Before my first trip abroad, I did an extensive amount of research before purchasing items I felt would be useful for travel. Since then I still research and change my gear to find what I like to use best. I love finding innovative gadgets that are often dual-purpose to save on space. After taking a handful of trips, as well as traveling a lot on weekends, there are some items that I have found to be really useful:
(P.S. The images are linked to where you can purchase the products)
I chose to purchase a backpack rather than a rolling suitcase which was a really good choice for me. It was easier to hop on and off of trains and if I didn’t have time to drop it off where I was staying, it doesn’t scream “tourist!” as much as a bulky rolling suitcase. The one I ended up going with was the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler.
Some of the main features why I chose this bag is the waterproofing, the shoe compartment, and that all pockets are against your back (aka nobody can steal anything out of it while you have it on your back). After the first two trips with this bag it became apparent that it really needed a waist strap. I purchased one on amazon, and it was easily attached to the two loops near where the backpack straps connect. This strap really made a huge difference turning it into the perfect pack for my needs!
The other option that was a very close runner-up to this one was the Osprey Fairpoint 40. A friend of mine purchased this one. They are similar in size however the Fairpoint comes with a waist strap already attached. The only main benefit that the Gear Hauler had was the waterproofing and extra security.
One of the best purchases I have ever made! These have really helped me to stop over packing on every trip! I typically take one double sided large cube and one smaller one for underwear for 5 to 10 day trips. If what I’m bringing (with the exception of a jackets) doesn’t fit, then I am bringing too much! (I like the Ikea ones but there are tons of other options)
Fold-able Duffel Bag
I typically bring this just in case I buy too much or end up coming home with more than what fits in my backpack and purse. I chose this one because it folds up small, looks decent when in use, and has a wide crossbody strap.
Dual Voltage Folding Hairdryer
This little sucker is pretty great! It is a lot smaller than I thought when I purchased it and it has a lot more power than many travel hairdryers. I purchased this one after ruining two in Europe due to the voltage mismatch.
Micro USB Hair Straightener
This was a really cool product I found on Amazon after going out dancing, and ruining my hair a few too many times! It would be perfect for weddings or conferences to do quick touch ups, or even for camping! It has a micro-USB charger (same as most phones) and is easy to throw in a purse or keep in your car and also a USB port to use as a backup external battery.
Micro USB Card Reader
If you have the type of camera that can’t directly connect to your phone, having a card reader that can is pretty useful!
Micro USB Bracelet Charger
I use this bracelet all the time! It’s stylish and functional, and you never know when you will end up needing a phone charger.
Typically I use this for travel documents, money, and tickets. I usually put money in the zippered pocket, the tickets I need immediately in the front pocket, and all other documents inside. I chose this one because of the wrist strap, pen holder, and outer zippered pocket.
Noke Bluetooth Lock
If you plan to stay in hostels, or want an easy way to lock up your luggage, this is a really great lock! No need to remember combinations because it unlocks with your phone.
Double Sided Jewelry and Cosmetic Case
This is one of my more recent purchases and has helped me to bring the right amount of jewelry and makeup. I usually bring a few chains, a handful of pendants, then a couple pairs of earrings. As for cosmetics, I usually put my eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and brushes in the side and my eye shadow in the other half. This case also keeps everything in place nicely so you don’t have to worry about things shifting around and spilling or breaking.
Lighted Mirror Charger
This has also been really useful when traveling on many occasions. If you need to fix your makeup in a poorly lit car on your way out for the evening, it can be a really great solution! On top of that, it also charges your phone!
Perfume and Lip Gloss Duo
A great combination for freshening up. The perfume has a wonderful warm scent, and the lip gloss is mostly sheer with a slight shimmer. I received this as a gift and always have it in my purse when going out and in my makeup bag when traveling.
This is great to clip on your backpack just in case you need a clip for something or a spare phone charger.
Scarf with Secret Pocket
I first saw these on Etsy while looking for a cool scarf to bring with me to Europe and thought it was a fantastic idea! I ended up making my own, but for the less crafty, you can find them for sale on both Amazon and Etsy. Not only can it hide valuables, if you are wearing an outfit with no pockets, you can store your phone, wallet, and keys without carrying a purse!
External Power Bank(s)
Having power on the go is pretty common and there are two power banks that have really stood out to me. The first is a large capacity one that also has a light. I’ve used this on long trips as well as camping trips. The second is a credit card sized one that I keep in my pocket or purse when going out for a long day. The small one has saved me quite a few times, and I rarely go out without one stashed somewhere!
USB Port Splitter
A compact USB port splitter can be really useful if you have multiple devices to charge and only one port. I found this little one on Amazon and have purchased a few of them.
Extra Long Charging Cable
I almost always bring a 10 to 12 foot charging cable for my phone. You never know where the outlets and ports will be located, and I prefer to keep my phone close to my bed at night when I travel.
These are just a handful of my favorite products. If you have any questions about them, feel free to contact me! Or if you have any things you feel would be great additions to the list, add them in the comments!