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30 Essential Travel Accessories For Every Trip

SmarterTravel

When traveling, you usually focus on the everyday items to pack: clothes, shoes, jackets, and toiletries. However, in order to make your travel experience much easier, you should consider bringing along the following items, that are sure to make your trip much more enjoyable, and stress-free. 

Table of Contents

Packing Accessories
Electronic Travel Accessories
Special Bags
Toiletry Accessories
Travel Accessories for the Airplane
Miscellaneous Travel Accessories
FAQ

Packing Accessories

Etekcity Luggage Scale  

Standalone image of Etekcity Luggage Scale (left) and close up of hand using Etekcity Luggage Scale   to weigh a blue suitcase (right)
Amazon

Once your suitcase is packed, before you head out the door, it’s a good idea to weigh your suitcase to avoid a headache at the airport. The Etekcity Luggage scale is small and lightweight and weighs luggage up to 110 lbs. It also has a built-in thermometer so you can check the temperature of your packed items. Throw it in your bag when you’re done weighing at home so you can weigh your suitcase at the hotel before you go home (you may be surprised how much souvenirs can weigh!)

PACK-IT™ REVEAL CUBE SET

PACK-IT™ REVEAL CUBE SET in two colors
Eagle Creek

Keep your suitcase organized with some packing cubes. This set of three from PACK-IT is made with durable, washable, water-resistant 300D Poly fabric. It includes an extra-small cube for accessories, a small one for underwear, and a medium one for your clothes. Each has a large mesh window so you can easily see what is inside. 

Luggage Tags

Multicolor luggage tags featuring traveler names and addresses
Neiman Marcus

Personalize these luggage tags with your name and address so you will never lose your luggage again! This three-pack includes straps to easily attach to your bags, and three lines of text not exceeding 22 characters per line. Choose from six colors, many which are bright, to help easily identify your luggage. 

Shoe Bags 

Surfer carrying shoes in a mesh shoe bag (left) and close up of shoes in a mesh shoe bag (right)
Amazon

Chances are, you aren’t only going to bring the pair of shoes you wear while traveling (if you are, kudos to you and your minimalist ways!) Having a shoe bag helps keep your dirty soles off of your clothes and other items in your suitcase. Slip your shoes into this water-resistant bag and travel worry-free. 

Laundry Bags

Two designs of zippered laundry bags in grey and black
Amazon

Trying to figure out what is clean and what is dirty in your suitcase can be a pain, so pack a laundry bag like this one from MIAMICA. It folds up nicely, and is lightweight so it won’t add much weight to your suitcase. Put your dirty clothes in throughout your trip, and you’ll be good to go when it is time to go home. 

Electronic Travel Accessories

Kindle Fire

Woman reading on a Kindle Fire in the laundromat (left) and over-the-shoulder view of a man browsing email on a Kindle Fire (right)
Amazon

From watching your favorite television shows and movies, reading a book, and listening to some music- the Kindle Fire does it all. You can even browse the internet and check your email if need be. With 12 hours of battery life, you will be all set for all of your media needs while you are on the road. The 2.0 GHz quad-core processor makes this Kindle the fastest yet, and it has front and rear facing cameras for any photos you want to take. The perfect accessory to stay online while traveling. 

5-Way Multi Headphone Splitter 

5-Way Multi Headphone Splitter
Amazon

While traveling with family or friends, it’s nice to be able to watch the same thing at once while out and about, but making sure everyone can hear might be a challenge. You can fix that with one of these headphone splitters, everyone can plug into one device and listen in, and everyone is happy! 

Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank 

Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank  in black and white
Amazon

If you haven’t realized it yet, you will once you are on vacation with nowhere to plug in your phone: you need a power bank while traveling. Super slim and lightweight, the Anker Portable Charger will keep you plugged in no matter where you are. Get over two full charges for your phone, and one full charge for many tablets.  

Universal Adapter 

Universale plug adapter plus image of adapter in person's hand with measurements for scale
Amazon

If traveling abroad, you’ll need a universal adapter for anything you need to plug in while on the road. With 4 USB Ports, 1 US-C port, and 1 AC Socket, you can charge up to six devices at once. It has a Max Power of  880W at 110Vac, and 1840W at 230Vac, so be sure to check that your devices have dual or variable voltage capabilities. 

Life Q35 Noise Canceling Headphones

Man wearing Life Q35 Noise Canceling Headphones (left) and standalone image of Life Q35 Noise Canceling Headphones (right)
soundcore

Whether you need some peace and quite on the plane, or while traveling with family, these Noise Canceling Headphones are a must-have item. With three different modes: Transport, Outdoor, and Indoor, you’ll have optimal noise-cancelation wherever you are. They are lightweight, and feature memory foam padded earcups and headband, ensuring all-day comfort. Other features include: tap to talk, pairing with 2 devices at once, built-in white noise accessible via an app, and forty hours of play time. A handy travel case is included with your purchase. 

Special Bags

Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 25 Liter Anti Theft Travel Backpack5

Two views of the Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 25 Liter Anti Theft Travel Backpack5
Amazon

While not necessarily an accessory, it’s smaller than a suitcase, and we think counts as one! This anti-theft backpack is perfect as a carry-on or all-around travel bag to take with you as you go around sightseeing. With interlocking zippers cut resistant fabric, and an RFID blocking pocket, your items will be secure when in this bag. You’ll stay organized, too, as it has two lockable zipper compartments,  a padded interior notebook sleeve, one RFID blocking pocket, one mesh zip pocket, an opening at the top for a hydration pack, and two side pockets.

Travel Neck Wallet

Amazon

Keep your important items close with this neck wallet. Perfect for your credit cards, passport, cash, tickets and phone, the 7 RFID blocking pockets will keep it all secure. The wallet comes with two Recovery Tags from Return Me, which track your items even when stolen or lost, and ensures you can get them back.  Plus, as an added bonus, Zero Grid will reimburse you up to $300 if anything is stolen from this while you are wearing it. 

Passport Wallet

Amazon

Rather than having your passport floating around in your bag, protect it with a passport wallet. This one from Valante is perfect when traveling with a group, as it holds up to six passports, plus boarding passes, credit cards, pens, cash, coins, and vaccine cards. If it’s just you traveling, even better—you’ll have plenty of pockets for whatever small documents you carry. 

Packable Tote

Two views of the Packable Tote from Travelon
Amazon

You never know when you may need another bag, so throwing this foldable tote into your suitcase seems like a no-brainer.  It folds up into itself, so you don’t have to worry about losing a carrying case, it’s lightweight, and has a strap to easily attach it to your luggage when in use. 

Toiletry Accessories

Travel First Aid Kit 

Amazon

Be prepared for whatever comes your way while on vacation with this travel first aid kit. With 110 essential first aid items like bandages, tweezers, gloves, band-aids, gauze, alcohol pads and more, you’ll be all set just in case anything happens. Lightweight and compact, bringing this along will come in handy, even for the tiniest cut. 

Trip Wipes Alcohol-Free Hand Wipes

Trip Wipes Alcohol-Free Hand Wipes
Amazon

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is the importance of washing and sanitizing your hands often. Take along these antibacterial wipes so you can easily wipe down not only your hands, but anything you come in contact with while in public—tray table and seatbelt on the airplane, faucets, door handles, anything that makes you uneasy, you can simply wipe down with one of these. 

Safety Pins

Two small plastic multi-compartment containers with safety pins
Amazon

You may be surprised how often safety pins may come in handy while traveling. From the traditional securing of clothes when you lose a button, to fixing a broken zipper, you will be happy you have these when traveling. This durable set comes with four different sizes, and while they come in a handy organized box, you can always stick a few of each size in a little baggie if you don’t want the bulk of the box. 

Sunscreen

Target

Protect your face without streaks with this superlight sunscreen. This 100% mineral, SPF 30 sunscreen protects your skin without the thick streaks that often come with a mineral sunscreen. It works great as a primer for your make up, or just use it as a sunscreen. No matter what, you should always protect your skin while outside. 

Toiletry Bag

Plaid Toiletry Bag (left) and open toiletry bag filled with travel sized toiletries (right)
L.L.Bean

Please, do not be like my college-aged nephew and put your toiletries in a plastic grocery bag for transporting. This toiletry bag from L.L.Bean is a much better option. Made with water-resistant material, it has all of the pockets and compartments you need to stay organized while on the road. A removable mesh pocket has a handy hanger attached and becomes a shower caddy, and the mirror is removable as well. The multiple pockets and durability of this toiletry bag guarantee you will have it for years to come (I can attest to this, as I got this bag twenty years ago and I still use it today). 

Toothbrush Covers

Multicolored silicone toothbrush covers on several toothbrushes
Amazon

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I usually do before setting off to the airport is brush my teeth (especially if my flight is in the morning). A wet toothbrush isn’t the best thing to put in your toiletry bag, so a cover like this will help keep the rest of your bag dry, even if you have just used it. Made with 100% food-grade silicone, it’s BPA-free, and has ventilation to ensure it stays clean. This pack of six will suffice for a long time. 

Travel Bottles 

A set of multicolored Travel Bottles with size dimensions listed next to each bottle
Amazon

Rather than getting travel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and other toiletries (which usually aren’t the typical ones you use), get travel bottles like these, which you can fill up with your favorite brands that you use every day. This set comes with two 2.9 oz bottles, two 2.2 oz bottles, two 30 g jars, two 10 g jars, two scoops, a funnel, and a clean brush. You can also easily label everything with the handy stickers that are included. 

Travel Accessories for the Airplane

Travel Pillow 

Inflated Travel Pillow (left) and deflated travel pillow in zippered pouch next to a water bottle for scale (right)
REI

I had always kind of scoffed at people with travel pillows, until I was given one as a gift, and it became a life changer, especially for red-eye flights. We love the inflatable Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Travel Pillow, which has a handy neck closure to ensure it doesn’t wriggle around while you sleep. Their pillow case also has the neck closure, and should fit most standard travel pillows as well. For a less “traditional” travel pillow, try the trtl pillow. It’s super soft, and provides scientifically proven neck support.  

Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask 

Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask
Amazon

A sleep mask is key when traveling, whether for the airplane, or to help you sleep in an unfamiliar place. The Bedtime Bliss Countoured Sleep Mask is not your usual sleep mask. It’s 3D design makes it so the mask doesn’t actually touch your eyes, it is ultra light, and has a flexible nose bridge for ultra comfort. It will provide 100% blackout conditions so you will be able to sleep no matter how bright it is where you are. 

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks 

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
Amazon

If you’ve had issues with your feet swelling while flying, compression socks are here for you. These socks will help with blood flow on a long flight, and are comfortable, with a 20-30 mmhg compression level. They apply a graduated pressure, and are easy to get on and off. Note: Compression socks come in a variety of compression levels, and if you don’t typically have circulation problems, a lower compression level (8-15 mmhg) sock should work just fine. 

Ear Plugs

Woman showing camera FlyFit earplugs (left) and FlyFit earplugs in the box (right)
Amazon

Earplugs can be helpful in an array of situations while traveling—from the airplane, a hotel, even a museum when  you want to take in the art undisturbed. The Alpine FlyFit earplugs not only provide noise cancelation, but they also relieve pressure from the changes in altitude. Made with a hypo-allergenic, super soft, 100% recyclable material, they are easy to use and will fit comfortably in your ear.  

spAIRtray Travel Shelf  

Amazon

Window seat lovers, unite! This accessory is for you—the spAIRtray Travel Shelf creates a nice little shelf for you during your flight. It easily slides into the window shade track, and gives you an extra shelf for a beverage, your glasses, your phone—whatever you may need extra space for. It folds up flat and fits into a cloth carry case for easy transportation. 

Airplane Footrest by Sleepy Ride 

Stocking covered feet and legs resting in the Airplane Footrest by Sleepy Ride
Amazon

If you’ve ever found yourself not knowing what to do with your feet/legs during your flight, this airplane footrest is for you. Best for passengers 5’4 and shorter, this footrest hangs on the arms of the tray table infront of you, and creates a hammock for your feet. It’s lightweight and includes a carry bag. 

Soarigami Airplane Portable Armrest Divider 

Soarigami Airplane Portable Armrest Divider
Amazon

There is something slightly off putting about your arm touching the arm of the person sitting next to you on an airplane, especially if that person is a stranger. Fix armrest fights with this handy armrest divider. It turns one armrest into two, and has a wall so your arm won’t touch theirs. It folds flat, so it will easily fit into your carry-on. 

Miscellaneous Travel Accessories

Blanket Wrap

Two women wearing a deep red Blanket Wrap
Mersea

You can stay stylish and keep warm with a blanket wrap, like this one from MERSEA. Wear it as a wrap, use it like a blanket, or put it in it’s carry case to use it as a pillow. It comes in thirteen colors, is made with 100% acrylic material, and is machine washable. 

Water Bottle

Vapur Foldable Water Bottle (left) and demonstration of the folding function (right)
Amazon

You never know when you may need a water bottle, and this foldable one from Vapur is perfect for traveling. It rolls up, and you can secure it with the included clip, which is also handy when it is filled with water, for clipping it onto your bag. 

FAQ

What is the #1 most important travel accessory? 

This is probably dependant on several factors: what type of traveler you are, where you are going, and how you are getting to your destination. 

Best Travel Accessory for Families: Valante Premium Family Travel Document Organizer
Best Travel Accessory for Travel for Airplanes: Soarigami Airplane Portable Armrest Divider
Best Travel Accessory for Super-Organized Travelers: PACK-IT™ REVEAL CUBE SET

Do I need all of these accessories? 

You probably won’t need every accessory we listed, especially if it’s your first time going on a big trip, and you don’t plan on traveling often. However, if you do travel often, these items are sure to make your travel experience much more enjoyable. Pick the ones that seem the most vital, buy those for your first trip, and add a new item each time you travel. 

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