16 Must Have Travel Accessories

16 Must Have Travel Accessories

Welcome to my Ultimate List of Must Have Travel Accessories!

 

Travel accessories, hacks, tools, products, gadgets, purchases, secret weapons…whatever you want to call it, this is your essential list.

 

Everything did you didn’t know you needed right in one spot.

 

Everything you need to simplify and take the stress out of traveling.

 

This accessory list has been YEARS in the making…curated through my many travels stateside and abroad.

 

I am the {self-proclaimed} Queen of Travel Gadgets.

 

I have made LOTS of travel purchases. {Ok, I am kind of addicted to travel and travel accessories.}

 

Some of my purchases have been great, and some…well, not so great.  A lot of these accessories are things I discovered that I needed through much trial and error.  Let me save you the trial and error part (not to mention all of the hours spent researching).  These are my tried and true FAVORITES (some of them are on my wish list). 🙂

 

Per usual, I have put in the leg work and learned the hard way.  Today, I am cutting through the BS and giving you my recs that actually work!

 

I use a lot of these travel investments in my every day life too because I love them THAT much!

 

Hopefully there are some items on this list that you haven’t seen or considered before!

 

OH.

 

There are also some great Pro Tips sprinkled throughout this list as well…helpful little tidbits that I have picked up along the way.

 

Travel Accessories You Won’t Be Able To Live Without

 

Use this travel accessory list as the baseline for creating your own wish list.  Put them in your shopping cart on Amazon and save for later.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

These items also make great gifts for that special traveler in your life.

 

Without any further adieu…

 

Noise Cancelling Headphones – *Wish List Item & A Splurge*  Every time I am on a plane, a train, or in an automobile…whatever it is, I wish I had a nice pair of these babies.  In the meantime, I guess I will just stick to traveling with my cheap earbuds and disposable ear plugs.  Ugh.  These headphones would be an absolute dream for any traveler!

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice control – Black

 

 

 

Dual Voltage Travel Size Blow Dryer – Will the hotel have a hair dryer or not?  It is always a gamble.  Will it work?  Is it nasty?  How about those ones that always seem to suck your hair in?  Well, I finally got tired of playing the guessing game and/or hoping for the best, and decided to bring my own.  You want to look for a travel size that folds.  If you plan to (or want to) do any international travel, PLEASE do yourself a huge favor and make sure you go dual voltage.

This is the budget friendly version that I have and highly recommend.  I got mine a few years ago, so my version is red.  It is also the cutest little baby blow dryer you ever did see.

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

“Baby” (yes, that’s her name) has been one of THE BEST investments I have made to date, and she’s EXTREMELY affordable!  She is super small, her handle folds down making her compact.  She is light weight, DUAL VOLTAGE, durable, long-lasting (she’s been to the Bahamas, London, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, and Portugal), and she handles even the toughest to manage hair.  She also comes with that nifty little attachment for blow outs.  After I had my implants removed and could barely lift my arms for a few weeks, she got me through some tough blow drys too.

 

 

 

External Phone Battery – There is nothing worse than having a busy day of sightseeing planned and your phone dies!  I had one of these with me when I was in London.  I did a day tour to see Windsor, Stonehenge, and Bath.  This saved me!  When you rely on your phone for for pictures, google maps, and the time (guess I need to invest in a watch) then you don’t want to be caught without this!  (When traveling abroad, I also recommend getting a SIM card from that country.  It sounds complicated, but it is SO DANG SIMPLE.  It will save you big time $$$ too depending on your phone plan!  More on that later.)

When buying an external or portable charger, you want something that is slim that will slip easily into your purse or bag without taking up a lot of extra space or adding extra bulk.  I bought one last minute at the airport before my trip to Portugal, so I probably wildly over paid for it.  UGH.

I also LOVE that this one has the cords built in.  Carrying the battery around + your charging cable gets annoying.  Also, if you forget to pack your cable when you are out on the town, you are SOL.

Portable Charger Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh

 

Pro Tip:  Make sure you charge it up before you go!

 

 

 

Packing Cubes – Like most people, I had never heard of these before.  I was getting ready to go on my three week adventure to London, Scotland, and Ireland.  I may or may not have earned a reputation for over-packing…eek.  My friend Meera called me up, and she was like, “Girl.  We cannot bring big suitcases.  We are gonna be hauling our luggage on budget airlines, trains, cobblestone streets, and up and down steep staircases.  We each need to pack everything into a carry on.”

I was like….WHHHAAATTTT?????  NOT POSSIBLE.

So I started doing some research.  I came across an article talking about these niffy little things.  I am telling you, packing cubes are a GAME CHANGER.  They help you squeeze more into a small space.  They keep you organized.  They help to keep your clothes from getting wrinkled.  I will never ever ever go back to packing with out these guys again.  I am actually addicted.  I have two different sets.

 

These are a great starting set (and the first ones I ordered):

You get a large, medium, and small bag.  Think pants in the large one, shirts in the medium size, and undergarments and socks in the small bag.

There are so many different brands on the market, but I prefer ebags.  This company stands behind their product.  You cannot beat the quality!  These are washable, and they have some stretch to accommodate a little overstuffing 😉  You will not regret this investment.

eBags Packing Cubes for Travel – 3pc Set – (Titanium)

 

If you really want to go all in, I recommend this set:

eBags Packing Cubes for Travel – 6pc Value Set – (Titanium)

The extra long cubes are great for carry on bags!  Lay three of them across the bottom of your bag and voila!

They also come in different colors.  This is perfect if you are sharing a bag with a friend or significant other.  Everybody gets their own color!

 

Pro tip: Roll your clothes when you pack these babies to fit more clothes with less wrinkles!

 

 

 

Dry Shampoo POWDER – I use this ALL the time.  Seriously, I have no problem investing in something that will save me TIME.  I love having this stuff handy for travel too because when you are trying to pack a carry on and cut back on liquids, this is perfect!  It works SO well.  Hands down best dry shampoo I have ever used.

 

Pro Tip:  The trick is to sprinkle it on at night and really let it soak in while you sleep.  I can extend a style for DAYS.  The less time I spend washing, drying, and styling my hair = more time spent on more important things!  I also use WAY less of my styling products, shampoo, conditioner, etc.

 

I bought a bottle of this 9 months ago.  I use it almost every day, and I still have more than half a bottle left.  SO WORTH IT.

 

Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder Shampoo, 2 Ounce

 

 

 

Hanging, Fold-able Toiletry and/or Jewelry Bag – Are you sick of packing your jewelry in plastic bags?  When you get to your destination is everything piece of jewelry you own in a tangled up clumpy mess?  How about getting to your hotel room and having absolutely ZERO counter space.  Or what if you are sharing a room with a friend or a significant other?

A hanging toiletry bag is about to become your best friend.  I have one that is flat, but it gets bulky when you pack it full of makeup and other bathroom necessities.  After experimenting with that purchase, I would prefer one of these:

 

Hanging Toiletry Bag By Freegrace

Carry into bathroom.  Hang.  Use.  Close up.  Leave.

 

 

 

Purse Hook – You go to the bathroom.  You shut and lock the door.  You turn to hang your purse up and…no hook!  What now?

I have been in SO many bathrooms that do not have hooks!  It drives me nuts.  You either have to put your bag on the floor (ew…no way in HECK), or you have to try to struggle to hold it while you pee.  I’m over it.

I took one of these with me on my trip to Lisbon, and I used it multiple times.  I carry it with me everywhere now.

 

Clipa2 Bag Hanger, Polished Hematite

 

Pro Tip:  This will come in handy when your hotel bathroom has no counter space and nowhere to hang your toiletry bag!

 

 

 

Reusable Quart Size Bag – Sick of going through disposable quart size bags?  The rip and get nasty quickly.  Finally, it dawned on me.  Why not get a REUSABLE bag!?!?!?!  (I may or may not have come to this realization as I perused the travel aisle at my local Target…I told you I was addicted.)  Cheap, and a other great investment.

The only time I’m not sure my reusable bag would have worked was in London’s Heathrow Airport.  Just to be safe, I took my liquids out and put them in one of the little baggies that they provide.  They are pretty strict at Heathrow.  After I made it through security, I put my stuff back in my nice reusable bag.

TSA Approved Toiletry Bag

Pro Tip:  Always always save those little travel size bottles and refill them with product from your regular size bottles when you run out.

 

 

 

Luggage Locks – Seems like a no brainer, but I never travel without these.  They give me peace of mind when checking a bag.  They also give me peace of mind that no one can go through my carry on bag on a long haul flight when I fall asleep 🙂

I have used locks from a different brand before, and these are the best luggage locks for the price in my opinion.  They are TSA approved.  TSA can still open and go through your luggage if they need to search (they have the universal key), but anyone with bad intentions of getting into your bag will be deterred.

 

TSA Luggage Locks (2 Pack) – 4 Digit Combination Steel Padlocks

 

 

 

 

Brita Water Bottle with Filter – Another purchase I made on a whim…at Target…while prepping for Lisbon…oh well.  The purpose of this water bottle is to improve the TASTE of the tap water.  It is important to note that the filter DOES NOT clean or purify.  I wasn’t sure how the tap water would taste in Lisbon.  I didn’t want to be buying water bottles throughout the entire month (expensive and bad for the planet).  If you are picky about the taste of your tap water, then this is the right water bottle for you!  I have a bad habit of never drinking enough water, so I will try anything to get me to drink more.

Brita 23.7 Ounce Hard Sided Water Bottle with Filter – BPA Free

 

Pro Tip:  Make sure you empty it out before going through airport security.

 

 

 

 

SmartWool Socks – I know it says wool in the name, but do not let that scare you off.  THESE SOCKS DO NOT ITCH.  THEY ARE SUPER COMFORTABLE AND WARM.  They whisk away sweat too.  Before my trip to the UK and Ireland, I did a lot of research.  I knew I’d be hiking around and that there was a high chance it would be cold and rainy.  I came across these little babies and decided to give them a try.  I am not a big sock person.  In my every day life, I usually just wear the cheap socks from Target, but again…you guessed it…these are my absolute favorite socks.  You get what you pay for.  I’ll be buying more when they go on sale (hopefully) on Black Friday!

These are my favorite warm socks.  They have extra cushy padding in the heel and toes.

SmartWool Women’s PhD Run Light Elite Micro Socks

 

These are my favorite no show socks.

Smartwool Women’s Secret Sleuth 3-Pack

Super durable, absorb sweat, and will NOT slip off your feet!  I wear these with my Keds all the time.

 

 

 

 

Diva Cup – So, what do you do about your period while you are traveling?  Do you pack lots of liners and tampons and hope for the best?  They take up precious space in your luggage/carry on…especially if you are packing light.  Also, it is a pain in the ass to have to change tampons and liners and carry those thing around with you on a busy day of sightseeing.  The great thing about the Diva Cup is that it is small, easy to use, and you can wear one for up to 12 hours at a time 🙂  Take it out, rinse, wash, reinsert.  Hands down the BEST way to deal with your period while traveling (and even when not).  I love mine, and I will never go back to pads and tampons again!  You can read more about it HERE.  A win for your wallet, a win for the environment, a win for ease of use, a win for saving space in your bag 😉 #WINNING

 

DivaCup Model 1 Menstrual Cup

The cups come in two different sizes, so make sure you check them out to see which one is right for you.

 

 

 

 

Eye Mask – I am a weirdo, and I can’t sleep unless it is pitch black.  This makes sleeping on an airplane particularly difficult.  I seem to be able to fall asleep on short flights no problem.  When I’m taking a red eye from the US to Europe and I NEED to sleep…totally different story.  Maybe I’m just psyching myself out.  I have been lucky enough to have a row to myself twice now on overseas flights.  However, if you’ve got that neighbor who is determined to read or watch movies, forget it.  This is where the eye mask comes in handy!  I usually like to sleep through the breakfast service too when they turn the lights back on.  If I have my eye mask and my ear plugs, I am all set.

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask

Compression Socks – I will have a post out soon for my tips on surviving long flights.  You can bet your bottom dollar that compression socks will be talked about in that post!  Flying is hard on your body.  You need to stay hydrated.  You need to get up and move.  You do not want blood clots.  Compression socks help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and clotting.  It’s rare, but the longer the flight the higher the risk.

 

I bought mine a few years ago, and I can’t find the exact brand on Amazon anymore.  If I had to purchase again, I would have my eye on these.

Physix Gear Compression Socks for Men & Women

 

 

 

Travel Document Organizer – Do you ever find yourself fumbling around at the airport?  You’re trying to juggle your carry on, your backpack (personal item), your purse (which you hope the airline won’t call you out on and make you try to stuff it into your already overstuffed backpack), your phone, your passport, your ID, your boarding pass(es)…

 

*Cue the Travel Document Organizer*

Again, I originally bought a different one.  After using it many different times, I don’t like it.  When I am ready to buy a different one, this is what I would go with.  Hindsight is 20/20, am I right?

Zoppen Multi-purpose Rfid Blocking Travel Passport Wallet

 

It is also RFID blocking, so no one can steal your electronic passport info (from the chip).

 

Pro Tip:  Always carry a pen in your bag too.

 

 

 

Travel Mirror – So this is different than the one I have, but I wish I would have found this first.  When you are traveling, you don’t always have access to a good mirror and lighting.  I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me…especially when traveling in Europe.  Small mirrors, limited counter space, traveling with a friend, sharing a bathroom, and/or poor lighting where the mirror is located.  Bring your own and problem solved!

The one I bought was another Target impulse buy.  Mine has a handle that folds up.  The mirror lays flat (kind of), but I am always worried about the glass scratching or breaking because it doesn’t have a cover like this one does.  Major oversight on my part.  This one will also lay flat (better than mine), which is great for packing.  This is the one I have my eye on.

 

Premium Portable Makeup Mirror by MODESSE

 

 

Fun & Frivolous Travel Accessories (Great Gifts!)

 

Infinity Scarf – First of all, scarves are great travel accessories.  Use them to wrap up on the airplane when the temp gets cold.  Use them to jazz up one of your outfits.  Use them as a shawl when you go into a church (like La Sagrada Familia).  I bring at least one scarf with me every time I travel.  THIS particular scarf that I am recommending, though, is EXTRA special.  It has a zipper pocket where you can stash your passport, cash, etc.  Great for fashion AND preventing theft!

Infinity Scarf with Zipper Pocket

 

 

 

Scratch Off Map – Keep track of your travels in a fun and unique way!  These have been plastered all over Facebook, but I still think they make a fun gift.

MyMap Gold Scratch Off World Map Wall Poster

 

 

TRAVEL JOURNAL! – This very last idea is near and dear to my heart.  No, this one is not on here just because I love to write.  I think that it is SO important to keep track of your travels and the funny crazy little things that happen each day of a trip.  If you don’t write it down, YOU WILL FORGET.

My friend Meera and I started to do this on our London, Scotland, Ireland trip back in 2016.  I bought some postcards because I was planning on writing down a little synopsis of what happened each day on a postcard.  Turns out…a postcard just was not big enough to fit all of our adventures.  At first I was really shy about it.  I thought that Meera would think it was stupid, but then we both got really into it!  We started writing on our train from Dublin to Galway, and we couldn’t stop.  I didn’t bring a notebook, so we used the back of old boarding passes and tickets I had printed out.  We even took pads of paper from our hotel rooms, and it still wasn’t enough.  Every time I look back on those pages we wrote together, I laugh so hard that I cry.

 

I know these don’t look like much.  They’re not all cute and fancy and jazzy, but I think that’s good.  Since we used the back of pieces of computer paper, we weren’t constricted or limited in any way.  We drew pictures and wrote all over the place.  This way you can have one journal per place and you can doodle and make it unique to each place.

 

Travel Journal Set With 6 Notebook Journals for Travelers

 

 

 

I am SO excited to hear your thoughts on all of these travel accessory recommendations.  Am I missing anything important from my list?  Have you tried any of these before?  Let me know if you decide to try one.  I want to know how it works out for you!

 

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