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    42 Travel Essentials You Probably Haven’t Thought Of, But Definitely Need

    Just a few things you probably didn't think about upgrading — or didn't even know existed at all — to make your next trip easier.

    1. A compact contact lens case designed to make your eyecare routine travel-friendly and still effective. The kit comes with a contact lens case, a mini solution bottle, tweezers, a contact remover tool, and a mirror. Now you don't have to lug half of your medicine cabinet with you on your next getaway.

    the white and grey marble case with rose gold contact lens case and three tools

    This kit includes: a mirror, contact lens case, a mini solution bottle for your contact solution, a contact tweezer tool for pulling out your contacts from the lens case, and a contact remover tool used to remove and put on your contacts.

    Promising review: "This product is great for the girlies who wear contacts everyday and like to maintain an aesthetic. The rose gold and marble is just *chefs kiss*. It holds just the right amount of all contacts lens essentials. Helps keep your handbag organized too!" —thepursonalshopper

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three styles).

    2. A set of packing cubes you'll want if you're still convinced the best way to fit most of your wardrobe is by rolling everything and sitting on your suitcase to zip it shut. Each set comes with six bags for items like tops, bottoms, undergarments, shoes, and toiletries. They're made with transparent mesh to help you see your belongings without unzipping anything or tearing through your luggage. 

    the beige packing cubes filled and inside a suitcase

    The set includes three different size packing cubes, one bra and underwear bag, one shoe bag, and one bag for your toiletries.

    Promising review: "Really nice quality cubes. I’ve never used them before and was really pleased with how well they worked. I didn’t even need to use all of them. The large cube was enough for a small suitcase!" —Caroline

    Get the six-piece set from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in seven colors and two sizes).

    3. A mini lightweight flat iron that'll evenly distribute heat just like a full-sized one. It's small enough to effortlessly fit into your suitcase, too.

    reviewer showing their naturally curly hair and then pin straight hair achieved using the straightener
    reviewer hand holding straightener

    And you'll get a lil' heat-resistant pouch to carry it wherever you go!

    Promising review: "I took this flat iron to Europe for a two week vacation. It did a great job smoothing my hair out. Be sure to check the measurements as it is very small. However, it got the job done for me." —Leslie Webb

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ ( available in three colors).

    4. A digital luggage scale that you absolutely need if you dread weighing your bag because it always looks like it might not fit in the overhead compartment. It can weigh luggage up to 110 pounds. This is perfect for anyone who's never thought of using anything else other than the airport scale — or anyone who has just been "eyeballing it" this whole time. Your life is about to be changed! 

    the luggage weight

    Check out this TikTok from BuzzFeed shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly, to see this palm-sized luggage scale in action!

    Promising review: "This luggage scale is so handy and is great for weighing your luggage. I was a little concerned before I got it because I wasn't sure how accurate it would be. When I used it when I went on vacation, it was dead on to what the airport said, so I highly recommend this. Plus, it’s easy to pack in your bags." —Teresa Daniels

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in seven colors).

    5. A buckled luggage strap you can hook onto your suitcase to carry your purse, laptop bag, and more. Take your time making it to your boarding gate without worrying about leaving anything behind.

    the strap on a suitcase holding a backpack
    multiple images of the strap being placed on different bags

    Promising review: "I love this little gadget. I used it to attach my jacket and computer bag to my luggage on an extended business trip. It made my airport walks so much easier. Now that I'm back home, I've been using it daily to attach my jacket or cardigan to my work bag or purse." —Michele

    Get it from Amazon for $8.49+ (available in six colors and two-packs).

    6. Or a chic and secure travel belt to attach any handbags to the luggage's handles. Never misplace your purse again because it'll be right where you left it — sitting safely on your suitcase.

    the sand and red colored belt

    Cincha is run by a BIPOC couple based in Oakland, California, who believe traveling in style should also be secure. They've been making the chic travel belt since 2019.

    Promising review: "Such a simple yet brilliant solution for the ever falling bag when trying to juggle all your luggage. It definitely made traveling less stressful." —Samantha

    Get it from Cincha for $39.99+ (available in two sizes and 23 colors).

    7. A memory foam Ostrich pillow neck cushion that'll keep you from relying on your trusty, but useless donut pillow (that you never even considered replacing, even though you've been getting a crick in your neck). This upgraded version offers 360º natural ergonomic neck support to keep your head upright so you can snooze in comfort. 

    person using the travel pillow

    Promising review: "I bought it for a trip that had two long haul flights as well as various shorter flights. It is almost impossible for me to sleep on a plane, unless I get the full row to lay down. This thing helped me fall asleep almost immediately without waking up every time my head bobbed. I also used it as a nap pillow: your face can fit the hole perfectly as well as the back or side of your head, so it really works well for that too. I highly recommend this pillow!" —MSC7

    Get it from Amazon for $60 (available in four colors).

    8. A convenient six-port USB charger to allow you to plug in several devices at once, and minimize the amount of charging blocks you would throw into your suitcase. Plus, who wants to have to keep up with six different chargers? I'm almost positive you'd end up losing one or two before the trip is over.

    the six port charger

    Promising review: "This USB charger has been awesome for travel since it allows me to skip packing a separate USB brick for each of my devices. It is smart enough to determine whether the device has the capability to quickly charge via higher amperage output and automatically delivers the appropriate output to each device. The LED that indicates that the unit is receiving power is a nice touch, especially when many hotels I stay at seem to have dead power outlets. I use it with an iPad, iPhone, portable Bluetooth speaker, and a portable recharging pack. It handles those devices well and charges them quickly." —Sam Ellis

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (available in black and white).

    9. A designated dirty laundry bag so you can keep your clean clothes separated from anything you've already worn, and desperately need to wash.

    grey dirty laundry bag

    Promising review: "I love this bag for travel. It's the perfect size. Unlike so many travel laundry bags, this one is the perfect size for clothes and undies. So many are too small like a lingerie bag or too big like a bag to take to the laundromat. This is cute and folds up into itself." —N. Newman

    Get it from Amazon for $9.37+ (available in 11 styles).

    10. A travel toothbrush that folds and keeps the bristles clean. The last thing you want is to taste anything other than toothpaste when you go to brush your teeth.

    Promising 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 tooth brush 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." —Demetri

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

    11. Vacuum seal bags for anyone who ends up packing their whole wardrobe because they truly believe they'll be making several outfit changes in one day. This space-saving option is excellent for anyone who sleeps on their own pillows and bedding while at the hotel. Each purchase comes with a hand pump so you can remove the air from the bags.

    Jasmin's bulky clothes in a sealed bag with text:
    Same clothes now vacuum-sealed with text:
    Jasmin Sandal / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I've used these bags before and they are so helpful. I even use the medium one for travel and I have tons of extra suitcase room. The clothes don't come out wrinkled at all as long as you fold them nicely before placing in the bag, then the air sucks out keeping them safe and sound and very compact." —Susie Kochsmeier

    Get a 6-pack from Amazon for $20.99+ (available in five sizes and three pack quantities).

    12. An easily portable and packable handheld steamer to save you some time when you'd rather not spend your time ironing while on vacation. Just give it a few passes and you'll be ready for the day!

    reviewer's super wrinkled shirt
    the shirt next to the smaller-than-an-iron steamer, with wrinkles gone

    Promising review: "Bought this to de-wrinkle some linen tablecloths and lace table runners for my son's wedding reception. It worked very well. Linen tablecloths were a great test for it since they are a fairly hard type of cloth to get wrinkles out of. It only took a few minutes to heat up completely and I used it for a couple of hours nonstop. Overall, I am very happy with this purchase — especially since it was less than $35! You can't go wrong with this handy little steamer. If I had to complain about anything, it would be the size of the water tank. I wish it were slightly bigger, but since it heats up so quickly, there really isn't anything to complain about." —WeekendWarrior2017

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (available in two colors).

    13. A leather organizer because you have spent too much time trying to unravel tangled cords. Just take the time to place each one in its own slot, and you'll have more time to actually enjoy every minute of your vacay.

    a cord organizing pack storing several cords
    Mister Crafter/ Etsy

    Mister Crafter is a small business based in the U.S. that specializes in custom-made leather products.

    Promising review: "A perfect companion taking cords and a 65w charger between the office and home office. Bought one for my son-in-law who travels for work. He loves it as well." —Phillip M.

    Get it from