space to ramble and remember tiny trip details, thanks to sections like transportation, weather, restaurants, lodging and purpose/activity. (graphicimage.com)

Citi Bike Key | $99/annual membership

The latest addition to my travel keepsakes, the Citi Bike key has become a sort of talisman, reminding me that biking is the best way to explore not only New York City but each new destination I visit. (citibikenyc.com)

Edge 500 Garmin | $249.99

I use this bike computer for commuting and vacationing so I can keep track of my two-wheeled expeditions around the world. Use Strava as an e-travel journal that can track your rides and any instagram photos you take along the way. (garmin.com)

Sigg Bottle | $32/1 Liter

Whether hiking or museum hopping, I always carry a reusable water bottle with me to avoid buying a plastic one. (mysigg.com)

Garden Party Bag | $9.95

For the spontaneous shop at the farmers market or grocery store, it's good to keep a reusable bag to avoid using a plastic one, which can take up to 1,000 years to break down. (omnisax.com)

Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer | $155

Let’s face it, these classic sunglasses are so cool, especially since they come in this compactable, folding style, making it a great small item to take on the road. (ray-ban.com )

J.Crew Pouch | $19.50

This simple Mary Poppins-esque pouch holds a surprising number of easy-to-lose things like ChapStick, Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy, a passport, wallet, hand sanitizer, my iphone and headphones, a snack bar. Get the Park in the Sky bag that donates 100% of the net proceeds to Friends of the High Line. (jcrew.com)

Baggu | $28

This recycled cotton canvas and fleece sleeve comes in six fun designs and keeps the iPad well protected and hard to misplace. (baggu.com)

myType Keyboard | $49.99

When traveling on business, I tuck this svelte foldable keyboard into the baggu with my iPad and Apple's magnetic iPad cover. It wirelessly pairs with any device and lasts for about eight hours of continuous use. (mytypekeyboard.com)

SleepPhones | $100

Though the voyage may be long, it will be all the more peaceful with this clever cozy invention that is compatible with Bluetooth-enabled smart phones, audio books, and MP3 players. (sleepphones.com )

Clif Bar | $.99 at Trader Joes

When traveling, I typically don’t stop moving from breakfast til sunset cocktails, and the Clif Bar is a dependable all-natural and long-lasting source of energy. (clifbar.com )