Whether your travel plans include a train, plane, bus or car, you’re sure to travel smarter and more comfortable with these gadgets. I’d like to think that the travel accessories on this list are the best things you never knew you needed. I say that because they were real game-changers for me.
From basics like a good set of luggage to items to help you pack like a pro, here’s my list of must-have travel accessories to take on your next trip.
Must-Have Travel Accessories
A good set of luggage is a must for any traveler. Over the years, my luggage has evolved from an old duffle bag in college to a good set of rolling bags. My current set of luggage is the best set I’ve ever owned and I highly recommend it. The price is right for this three-piece set (includes 20-inch, 24-inch and 28-inch sizes) and the lightweight yet durable hard shell outside stands up to enough the toughest baggage handlers while protecting my items inside.
The sturdy and ergonomic alumni handle also makes maneuvering through the airport or down a long hotel corridor super easy. Plus, this set comes in several colors – I purchased mine in hot pink. Although that color is no longer offered, my set is still going strong after several trips.
Since TSA requirements no longer allow liquids in quantities greater than 3 ounces, I always throw an empty water bottle into my carry on. My go-to is the Bobble Water Bottle because it’s BPA Free and has a built-in filter.
These water bottles are super lightweight, come in multiple colors and two sizes – an 18.5 oz and a 34 oz. I especially love them because they filter as you drink and the filters have a good life on them. My filter is pink because you know, it’s kind of my color and I can easily tell my water bottle apart from my husband’s when traveling together.
Confession – I’ve always rolled my eyes at the thought of a travel pillow until recently. After all, it’s just something extra to carry, right? Several pre-dawn flights and a few red-eyes later (see what I did there?), I’m a firm believer in a good travel pillow.
Whether you pulled an all-nighter packing or were just too excited to get any quality shut-eye, this travel pillow is a must. From a quick nap or a good slumber on your trans-Atlantic flight, this pillow is fully inflatable and easily fits into your carry on. I especially love it because of that and since it’s easy to blow up, I can adjust the fill to my comfort for the perfect amount of neck support.
Charging Cable and Fast Charging Wall Plug
Nothing is worse than a dwindling phone battery when you’re stuck in the airport with a delayed flight or long layover. I once begged patrons at an airport bar for a charging cable and offered to buy the one who obliged a beer. It was desperate times indeed as my phone was in need of some go-juice and I really didn’t want to spend $30 at an airport kiosk.
Save yourself the headache by stashing a charging cable in your carry on. I especially love this 6-foot charging cord and fast charging wall plug. This combo gives you a little extra space thanks to the longer cord and it’s sure to provide a quick boost in no time. The longer cord also comes in handy if you find yourself in a hotel room with hard-to-reach or scarce on outlets.
Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
Avoid any surprises at the airport by weighing your luggage prior to check-in. Since airlines have varying weight and baggage policies, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them as part of your pre-travel checklist. Be sure to check out my post about 11 Important Things To Do Before Every Trip.
I’m notorious for packing my suitcase to the brim because I’m a girl who loves shoes and I need lots of outfit options on vacation. I depend on my luggage scale to keep me from paying overweight fees. I typically leave just enough room in my bag to bring home a few souvenirs and I’m proud to say that in all my travels I’ve never been hit with an overweight fee (thank you scale!).
Hanging Toiletry Bag
Not only does a hanging toiletry bag organize your bathroom essentials and make packing them a breeze, but it’s also a space-saving hack that’s especially helpful if you’re trying to pack light or packing for a cruise since cabins are notoriously short on storage. Check out my post about 12 Must Pack Essentials For Your Next Cruise for more tips on how to pack for your cruise.
Even if your plans don’t include a cruise, this bag is a great option for all types of travel because it features a 360° swivel hook, large side pockets and a fold-down flat design even when fully packed. This bag is made of water-resistant material and comes in multiple colors, too.
Hair Accessory Cover
I don’t leave home without my CHI hair straighten (yes it’s also pink) and since it’s one of the more expensive hair tools I use every day, I always want to be sure it’s protected when I travel. The last thing I want is for my CHI to be bouncing around in my bag or for the cord to get kinked and risk a short.
So ladies, if you’re planning to pack a hair care tool such as straightener or curling iron in your bag, a protective cover is a must. I have a monogrammed thermal case from Thirty-One but there are plenty of great options out there. From basic ones like this to cute designer covers like this, there’s no shortage of choices to get the job done.
An umbrella is especially handy if you plan to travel to a wet destination such as Hawaii or travel during the rainy season to a place like Costa Rica. This Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is sturdy and weighs less than a pound making it extremely packable. It also features an easy one-handed automatic open and close. Even if you’re not headed to a rainy destination or traveling during a rainy season, it’s still a good idea to pack an umbrella in your bag. You just never know when the forecast might change last minute and you certainly don’t want to caught in a sudden downpour.
A quality sleep mask is another easy to throw in your bag accessory that really comes in handy. From long flights to hotel rooms with an extra bright fire detector just above your head, a sleep mask will block out distractions and help you get some quality shut-eye.
This Bucky Blinks eye mask doesn’t break the bank, offers a no-pressure contoured fit for ultra-comfort and there are lots of cute designs to choose from, too.
This little gadget is pretty genius especially if you have a cross-country flight or have to travel for several hours. Nothing is worse than having to sit for hours on end or trying to get sleep on an overnight flight.
Now you turn your seat into a recliner with this memory foam foot hammock. The foot hammock allows you to comfortably stretch your legs, offers lower back support and helps prevent swelling and soreness. It’s lightweight and easy to use since it hangs from the tray table and works with the tray up or down.
RFID Travel Document Organizer
A travel document organizer keeps all your travel documents and essentials (such as your credit card, ID, and passport) in one place and protected. Many organizers are made with RFID blocking material to help prevent identity theft. I highly recommend this classic black RFID blocking case if you’re looking for a basic budget-friendly option or check out this option if you’re looking for a case with color and a little more personality.
International Travel Adapter
Anytime you travel internationally, it’s important to have a good adapter to ensure you don’t fry your electronics. A good adapter will provide you with all possible outlets and step down the electricity if needed so that you can charge your electronics and stay connected.
No matter where your travels take you, you’ll be covered with this Epicka Universal Travel Adapter. I like this one because it’s pretty much a one-size-fits-all solution with plugs for more than 150 countries, including the E.U., U.K, and Australia. There are also four USB ports that can charge up to six (yes six!) devices at the same time including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and more.
Now you know what in my bag when I travel. Let me know what your must-have travel accessories are in the comments if you don’t see it on my list.
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