As you all know, I travel pretty regularly, whether it’s for work, races, or just for fun. Over the past few years, I’ve come to rely on some travel items that just make life on the road easier. I’m a huge gadget/stuff nerd, so I love lists like this and I love finding things that make my travel experience better. I wish someone had told me about these things sooner so I didn’t have to discover them myself! Here are some of my favorite accessories, many of which have totally changed the way I travel!
Note: Many of these items are linked through Amazon, and some are affiliate links, meaning I will make about 4 cents (literally) if you order one of these items. I’m linking through Amazon for the items sold there because that’s pretty much where I buy everything – Prime shipping owns my soul. If it’s not on Amazon, I’m providing the normal link. Whether you order this stuff through the affiliate link or not, you’ll thank me on your next trip.
1. eBags Packing Cubes – 3 for $25
The first item on my list is one I actually only came across recently. If you haven’t heard of eBags packing cubes yet, prepare to have your life changed forever. These cubes come in all different sizes, including the 3 piece assorted variety and the slim cubes. I have both! All you do is roll up or fold your clothes (however you prefer to pack – I’ll be doing a post on that soon) and put them in the cube. The cubes zip up and keep your clothing and accessories organized and fit neatly into carry-on suitcases. The best part about these is that in addition to compressing your clothing and saving space, you don’t have to dig through your entire suitcase anymore to find one shirt or pair of shorts. It keeps everything so organized. My mom and Amanda were super impressed by these when we were in Arizona this weekend, and if my mom is impressed by something related to organization, you know it’s good – she has high standards.
2. Portable Cell Phone Charger – $15-20
When I’m out doing reviews for Ramblen, my phone is constantly dying since I’m using it to navigate from place to place, look things up, take pictures, text AJ to let him know I haven’t been kidnapped yet, etc. It was a huge issue before I got this charger! Now, I can easily pop this bad boy into my purse or bag and have it as a backup if I need it. Super easy to use and it comes with a variety of different adapters for whatever phone you have.
3. Travel Underwear Bag – $16
In all seriousness, this travel underwear bag is one of the best things I have ever purchased in my life. This is kind of a girl thing, but I am a girl, so there you go. This cute little bag (which comes in tons of colors on Etsy) keeps your clean and dirty underwear separate and all in one place. I am obsessed with it. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could probably make one of these pretty easily, but I don’t own a sewing machine, nor does my mother probably feel like making me one. I got one for Amanda and she thought it was one of the best things she’d ever seen. Because it is.
4. Anti-theft Messenger Bag – $59-89
If you frequently travel in big cities or in countries where pickpocketing is an issue, this Anti-theft Messenger Bag from Pacsafe is perfect to help assuage your fears. It’s a messenger bag big enough to fit your iPad but compact enough that you don’t get worn out from carrying it all day, and I would know, since this is the bag I use to cart all my stuff around during the day when I’m doing reviews for Ramblen. I’ve hiked up mountains with it! I got it on sale for $59, and I’m really looking forward to taking it on my trip to South America. The peace of mind of not having to worry about my bag getting cut off my shoulder, credit cards getting stolen through some crazy scanner, etc. is really nice! Pacsafe has some great bags of all different shapes and sizes that have this technology, so you can probably find one that suits your needs if not this one!
5. Nemo Fillo Travel Pillow – $45
Are you one of the sad people with those ridiculous U-shaped neck pillows on the airplane? I used to be one of those people too, until I got the Nemo Fillo Travel Pillow. Unlike basically every other travel pillow, this one is comfortable and compact. It has an inch of memory foam inside it and can be inflated as much or as little as you want to create the perfect pillow height. Plus, it has a self-contained “stuff sack” that you can actually stuff the pillow into for easy packing! It’s perfect for anywhere you might need a pillow, including the plane, camping, whatever! Guess what’s coming with me to Machu Picchu?
6. Nest Leather Diaper Bag – $200
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Diaper bag? Leather? $200? Yes. The Nest Hudson Diaper Bag is worth every penny. I actually use this bag as my personal item since I always travel with carry ons – this bag and a suitcase for the overhead bin. This bag has tons of pockets inside to keep all your stuff organized, and I fit my 15″ Macbook, the Nemo Fillo Pillow, food, a water bottle, my jacket, and a ton of other stuff in there all at once. The point? It maximizes the amount of stuff you can store under the seat but still looks stylish and can double as a purse, weekend bag, whatever! And now I’m prepared if I ever have a kid. I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.
7. Bobble Water Bottle – $10
Want to make sure your water is clean before you drink it no matter where you are? Me too, so I got the Bobble Water Bottle. The filter at the top of the bottle removes organic contaminants and improves the taste of tap water by removing chlorine and other chemicals. The 24-ounce bottle can be used 300 times before the filter needs to be replaced. Just think of all those bottles that aren’t going to landfills! I love bringing mine with me when I travel because you never know how water will taste in the city you’re traveling to, and this keeps it consistent. I bring mine empty with me when I fly and fill it up after I get through security to avoid those $5 bottles of water in the airport!
8. eBags Pack-It-Flat Toiletry Kit -$30
My last recommendation is a new addition to my travel collection. This toiletry kit from eBags is so thin, you’d think you can’t fit anything in it, but nothing could be further from the truth. I pack all my medications, make up, hair stuff, lotions, shampoo, etc. in this bag and it is still completely flat in my suitcase! No more bulky toiletry bags that take up tons of room. Again, my mother was very impressed. It could easily fit in a backpack, messenger bag, purse, whatever. Some of the pockets are lined with waterproof plastic, so if anything spills, it won’t get all over your other stuff. Not that that’s ever happened to me…
9. Ricardo Elite Carry-On Suitcase – $100
I’m throwing this in as a last minute add on thanks to a question from reader Gary! I take this Ricardo Elite carry-on suitcase with me everywhere, and I love it. At 21″, it fits perfectly in the overhead bins of standard-size aircraft. It has a ton of pockets on the inside to organize all my stuff, and it’s also expandable if I ever need more room. The hard shell means that as long as I can zip the bag shut, it will fit in the overhead bin because there aren’t any weird bulges from all my stuff being packed in. The wheels spin 360 degrees, so it’s easy to maneuver through crowds. It’s also extremely lightweight, so it won’t add any extra bulk to your load. I can’t recommend this suitcase enough! It has taken quite the beating from me over the past year and I can’t imagine traveling without it.
Alright, that’s it for me. What are your favorite travel accessories? I love finding new stuff to improve my travel experience, so please tell me all about your favorite stuff in the comments!