1. A pair of compression socks in case you've accepted aching, swollen feet as a reality of long travel days — I'm here to tell you it doesn't have to be that way. These apply gentle pressure to help keep swelling down *and* provide support for your heels and arches so your feet aren't a complete mess after an international plane ride and full day of sightseeing.
Promising review: "With three weeks of international travel coming up, I purchased these to combat swelling in my feet during the flights. I had begun to notice swelling after three-hour domestic flights so I was worried with almost 30,000 miles on the horizon. I wore these on every leg of the trip and never noticed any swelling — even after the 10–15 hour flights. I am very pleased with these and would highly recommend them. They are very comfortable, too!" —J. Beaty
Get them from Amazon for $18.57+ (available in unisex sizes S–XXL and in 13 colors).
2. A set of travel compression cubes with a genius double-zipper system that'll press out excess air and condense the clothes to reduce bulk, letting you bring *way* more on your international vacay.
You'll also be able to plan and pack specific outfits together, leaving you with a perfectly organized bag that won't turn into a mess by the end of your first travel day.
Promising review: "I love the bright colors and patterns — these bags are adorable!! I bought them ahead of an international trip where I only wanted to travel with a carry-on bag. They were perfect and I was utterly amazed by how much each one would hold. I was easily able to roll and stuff a weeks worth of items into each bag and compress them. I love these and don’t plan to take any more trips without them! I highly recommend this set!!" —SandraDee
Get them from Amazon for $18.95+ (available in 10 sets).
3. Or, for a particularly long stint of travel, vacuum storage bags that'll squeeze out every bit of air and increase your storage space by a whopping 80%. If you're traveling with bulky apparel like coats and sweaters — or just want to bring a wider variety of clothing options — they're a lifesaver.
BuzzFeed Shopping editor Jasmin Sandal is a fan: "I swear by these bad boys not only for general storage purposes, but also if I know I'm going to be traveling for an extended period of time. Plus, the satisfaction is indeed guaranteed because when you see those chunky layers flatten into a pancake...it's just *chef's kiss*."
Promising review: "These Spacesaver vacuum bags are awesome! With having a lot of luggage to take with me on international flights, every inch of space counts, and seeing your clothing and other materials reduced by 80% makes these bags a wonderful and necessary purchase. Two thumbs up, I highly recommend this product!" —Thomas G Wintringham
Get a six-pack from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in four sizes as well as other multipacks).
4. An Apple AirTag designed for simple one-tap setup with your iPhone or iPad, and thanks to its integration with Apple's Find My network, you can find lost items from very far away. Stick this in your luggage or on your backpack while traveling for extra peace of mind!
Promising review: "Used the AirTag for my luggage after hearing about the nightmares of other travelers for months regarding their lost luggage. Had a transfer of airlines in an 'international' airport (domestic). Upon landing my luggage was a no-show. The transfer-to airline was trying to say my luggage never made it to my second layover, to which I was able to reply that my luggage was at the airport we had just left from, and could provide them with the exact geolocation of said luggage. My luggage was quickly found, flown halfway across the country, and delivered to my front porch within six hours. I would highly recommend an AirTag for any checked luggage." —Kindle Customer
5. A universal travel adapter, especially if you're planning to hit a number of countries on your trip — it'll ensure you're never left looking in confusion at a strange new outlet shape like, "Um...what am I supposed to do with that?" No need to pack separate adapters like you usually do — and your USB cables can plug right into it!
It's available with up to five USB ports (including a USB-C port!) and works with outlets in over 150 countries, including Australia, China, the UK, Ireland, Japan, Germany, France, and most of Europe. Check the listing for the full breakdown of countries!
Note: This isn't a voltage converter.
Promising review: "I've been using this power plug adapter in China and it works like a charm. I’ve been charging two iPhones, a Mophie and a Dell XPS13 all at the same time. I highly recommend it!" —Gary Matsumoto
Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in five colors, and with or without a USB-C port).
6. A waterproof anti-theft backpack that'll thwart pickpockets because its zipper faces your back while you wear it, giving them no access to the pocket holding your valuables. It's super cute and won't ruin your outfit like a regular bulky backpack might, and its adjustable straps let you wear it as a backpack or sling style over one shoulder.
Promising review: "Wanted a secure (back opening) purse for an upcoming international trip. This is well made and ideal. I only wish they made a version with cut-proof straps. Highly recommend; great also to use for festivals and traveling locally. Feel more secure knowing someone can't access my possessions. Pockets on side for water bottle, etc. Buy without reservation." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in two sizes and seven colors).
7. Cushionaire slides made to fit your feet like a glove thanks to the flexible cork footbed and supportive, padded insole. They've garnered over 53,000 5-star ratings, and over 900 reviews (!) draw comparisons between these and Birkenstocks, with many claiming they're just as comfortable for a fraction of the price.
Prime members: You can try before you buy!
Promising reviews: "I bought these sandals before a three-week trip in Europe; I didn't want to pay for Birks but did want something in similar style with good arch support. I was a little skeptical about the low price, but gave them a shot...and they were the MOST comfortable sandals I've ever owned. I walked over 120 miles in them in three weeks on our trip and never once had foot pain. Highly recommend." —Han Lin
"Bought them for a recent trip to Morocco 🇲🇦 did not break them in before the trip and did not needed to. These are the perfect walking sandal. You can dress them up or down. I truly loved them and will get more colors." —Joy
Get them from Amazon for $29.99 (available in women's sizes 6–12, including wide sizes, and 20 styles).
8. A blissfully comfy, ergonomic Trtl neck pillow in place of that bulky neck pillow that's an absolute *pain* to lug around while traveling. It's waaay more space-efficient and lightweight (not to mention more ergonomic and comfortable).
It also easily attaches to backpacks and luggage handles (see the photo on the right), weighs less than half a pound, and is machine washable!
Promising review: "We took a 15-hour flight to and from Australia and this thing supported my neck perfectly. I had no neck or back issues the entire time we were on vacation. Last time we were on an international flight, I was so uncomfortable on the plane and suffered from back and neck pain the entire trip. Not this time. Highly recommend this for any long international flights over any other travel pillow on the market." —Kate V.
Get it from Amazon for $59.99 (available in four colors).
9. Or an inflatable wedge pillow for anyone who's ever laid their head on one of those hard seat-back airplane tables in a futile attempt to sleep. This lets you lay your head forward on comfortable cushioning, with a hole in the middle your arms can go in for support.
Promising reviews: "Used this on my last long overseas flight and it made it much easier for me to sleep both with my head down and leaning against it next to the window. It is easy to blow up and to expel the air. Highly recommended." —Joyce Pollack
"After using it for the first time on my 13 hour flight to Tokyo, I will never fly without it again! If you're traveling with a companion, it was also very comfortable being used between two people. I especially love how there are holes for your arms and can be used at different angles/positions. It made for a very restful flight overall." —Elizabeth B
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
10. A pack of TSA-approved luggage locks to guard your suitcase or backpack against being unzipped and rummaged through, especially if you're staying on your own in a public place like a hostel.
These are opened with a key, ideal if you're worried about forgetting a combination. If you're staying in a hostel where you'll have access to a locker, consider picking up these heavier duty combination locks with long steel shackles to keep your belongings safe. I used something similar (both locks on my suitcase and lockers) when I was traveling in Asia and staying in hostels, and it definitely brought peace of mind.
Promising review: "My husband and I used these for our carry-on luggage for our trip to Japan. We didn't want to trouble ourselves with bulky luggage, but also wanted to know that our personal items would be safely and securely locked during naps on the plane, or while leaving our things behind while we walked around during the day. Not only were they incredibly sturdy for how small they are, but we also loved the peace of mind of knowing that our locks would not get broken in the event security needed to search our things at the airport. Highly recommend." —Jason and Skye Watkins
Get a pack of four from Amazon for $14.99.
11. A 3-in-1 magnetic wireless charger that folds up *so* small but can juice up your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch all at once! It's so slim, you could literally carry it in your pocket (and free up your backpack for other items).
Promising review: "This charger saves space, minimizes wires, and works as advertised! I keep this in my travel tech bag, and it worked great on two international trips since I made the purchase (international adapter required unless the hotel has USB-A or -C outlets). I highly recommend this for all domestic and international travelers!" —Jonathan
Get it from Amazon for $33.99+ (available in nine colors).