I fully stand behind each of the items listed here and own each and every one of them and I’d like you to know that they are linked through Amazon affiliate.
Traveling can be painful. Delayed flights, over-packed bags, double bookings, legroom, you name it. These few simple travel items will save you so much headache that you’ll breathe a sigh of relief whenever you use them.
There are dozens of travel gadgets I could have listed here, but I wanted to keep it limited to the items that I know, love and actually use on a day to day basis. If you have any die-hard travel accessory recommendations, please feel free to leave a comment below!
#1) Luggage Organizers – $43
If I had to recommend a single travel accessory, it would easily be these super thin and colorful bag organizers. Nothing is more frustrating than rummaging around your backpack in the dark trying to find clean socks and not disturb the other people asleep in your room.
I personally use Eagle Creek’s multi-colored Pack-It bags. Socks, underwear, shirts, pants, and dirty laundry each get their own color! No more fruitless rummaging, no more realizing you accidentally wore dirty underwear the hard way. Not only are theses bags super lightweight, they’re soft and flexible (like a pair of silk shorts), so you’re not stuck with bulky rigid bags that take up space even when empty.
Hands down the BEST travel product I ever purchased. Check them out!
#2) 4-in-1 Voltage Adapter & Converter – $15-$35
Chances are you’ll need to use electricity wherever you’re going. Before you plug in, it’s important to understand that a voltage adapter and a voltage converter are two different things — and you’re probably going to need both. An adapter simply ensures that the plug from your United States appliance will fit into the outlet of whatever country you’re visiting. Since the amount of voltage emerging from wall outlets differs from country to country, a converter is used to translate this energy so you can use your appliances safely.
The converter makes sure you don’t send too much electricity into your devices causing them to literally die. Someone had to get a new curling iron because she only used an adapter instead of the converter. So don’t skimp when it comes to protecting your devices!
Check out these popular travel adapters and make sure they come with some USB ports for your handheld devices!
- Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Power Plug by Travel Inspira
- FUSE WorldWide Universal AC by Fospower
- Universal Worldwide Travel Wall Charger by MAXAH
Fun fact: Apple Macbook chargers come with converters built in! So, next time you think to yourself “man, what is with this big white apple brick” just realize you can take it anywhere in the world with just an adapter 🙂
#3) An Extension Cord – $7
Easily laughed off as a waste of space, I can almost guarantee that you will not only need an extension cord, but you’ll make at least one friend along the way by sharing it.
Older buildings are notorious for sparse wiring and it’s been my experience that electrical outlets are far and few between in hostels and even lower-cost hotel rooms.
Take a 6-8ft extension cord with a few extra plugs in it to give you the freedom to plug in wherever you stay. Make sure that it has that third prong so it’s compatible with all your devices.
#4) A Bike Lock Cable and Luggage Lock – $6-$10
Not getting robbed is pretty paramount to having a good trip. Luggage rooms may have decent security, but I prefer to lock my bag with a flexible bike lock cable just to be safe.
I’ve learned the hard way that some hostels don’t have lockers inside their rooms (even when advertising that they do). In those situations, having this bike lock cable is a life saver. I like to lock my bag to my bedpost and feed it through all my zippers, just to make it extra difficult to mess with.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a small padlock or two to secure your locker or backpack if you have one. Typically, I keep my valuables in a backpack separate from my larger bag. The backpack gets a few padlocks and the larger bag gets the bike lock cable. Don’t forget your locks!
#5) A Quick-Drying Washcloth – $9
I’m not sure if there’s anything worse smelling than a bag with a wet towel in it – especially when it’s been sitting in the sun or in a musty cargo hold somewhere. The same can be said for a washcloth — arguably the dirtier object.
The Lunatec Self-cleaning Travel Washcloth is the perfect solution to this problem. It can be dried in the single roll of a towel and has no lingering smell. It’s super compact, is thoroughly exfoliating (read: a bit rough), and neon colored so you can never lose it.
As for a towel, I recommend saving the bag space and renting one from your hostel instead. Most hostels/hotels will have towels that come with your room or are available for either a deposit or a small amount of money. Bag space is more valuable.
#6) Compression Bags – $20
Compression bags are super cool and not just because they make your clothes look like frozen vacuum-sealed fish filets. If you have a lot of bulky air-filled clothes — think sweaters and jackets — you can easily save space by compressing them with these easy-to-use compression bags. Just add clothes, seal the bag, and roll the air out!
There’s a bit of a trick to making the most of them — you can’t stuff all of your clothes into one and expect the save massive amounts of room. The trick is to only compress a few pieces of fluffy clothing per bag. There’s no point in compressing your silk underwear because there’s no air in them. Jeans? Probably not worth it. Sweatshirts, sweaters, t-shirts, and even socks will be more ideal candidates for compressing since they have more air in them.
Also, beware of overpacking! With this extra space, it may be tempting to add extra items. Just remember that compressed clothing doesn’t get lighter – so adding extra bags will make your bag heavy and might even break the scale for acceptable luggage weight.
I recommend only getting the medium/large bags since the small ones will fit only single shirt inside.
- Need more gear? Check out these 30 travel accessories on Buzzfeed.
- Want to earn a free flight or two? Learn about Travel Hacking.
- Take the guess work out of your travel wardrobe.