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! It works with any Venus refills.
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 $6.63.
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.
Last summer I did 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 $11.02 (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 $22.74+ (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 $88 (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. 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.)
11. 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.