Skip To Content

    30 Things For People Who'd Rather Cancel Their Flight Than Check A Bag

    ::smugly rolls bag past checked bag counters, around folks struggling with their bags on trains and ferries, and around other tourists on European cobblestone streets::

    by ,

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An on-the-go Gillette razor that'll spare you some precious space in your bag without sacrificing quality.

    compact razor in carrying case
    Amazon

    It comes with one handle and one blade refill!

    Promising review: "I got this for a vacation and it was great! The little carrying container is awesome, and keeps you from having a weird, loose razor floating around in your suitcase. Plus the heads are the same as a regular-sized razor, so you can keep using it when that one is worn out!" —Tegan H

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99 (when you apply a coupon on the listing).

    2. Tide sink packets with the perfect amount of detergent for a sink wash to help lighten your clothing load. Seriously, it's time to get over packing an outfit for every freaking day of your trip. No one cares.

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

    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 $7.

    3. A pair of elastic band sneakers you can easily slip on and off for TSA security *plus* comfortably walk around at your destination.

    white sneakers
    instagram.com

    FYI, if you have Amazon Prime Wardrobe you can give this a spin before you buy it!  

    Reviewers say these are super comfy.

    Promising review: "These shoes are so comfortable and well-made. They fit true to size, in my opinion. They fit perfectly. I just wore them traveling. They were the perfect airport shoe — easy on and off. And again, very comfortable for walking and standing for awhile. Great shoes, great price!! I highly recommend!!" —Justin D.

    Get them from Amazon for $20.49+ (available in sizes 6–11 and 20 styles).

    4. And a pair of ~flexible~ flat sandals that'll pack very easily and look nice enough for when you don't wanna bother with sneakers.

    reviewer wearing flat sandals with strap across toes and ankle strap
    amazon.com

    And at this price, you can wear them to death on a weeklong trip (like I did with a similar pair of Old Navy sandals on a weeklong trip to Croatia, s/o to For The Love of Travel!) to activities like walking tours, dinner, clubbing even(!!), and if you're really desperate, kayaking (like I said about wearing them to death). 

    Promising review: "These are so comfortable, I wore them every day on vacation and didn’t even get a single blister. However I have no arch so I don’t think they would have enough support for people who do. The 'leather' parts are very soft and not stiff. These will be my everyday shoes this summer for sure." —Allie McCarthy

    Get them from Amazon for $11.49+ (available in sizes 5–11 and 11 styles).

    5. A compact travel adaptor so you won't be caught with the wrong adaptor or with no adaptor at all to juice up your phone. No need to pester a trip mate for an adaptor!

    universal travel adaptor with two cords plugged into it
    Amazon

    It accepts plugs from more than 150 countries! It has a side for American-type, British-type, European-type, and Australia-type inputs.

    Promising review: "This unit is not too large so it fits in carry-on or backpack very easily. I like how I can use this for other traveling abroad, as well. You just push out the correct plug part that is needed in the other country. I also really liked the options of USB ports on there to plug in our phones the same time as the computers. It did everything we needed it to do." —DKMese

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in two colors).

    6. A Dagne Dover carryall duffle bag with a TON of devoted fans for good reason. It helps you stay *very* organized and fit in a lot of items in a super tiny space that's even small enough to shove under an airplane seat.

    Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

    My colleague Emma McAnaw owns this very bag and raves about it. Here's what she has to say: "I use this every time I travel — and I never, I mean NEVER, check bags. I even took this with me to Amsterdam and easily packed about four sweaters, DOC MARTENS, and all my undies and toiletries. To be fair I wore the same pants for four days (I am cheap, guys), but I never felt like I needed more space. And yes — even Spirit lets me take this."

    Promising review: "I love this bag for travel. Size-wise it's acceptable as a carry on and I've even brought this bag with my roll aboard and had no problems on Alaska or American airlines. It's pushing the limits on you second personal item, but as long as you don't stuff it too full, you should be okay. This bag has pockets on all sides, a really nice shoe bag and a small zippered pouch that I keep my lululemon travel shawl in. The grey neoprene is really nice and I get lots of compliments. It is prone to picking up dirt marks, so you need to be careful about putting it on the ground or shoving it anywhere that might be dirty." —CdnNordyFan

    Get it from Nordstrom for $138.75 (available in four colors).

    Check out my full review in "8 Things You Should Buy Because Your Closet Is Hungry" (#2).

    7. Or! A compression carry-on backpack I just saw a friend carrying on a month-long European trip to lots of success. She had lots of cute outfits all packed into this beaut!

    Amazon

    It has a removable waist strap for stability, adjustable backpack straps, and is waterproof! Plus, it can expand to fit 44L of capacity, but can compress to fit 38L.

    Promising review: "I just got back from a nine day trip backpacking Europe and could not be happier about this backpack. When first ordering I was worried that the backpack would not have enough room and the overall quality of the bag would not be as good as others, turns out I had nothing to worry about. By rolling my clothes up I could fit everything, including two pairs of jeans, nine T-shirts, one long sleeve shirt, one down jacket, two basketball shorts, one belt, one beanie, six boxers, six pairs of socks, a hefty cable bag, a 12-inch laptop, sandals, and toiletries. There was actually still room for more! I had no issue bringing this as a carry-on and storing it in the upper bins of British Airways and Aer Lingus flights." —ast89

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99 (available in two colors).

    8. A clear TSA-approved toiletry bag so you can Lego-fit all your liquid and spreadable bbs in there with ease.

    clear bag with toiletries inside
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Everything I needed fit perfectly, and I had no issues in TSA/China security. So far I have been through MSP, IAD, NKG, and PEK airports using this pack already, and it's a life-changer! I will never again have to worry about having to scramble to buy baggies just for liquids, and it is much more durable." —Courtney Swanson

    Get it from Amazon for $12.86 (available in 11 colors).

    Also check out this toiletry bag set with reusable bottles and containers

    9. A set of silicone travel bottles to keep your go-tos at the ready without checking a bag.

    person squeezing conditioner out of bottle.
    Amazon

    I've used containers like these to carry shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, body wash, clothes detergent, and more. 

    Promising review: "These are perfect for travel or overnight stays. Each bottle holds 3 fl oz. Bottles are easy to squeeze and easy to fill." —Chris

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $10.99.

    10. A solid hair conditioner bar so you aren't stuck with the subpar hotel conditioner for all your exotic photo ops.

    Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    This is me on a recent week-long trip to Croatia with three city stops that I did a carry-on only for, knowing I had a tight layover in Amsterdam and would be riding two ferries. But, um, my hair had to look good for wonderful sunset photo ops such as this (the bar is Buza Bar in Dubrovnik, go there!). So I packed a shampoo bar by another brand that I felt pretty meh about and this wonderful new go-to bar. Here, I used hotel shampoo (it was pretty fancy, NGL), this shampoo bar, and my roommate's Moroccan Oil curl cream. The bar is basically foolproof. You rub it directly on your wet hair after rinsing out your shampoo. I normally wash my naturally curly hair once or twice a week but on this trip was taking daily dips in the sea, so I washed my hair 5x over a week. Because of this, I let the conditioner sit for a few minutes, though you probably don't need to do that if you're washing your hair your usual amount on your trip. Each bar is supposed to last 200 washes and it might do a little less for me, but I know this'll be good for many future trips!

    Get it from Amazon for $6.89.

    11. 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 ;).

    amazon.com

    And they come with a hand pump for travel!

    Promising review: "This is a great product. I have a memory foam pillow that I try to take on trips, due to neck issues, so I purchased this product and put it to the test to see if it could flatten the pillow so I can also carry my clothes and the pillow in the same bag, carry-on size travel bag. The pillow's been sitting in the vacuum pack for the last three days now and hasn't let any air into the package at all. The pump removed so much air that the foam is as solid as a rock with less that an 1/8 of an inch of give when I press on it firmly with my thumb." —4-H Shooting Sports Instructor

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in four sizes).

    12. Or a collection of compression packing cubes you can use over and over again without having to remember to pack a pump for sucking out the air.

    amazon.com

    Again, just be sure to look up any weight restrictions on carry-on luggage. I recently ran into that problem myself but the person at the airport check-in counter that gave me some trouble about my bag, just seemed to care about my roller carry-on. So I'd suggest using these in a backpack or tote bag you plan to put under the seat.

    Promising review: "My daughter challenged me to travel her way with just a backpack to our recent five-day trip to Portugal. When I found these on Amazon, I thought they were just what I needed. I have cubes, but they don’t compress. I was so impressed that I bought a set for my daughter and son-in-law. The large one contains a swimsuit, cover-up, sun shirt, windbreaker, shrug, dress, cardigan, T-shirt, capris, underwear. My husband’s medium bag contains, swim trunks, shorts, two shirts, one long sleeved T-shirt, and two pairs of underwear. The small contains misc. items." —Trish

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $19.99 (available in four designs).

    13. A multipurpose passport-holding wallet with RFID-blocking technology so you'll have all your stuff in one place while you're en route. And once you're where you're going, you can split up your important docs, cards, and cash amongst your belongings to deter pickpockets.

    large wallet with passport, credit cards, and more
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Despite visiting 20+ different countries without a wallet, on my last trip with JetBlue I had approximately five layovers to get home and realized how desperately I needed a wallet. After much research I decided on this wallet! It holds all the essentials and then some. There's a place for a pen to fill out the custom forms, a money pouch, and a pocket for your phone and passport. Also, it is light and compact. I am someone who travels light — a three to four week trip needs to fit in a carry-on backpack. This wallets enables you to carry everything you need in one spot. I don't want something that takes up more space than it needs to or adds extra weight." —Amazon Customer

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

    14. A stylish quilted cross-body bag you can easily dig out of your carry-on when it's time to buy a meal or go go go once you get to your destination. Reviewers say it fits a surprising amount!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Excellent travel purse! Very comfortable on the shoulder because of its wide strap. Fits reading glasses, a long wallet, small pouch for lipsticks, mask, and sun glasses comfortably in the main compartment. Hair tie, small hand sanitizer, and keys in the inside pocket, checkbook, pen, and business card holder in the inner zippered pocket. And my iPhone XS in the outside pocket. And here’s the kicker, you can even fit a small umbrella on top of all this in the main compartment and zip it all up! AND it goes from day to night seamlessly! Does not look cheap. Ridiculous!" —TinaMat

    Get it from Amazon for $19.98 (available in 18 colors).

    15. A makeup-removing cloth to gently help erase the day instead of dirtying up hotel washcloths with your waterproof mascara.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Their plush microfiber gently lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup! Use it wet with water or your fave liquid makeup remover.

    Promising review: "This product...I have no clue how this works, but it does! Let me start by saying I was wearing a full face of makeup. I mean foundation, contour highlight, eyeliner, seriously the whole nine yards. All I did was wet it and wiped my face, my jaw literally dropped. This is hands-down my favorite makeup remover. The best part is that they are reusable so you don't have to keep buying those expensive disposables that leave your face feeling greasy." —Heather and Ryne Griffith

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99+ (available in four colors).

    16. A travel-sized bottle of Poo-Pouri you can keep in your pocket or under-seat bag to help you more comfortably do the deed on a plane or in public. This spray stops toilet smells before they can start.

    bottle of PooPourri
    Amazon

    Poo-Pouri: 1 Hostel bathrooms: 0

    Promising review: "I think this is the most adorable thing ever. I bought it so I could keep it in my purse, but once I started working in an office, I decided to tuck it into my desk drawer. It's discreet, and when I need to go to the restroom, I can bring it along without anyone noticing. Now I don't need to use obnoxious chemicals to mask the smells. One of the women in my office has a sensitivity to chemical perfumes, so I'm sure she'd appreciate that I'm not contributing to her suffering." —brinnet

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99+ (available in nine sizes).

    To learn more, check out "Everyone Needs A Bottle Of Travel Poo-Pourri In Their Purse".

    17. A mini two-in-one hair tool to help you get your mane how you like it without your regular space-hogging hair tools.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    That's right, it's both a hair straightener *and* a curling iron! And it's only 1" long! ANDDD it has a carry-on bag. Also, just slip a sock over this bb to protect it in your suitcase without taking up a ton of room.

    Promising review: "I bought this in advance of a big trip to Asia, because I was worried about blowing out my other curling iron and straightener, and this was perfect. You obviously need to purchase an adapter in order to plug it into international outlets, but it doesn't require a converter which is awesome, since the converters are the ones that get super expensive. I also have super thick, straight hair, and have been through, almost literally, 20 separate curling irons in my life in an attempt to find one that actually works on my hair, so I was a little skeptical of this guy, but it works great! This guy will be a new staple. And it's reasonably priced, so it's a win-win!" —Not Tryna Be a Diva

    Get it from Amazon for $28.99 (available in two colors).

    18. A wheeled carry-on bag small enough to qualify as a personal item on super stringent airlines. It can fit underneath an airplane seat!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

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

    Promising review: "I just came back from a trip on Spirit Airlines and this fell within their definition of a free personal carry-on. Considering that Spirit and other similar airlines charge about $40 one way for baggage, this bag basically pays for itself, but you have to pack smart. My trip was four days / three nights and I could just fit enough clothes in there for that length of time. The bag is very sturdy and easy to carry with the handles. I highly recommend." —Nicholas

    Get it from Amazon for $79.99 (available in four colors).

    19. A collapsible silicone water bottle that'll make sure you stay hydrated (drink water on that flight!) without making you sacrifice other things in your bag.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I purchased these water bottles for my hiking trip in Switzerland. They definitely did not disappoint! I love that I can tightly roll them up and throw it in my suitcase or clip it on my backpack. I use it every time I travel now, since TSA makes you throw out all liquids over a few ounces. I highly recommend for anyone who travels a lot!" —Gabby

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $12.97.

    20. A folding toothbrush to earn you a few extra inches and make it that much easier to reach for at the end of a long-haul flight.

    amazon.com

    Promisng review: "These are great! I travel around a lot for work, and also have Invisalign, so I like to keep one in my work bag as well as my travel bag. The best part is the convenience. I used to carry a toothbrush in a case that took up a lot of room in my work bag, as well as my travel bag. Now I just use these. They are small, durable, easy to use, and the brush is full covered when it is fully closed, which is what I was a little worried about at first. It was exactly what I was looking for in a travel toothbrush. I highly recommend, and I will be purchasing again." —Demetrios Louca

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $5.29+ (available in two colors).

    21. A pair of cushioned ballet flats will easily fit in your bag and keep you well (un)heeled on your adventures.

    person wearing ballet flats with skinny jeans
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I originally bought this for the unique color and thought for the price I would give it a try. When I tried them on they were so comfortable. I wore them all day without any issues. Needless, to say I ordered another pair in black since I wear flats all the time to work. If you want shoes that look nice and are super comfortable, I would recommend these shoes. " —Scuba one

    Get them from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes 5–12 and 22 colors).

    22. A Kindle Paperwhite so you can tote around a whole dang bookshelf of titles in an extremely slim device. (I take my Kindle everywhere.)

    person holding kindle with water dripping off it
    Amazon

    It's waterproof!

    Promising review: "This year, I am traveling to many different countries and have been reading more than I have ever been. I did not want to take physical books with me on trips for the obvious reason that it takes up space and weighs down my luggage. That’s when I decided to see about the kindle paper white. Man, am I pleasantly surprised by this device. It’s compact, portable, really minimizes glare, and the backlight is phenomenal for reading in different lighting. In fact, I can now read in the dark without keeping my husband awake with a reading light." —LinaRi

    Get it from Amazon for $84.99.

    To learn more, check out "The New Kindle Paperwhite Is Waterproof, And I'm Bringing It On Vacation."

    23. A lightweight, waterproof raincoat because showers do happen and you've gotta be prepared.

    model wearing rain jacket
    Amazon

    promising review: "I got this a little bigger to go over my sweatshirt and it was perfect. It is super lightweight and kept me dry. It also helped lock in some extra warmth so that was a bonus. It's the perfect little rain jacket for the price." —Amie Linsday

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and 20 colors).

    24. A pair of tall compression socks to help prevent mid-flight swelling and also keep you from walking barefoot through airport security (GROSS).

    Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed, Gyan Yankovich

    Promising review: "I've purchased these for my trip to Russia, which is total 24 hours of travel. It's a12 hour flight to Turkey and then a nine hours layover and then connecting flight to Russia. Let me tell you that when I did it last time, my feet were size of an elephant's. These socks worked great. I took them off when I arrived at my parents house in Russia and my feet looked semi normal! No painful swelling or cramps! I used to spend first night after the trip crying from aches and cramps, but this time it was NOTHING! No pain at all. I wore them again on my return flights to US and same great result." —Natalie

    Get them from Amazon for $9.50+ (available in sizes S/M–L/XL and nine colors).

    To learn more, check out "Nurses, Athletes, Pregnant People, And Travelers Swear By These $20 Socks."

    25. An infinity scarf with two secret pockets for your valuables you'll be glad you have to keep warm on the plane *and* when you're out and about, taking in the sights.

    person wearing looped scarf with pocket for passport and phone
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is a warm scarf! There aren't many with two secret pockets! I really have enjoyed using this and keeping essential items hidden while I travel abroad through some risky pickpocketing areas. It's worked well. Even if I have nothing to store in the pockets, the scarf is nice by itself." —Azile

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in 19 styles).

    26. A cosmetic travel bag to corral makeup brushes, dry toiletries, and other odds 'n' ends.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "This purchase was so worth it! I had my makeup in 3 different bags and was able to consolidate everything into this one makeup case. Easy to travel with and great to organize everything. The inserts to separate items were a little strange but I made it work by overlapping them." —Tammy Otarodi

    Get it from Amazon for $20.49 (available in six colors and various sizes).

    27. A foldable jewelry organizer that'll easily fit in your bag and make sure you can find *those* earrings to wear with *that* dress.

    envelope-like jewelry case with several compartments
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is the perfect way to organize all of your jewelry pieces when traveling. It is compact yet holds a lot. Keeps necklaces from tangling and rings from getting lost. Perfect for plenty of bracelets as well. Love it!" —Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in three sizes and seven colors).

    28. A mini steamer in case the shower steaming method has failed you a few too many times on past trips.

    person holding small steamer in one hand
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I travel constantly for work, and I would hate to use the irons at the hotel. I bought this on a whim right before my most recent work trip (I'm telling you like three days before I left). I didn't have much hope for it as I had another steamer at home that was AWFUL. This steamer? AMAZING. I was genuinely shocked, when the wrinkles from one of my most difficult shirts just came out effortlessly. I was so excited I ironed ALL of my work shirts in ONE GO. It was crazy, and very unlike me to actually be motivated to continue to steam my clothes. PLEASE BUY. I am never going on another work trip without this machine. PLEASE BUY IT. Worth every penny." —J Ortiz

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

    29. An inflatable neck travel pillow so you can get some mid-air rest and hit the ground raring to go once you land.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have always preferred inflatable travel pillows for my air travel, because of ease of packing and stowing them when not in use. I have never been attracted to the stuffed pillows because there is no reducing them —people need to either wear them around their neck or hang them from their carry-ons pre-boarding. I prefer to have my pillow in my carry-on bag/purse. I found it easy to put back in its bag and either stow it in a carry-on, or externally attached by its carabiner to carry-on or belt-loop. I definitely recommend!" —Phoenix K

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99.

    30. A packing list to make sure you get in every last thing you need.

    notepad
    Amazon

    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. Overall, a wonderful purchase and has likely saved me many forgotten items!" —Mike D.

    Get it from Amazon for $7.

    You at your destination:

    Disney

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form