1. A set of six compression packing cubes to boost your packing game up to the next level. Not only do they help you stay organized (it’s so much easier to find what you’re looking for when you know your shirts are all in THIS cube and your socks are in THAT one), they also squish everything down with an additional zipper for maximum space-saving.
2. Or, some travel compression bags that'll help you eke out every. Last. Inch. Of suitcase space. Stashing your clothes in these bags and then rolling them up gets rid of the air and squishes down the bulk, truly maximizing your packing potential. Plus, since these aren’t the kind of compression bags you need to stick a vacuum into in order to work, they’re usable on the return trip, too — whether or not your Airbnb came equipped with a Hoover.
3. A TSA-compliant toiletry bag to transport all your lotions and potions, because quart-sized zip-top plastic sandwich bags can be… let’s call it unreliable. (Ask me how I know.) This clear zippered bag is made of tougher stuff, so it’ll stand up to way more while also being substantially less prone to bursting. (Again: ASK ME HOW I KNOW.) The best part? If your items fit in here, they're good to go — just yank the bag out of your luggage at security and carry on (literally) (get it?) (har har) (I’ll show myself out).
4. A travel-size bottle of Bumble and bumble’s Prêt-à-Powder dry shampoo, because when you’re on the road, a full wash isn’t always in the cards — but that doesn’t mean you have to feel greasy all day if you don't want to! This stuff will banish any oil from your locks and add some volume while it’s at it – and even better, it won’t eat up any space in your liquids bag, thanks to the fact that it’s, y'know, a powder.
5. A travel wallet and passport holder with RFID-blocking capabilities to keep all your most important stuff both safe and organized while you’re on the go. I bring this exact wallet with me whenever I travel; it always, always comes in handy. With tons of card slots, a collection of compartments, and pockets for things ranging from your boarding pass to your cash, a key holder, a pen holder, a spot perfect for stashing your passport (of course), and more, how could it not?
6. A universal power adapter, so you can make sure your devices stay charged no matter where you’re from or where you’ve gone. This handy little cube can adapt to fit outlets in more than 150 different countries; what's more, it also includes both a regular plug and four or five USB ports (your choice), so you can charge multiple devices at one time.
7. And a travel voltage converter to keep your electronics from frying when you charge them, too. Most universal adapters are for converting outlets only; if you travel to a location with a different standard voltage than the one in your home country, you’ll need to use a voltage converter to keep your devices functioning. This pick’ll do that for you — and it’s only about the size of a passport, so it packs up well, too.
8. AND an external battery that’ll make running out of juice when you’re in the air — or on a train, or running around a new city all day, or up a mountain, or wherever — a thing of the past. This sleek, slim power bank slips easily into a backpack or pocket, and it holds enough juice to charge up an iPhone 13 twice over — a must when traveling!
9. A pack of hand soap sheets, because you might not always have access to a full soap-dispenser during your travels. No soap? No problem — just pull out one of these sheets, add water, and lather away. No muss. No fuss. And as an added bonus, the pocket-sized pastel bear packaging is just adorable.
10. Or, a travel-size pack of Wet Ones wipes for those times when you’re not near any water, but still really need a wipe-down. These wipes will kill roughly 99.9% of bacteria, and they’re pretty darn good at just getting regular ol’ dirt off, too.
11. A pack of laundry detergent sheets that’ll let you do laundry on the go without faffing about with the mess of liquid detergent. Usable both with washing machines and for hand-washing items, these soap sheets are the ultimate travel-friendly item you didn’t know you needed.
12. A travel backpack with an anti-theft pocket, so you can travel light while ensuring your most important documents and other items stay safe. This backpack opens clamshell-style, making it much easier to pack and unpack than a standard, top-zip bag. It’s even got all the other bells and whistles you could ever want, too: a wet bag, a shoe compartment, padded straps, a chest buckle, the aforementioned anti-theft pocket, and availability in tons of colors. Who needs a rollerboard when you’ve got this?
13. And a Travelon anti-theft crossbody bag for those times when you don’t need to be lugging everything you packed with you around all day. Travelon specializes in anti-theft gear with its five-point security system which includes lock-down straps, locking compartments, slash-resistant straps and body construction, and even pockets with RFID-blocking capabilities. This bag will help protect your belongings and look darn good doing it, too.
14. A “Pack This” planner pad that’ll make sure you never forget to pack your essentials ever again. With sections for every conceivable thing you might want to bring with you — including places to record what the weather is expected to be at your destination! — and spots to check everything off as you go, this pad is a true travel MVP.
15. A packable luggage scale so you’ll never have to worry about over-packing. Just hang your suitcase from this digital scale, hold it up off the ground, and wait. In addition to giving you an actual read-out, it’ll also beep if your suitcase is too heavy. And it’s so small that it tucks right into your bag without taking up valuable space better put toward other things.
16. A pair of super comfy sneakers from New Balance, because when you’re off having all sorts of fabulous adventures, the last thing you want to worry about is aching feet. Not only are these sneakers lightweight and supportive, they’re also — key point! — cute. Bonus: Since they’ve got slip-on styling, they’re also the ideal airport shoe — no need to tangle about with laces when you’re trying to speed through security.
17. A travel jewelry organizer that’ll keep all your pretties and shinies corralled, untangled, and safe when you’re on the move. This pick from Bagsmart features tons of pockets, an earring panel, necklace clips, and more — and since it lays super flat when it’s closed up and zippered shut, it’ll take up next to no room in your luggage.
18. A versatile TravelTube travel scarf and blanket you’ll never stop finding uses for — on the road or off! Sure, it might look just like a regular scarf, but it can be used in all sorts of ways, from scarf to blanket to head-wrap to poncho and beyond. And thanks to its unique construction (there’s a reason it’s called a TravelTube), it does it all in a way that your average travel blanket can’t.
19. A three-pack of Tide To-Go pens so you can stop stains in their tracks no matter where in the world you are — literally. With this li'l guy tucked in your bag, you can yank it out the second a mess happens, scribble on the splotch, and watch it vanish right before your very eyes. Magic? Maybe not, but it sure feels like it sometimes!
20. A large-capacity hanging toiletry bag that packs tons of storage space into a surprisingly small footprint. Deceptively compact when it’s zipped closed, it opens up to reveal two huge compartments and two smaller pockets, so you can fit literally anything you might want. Then it all folds up neatly again, taking up only minimal space in your bag.
21. A sleek and compact pill carrying case, so you can stay on top of your meds while you're away without wasting tons of luggage space on individual containers. This pick has a removable divider, so you can either split its space into four compartments or just use it as one big one; it also fastens shut super securely — and it’s surprisingly pretty, too.
22. A beverage and drink holder that slips right over your suitcase handle, because there is no greater tragedy than a fallen cup of coffee while you're trying to make an early morning flight. With this handy pick, though, you’ll be able to keep your drink secure and your hands free — no more lost or wasted caffeine!
23. A roomy yet compact cable and electronics organizer, because when you’re on the move, no one wants to waste time untangling your phone charger from your laptop cord from your tablet charger from your…well, you get the idea. This zippered case solves that problem by packing tons of pockets and organizer bands to keep everything from cables to USB drives neat and tidy — and, crucially, easy to find.
24. A unique camera bag for the jet-setting photographer that’ll make carting around all your gear super easy and safe, thanks to the anti-theft buckles. With space for lenses, a tripod, and more, and easy access via two side panels and a front panel, this sling-style bag can’t wait to help you get the perfect shot.
25. A little foot hammock to keep you comfortable on even the longest of flights. Hang this unexpectedly useful travel gadget off your tray table, and get ready to put your feet up — literally. Flying coach has never been this luxe.
26. A Sea Band or two, because you deserve to travel without nausea. Just strap one of these wristbands on and let it work its charms on your pressure points. YMMV, but for many, they’re a boon when it comes to staving off motion-induced ickiness.
27. And a discreet money belt, so you can keep your focus on the sights in front of you instead of on the safety of your extra cash and passport. (Wouldn’t you rather spend your trip marveling at the pyramids or oooh-ing and aaah-ing at the "Mona Lisa" than constantly fighting the urge to check your pockets?) With two pockets and a non-bulky design, this money belt straps securely around you under your clothes where no one will ever know you’re wearing it. Sneaky.
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.