Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Charged on the Go with a Portable Power Bank
Having a portable power bank on hand can be a real game-changer when you're on the road. There's nothing worse than having your phone or tablet die when you're trying to navigate a new place or need to access important info. A portable charger ensures you'll have power when and where you need it most.
The Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 is a great option for travelers. It's slim enough to slip into your bag or even pocket, and it packs a punch with 10,000 mAh of power. That's enough juice to charge your iPhone over three times. The PowerIQ technology detects your device to deliver the fastest charge speed, and the included travel pouch keeps everything organized. Frequent flyers love this charger's airplane-friendly design.
For more heavy-duty charging, consider the RAVPower 26,800mAh Portable Charger. This beast can charge your phone over nine times and even has enough capacity to charge some laptops. The iSmart tech identifies your connected device and offers optimal charging current. And with three USB ports, you can power up multiple gadgets at once. Travel + Leisure named this their 'Best Overall Charger' for a reason.
Those who want the utmost portability may prefer the Anker PowerCore 5000. As the name suggests, it packs 5000 mAh and is about the size of a tube of lipstick. Toss it in your pocket or purse for instant power whenever you need it. The trickle-charging mode is also great for Bluetooth headphones and fitness trackers that drain power slowly throughout the day.
No matter which power bank you choose, be sure to get one that's airplane-safe and complies with TSA regulations. Look for chargers with a 30W max output or less. And remember to remove your power bank from bags when going through airport screening.
What else is in this post?
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Charged on the Go with a Portable Power Bank
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Protect Your Valuables with a Travel Wallet
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Comfortable with a Good Travel Pillow
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Hydrated with a Reusable Water Bottle
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Capture Memories with a Pocket Tripod
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Organized with Packing Cubes
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Get Around Easier with a Compact Luggage Scale
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Don't Forget the Essentials like Earplugs and Eye Masks
- Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Keep Germs at Bay with Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Protect Your Valuables with a Travel Wallet
Nothing takes the wind out of your travel sails faster than losing your passport, credit cards, or other important items on a trip. But the right travel wallet can keep your valuables secure and minimize headaches from lost documents.
The perfect travel wallet should have RFID-blocking technology to thwart digital pickpockets. RFID scanners can glean credit card or passport data when held near your pocket or bag. But an RFID-blocking wallet forms a protective barrier, keeping your info safe. Consider the Zero Grid RFID Blocking Bifold Wallet, a sleek yet rugged option made with military-grade materials. Or for more security, the VaultSkin Chelsea Card Wallet has RFID shielding in a stylish, minimalist design.
In addition to RFID features, your ideal travel wallet should have slots to organize passports, boarding passes, and multiple currencies. The fun Herschel Hank Bi-Fold Wallet comes in lively colors and patterns with pockets galore to stash your stuff. For hardcore organization, try the Travelambo RFID Front Pocket Wallet. With dividers and over a dozen card slots, it keeps everything meticulously sorted.
Your wallet should also have a slim, portable profile. Bulky, overstuffed wallets are a pickpocket's delight. Instead, opt for a streamlined design like the Distil Union Wally Micro Wallet. Made from flexible, durable materials, it holds the basics without excess bulk. For a bit more room, the Kinzd Minimalist Slim Wallet adds extra storage in a crazy-thin package. At just 0.1 inches thick, you'll barely notice it while discovering the wonders of Bhutan or Peru.
Pro tip: Get a neck wallet for times you'll access your valuables frequently like airport screenings. They're worn under your shirt for covert security with easy access. The Ultimate Travel Neck Stash by Lewis N. Clark keeps valuables close while freeing up your hands and pockets.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Comfortable with a Good Travel Pillow
A good travel pillow can be the difference between arriving at your destination bright-eyed or groggy from a restless flight. Though often overlooked, finding the right pillow for plane and train travel helps you stay comfortable en route so you can hit the ground running.
The standard U-shaped travel pillows you see folks wearing in airports get the job done, but experts agree there are better options for optimal support. Side sleepers may prefer a pillow that stabilizes the head and neck, like the Trtl Pillow. This soft, scarf-style pillow wraps around the neck and has an internal support structure on one side to keep your head propped up. The adjustable Velcro closure ensures a customized, cozy fit. Trtl notes their pillow design reduces head roll by 80% compared to traditional U-shaped pillows.
For versatility, the Pick Me Up Pillow converts from a neck pillow to a lumbar support cushion. Secure the straps around your neck or waist to customize comfort based on your seating position. The ergonomic memory foam molds to the natural contours of your body. This multi-use pillow aims to alleviate neck, back and hip pain exacerbated by long stints in cramped economy seats.
Perhaps the most indulgent option comes from Tempur-Pedic, pioneers of memory foam technology. Their Tempur-Neck Travel Pillow has the same pressure-relieving material as their mattresses. The pillow's firm feel provides sturdy head and neck support, while the memory foam cushioning promotes proper spinal alignment. An adjustable drawstring allows a customized fit. It compresses down small to tuck away neatly in your carry-on when not in use.
No matter which you choose, look for a pillow that supports your preferred sleeping position, has a removable and machine-washable cover, and packs down small for storage. Memory foam types retain heat, so opt for a cooling gel version or microbead fill if you tend to sleep hot. Compression sacks help compress bulky pillows into suitcases.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Hydrated with a Reusable Water Bottle
Dehydration is no joke, especially when you’re exploring new destinations in heat and humidity. Staying properly hydrated is crucial for avoiding fatigue, headaches, and other issues that can ruin your vacation vibe. Enter the reusable water bottle, a simple but invaluable travel accessory for keeping your fluid levels up.
A good reusable bottle lets you easily refill on the go while reducing plastic waste. Look for BPA-free materials like stainless steel or Tritan plastic which won’t retain odors or flavors. And go for a design that fits standard water bottle cages if you’ll use it for cycling excursions. The popular Hydro Flask checks all these boxes, with temp-regulating insulation to keep drinks cold up to 24 hours. The ergonomic Flex cap twists off for easy refilling and cleaning. With eye-catching colors, it brings style to your hydration routine.
For ultra-portability, the Platypus SoftBottle folds down compact when empty. The lightweight, collapsible design takes up minimal pack space. But it holds up to 34 ounces when full and the wide mouth allows quick refills from sinks and water fountains. An air-tight screw cap prevents leaks. Backpacker Magazine dubbed this their ‘Best Collapsible Bottle’ for wilderness adventures or crowded European cities where space is scarce.
Frequent flyers should consider the LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle. Its UV-C LED light eliminates 99.9% of bio-contaminants for purified drinking water anywhere. The tech destroys germs in just 60 seconds, while the cap filters lead and chlorine. This lets you safely drink tap water in places lacking potable sources. The sleek design comes in stainless steel or Tritan plastic. With sustainable style, the LARQ empowers healthy hydration habits anywhere your travels take you.
Speaking of sustainability, eddy offers plant-based reusable bottles made from reclaimed ocean plastics. The bright colors and fun shapes reduce waste while looking great. Each eddy bottle keeps 21 plastic disposable bottles from polluting our oceans. They resist odors and stains for fresh, clean water always. The Big Eddy holds a generous 25 ounces, while the stylish Cactus Eddy and organizational Daytripper sport handles for easy carrying.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Capture Memories with a Pocket Tripod
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a blurry, crooked photo doesn't tell much of a story. That's where a pocket tripod comes in handy for travelers wanting to capture memorable moments from their adventures. These compact, portable stands secure cameras for crisp shots and unlock photographic creativity through unique perspectives.
Having a mini tripod in your pack allows you to get that epic sunset panorama, dramatic waterfall shot, or a group photo where everyone looks their best. Set your camera's timer and jump into the scene rather than relying on strangers. The versatile GorillaPod is a favorite for its flexible, grippy legs that can wrap around poles and tree branches for cool angles. Tip: Use a tripod and timer for better selfies too!
When sightseeing in low light scenarios like candlelit cathedrals or an evening food tour, a tripod lets you decrease shutter speed for sharp, vivid images without blur. Most pocket tripods stand just 7-10 inches tall but provide stabilization to prevent camera shake. The Platypod Pro Max has a low profile and can even ground-mount your camera for intriguing microscopic shots. Their compact Platypod Jr model stashes in your pocket or clips to a belt loop.
Beyond stability, tripods allow for creativity with long exposures and HDR techniques. Play with speed settings to turn flowing water into ethereal wisps or create star trail shots of the night sky. A crisp long exposure shot of the Milky Way over sand dunes in Namibia makes for an artsy addition to any gallery wall or Instagram feed. The sturdy JOBY GripTight ONE has twist locks and a ball head for angling your camera just right.
Consider a tripod with a built-in remote control or Bluetooth connectivity to reduce camera shake from pressing the shutter. Selfie addicts will love tripods like the teniklePic that also include a ring light and clip for your phone. Wherever your locale, positioning your camera on a steady mount allows you to frame that money shot.
When choosing a travel tripod, be sure it's lightweight and packs down small. Look for one that folds up instead of disassembling into pieces, making it quicker to deploy once you've arrived at the perfect photoshoot spot. Carbon fiber or aluminum tripods cut weight without sacrificing stability. A carrying case protects the stand and takes up minimal room in your luggage.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Stay Organized with Packing Cubes
Staying organized while traveling can feel like Mission Impossible, especially if you’re someone who tends to overpack. Clothes shoved loosely into your suitcase come out wrinkled and chaotic at your destination. But packing cubes can transform even the messiest packer into a space optimization pro.
These rectangular organizers fit nicely inside your luggage to compartmentalize items. Different-sized cubes separate pants, shirts, undergarments, toiletries, shoes, and other gear. Some even have handy see-through mesh panels to quickly ID the contents. Packing cubes streamline packing and unpacking by keeping things neatly contained.
Travel blogger Athena from The Bright Side of Travel swears by them after testing on weekend road trips and long-haul flights. She says, “I can just pull out the cubes I need, rather than rooting around in my bag for specific items. When it’s time to repack, everything has its place, so I don’t waste precious vacation time figuring out how to Tetris it all back in.”
Packing cubes also minimize wrinkles by preventing crumpling during transit. Just fold or roll clothes directly into the cubes. Some brands tout specialized fabrics that further reduce creases. Space-saving designs like the REDCAMP Compression Cube shrink bulky sweaters and jackets down to maximize room.
Using multiple cubes creates tidy zones within your luggage, almost like a dresser on the go. The YAMIU set includes a shoe cube and toiletry pouch along with an assortment of sizes for apparel. Their distinct bright colors make gathering day-specific items a cinch. Labels help identify certain cubes or keep track of dirty laundry during long trips.
For carry-ons, packing cubes allow you to make the most of tighter dimensions. EBags was the first company to popularize these space-saving bags back in 1999, and their extensive selection helps optimize organization. Their slim cubes stand upright in your luggage so you can make use of all the available height. Accessories like toiletry kits, jewelry cases, and collapsible hampers round out their options.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Get Around Easier with a Compact Luggage Scale
The dreaded moment at the airport check-in counter – your suitcases tip the scales over the weight limit and you’re forced to pay steep overweight baggage fees. Nothing puts a damper on a vacation faster. But savvy travelers can avoid getting nickle-and-dimed with a compact luggage scale. These handy devices enable weighing your bags at home to prevent excess baggage charges.
Travel experts consider a luggage scale a packing essential. The New York Times recommends using one to “[weigh] your bags before heading to the airport to avoid getting slapped with a fee for an overweight bag.” Forbes boasts, “A luggage scale can save you time, money and frustration when traveling.” These inexpensive gadgets provide peace of mind that your checked bags fall within airline weight restrictions.
Digital luggage scales hook onto the handle and calculate the heft of your bag down to the exact ounce or kilogram. Compact designs like the lightweight SHUHUA Luggage Scale take up minimal space in your toiletry kit. Just clip it to your packed suitcase handle, lift the bag and the weight flashes on the digital display. A 40-inch strap allows weighing large roller bags, while the auto-off function preserves battery.
Frequent flyer Gary Arndt, who runs the Popular Adventure Travel Blogs website, declares the Camry Luggage Scale an essential item. “I like to pack right up to the limit and get the most I can into my luggage allowance,” says Arndt. This folding scale saves him big by avoiding charges for overweight or extra bags. The Camry model registers weights up to 110 pounds and runs off standard AAA batteries.
Going even more low-tech, the Etekcity Luggage Scale uses a standard spring scale like you’d find in a fisherman’s tackle box. But its compact size and ease of use make it ideal for travel. “No batteries required and simple operation – just hook it to your handle, pull up and it’ll stop at the weight,” explains Cheryl Fenton, who brought it along for a three-week jaunt across New Zealand. The max weight of 110 pounds suits even massive checked bags.
Whichever style you choose, using a luggage scale means no more guessing if your bags make the cutoff. Weigh them before departing home, and re-weigh before returning if loaded with souvenirs. Scales with durable straps stand up well to regular use. Seek digital models with easy-to-read displays. And scales that include a built-in tape measure prove handy for sizing carry-on bags too.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Don't Forget the Essentials like Earplugs and Eye Masks
A good night's sleep while traveling can make or break your vacation, but noisy hotels, uncomfortable beds, and bright lights often conspire to disrupt sleep. That's why packing a few key essentials like earplugs and eye masks helps ensure you arrive at each destination refreshed and ready to explore.
Frequent flyer Chris Backe, who runs the travel website OneWeirdGlobe, considers earplugs an indispensable item. "My ideal hotel room is cool, clean, quiet, and dark — but I can't control everything," says Backe. "Having earplugs gives me confidence I can get some sleep regardless of location." He stashes a supply in every bag. Backe recommends soft silicone or foam options as most comfortable and effective at blocking noise.
For light sleepers, something like Mack's Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs provide a noise barrier without sticking out too much. The tapered design muffles ambient sounds while still allowing alarms to penetrate. For maximum sound blocking, Hearos Xtreme Protection Earplugs give an airtight seal ideal for noisy streets or rowdy roommates. The hypoallergenic memory foam molds comfortably to ear canal contours.
Eye masks serve a similar purpose in creating total darkness for improved sleep quality. The Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask is a customer favorite for its soft, smooth fabric. It blocks all light while the adjustable strap customizes the fit. The contoured shape prevents contact with eyes, ideal for side sleepers. For total blackout, the MZOO Sleep Eye Mask has an ergonomic cavity around the eyes along with memory foam padding. The elastic strap gives a snug yet comfortable light seal.
Travel blogger Lee Abbamonte swears by using both tools in tandem for better rest away from home. "I can't sleep with any light, so an eye mask is mandatory. And I always travel with earplugs because you never know when you'll end up next to a noisy area," says Abbamonte, who's visited every country worldwide. He tucks earplugs and an eye mask into his carry-on for easy access anywhere.
Pack Smart: 10 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Your Next Adventure - Keep Germs at Bay with Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
No one wants to spend their vacation battling a nasty stomach bug or viral infection picked up en route. But airplanes, trains, hotels and public spaces all harbor hordes of germs ready to hitch a ride. Keeping hands clean and sanitized ensures you stay healthy to enjoy every moment of your travels.
Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes minimize exposure to cold and flu viruses that spike during peak travel seasons. Frequent flyer Simon Falvo, who co-runs the travel blog Wild About Travel, considers them must-haves when globetrotting. “When contained in a small space at 30,000 feet with other people, germs get passed around easily, which is why I never fly without pocket hand sanitizer," says Falvo.
TSA-friendly sanitizers like Purell Advanced Gel contain at least 60% alcohol to eliminate 99.99% of illness-causing germs you pick up in airports and hotels. The flip-cap dispenses just the right amount for covering hands. Or give your sanitizer stash a stylish boost with Touchland’s Power Mist sanitizer spray. The germ-killing formula spritzes on without needing to rub in, with essential oil scents like citrus or eucalyptus.
Disinfecting wipes also limit transmitting and contracting germs by killing bacteria and viruses on frequently handled surfaces. Travel blogger Karen Warren, who runs the WanderlustingK website, swears by them when traveling overseas. “Disinfecting wipes give me piece of mind,” says Warren. “I use them to wipe down my seat area, tray table, seat belt buckle and anything else my hands will be touching when flying international."
Single-use packets from Lysol or Clorox let you stash wipes easily in carry-ons to sanitize your personal space. Or opt for a portable canister like Pipette’s cleanup cloths to minimize waste. Their grapefruit and witch hazel germ-killing wipes fit any bag. Whichever you choose, look for a product that kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses without harsh chemicals. Tuck wipes in your daypack or purse when sightseeing for an on-the-go cleaning option.