Finally taking that trip you've been waiting months for should be an exhilarating experience. You should feel excitement in the taxi to the airport, intense anticipation as you soar 31,000 feet in the air to your destination and butterflies when you finally land. The rest—exploring, tasting the local cuisine, getting to know the locals—should be nothing but bliss. But if you don't prepare properly, that once-in-a-lifetime trip can easily turn into one that's frustrating and exhausting. The good news is you can control some of the many inevitable inconveniences with the right equipment. This year, travel smarter with these 45 affordable and useful travel accessories.
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#1 Passport and Document Holder - $16.99
Let's start with the most important thing every single traveler should have with them at all times: Their passport. When your finally going on that big trip you've been planning for months, the last thing you want to worry about is losing your passport. Or your boarding pass. Or your emergency credit card. There are plenty of things you don't want to lose while traveling, so to be safe, put them all in a document holder that you can easily slide in your carry-on and your everyday bag. If you don't know where to start, this heavy-duty RFID travel wallet from Amazon should do the trick.
#2 Universal Travel Adapter - $11.99
You don't want to show up to a brand new country and realize you completely forgot to bring a universal travel adapter. This inexpensive travel necessity will charge your phone, laptop and camera battery every single day, so you'll definitely need one! This simple universal travel adapter from Amazon accepts plugs from more than 150 countries such as Thailand, New Zealand, Israel, Italy, Rome, France, Spain, Canada, China, Australia, India, Hong Kong, Argentina, Peru and Korea.
#3 Packing Cubes - $18
If you've ever taken a suitcase anywhere, you'll know that once you get to your destination and unpack, your clothes are an utter mess. They're in bunches on the floor, slung over chairs and balled up in your suitcase. The solution to this ungodly sight? Packing cubes. You'll usually get packing cubes in a set of four to eight pieces so you can dedicate one theme (pants, swimsuits, dresses, underwear and socks) to each packing cube. Once you use them, you won't be able to travel without them.
#4 Reusable Water Bottle - $12.99
Japan, India, the UK, Peru—wherever you're traveling, you'll need a water bottle. A trusty one—stainless steel, vacuum insulated, double-walled, leakproof—is best but they can sometimes be hard to find on a budget. This one from Amazon checks all of the boxes and comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
#5 Foldable Duffel Bag - $16.99
A foldable duffel bag comes in handy for so many things: the beach, hikes, dirty laundry. Best of all, when you're not using it you can fold it up and put it back in your suitcase or backpack. The Wandf Foldable Duffel Bag on Amazon is lightweight, waterproof and tear-resistant so you can bring it anywhere with you!
#6 Multi USB Charger - $9.99
If the universal adaptor doesn't give you enough space to charge all of your electronics, add in a multi USB charger to your list of things to get before you travel. This one from Amazon lets you charge two mobile devices simultaneously at high speed. It's lightweight and has protection against overcharging and overheating.
#7 Toiletry Bag - $8.89
If you want to travel smart, you need a convenient toiletry bag where you can easily store all of your makeup, face washes, shampoos, hand creams, etc. With this foldable round bucket-style toiletry bag on Amazon, you can shove all of your items in one bag and forget about them! No more worrying where you put what.
#8 Stainless Steel Straws - $5.99
Save the planet, people! There are plenty of countries that have not yet banned plastic straws. Do your part and bring a stainless steel straw or two with you on your travels. Put one in your purse/bag so you can whip it out next time you order an iced coffee or smoothie abroad! These ones even come with a cleaner and drawstring bag to store them in.
#9 Reusable Utensils - $12.99
Nothing's sexier than being a sustainable traveler. Show you care by packing a set of reusable utensils on your next trip. Whether you're grabbing some street food or eating at a restaurant that gives out plastic utensils, this 10-piece bamboo cutlery set will in handy. The set includes a knife, fork, spoon, soup spoon, a pair of chopsticks, straw, straw cleaning brush, bamboo toothbrush, toothpicks and a lightweight travel pouch.
#10 Power Bank - $19.99
You're out and about finally exploring the streets of whatever city you've been dying to travel the last six months, you take out your phone to take a picture of that monument you've been so excited to see and... your phone dies. To avoid being caught in this situation, invest in a handy power bank. You can shove one like this in your purse, fanny pack, bag, etc. and pull it out in an emergency or to keep your phone topped up all day long.
#11 Heavy-Duty Locks - $12.95
You're going to want to lock your bag no matter where you're going. Lock it before you board the plane, lock it when you're on the train and lock it at night when you're in your hotel room. There's no doubt you've got important electronics and documents with you, so keep them safe while you're away. Forge locks are designed from the ground up to be toughest luggage locks around.
#12 Dry Bag - $9.99
Heading somewhere wet? Invest in a dry bag. Whether you're planning to spend most of the time on the beach or you're exploring the drenched rainforests of India, you'll want to keep all of your things as dry as possible. These dry bags on Amazon are made of soft and flexible rip-stop fabric to keep your possessions protected.
#13 First Aid Kit - $8
Accidents happen. Make sure you're prepared with an easy-to-carry, organized first aid kit. This 70-piece Johnson & Johnson Safe Travels First Aid Kit for on-the-go first aid wound care is an absolute essential. It's small enough to fit in a day bag so you can take it everywhere with you on your travels.
#14 Hand Sanitizer - $10.99
Germs are everywhere and you'll want to be especially careful of unfamiliar bacteria in a country you've never visited before. This hand sanitizer spray from Amazon lasts all day long, is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, non-toxic and kills 99.99% of germs. It's the perfect travel accessory for anyone who doesn't want to get sick.
#15 Money Belt - $14.95
Keep your money safe. This RFID blocking belt will keep thieves out and your cash, credit card, passport and phone safe when traveling. This money belt on Amazon is fully adjustable for a comfortable fit for both men and women. It has soft, breathable mesh material to wick away moisture to eliminate sweating so you stay cool and dry during your days out exploring. And best of all, it keeps your valuables hidden from pickpockets.
#16 Microfiber Towel - $8.99
Don't use up half of your packing space with a big, bulky bath towel. A microfiber towel is compact and dries you better than a traditional towel does. Microfiber is fast-drying, super-absorbent, skin-friendly, ultra-compact and lightweight. They're ideal for the beach, traveling, camping, swimming, backpacking and the gym.
#17 Personal Water Filter - $14.96
Heading to a country where the quality of the water is a little questionable? Get a portable water filter. The award-winning Life Straw water filter is a must-carry tool for hiking, camping, travel and emergencies; no disaster kit is complete without it. It filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals. It doesn't require batteries. Best of all, it removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria. It surpasses EPA filter standards, so you know it's good.
#18 Compression Socks - $15.96
Do your feet swell up on long plane rides? Do you want to be able to fit your feet back into your shoes after you've landed? Get compression socks. They're amazing. And they're not as ugly as they sound. The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks on Amazon can be worn under your clothes before you head to the airport so you don't have to worry about switching socks on the plane. Get your blood circulating in style!
#19 Noise-Cancelling Headphones - $59.99
You don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars on top-notch noise-cancelling headphones to get a good pair. You can buy the COWIN E7 on Amazon for under $60. They're wireless, can connect to Bluetooth and best of all, very comfortable. Use these on the airplane, on trains or to drown out the noise outside of your hotel when you can't sleep.
#20 Earplugs - $3.96
Let's get real for a second: Travel can be noisy. The sound of the airplane engines as you soar 31,000 feet in the air, the beeping of taxis once you leave the airport, the sounds of your noisy hotel neighbors. Sometimes you just need some peace and quiet. While not all earplugs actually work, Mack's Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Earplugs definitely do the job. They're the U.S.’s original and number one selling moldable silicone earplugs. They provide safe, non-toxic, non-allergenic waterproof protection and protects hearing from loud noises.
#21 Travel Pillow - $24.99
It's extremely hard to find a good travel pillow. Most of the ones you'll find before and after airport security are either too flimsy, too hard or too expensive. Almost none of them serve their purpose: To make you comfortable. This adjustable memory foam travel pillow on Amazon is different. You can twist it a million different ways to make sure you're as comfortable as possible. Put it around your neck, under your chin, behind your back or under your legs.
#22 Amazon Fire Tablet - $79.99
Books are heavy. Why not get a tablet where you can store them all electronically instead? Amazon's Fire Tablet is designed for entertainment, so watch and read to your heart's desire! Take it on planes, trains, in cars—wherever you find yourself needing a little bit of amusement.
#23 Luggage Scale - $10.99
Have you ever arrived at the airport only to be told you need to fork out $100 to check your baggage because it's 0.2kg overweight? Yeah, it's a pain. Avoid having to shell out hundreds or ditching your possessions to make the weight restriction. With a luggage scale, you can weigh your luggage before you leave the house and can continue to weigh your bag as you pick up souvenirs from your travels.
#24 Day Bag - $19.99
You'll need somewhere to store your phone, wallet, camera and other personal items during the day. The compact yet spacious OutdoorMaster Sling Bag is a versatile backpack with room for all of your essentials. It's the perfect day bag for daily use. You can also use it as your main carry-on luggage!
#25 Fanny Pack - $10.79
Keep your passport, power bank, phone, keys and ID safe with a stylish and roomy fanny pack that will keep you hands-free while you wander Morocco's markets, Thailand's beaches or Mexico's city streets. Fanny packs usually have one rear zipper component and one interior zipper compartment to keep your valuables safe from theft. Also, you can convert from fanny pack to a crossbody bag or an over-the-shoulder bag depending on your preferred style.
#26 Travel Multiuse Soap - $6.99
Need to wash your hands or your clothes in an emergency? Pack soap sheets. These portable hand-washing soap sheets use natural plant oil as a raw material, contain active decontamination factors, gently care for the skin and take away bacteria. They're super compact too so you can throw them in your fanny pack and take them out when needed.
#27 Nail Kit - $11.97
Keep your fingernails looking fresh while on vacation! This 12-piece manicure grooming set is good for manicuring, pedicuring, eyebrow shaping, anti-acne and exfoliating. It comes with a small, stylish case to protect the sharp tools and can be easily stored in whatever luggage you bring with you on your trip. Pro tip: Nail kit tools also make excellent first aid kit tools. No need to double-buy!
#28 Twist Ties for Wires - $2.98
Nothing is more annoying than getting your headphone wires twisted in knots. These reusable rubber twist ties from Amazon solve that problem. They provide excellent grip and a strong, bendable wire interior to hold their shape, making them endlessly reusable and useful.
#29 Wireless Wi-Fi Router - $29.99
Need Wi-Fi in a hurry? Quickly create a secure Wi-Fi hotspot to share with family and friends. This wireless Wi-Fi travel router gives 300Mbps of Wi-Fi speed on 2.4GHz band for lag-free video streaming and online gaming. It's compatible with Chrome cast and has a micro USB port for powering via an external adapter.
#30 Sleeping Bag Liner - $14.95
Travel can take you to some pretty unexpected places! From the Grand Canyon to the sleeper trains of India, this sleeping bag liner makes sure you’re always prepared. Use it for some extra comfort on public transport or in your hotel room or, if you're camping, it adds 5°-10°F to your sleeping bag's temperature rating. And cleaning is a breeze. Just slip it out, pop it in the wash (or wash it by the river)! It'll dry in no time.
#31 Pill Organizer - $7.99
Do you take medication? Maybe you just need a safe space for your Advil. This seven-day pill organizer is compact and gives you the peace of mind that all of your meds are in the same place. Plus, it's so small that it can fit in your back pocket!
#32 Laptop Case - $9.99
Don't risk scratching your laptop while abroad; a cushy laptop case will keep it safe and sound. Most laptop cases on Amazon come in a variety of colors and fit most laptop types like Acer, Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Dell, Asus and more. The Arvok case, in particular, comes with a full 12 months worry-free warranty with lifetime support. They even have a 24-hour customer service support line!
#33 Undergarment Organizer - $16
Like packing cubes, but for your bras! These undergarment organizers are a savior when it comes to packing and finding your underwear. They make packing and unpacking easy! This one on Amazon has three mesh pockets hold to hold socks, camis, ties or underwear, and a removable nylon pouch that's perfect for keeping dirty clothes separate.
#34 Travel Games - $9.34
If you're planning on taking any long train rides or have any lengthy stopovers, treat yourself with a little travel game like Pass the Pigs. This simple game is like dice, but with pigs. It's as ridiculous as it sounds and can be played with as many people as you'd like. Traveling solo? You'll be surprised by how many friends you can make traveling if you break out a party game.
#35 Electronics Organizer - $13.99
Sick of losing all of your chargers only to find them buried in the bottom of your bag days later? Keep things organized. Gather all of your chargers and put them in an electronics bag so you know where they are at all times. This Amazon's Choice electronics organizer is made with a waterproof nylon surface to prevent leaks and ripping. It also has high elasticity loops to keep your chargers and cables in place.
#36 Reusable Coffee Mug - $8.99
This reusable mug is an extremely handy travel accessory for anyone who likes a drink on the go! Get your coffee, smoothies, juices and hot chocolates and don't worry about the waste of takeaway cups! Best of all, it's collapsible so you can easily stash it anywhere—in your pocket, your handbag or your backpack—once you're done. It won’t rust or bust and it’s pretty much leak-proof.
#37 Country Flag Patch - $5.65
Let everyone know where you're from! This heat seal country flag patch requires no sewing whatsoever! Just iron it on and you're done. It's safe, non-toxic, washable and durable. Plus, it'll give your bag some extra bling. Amazon sells tons of flag patches for nearly every country.
#38 Bamboo Tooth Brush - $11.99
Make brushing your teeth abroad eco-friendly. Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable, meaning you can safely throw away your toothbrush when you're done with it and not have to worry about unnecessary waste. These charcoal, soft-bristle toothbrushes on Amazon give you a pack of four—essentially a whole year's worth!
#39 Toothbrush Holder - $7.96
Keep your toothbrush clean with a toothbrush holder. This one from Amazon is made of high-quality PP eco-material and natural wheat straw. It's eco-friendly and durable, and double ventilation holes keep the toothbrush dry and breathable to protect your toothbrush (and mouth) from icky germs.
#40 Travel Bottles - $12.59
Don't lug around clunky bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Put what you need into a travel bottle and have the rest waiting for you when you get home! A good set of travel bottles will be TSA-approved, BPA-free, quality made and soft enough to squeeze—like these. These travel bottles are perfect for hand cream, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, makeup remover, etc.
#41 Compact Umbrella - $14.99
You never know when it's going to rain, right? This lightweight and compact umbrella will keep you dry wherever you are in the world! Just pop it in your bag and take it out whenever you see rain clouds. Light and small, this umbrella is perfectly portable for anyone!
#42 Travel Hangers - $9.55
A smart and practical addition to any traveler's must-have list. Use these travel hangers to airdry your clothes after a load of laundry or hang up a few shirts to get rid of wrinkles if you don't have access to an iron! This 10-piece set on Amazon will ensure you have enough hangers to last you your whole trip.
#43 Airplane Footrest - $19.97
These may look ridiculous but boy are they comfortable! Rest your feet on a long plane journey with your own mini footrest. It's crafted with high-quality, thick memory foam to give you a little bit of comfort on an uncomfortable journey. It's like a hammock for your feet!
#44 Pacsafe Bag Protector - $47
At the steeper end of affordable is the Pacsafe Bag Protector. This stainless steel bag protector wraps and locks 360-degrees around backpacks, duffel bags or luggage up to 55 liters. It essentially makes your bag theft-proof, giving you peace of mind if you need to leave your bag unattended. The Pacsafe Bag Protector comes with a padlock and carry pouch for easy packing when not in use.
#45 Canvas Weekender Bag - $34.99
The perfect carry-on, a canvas weekender bag fits perfectly atop your suitcase and slides off easily when you need it. It's a sturdy bag for anyone looking for pack two to three days worth of clothing, towels, gifts, makeup—pretty much anything. It'll also hold a laptop up to 15.6 inches.