Not really essential but I really like my lucky cat luggage tag.
A couple of kitchen items, necessary if renting a house. I once went away and spent days trying to find a juicer - yes, I am addicted to freshly squeezed juice for breakfast and the supermarket stuff just doesn't compare. Knives, am yet to rent a house with a decent knife. Wrapped in a tea towel to protect them and buried deep within my luggage.
A hot water bottle.
A craft project.
Toiletries, a few first aid requirements and then any clothes I can fit in. I like this brightly coloured rolling duffle, easy to recognise, light and a little expandable just in case I give in to some impulse shopping.
A big slouch bag is perfect as cabin luggage, holds heaps including all the things that I will need to occupy myself in the departure lounge and on the flight.