1. A Kindle that you originally bought to avoid checking a bag full of books, but you'll love at home for its ability to hold *literally* thousands of books without any added weight or bulk. It's perfect for taking on the go, whether it's a trip or your morning commute, since you'll never have to choose between multiple books for one to bring (and immediately regret not grabbing that *other* title). TBH, for readers, this is the game-changer of a lifetime.
*Plus* it's waterproof, so you can bring your reading truly anywhere — including the tub (!) or pool.
I recently bought a Kindle and it has, no exaggeration, revolutionized my life. I love mine for so many reasons — it's truly helped me incorporate my love of reading into my often hectic life, and all my titles literally live inside of this half-pound wonder gadget, so I can switch between books super easily. For traveling, this is a literal dream. I don't have to pick between titles and then regret the entire trip that I didn't bring the one I left at home — and, as any book lover knows, traveling with books is heavy as hell, and the Kindle literally completely eliminates that weight. Traveling will never be the same for me. BTW, I'm also obsessed with the Libby app, which allows you to check out e-books from your local library on your Kindle!! My inner child is *screaming* with joy.
Promising review: "Love how easy the Kindle is for travel and reading on the go. I was getting ready for an extended vacation and decided to purchase one while on sale for Prime Day, and I'm so glad that I did. The Kindle is SO lightweight, it makes reading in bed and while traveling even easier! Great backlight for nighttime reading, and I'm so glad they added an adjustable warmth setting to avoid headaches and tired eyes. Also love how long the battery lasts, even when the backlight is being used. I charged it before I left and 5 days later I'm still at 85% battery after hours and hours of reading!" —lilybee
Get it from Amazon for $139.99+ (available with three free months of Kindle Unlimited, in 8GB and 16GB sizes, in three colors, and with or without lockscreen ads).
2. A sturdy, lightweight eight-compartment pill organizer for consolidating your prescriptions and just-in-case medicines, because TBH their bulky bottles take up a *lot* of room — and opting to leave some of them at home is just not a good option. Plus, when you're back home, you can keep it in your backpack or purse so if you get a surprise migraine (ugh) or forget to take your morning medication, you'll be covered.
Promising reviews: "My husband and I travel a lot and take a number of prescription drugs. It was always a hassle accessing our medications 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
"I love that it holds a lot but is still very compact. I bought it for travel but when I got home, I just moved it to my purse." —Heaz
Get a three-pack from Amazon for $11.97.
3. Or a reusable water bottle with a weekly pill organizer so you can condense two crucial items into one and ensure you're not forgetting to take your medications while on the go, whether you're on a trip or running errands. *Plus* it'll be even easier to take your meds since you won't have to search for a liquid to down them with.
Promising reviews: "This is one of the most convenient pill boxes to come along! It has always been a real challenge to remember to take my vitamins on a daily basis, but now I keep this pill box water bottle pre-filled with orange juice. As I open the refrigerator to make breakfast or lunch, there it is all in one place, juice and pills. No more forgetting to take my vitamins. Additionally the cap can be used as a cup, so no excuses, everything is organized for you right there in this one product and just makes it so easy. This is a great holiday office gift or even stocking stuffer!" —Camie
"Love this. Well-made, easy to clean, and great for travel." —kenlie
Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (also available in a red version).
4. A teeny tiny wireless portable charger for doom scrolling, texting, and listening to SZA ~to your heart's content~ without worrying about your phone dying before you get on the plane (or before you have a chance to call a Lyft home while you're out).
Check out a TikTok of the portable charger in action.
Promising review: "iPhone users rejoice. This was the only portable charger I could find on the market that did not require a lightening adapter to charge an Apple product! I bought this for my fiancé since he spends long days on movie sets. This has been a life saver. It charges fast and you get more than one charge out of it. This would be great for travel, long work days, bad service areas (eats up battery faster), or older phones whose battery isn’t that great (this worked on his iPhone 7 and my iPhone XR). It may require you to remove your phone case, but that’s an easy accommodation. Highly recommend!" —Kelly Schuetz
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in six colors).
5. A plush microfiber makeup-removing cloth that's a great alternative to the infamous Makeup Eraser, considering it's almost three times cheaper. It gently takes off your makeup and lifts away dirt using only water, freeing you from having to pack and use bulky liquid makeup removers that tug on your skin and do half as good a job. It's not too good to be true — I only use makeup-removing cloths myself now.
Promising reviews: "This is incredible! I can't believe how well this works! I travel a lot for work and usually take makeup remover wipes because of the liquid restrictions for travel, but they are expensive and heavy. I have been using this cloth all week and LOVE IT! A bit of warm water and everything comes off in a few easy swipes. I am super excited to travel with this. It weighs nothing and rolls up to take very little space. I am ordering another for my mom who also travels. Highly recommend!" —KT
"Excellent product. No joke: This cloth has completely changed my skin. Makeup washes off easily. I don't even use soap on it anymore. My skin has been so clear ever since I started using these cloths over a year ago. I stop using expensive face lotions — no longer need them. Dries relatively quickly too. This travels with me everywhere now." —Singing Chicken
Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in seven colors and in packs of two and seven).
6. A tried-and-true Tide stain-removing pen you'll love while you're traveling without your normal full-size stain-fighting prods — and at home when you spill a little sauce on your shirt and want to get rid of the stain without having to throw the entire thing in the wash, goshdarnit. (They're also great for throwing in your tote or backpack for some insurance while you're at work or school!)
Promising review: "This product works great and the three-pack is a good deal, whether you want to label each one for a specific use or share with members of the family. It is easy to use and doesn't take long to dry. I keep one in my purse and of course it is a must-have when traveling." —DeeNicole
Get a pack of three from Amazon for $7.74.
7. A water bottle cup holder adapter because road trips — and who are we kidding, all car rides — immediately become bleaker when your coffee mug or water bottle doesn't fit in your cup holder. (You're worse off trying to balance it elsewhere, 'cause I can personally attest that your coffee *will* fall and spill everywhere, the cup holder gods laughing all the way.) Thankfully, this adapter will make room for you to use your current cup holder so your beloved large drinks can ride safely alongside you.
It fits 32-ounce and 40-ounce bottles.
Promising review: "This is so perfect for my extra large water bottle!!! Keeps it from falling over in the car as I’m driving and a perfect fit." —Rebekah Orf
Wine and Whiskey Co. is a small business that makes clothes, phone cases, and car accessories!
Get it from Wine and Whiskey Co. on Etsy for $12.99 (also available in packs of three, four, and six).
8. A rotating magnetic phone mount to spare you the chaos of trying to balance your phone on your dashboard or behind your steering wheel in order to *simply* look at directions, whether you're road-tripping down the coast or trying to make it to a new food spot.
Promising review: "This product is great and such a bargain! I received everything promised in the advertised description including extra mounting supplies! Installation was a breeze, the magnet is extremely powerful and the 3M adhesive is especially effective if you wait a couple of days before using the device. Follow instructions as given and you will be impressed with the item. I didn't use the metal discs as I already had a metal ring attachment on the back of my phone and it still worked perfectly!" —Rhonda Speak
Get a two-pack from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three colors).
9. A smart Tile tracker you can attach to your checked luggage so that if it ever goes missing (*knocks on wood*) you'll be able to find exactly where it is through an app on your smartphone. Imagine how helpful that'd be in everyday life for keeping track of your wallet, purse, car, or pet. Crises adverted forever.
The starter pack comes with two Mates, one Slim, and one Sticker. The Tile can also make a beeping sound until you find your items.
Promising reviews: "A must-have. I have these on everything, including my wallet, car, luggage and dog. After being separated from my bag in another country and tracking it down, I swear by these things. Highly recommend." —Izzy Castro
"My husband has an issue with losing his wallet or forgetting it. My husband hasn't lost his wallet since buying this! The noise is loud enough to find in another room. Definitely worth buying if you’re like my husband and lose everything, lol!" —Me
Get the starter pack from Amazon for $74.99.
10. A secure, hands-free crossbody phone holder so that whether you're sight-seeing in another country or running errands at home, your cell won't be misplaced, plucked from your bag by a pickpocket, or slip out of those tiny pockets on your jeans that you can't even fit your hand in, much less a phone.
I have one of these and it's one of my favorite purchases, period. I love always having my phone on me without having to carry it by hand; my clothes often don't have pockets included (booo), so my crossbody holder allows me to wash dishes, vacuum, etc. and run errands with my phone easily by my side. It's a dream for traveling too because it allows me to never misplace my phone, since it's always on me, literally. The straps are adjustable, too, so you can choose whether you want the strap to have a tighter or a looser fit depending on what you're doing. My last one lasted three years, and the couple of months I spent without one when I finally retired it were a bummer, to say the least. All in all, a travel and life hack that I swear by.
Promising reviews: "Love the colors I chose!!! Quality is great!! Taking it on vacation, cannot wait to use the lanyard with the case!!!" —Amy Koester
"Fun, bright and it will simplify your life and give you your arms back. Beautiful colors to choose from and received lots of compliments." —Rosey
Your Color Your Style is a California-based small biz that makes stylish yet functional crossbody holders for smartphones.
Get it from Your Color Your Style on Etsy for $31.34+ (available in 14 sizes and in 12 colors, and with customization). It ships free.
11. A lightweight, water-resistant Neutrogena SPF 50 face and body stick sunscreen that's TSA- and carry-on friendly because it's *solid* — which also makes it perfect for throwing in your backpack or purse once you're home since it's spill-proof.
Promising reviews: "Great sun protection and perfect for traveling. You can throw it in your carry-on on the plane since it isn’t a liquid." —Amanda Rollins
"Great for a school backpack or purse. Goes on easy without mess and gives great sun protection." —Scare Fare
Get it from Amazon for $9.59.
12. A handy, multipurpose car seat storage bag for keeping your vehicle tidy and clean while you're driving across the country (or corralling three kids to the grocery store). It has a lined, leakproof, odor-containing 2.5-gallon garbage can; a dispenser for tissues or wet wipes (parents, rejoice); and three roomy mesh storage pockets for bottles, sanitizer, or anything else you'd like.
Promising review: "It holds a lot, so I never have trash lying around my van! Always got tissues if you need them, keep wet wipes and hand sanitizer, etc. in the pockets. I do long road trips so this is just super nice to have. The lid keeps everything inside so stuff is never falling out. I def recommend this to anyone with kids especially or if you take long road trips and wanna keep your vehicle tidy all the time." —Leanna Garcia
Get it from Amazon for $22.99.
13. A reviewer-beloved Furbo camera for checking in on your sweet pup or kitty while you're away, because even if you fully trust your sitter, you probably want some extra peace of mind. You can talk to your fur baby through the app (!) and can even toss them treats!! Even though you bought this for your weeklong getaway, you're gonna love it for when you're at work or outside the house.
You'll also get notifications when your dog is barking.
An optional, add-on subscription unlocks even more functionality with the camera, including tracking specific dog activities (like when they jump on furniture), alerting you when a person comes into view, taking selfies when the dog is looking at the camera, and creating a 60-second doggie diary that shows you the highlights of your dog's day. A 90-day free trial of this subscription is included!
Promising reviews: "I am extremely impressed, no complaints. The video quality is great (including auto night vision), the treat toss is a fun feature, the audio is good, and above all I am completely blown away by the impressive alert features! Setup was a breeze and the app is very user friendly. I can’t stress enough how impressed and satisfied I am. My dogs are my world and I now have so much peace of mind. I would strongly recommend this product to ANY pet owner! It’s undeniably worth it!!! Hands-down 5 stars." —