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1. A very thorough travel checklist so you can avoid having a Kate McCallister moment of panic as your plane's about to take off. With all of the extras we end up packing during the holidays, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll forget something, but luckily, this does all of the work for you by listing almost any travel need you could think of.
The pad has 60 sheets, so it'll last a long time — even for frequent fliers.
Promising review: "We travel frequently and have two children. As any parent knows, packing for yourself and your children can be overwhelming — especially for trip longer than a few days. I have found this list to be a lifesaver and I also give it as a gift for other traveling families. It is easy to plan, organize, and list out items that are easily forgotten. You can also list the quantity of each item needed. Variety of clothing options and space to add more. As my children reached their pre-teen years I have been able to make them their list on these sheets and then they can use it to do their packing. I just show them how to highlight each item after it has been packed so it is easy to see you took that one off the list. Overall, wonderful purchase and has likely saved me many forgotten items!" —I-really-bought-this
Get it from Amazon for $7.
2. A luxe-looking passport and vaccination card holder, because if there are two things you don't wanna be without while traveling, it's those. This will ensure they have a dedicated place in your bag, and you won't hold up the already epic airport check-in line the day before Thanksgiving by searching every one of your pockets while you go, "I know my passport's here somewhere!"
Psst: The vaccination card pocket is conveniently see-through so you can flash it without taking it out of the holder.
It's made by Henney's Boutique, a small biz based in LA specializing in handy leather goods.
Promising review: "I love this! I bought one for myself, then one for my husband, then I've been sending the link to everyone who asks me where I got it... They're the best for keeping both your passport and your vaccine card safe for travel." —Paige Devlin
3. A Trtl neck pillow, which, unlike those awkward U-shaped pillows, is *actually* comfy, thanks to its ergonomic design and soft fleece support. Now you might actually get some shut-eye during your flight, and in turn, you'll have more energy for enduring your extended family's onslaught of questions about your personal life once you land!
Promising review: "I can't stop recommending this pillow to all of my friends! It has let me comfortably sleep on flights that take place on the most uncomfortable airplane seats. On long flights, I always need to prop up my hand and I rest my head on it. But this method always ends with my arm falling asleep and I end up waking up every 30 minutes. Now this pillow provides that exact same support without needing my arms to prop me up! It's small enough to fit in your bag and doesn't take up much space." —Simona Krifman
Get it from Amazon for $49.99 (available in four colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 10%!
4. A very popular and affordable pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds reviewers say are legit AirPods dupes (they have 200,000+ five-star ratings!). They'll let you unwind with some soothing holiday tunes after what was surely a chaotic airport experience — and spare you from the sound of your seat mate alternating between snoring and pretzel chomping.
Not only will they provide literal hours of cord-free listening time, they're also waterproof! A single charge provides over six hours of usage, and the rechargeable case can have them fully juiced up in under two hours.
Promising review: "Best decision! These are the greatest headphones ever! I saw them on TikTok months ago and added them to my wishlist. I got a new phone that doesn't have the headphone port so I decided it was time to finally buy them. They are amazing and I probably won't ever take them out of my ears! 😂" —Katlyn D Arnold
Get it from Amazon $24.99+ (available in six colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 30%!
5. And an AirFly Pro wireless transmitter to connect your new favorite earbuds to the plane's entertainment system so you can get in all of your holiday movie viewing before you're subjected to whatever your sibling's kids want to watch once you land.
Just plug it into the headphone jack to hear Die Hard the way it was meant to be heard. You can also connect up to two pairs of earbuds at a time, and it has 16+ hours of battery life for suuuper long flights.
Twelve South is a husband and wife-owned biz based in Charleston, South Carolina, and has just 20 team members! They've been designing accessories inspired by and made for Apple products since 2009.
Promising review: "Ever since I purchased my wireless Bose earbuds, I always hated having to use another set when I was on an airplane with the seat-back entertainment system. I tried many different models to connect the system to my Bluetooth headsets until I came across this one, and it is amazing! It seamlessly connects to my headset, very clear and reliable audio, and it takes the stress away from having to carry multiple headsets! Thank you!!!" —Ryan Malloy
Get it from Amazon for $54.99 (also available in two other styles).
6. Plus an in-flight phone mount that'll turn your phone into a movie screen in case whatever airline you're flying doesn't have any good holiday viewing options (if they even offer them at all). You knew what you were doing when you spent your entire layover downloading every iteration of The Santa Clause!
It attaches to the top of your seat-back tray so you can download your favorite films and TV shows before takeoff and watch them midair.
Promising review: "I bought this nifty gadget about six months ago for a multi-leg, ultra-long-haul trip and it more than held up the entire duration. I was able to finagle it to fit the tray tables on different planes, and like others, I find the height just nice when clamped onto a stowed tray table. It also works on my roller carry-on handle during layovers. However, I find myself using it a lot outside of travel too! Work-wise, I've clamped it onto my office desk shelving to hold my phone at eye level beside my computer. At home, I simply clamped it to a deck of cards and it turns into a versatile stand that I can place on any flat surface. Heck, I've been using it to hold my phone comfortably at eye level while watching videos in bed. It's extremely well-built, and I find myself fidgeting with it all the time. Thus far it still feels solid and I don't anticipate breaking it any time soon. Even if it does break, I'll be happy to buy another one or two of it!" —Earendil
Get it from Amazon for $12.97 (available in three colors, as well as a pack of two).
7. A memory foam seat cushion, because if you have to put up with a seemingly endless amount of holiday traffic, your bum should be nice and comfy at the very least. With this, your booty will stay supported, and the cool gel layer on top keeps things from getting too sweaty.
Promising review: "A few weeks into working from home five days a week I started having a lot of hip/leg/back pain. I have a good Herman Miller task chair that had been fine for one to two days of WFH a week, but wasn't working for me full time. In the early afternoons my lower back would start cramping. I did some research and bought this pillow and it immediately helped! I also took it on a two-week road trip since a three day road trip earlier this year had made a mess of my lower body that lingered for weeks — and no pain! What really drove me to write this review was that yesterday, unknowingly, I worked all day sitting on my chair without my cushion. I had removed it to use as a spare chair at my dinner table and forgot to put it back. At the end of the day hip was aching and I realized why! Today it's back on my chair and I'm already feeling better." —Lorene
Get it from Amazon for $44.95+ (available in three colors).
8. A luggage-mounted cup caddy that'll free up your hands so you can hold your phone, boarding pass, passport, 1,896 gift bags — you know, the ~essentials~ (not that your XL gingerbread latte isn't an essential, but, you know...)
Reviewers say it's ideal for a suitcase that can roll on four wheels! If you have a suitcase that has to tilt while it rolls, just be careful if the drinks are open at the top.
Promising review: "This cup holder is perfect! It helps me a lot! Last time I took a plane with a suitcase and a cup of coffee, I dropped and spilled my drink everywhere when it was my turn to check my passport and ticket. It was a nightmare! This time, I bought this cup holder to do me a favor! I don't have to worry about where my cup and phone are! I can free my hands to do other things. I love it so much! Hope you love it too." —Philip
Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in 30 styles) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 10%!
9. A cordless portable charger, which reeeally comes in handy when you're at 19% battery and the plane hasn't even taken off yet. It'll give you enough juice to call your folks when you land so you can figure out where the heck they're parked (good luck with that!), and best of all, it plugs right into your phone, meaning no pesky cables.
I've had my eye on this bad boy for a while now, and finally ordered it to take on a recent two-week trip to Europe. Let me tell you: LIFESAVER. I'm the type of person who loves to spend hours and hours exploring new cities, but with the amount of photos and videos I take, my phone's battery tends to drain really quickly (relying on Google Maps to get literally everywhere doesn't help, either). With this, I knew I'd have some backup when there weren't any outlets nearby, and it was *so* nice not having to connect my phone to a clunky charging bank via cord. 100% recommend!
Promising review: "The holy grail of portable chargers!!! I was traveling to Disney for vacation and knowing me, I would drain my battery with just taking pictures alone. I wanted a portable battery but didn’t want a carry a cord either, so I was excited when I found this little baby! It does exactly as described, pretty pink color, and I get one full charge of battery for my iPhone 11. Get it, you will not be disappointed!" —Meghan Doble
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in six colors) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 15%!
10. A digital luggage scale you should definitely have on hand if you've ever been accused of ~overpacking,~ since it'll let you know just how many gifts you can cram into your suitcase without it resulting in some — surprise! — hefty over-capacity fees.
Just hook the scale to your luggage handle, lift up, and the LCD display will show the weight! You can also switch between pound and kilogram measurements.
Promising review: "Took this for a 10-day trip overseas with lots of flights. Weighed the luggage as things were added to it/purchased, and when we weighed in at the airport it was perfectly accurate. Very important when the airline will charge $70 more dollars for a suitcase that is too heavy or make you open the whole thing up and take stuff out in order to fly with it. Saved so much hassle." —B. M. O'Connor
Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in six colors, as well as a two-pack).
11. An unassuming luggage strap, which may not look like much but is actually super convenient in terms of keeping your hands free — especially during the holidays, when we're juggling even more items than usual. Just hook it onto your luggage handle and attach your purse, backpack, neck pillow, jacket, or pretty much anything else you'd rather not schlep around yourself.
Promising review: "I love this little gadget. I used it to attach my jacket and computer bag to my luggage on an extended business trip. It made my airport walks so much easier. Now that I'm back home, I've been using it daily to attach my jacket or cardigan to my work bag or purse." —Michele
Get it from Amazon for $8.49+ (available in six colors and in a two-pack).
12. And a stylish travel belt that'll give you a free arm to hold all of those gift bags, since it'll keep your carry-on bag or personal item securely fastened to your rolling suitcase. It's conveniently adjustable and comes in the ~cutest~ designs.
Psst: You can also personalize it!
Cincha Travel is a small BIPOC-owned biz based in Oakland, California, specializing in adjustable vegan leather travel belts. The brand donates 100 airline miles for each purchase to help reunite migrant families.
Promising review: "Such a simple yet brilliant solution for the ever falling bag when trying to juggle all your luggage. It definitely made traveling less stressful." —Samantha
Get it from Cincha for $40 (available in 17 styles).
13. A set of nausea-reducing Sea Bands you can wear on your wrists if you experience motion sickness during long car rides. Now you can avoid frantically asking, "WHERE'S THE BATHROOM?!" as soon as you arrive at your new SO's parents' house.
They contain a little plastic knob that exerts pressure on an acupuncture point known to reduce nausea, and unlike gum or lozenges, they're 100% reusable.
Promising review: "I’ve always been kind of sick. I throw up on long car rides, I can’t read in the car, I get horrible migraines 24/7, etc. Recently I changed medications and because of that, my migraines came back with a vengeance. Thinking there was nothing I could do I kind of gave up, until, I was looking at BuzzFeed and saw this in their recommended. I thought it could help with any car sickness that I would get but man I was not giving these enough credit! Since I have bought them I wear them ALL. THE. TIME. I wear them in and out of the car, to bed, and just around the house. I no longer feel nauseous and my migraines are almost non existent. Whoever invented these are a freaking god! I don’t know think I could ever live without these! BUY THESE!! They're so worth it." —JohnDz
Get a pair from Amazon for $8.54.
14. And a roll-on migraine stick to dab over your temples, forehead, and neck when you feel a headache coming on — no more excruciating flights followed by holidays spent stuck in bed! It contains peppermint, spearmint, and lavender oils to help ease pain at the onset, and since it's about the size of a tube of lip balm, it's the perfect thing to keep in your bag in case one of those debilitating headaches sneaks up while you're out and about.
Promising review: "This stuff is my go-to fix when I feel a migraine coming on. I suffer from sinus headaches and migraines usually once or twice a week. This product I put on each temple, under my nose and on my wrists when I feel the pressure starting and it cuts the pain to a minimum. It seems to stop the worst pain before it has a chance to start. Thank you for a great product! I will buy again and again!" —Brenton1985
Read BuzzFeed's Migrastil Migraine Stick review for more deets!
Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
15. Away's popular The Carry-On for anyone who *hates* checking bags, but still needs enough space for ample holiday party outfits. It comes in the *prettiest* colors, and for an extra 20 bucks you can add a USB charging port — a blessing if there ever was one. Plus, the TSA-approved lock means only you and airport security can access your belongings, and the hard outer shell will protect any fragile gifts from being crushed.
It fits five to seven outfits and has a laundry compartment!
Promising review: "I was in Rome and Florence, Italy for nine days, and the Away Carry-On was just perfect. From being able to charge up my iPhone at the airport or on the train traveling from Rome to Florence, it worked perfectly. Stylish and very versatile. It also kept my belongings packed beautifully, plus the perk of a laundry bag for my dirty clothes. Getting through security was a breeze, plus the added compliments of how beautiful it was. You have a customer for life. I was very happy and impressed." —Keith H.
Get it from Away for $275+ (available with or without a USB charger and in eight colors).
16. And some vacuum storage bags in case you're eager to prove that bringing 10 ugly sweater options on a five-day trip is perfectly acceptable and doable. Place your garments into the bags and suck the excess air out with the included travel pump. Now you can squeeze everything in *and* avoid having to check an extra bag.
BuzzFeed Shopping's Jasmin Sandal says: "I swear by these bad boys not only for general storage purposes, but also if I know I'm going to be traveling for an extended period of time. As someone who tends to pack for every eventuality (who doesn't like to be prepared?!), I have learned that it's better to travel with them than without — especially since it's more or less a guarantee that my clothes are gonna take up a ~substantial~ amount of room in my suitcase. And if I can use something that's gonna shrink the size of my bulky hoodies and/or big tees in order for me to create more space, I'm sure as heck gonna do it. Plus, the satisfaction is indeed guaranteed because when you see those chunky layers flatten into a pancake...it's just *chef's kiss*."
Promising review: "I've used these bags before and they are so helpful. Even used the medium one for travel and I have tons of extra suitcase room. The clothes don't come out wrinkled at all as long as you fold them nicely before placing in the bag, then the air sucks out keeping them safe and sound and very compact. Arrived on time, would use this seller again." —Susie Kochsmeier
Get a three-pack from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in five sizes, as well as packs of two, five, and eight).
17. A beautiful luggage tag, which will set your all-black suitcase apart from all the other all-black suitcases at baggage claim. After all, the only thing worse than someone else mistakenly taking your stuff is seeing the faces of your sibling's kids when they realize a stranger now has the gifts you'd bought for them. 😬
It has a slot for an address card or business card as well as a privacy flap.
Promising review: "I purchased these for a trip to Hawaii. I love the design and was primarily wanting them to differentiate my luggage from other travelers on the luggage belt. But little did I know they would be so much more effective in locating my luggage elsewhere. My connecting flight was delayed, and for some reason the airline left my luggage at the airport, while I went on to my destination in Hawaii, the luggage didn't follow. When I realized this, I alerted baggage claim and they had me fill out all the paperwork. The one question they had, is whether my luggage looked different than other dark colored mid sized pieces. Yes it did, it had these luggage tags on it, and that's what the luggage claims administrator put as the distinguishing feature. By that night, they had found my luggage and flown it from California to Hawaii on the next flight. I was relieved to have had these attached to my bags. I would highly recommend these for your luggage as well." —TX Divemaster
Get a pair from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 24 styles).
18. A GORGEOUS set of TSA-approved Cadence containers, because you made it through the epic holiday security line, and the last thing you want is yet another delay when the agent finds an oversize liquid container, and you must now empty out the entirety of your bag 🙃. Plus, the ~genius~ magnetic design means you can cluster them together rather than rummage through your bag until you find the one you're looking for.
Cadence is an AAPI woman-owned small business that was founded by Steph Hon with the goal of eliminating single-use travel-sized plastics. The containers are made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
BuzzFeed Shopping's Abby Kass is a fan: "I recently got a set of four of these, and, wow, I love them so much. I used them on a six-day trip recently, and they were perfect. I customized the label so I knew which one was my shampoo vs. conditioner and did a general label for any other things I wanted to bring along. They do hold a surprising amount. According to the brand, they hold approximately one to two weeks of skincare products, more than two weeks' worth of serum, two to three days' worth of haircare, and more than 15 tablets (for medicine and such). And while two to three days worth of haircare might not seem like enough, I found it held more than that for me, but I also don't wash my hair every single day. They were small enough to slip right into my toiletries bag and go through TSA with no problem. The container was easy to open in the shower (even with wet hands), and I had no leakage from them (like I did from my face wash bottle that will not be making the trip with me next time. SMH). These are an incredibly useful tool anyone who travels will want in their luggage."
Get a set of six from Cadence for $76 (originally $84; available in many customizable labels and seven colors).
19. A collapsible stroller that folds up so small, it'll fit in most overhead compartments — no waiting around at baggage claim and sheepishly letting your folks know they should expect you at the annual holiday shindig even later than usual!
It weighs less than 10 pounds and comes with a handle for easy carrying when it's not in use. It's designed to hold kids who weigh up to 55 pounds.
Promising review: "Best stroller ever! WE LOVE THIS STROLLER! My husband originally purchased it because I was afraid to take our big stroller on the plane to gate check. I was traveling alone, so ease of use and portability was really important. I was amazed at how convenient it was to collapse and slide under my seat on the plane and it maneuvered well through the airport and throughout our trip. I received multiple compliments and a few moms even asked me where to buy one. Since then, we have been on a few more flights and many excursions and are still in love with this purchase!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $223.96 (also available in three other styles and in black or blue).
20. A sleek leather jewelry case, which cleverly comes with snaps to secure your holiday bracelets and necklaces so they're not being jostled around during your trip (and leaving you with a knot so impossible, it'll give new meaning to "Nightmare Before Christmas"). Plus, it's got a strap you can stick earrings onto, a ring holder, a removable zippered pouch, and a pocket to store odds and ends.
Case Elegance is an Indianapolis-based small business that specializes in small storage containers and leather goods.
Promising review: "Just got this today and so happy with it! I always end up putting my jewelry in plastic baggies and then in a big makeup bag when I travel, and the most frustrating thing is that the necklace strings get tangled! This will totally solve that. Love that it's bigger so there's a detachable pouch inside for me to hold more bulky bracelets. The quality is extremely high for the price, and a nice surprise upon receipt was a warranty protection program for a year and that a tree is planted when I activate my one year warranty." —sammc29