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1. An on-the-go Gillette razor that'll spare you some precious space in your bag without sacrificing quality.
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 $7.09.
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.
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 $10.49.
3. Or pack of laundry soap sheets you won't have to slip into your toiletries bag if you're flying. This way you can save more room for souvenirs than three changes of underwear for every day of your trip.
I just came off a 2 1/2-week Europe trip (I went to Nice, Barcelona, Mallorca, and Rhodes Island, Greece) and only had in-unit laundry in one of those places. These sheets were a lifesaver for washing underwear, clothes that I sweated SOOOOOO much in, and also swimsuits that were laden with very salty sea water. They got the job done and I even found that the towel-warming rack in my Nice hotel did a fine job of hang drying my hand-washed undies much faster! Now, I went through about half of the sheets because my friend and I were having to wash a lot. But it was such a small investment (size- and money-wise) to keep our travel loads significantly lighter.
Promising review: "This came SO in handy during my vacation to Europe! I was making lots of different stops to places with different types of weather. With these laundry soap sheets I was able to wash my clothes in the sink — letting me pack just the right amount of clothes for all the different places I went." —Katie Fujarski
Get it from Amazon for $5.03 (also available in hand soap).
4. A pair of elastic band sneakers to easily slip on and off for TSA security *plus* comfortably walk around at your destination.
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 $11.87+ (available in sizes 6–11 and 20 styles).
5. 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.
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 $18.99+ (available in sizes 5–11 and 11 styles).
6. A compact travel adapter so you won't be caught with the wrong adapter or with no adapter at all to juice up your phone. No need to pester a trip mate for an adapter!
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 $14.99 (available in two colors).
7. A Beis backpack that zips open like a suitcase without *looking* like one of those backpacks that does that. It's sleek and minimalist on the outside while allowing you to pack a weekend's worth of stuff into it (unless you're an overpacker). OK if you're an overpacker, it's just an overnight bag.
I snagged this backpack after hearing my colleague Chelsea Stuart sing its praises. I had a trusty (now discontinued) InCase backpack I used as a personal item and served me well on dozens of trips for about five years. But I wanted a bag for some upcoming travel (2.5 weeks in Europe with *just* carry-on for five flights) that opens up like a suitcase for easier packing. Since buying, I've taken it on two long weekend trips (Amtrak to Newport, RI, for a wedding and regional train to a CT country lake house) with no complaints. In fact, for both of those trips I packed MORE than I needed.
Inside, you'll find a mesh zippered pocket and a plastic pocket perfect for your toiletries. I can fit enough wet toilet toiletries in the second pocket as I'd be allowed to carry-on for a plane. In the mesh pocket I put other necessities like cotton swabs, medicine, eye glasses, etc. The main compartment is deceptively deep so you can easily roll clothes and Lego-fit them in together without using packing cubes. In fact, I fit all of the stuff in the second picture in that section (a romper, PJs, a bikini, sunscreen, five pairs of undies, a pair of jean shorts, nap dress, three pairs of socks, two pairs of sandals, two T-shirts, a slip skirt, sleep mask, curling iron, mini flat iron, makeup bag, and tote bag). AND it has stretchy X-straps to keep it all secure like you'd see in a roller suitcase so when I unzip it, everything stays put. But before I forget, there's a separate cushioned laptop pocket close to the backpack straps that I found works well for books or a Kindle if your travel leaves you laptop-less.
I love that this backpack has DEEP side pockets so your umbrella or water bottle won't fall out. In fact, I stuck a flashlight and an umbrella in one side pocket. (You could always use a flashlight.) Plus! It has a generously sized pocket on the front of the backpack with easy access for sunglasses, snacks, writing pens...all sorts of those little extras you need to access quickly. To top it all off, the backpack straps and top handle are STURDY. I felt totally secure toting it around and slinging it into overhead storage compartments on the trains. I love the look and construction of it with faux leather and sturdy black canvas, and the trolley passthrough to easily fit on my roller suitcase I'm about to drag through a bunch of airports. At nearly $80, this isn't the cheapest backpack option but if you're a frequent traveler, you'll get so much mileage on it and seriously save on some baggage fees, making it well worth the cost. This backpack and I are going places, for sure.
Get it from Beis Travel for $78 (also available in beige).
8. 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.
^ 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 work so great. Love it!!! I put my favorite perfumes in each one. When I wear a perfume I put the matching one to the perfume I’m wearing for the day in my purse. So I can freshen up my scent later! I like to smell pretty all day!!! They are small and compact but hold enough before you have to refill as well." —Nikki
Get a four-pack from Amazon for $8.99.
9. A bodycon midi dress that'll look oh-so-glamorous at that fancy dinner you're going to...or just drinks at a fancy place before you grab a cheap slice of pizza (or your destination's equivalent of a cheap slice). You're going to be able to get multiple outfits out of this beaut.
Promising review: "I am in love with this dress! It is so soft and stretchy but looks sexy and chic even though it’s only $17. It wasn’t see through at all. It hit me at the perfect midi length and it was great being able to slightly adjust the straps. I wore it with nude heels for a fancy dinner out and got so many compliments, but it would also be great layered with tights and boots and a sweater for fall/winter. I 100% recommend this dress! Best Amazon purchase ever! I can’t wait to wear it again." —Sarah L.
Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and nine colors).
10. Or a satin spaghetti strap dress you can buy in every color because it's that fancy *and* comfy to wear...which is really all you could ask for in a vacation ensemble.
11. A set of four *washable* market bags to ball up really tiny in your bag and can serve as a beach bag or a way to carry souvenirs. (And if you need to store some things a little more securely inside, use an opaque pouch.)
12. A pack of insect-repellent wipes that'll be easier to keep on you at all times than a bottle of liquid. And, you guessed it, can be tucked in your luggage anywhere because it's not a liquid that has to fit in with your toiletries!
Promising review: "I’ve use these wipes in a few different countries, exotic and not, and they really work. I wasn’t sure because they were all natural and all that, but they work rather well, in fact they worked so well I didn’t get any bites on my Panama Canal cruise. In the past I’ve been eaten alive (thank you, blood type O), but no more thanks to these wipes!" —Didi
Get a 10-pack of wipes from Amazon for $6.49.
13. A satin scarf you can wear as a top, tie around your ponytail, use as a headband, tie on your tote for a lil' extra flair. There are so many stylish possibilities for jazzing up your travel capsule wardrobe without making it *look* like you're working with a capsule situation!
Beginning Boutique is an Australia-based woman-owned small biz.
Get it from Beginning Boutique for $9.99 (available in one size).
14. A clear TSA-approved toiletry bag so you can Lego-fit all your liquid and spreadable bbs in there with ease.
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 plastic bags just for liquids, and it is much more durable." —Courtney Swanson
Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in 11 colors).
Also check out this toiletry bag set with reusable bottles and containers.
15. A set of silicone travel bottles to keep your go-tos at the ready without checking a bag.
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 $11.99.
16. 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 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
17. 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.
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 $25.99 (available in three colors).
18. 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.
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 33 colors).
19. A stylish quilted crossbody 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!
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 $20.98 (available in 26 colors).
20. A makeup-removing cloth to gently help erase the day instead of dirtying up hotel washcloths with your waterproof mascara.
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 $4.89+ (available in 12 colors).
21. Or a pack of water-activated cleansing cloths to help your beautiful face part with the many layers of sunscreen you've been applying to it on your picturesque beach vacay.
Promising review: "Great for sensitive faces every day and traveling. I have very sensitive skin and these are great. They leave my face clean and soft. They are great for travel because they are dry until you wet them — they can go in your carry-on. At home they catch all my makeup and I don't have to worry about my washcloths getting stained. It took two but they even took off my heavy Halloween makeup. They have a waffle texture but are not rough on your skin .The pic shows a used one next to a new one. Great find." —iLuvTech
Get it from Amazon for $6.96.
22. 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.
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 four sizes).
To learn more, check out "Everyone Needs A Bottle Of Travel Poo-Pourri In Their Purse."
23. A mini 2-in-1 hair tool to help you get your mane how you like it without your regular space-hogging hair tools.
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 $47.99 (available in two colors).