This is a list of useful travel accessories to make your life easier when you are on the road. How many have you got already?
Let me start by saying I’ve seen many articles about “must-have” travel accessories out there that made me laugh out loud. These list-of-things-you-must-have-but-actually-you-dont-need-at-all include everything from wine bags and tampon flash drives – to luxury camping hammocks (WTF).
This list is for the everyday traveler and has actually useful stuff.
I’ve already addressed some of them on resources page and on my online shop. Now I’ll be more detailed.
The travel accessories below are supposed to save you either space, time and/or money and make perfect Christmas or birthday gifts.
🧳 Best travel accessories to keep you organized
Let’s start with THE most important thing you carry on a trip. Nope, it’s not your laptop nor your mobile. It’s your documentation, especially your passport. Keep your documents tidy and safe is a must.
If you’ve no idea what to get, a basic Amazon organizer does the job.
Compact, secure and with lots of space for all documents and cards.
I’m a mess at packing. Once I arrive at my destination, my luggage quickly becomes chaotic piles of clothing. Not to mention finding specific items is almost impossible.
That’s why I’m not exaggerating when I say this was one of my best travel purchases EVER. These little helpers makes any packing – and unpacking too – much more tidy and neat. A must for any modern traveler.
Say goodbye to messy packing. 3 different sizes to pack your clothes.
Oh, the enjoyable security lines in airports where everyone is forced to show off their guts and keep liquids to ridiculously tiny amounts. This is where travel bottles can be of huge help and save some money.
Note: The standard in airports worldwide is for containers in carry-on bags to not surpass the 100mL / 3.4 oz of liquid each.
Pretty much any container with the right capacity will do, but squeezable ones like this set have extra points for functionality.
Don’t you find it astonishing the amount of SD Cards, cables, plugs and adaptors we travel with nowadays? Usually, one of the pockets in my backpack is exclusively dedicated to these “accessories of accessories”, but it soon can become a huge mess.
Unfortunately this potential mess won’t be over soon in 2019. An electronics’ organizer helps keeping everything neat and organized. Look for an waterproof one like this to add extra protection.
I only use trolleys or conventional luggage in short urban getaways. In most destinations, carrying a backpack or duffel bag is more comfortable, convenient and efficient than a luggage.
On my article about backpacking in Asia, I have a whole section about the important features to look for in backpacks.
My most recent purchase for smaller trips. Absolutely love the build quality and material of this thing. It doesn’t come cheap, but it doubles as backpack and is durable and comfortable on your back. Several sizes too.
Whether you’re going urban or rural, to a beach or to a mountain, a backpack is essential to carry the usual vacation stuff throughout your day.
Make sure you go for an unassuming (and basic?) backpack on the outside, but functional on the inside. This one is a good example. This way you can keep your stuff organized without drawing attention to precious stuff like laptops or DSLR cameras.
My travel shop on Amazon with all you need for a smart and hassle-free travel.
📱 Essential Gadgets
7International Travel Adapter
Depending on where your destination is, this can be essential. A good adapter will provide you with all the possible outlets worldwide, ensuring you always stay charged abroad.
Essential for a modern traveler. What I love about this particular adapter is that comes with 4 USB ports, so you can potentially charge 5 devices at the same time. Works in 150+ countries.
8Multi USB Charger
If the previous item has not enough 5 USB ports, invest in a multi-USB port. Let’s be honest, it’s the 21st century – who hasn’t faced the true first-world problem of not having enough power outlets to charge all the devices? Some hotel rooms are scarce in outlets and simply can’t deal with all the charging needs of a modern day traveler.
With the USB port type on the rise across gadgets, this problem will just become more frequent. A multi-USB hub charger can be the solution, particularly if you’re traveling in a group.
Tip: to future-proof this purchase, look for USB 3.0 ports, like this one:
Conveniently charge all your devices at once with this compact USB hub. One of the 6 ports is equipped with a fast USB charging technology (up to 4X faster than standard chargers).
9Mobile WiFi Hotspot
Since I’m always traveling with a lot of gadgets or within a group, getting all the devices connected is a HUGE first world problem. A mobile router unlocked to all networks is a game changer: reliable, easy to use, and a potential huge money-saver.
An important thing to look at is the list of frequencies the device supports. Mobile operators in each country use different ones and their SIM card will only work in that range of frequencies. My previous hotspot didn’t work with ANY operator when I traveled to the US!
Put any SIM card in the world inside and it will share the data across all your devices via WiFi (up to 10!). The battery lasts 12 hours of working. Can’t recommend it enough!
Even though we are planning to send men to colonize Mars, for some reason manufacturers still refuse to launch phones, cameras and other devices with batteries lasting for days. Result: everyone needs extra juice when on the road.
Invest in a compact and potent device. Everything below 10,000mAh is pretty much not worth it – remember they tend to lose capacity over time. Here’s a list of power banks to get you started.
With 20,000 mAh capacity, this power bank is guaranteed to give you battery to charge your devices for days.
🤖 Best travel accessories to keep you healthy
11Hand sanitizer gel
For years I’ve underestimated the effect of hand sanitization. Some even say most food poisoning cases are caused by dirty hands rather than the food itself, which makes me feel a bit uneasy! Since then, I always travel with a gel like this.
Keeping your hands germ-free regularly is a great idea. You may not realize, but you’re touching all kinds of stuff when you’re traveling. This is the first layer of protection you have for viruses and bacteria causing all kinds of diseases.
This water-based gel forms a molecular bond that stays active on the surface of your skin and protects against germs and bacteria.
It’s no exaggeration to say a good mosquito repellent is one of the best things any traveler should invest, especially if you’re going to tropical countries. I mean it CAN SAVE LIVES. Tip: pick one with high DEET content, like this one below.
Offers 10+ hours of protection and contains 100% DEET, recommended for protection against mosquitos, ticks, and biting insects.
Melatonin regulates the sleep and your day cycle. Its levels basically determine when your body is ready for sleep. When you travel, this balance can be very quickly disrupted.
When you’re switching continents, this can be great to quickly adjust to a different timezone and minimize jet lag. Kids or perhaps even grown ups – why not? – have the gummy bear version which I’m a bit obsessed about.
This 100% plant-based supplement can help you to achieve a good night’s sleep, no matter where you are.
📸 Photo & Video
Smartphone cameras are getting incredibly powerful year after year and have the advantage of being lighter and more user-friendly. One day they will be able to fully replace a digital camera.
That day hasn’t come yet. DSLR and mirrorless cameras are still superior in some aspects, such as optical zoom. If you are into photography and want to take top-notch pictures, you should consider investing in an extra camera.
Now of course there are cameras (and lenses) for all budgets, but for traveling size does matter so aim to buy something compact and light. I had my old Nikon Coolpix p610 for years because of its 60x optical zoom, but the new version is even more powerful: 83x optical zoom!.
With a fantastic 83x zoom, this camera is great for close-ups, something your smartphone simply can’t do.
Smaller than most DSLRs, taking staggering 24MP photos and very intuitive to use with WiFi and NFC connectivity, this is a great camera for beginners.
I once thought a GoPro was only for snowboarders or crazy people who jump out of buildings.
I got to say I’ve been amazed by the versatility and creative potential of this little action camera. Since it’s so compact and easy to function, you can also create cool-looking videos of more standard vacations (no more shaky videos!).
Anyway here are my favorite uses of a GoPro camera so far:
- Dynamic activities – whether you’re surfing, skiing or zip-lining, there’s nothing better than a GoPro to capture the moment. Underwater videos also look DOPE.
- Big attractions – monuments like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai are impossible to fit the frame of a single photo/video. Until you use a GoPro.
- Memory videos – if the hundreds of photos you take on your trip remain on a folder in your computer they’re just worthless. And if you decide to show them to family and friends you’re just killing them of boredom. A short dynamic video made of GoPro clips is fun, engaging and enjoyable.
For the new version, GoPro improved the video stabilization and the voice control and you can still take 12MP photos and film 4K HD videos. It’s now also completely waterproof (up to 10M).
Wide-Angle lenses on a budget
If you’re on a budget or simply don’t want to carry around another gadget, have a look at wide-angle lenses for your smartphone. Pixter has a SuperFishEye that might do the job for you.
Here’s my review after a day using it in Barcelona.
🔒 Best travel accessories to keep you safe
Keeping your belongings safe is a major concern whenever you’re going to less safe places. Personally, it was useful in the craziness of Naples and specially in Rio de Janeiro, where safety is the #1 concern.
The thing is: any big city nowadays suffer from pickpocketing and bag-snatching issues at some level. A money belt is an inexpensive way to keep your pocket money and even some documents invisible at all times.
It’s often overlooked and one of those things you don’t realize it’s useful until you need it. Depending on where you’re heading, a padlock can be tricky to find. It’s a simple way to add an extra layer of safety whenever you are away from your stuff.
I especially recommend packing one if you tend to stay in hostels or need to ditch your luggage between check-out and your flight back home.
Nowadays there are plenty of options for affordable home security cameras that send you email or phone notifications whenever there’s movement detected.
The most popular is Nest with a range of outdoor and indoor solutions. Extra peace of mind and allows you to take quick action if unwelcome visitors decide to show up.
💆♂️ Best travel accessories to keep you comfy
Plenty of the accommodation places I’ve stayed in don’t provide bathing towels. Specially in Asia. When they did, they charged for them as a first-necessity item they are.
A simple microfiber towel like this one does the job, does not occupy much volume and dries super quickly. Plus, it can double as a little blanket!
In spite of its tiny size, it absorbs water effectively and dries fast afterwards. Super handy while you’re traveling.
Not only compression socks keep your feet warm, they also improve your blood circulation and make your legs feel less tired after much sitting or standing. It’s not the most stylish of accessories but they can make all the difference in that long-haul flight.
21Water Purifier Bottle
A water purifier bottle is an obvious asset to have in third-world countries where tap water is not drinkable.
But even in countries where tap water is drinkable, having an extra purifying bottle is useful. Apart from avoiding always have to shop for plastic water bottles, it’s much more environmentally conscious. I predict this travel item will become more and more of a thing amongst travelers in 2020.
This bottle makes clean drinking water in only 15 seconds from any fresh water source. Oh and removes chemicals and 99.999% of most viruses, bacteria (including E.Coli) and cysts in the process.
The first time I went to Asia I arrived drousy, sleepy, and with severe neck pain after my long-haul flight. Definitely not my best moment.
If you’re taking a flight longer then 6 hours, strongly consider something to support your neck while you rest. It can really make a difference for your posture and energy when you get to the new place.
This pillow has a superior design which doesn’t force your neck to come forward like in other pillows. Plus, it’s compressible which means you can carry it lightly throughout your trip.
A set of ear plugs can be useful for that loud hostel, when you want to escape the world for a few moments at a crowded airport, or, my favorite use case, for flights. It’s hard to rest up when there’s people talking, flight attendants passing by, and children crying all the time.
Additionally, these ear plugs below are designed to deal with in-flight ear pressure due to the changes in altitude.
Regulates air pressure due to altitude changes in your ears, while it keeps noise levels down. A must if you want to relax on your flight.
🤖 Best travel accessories to keep you entertained
24Noise Cancelling Headphones
A GOOD pair of headphones is an investment few regret to make. It can help you focus and in the context of a trip, improve your travel experience. If you’re seeking a pair, go for the noise-cancelling headphones, extremely useful in loud environments like a plane or a train.
Some of my favorite brands right now are BOSE and Beats.
These over-ear phones are some of the best in the market right now. 3 levels of noise cancellation, seamless Bluetooth pairing, and even with built-in Alexa assistant.
Premium listening experience, adaptive noise cancelling, and up to 22 hours of battery life. You can’t go wrong with Beats.
25Headphone Jack Splitter
Even though the tendency is Bluetooth phones, sadly shared-Bluetooth isn’t a (mainstream) feature yet. How to make two or more people listen to the same music, podcast, or movie in the good’n’old audio jack?
A jack splitter basically shares the sounds between 2 (or more) headphone sets, so you can watch that movie with your SO or friend sitting next to you. It can also be useful to share audioguides of attractions and museums.
Tablets are getting thinner and lighter which makes them a great alternative to packing a bulky laptop. It’s perfect to watch movies, plan your daily itinerary or even sketch/draw landscapes you don’t get to see every day. Not to mention take advantage of some cool and useful travel apps. Just please don’t use it to take photos, that just looks silly.
Make no mistake: an iPad is not for everyone. If you’re looking to disconnect on your travels, you should look into taking the least amount of gadgets possible.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a longer trip but still don’t want to take your laptop, an iPad can be very useful. From my experience, they blow out the competition in reliability and CPU power.
Which iPad to get?
Your computer away from home! With 9.7″ Retina display, 128GB of capacity it’s guaranteed to give you many hours of entertainment on the road.
If you are into reading, a Kindle is a great option to bring lots of books with you without occupying much space.
I recently got into the habit of reading books during my travels which is great to 1) pass time on trains and planes 2) learn new perspectives on the country’s culture.
The Paperwhite version is waterproof and has a 300 dpi glare-free display allowing you to read on the beach and in bed at night. Plus, a single battery lasts weeks!
Extra: For the ones left behind
As important as the items to bring with you, are the things that can you save a lot of trouble back at home.
First of all, don’t forget the members of the family left behind! Pet feeders are great for cats, rabbits and hamsters when you’re away for a short period of time.
Don’t neglect plants too. A plant waterer can avoid you getting back home to a dry foliage show.
More useful travel tips
- My List of Online Resources For A Smart Travel
- How To Find Secret Hotel Rooms
- My Favorite Travel Tips Ever
- How To Find Secret Hotel Rooms
- How To Travel Without Money
- What to Pack to Backpack Through Asia
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What are the best travel accessories for you? What can’t you travel without?
Share your favorites so I can add them to the list!