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    Don't Break The Bank: 54 Affordable Travel Products For Budget-Conscious Travelers

    This is for me people who pack their own instant coffee just in case. (We're birds of a feather.)

    1. An I Dew Care "Tap Secret" mattifying powder shampoo to tackle greasy roots without the aerosol formula. Cheers to skipping a morning wash for an early flight or bus...and still being able to carry on some dry shampoo without making room for it in your toiletries bag. 

    a model applying the powder to their roots
    the powder container and poof applicator

    Promising review: "I was looking for a dry shampoo that would be easy to use on the go for a trip I was taking. I had no issues taking this through TSA and it was so easy to use on the go. You literally just pat the poof on your scalp and then rub the powder in. I do have black hair so dry shampoo is usually very visible in my hair, but I didn't have any harder time than usual rubbing this powder in. It did a really good job of soaking up all the oil and giving my hair volume. I'm not a fan of the price for the amount that you get, but it is lasting longer than I thought it would. I would definitely recommend and will purchase again." —Teresa

    Get it from Amazon for $16

    2. A compact eight-compartment pill organizer so you'll have space for all the stuff you take from all the delicious food that sometimes makes you feel bad on your travels — like the legendary hot dogs at the state fair. (Have you tried to track down Imodium in a country where you don't speak the language when you need it ASAP?) 

    reviewer image of the pill organizer in green, full of different pills
    Reviewer holding their pill organizer filled with pills and with the compartments labeled
    Same reviewer holding their closed pill organizer

    Plus! As one TikToker points out, you can use any empty compartments to store your earrings.  

    Promising review: "My husband and I travel a lot and take a number of prescription drugs. It was always a hassle accessing our medication when needed, so I purchased this organizer to make things easier. I used a label maker and labeled each little compartment and it has performed wonderfully. I highly recommend this organizer to anyone who travels and needs medications throughout the day." —Jacqueline

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $6.97.

    3. A wheeled carry-on bag small enough to qualify as a personal item on super stringent airlines. It can fit underneath an airplane seat! You can avoid checking a bag, glide through security, *and* don't have to hurt your shoulder by carrying a duffel bag that'd also fit strict bag measurement policies. Take that, Spirit Airlines. (This'll pay for itself after a few trips.)

    reviewer's pic of suitcase open so you can see a large mesh pocket and large compartment
    the carryon in a Spirit Airlines personal item sizing station showing that it fits the requirements

    Now you won't even have to pull your suitcase outta the overhead!

    Promising review: "This is it! I have been wanting a four wheel under the seat carryon and have looked at many, ordered many, returned many.

    This is a keeper! It's lightweight, fits under the seat, is small and light enough to place in the overhead bin, is roomy, maneuvers spectacularly down airplane aisles. Buy one, you'll be glad you did." —L. Martinez

    "Would buy again. I liked everything about this carryon. It did fit under the seat. I booked one of the seats with extra leg room. If you are very tall, and have a regular seat, it might not work. I was able to get a week's clothing inside. Very pleased." —Rita Richter

    Get it from Amazon for $101.50.

    4. Tide sink packets with the perfect amount of detergent for a sink wash to help lighten your clothing load. Plus! These'll easily slide into the toiletries bag that you thought had no. more. room. Can you tell I love a packet/wipe sitch?!

    person dumping packet of clothes detergent in a sink full of water

    Each pack comes with three packets. And, because they *are* liquid, they'll easily slide into the side of your toiletries bag. I've packed these on international trips to much success!

    Promising review: "Taking these out of the country to wash under things is exactly the right size." —Laura Wilson

    Get nine packs from Amazon for $6.59.

    5. Or a pack of laundry soap sheets. This way you can save more room for souvenirs than three changes of underwear for every day of your trip. 

    collection of shaving sheets, body wash sheets, and shampoo sheets

    I travel just about any chance that I get and found a WHOLE lot of success with these little laundry sheets on an almost-three-weeks European vacation this summer where I carried on only and rewore outfits several times. 

    Promising review: "I saw these recommended on a travel blog, and I'm glad I bought them. I used them both in a washing machine and to hand-wash some items on my trip, and in both cases, they were super easy to use and got my clothes clean while taking up a minuscule amount of space in my luggage. I would highly recommend these for extended travel." —angal2

    Get it from Amazon for $11.95+ (available in four other styles, including hand soap and shampoo).

    6. Hotwire Hot Rates (which show up in red while you search the travel booking site) can narrow down some solid discounts on your next vacation. Just note that they're often nonrefundable.

    a screenshot of Hot Rate offers

    7. A packing list pad so you'll rest assure that you DID bring everything you intended, including which things you wanna include in your carry-on and not have to buy some weird overpriced face wash because you forgot yours.


    Promising review: "Absolutely love this. Made packing for my big business trip so convenient. My sister who is anti anything organization-related even asked to use it to pack for her extended trip and came back asking where to buy it. Will definitely buy again when I run out." —Michele

    Get it from Amazon for $7.

    8. A set of Sea Bands with a little nub that targets the acupuncture point on your wrists meant to help reduce nausea. This'll be great in case you get motion sick in a budget-friendlier car, bus, or ferry ride. Instead, you can move on with your life and pack this for every trip instead of buying another box of Dramamine. 

    Promising review: "These are amazing, as someone who has pretty severe motion sickness and carries Dramamine with me everywhere this is magnificent. I used these on an overnight cruise in Europe. The sea was particularly choppy that night and was miserable for me even with Dramamine and ginger. These did the trick! They were fairly tight on me (I am plus size) but the relief they gave me was immense." —Jena Freyermouth

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $8.53.

    9. A digital luggage scale can make sure that you aren't slammed with an overweight luggage fee (ugh) or having to move stuff from your checked bag to your carry-on to avoid said fee (also, ugh). 

    hand held luggage scale

    You can also switch between pound and kilogram measurements. 

    I tested this digital luggage scale out when packing for a trip to Iceland — check out my demo of how it works on TikTok!

    Promising review: "We purchased this to help us manage the weight of our packed luggage for our July 2022 13-day trip to Europe. This thing worked flawlessly. It was accurate, easy to use and carry. Would highly recommend to help us meet the <50 pound luggage requirement. Would buy again." —Bob B

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98.

    10. A pocket-sized, refillable travel perfume atomizer you simply pump on your normal size perfume bottle to keep you smelling like your signature scent while you're on the go. Yes, I paid all that dough for a Le Labo but no I won't pay more dough for their (still v pricey) travel bottles. 

    atomizer pumping on a perfume bottle
    Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    ^ That's me pumping my signature perfume into one of these travel atomizers I've been using for about a year. As the reviewer down below mentions, it's great to just throw in your purse on the reg for a fragrance re-up throughout the day. As you can see, it's about the size of my thumb and therefore takes up very little room. Plus! It's smaller than most rollerball travel fragrances you can pick up. This first one is working so well, that I just have the other three in storage. But if this one bites the dust this summer during travels, I'll be OK about digging into my stores to use one of the remaining three...especially at this price point. 

    Promising review: "These are perfect for those expensive bottles you don't want to travel with! Worked beautifully on my perfumes and husband's cologne for our Europe trip. Now I keep them in my purse for ease of use :)." —Jpot

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $8.65.

    11. A clear TSA-approved toiletry bag so you can Lego-fit all your liquid and spreadable bbs in there with ease instead of checking a bag JUST for the toiletries. 

    clear bag with toiletries inside

    Promising review: "This little bag is amazing. I can fit so many tiny 3 oz bottles in there due to its shape. I've started using it for road trips, just separating out liquids into their own little bag. This one item has changed the way I travel for my short trips. I just need a duffel bag. I love this bag. I am very high maintenance, extra, all of that. But, this guy lets me take my handmade deodorant, my facial oils, my gentle cleansers, lotion, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, mascara; all travel sized, but still! No looking for my things. So organized." —Mittens

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in 11 colors).

    12. Or some leak-proof refillable pouches you can decant stuff into, and then when your trip is over, you can easily empty them (I can't be the only one who does this!) and shove them in your suitcase because sometimes fitting all your toiletries back INTO your toiletries bag can be a major pain. These lie almost completely flat when empty, so they'll take up minimal suitcase room. 

    two of the flat pouches with squeeze bottle tops

    Promising review: "Love these! I needed them in a pinch and was so happy to find them on Amazon. The pouches are great because you can squeeze every last drop out of them, unlike most hard plastic travel bottles." —LD

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $9.99.

    13. A simple luggage strap will hold your essentials like a travel pillow, jacket, personal item, and more as you scoot along through the airport and once you land. If you tend to check a bag because of having to carry your stuff through the terminal, this might just make the difference in you becoming a carry-on–only person. 

    The black strap attaching a backpack to a suitcase
    collage of pictures showing how the strap can be used to secure a lot of different travel items

    Promising review: "Definitely what I needed for my luggage as a flight attendant. Very heavy duty and perfect for me. Works great with my extra luggage and lunch bag to hang on my suitcase. Thank you so much. Will definitely buy again." —Mary

    Get it from Amazon for $8.49+ (available in four colors).

    14. A bar of natural, plastic-free solid shampoo you'll easily make room for in your personal item. Plus, it won't leak or hog room in your toiletry bag! 

    Promising review: "AMAZING! Buy it now! When I turned 30, suddenly my hair became super greasy at the base of my head. No matter what I did, nothing took the grease out. And then along came this shampoo bar. In just a single wash, the grease was gone and my hair was visibly healthier and touchably soft. It's a small bar, but it will last a long time. I've had it for a month and it still looks like I took it out of the box yesterday. Like any bar soap, you need to store it properly so it won't dry out and crumble (like you saw happen in some of the negative reviews). You can prevent this by spending $3 at Walmart on a soap saving sponge, they come in a pack of two. *PRO TIP* while doing research I found that if you follow with an apple cider vinegar spray the results are even better. And it's true." —M.A.

    "Doesn’t take much to thoroughly wash my hair. Rinses clean easily. Long lasting, would definitely buy again!" —Louis

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in 12 varieties).

    15. A set of compression bags if you're not beholden to carry-on weight limits (v much more of a thing for European flying these days) and tend to overpack. Here's your sweet spot ;). And in the event that security has to go through your bag (it happens!) this'll make it a bit easier for them to sort through your stuff. 

    several clothing items folded and not in bag
    clothing items compact in the bag

    And they come with a hand pump for travel!

    Promising review: "SAVED OUR LIVES. IF YOU TRAVEL, YOU MUST BUY THESE. I bought two packages because two of us were doing some international travel to India from the USA. Had some fancy soirees, and dresses and tunics for a wedding. Rolled them up and literally made it a quarter of the size. There’s no need to have a vacuum pump but it just takes a strong arm and a table top to roll it out. It makes some funny sounds but really gets all the air out. Really good product and highly recommended. I have another package but not going to sell it back because I like them so much. They’re reusable too." —Victor Hammond

    "I bought the large bags and was able to get most of my wardrobe in these bags. Added large coats and jeans. These bags worked very well. I would definitely buy again." —Teresa

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for