Unless otherwise specified, all sizes in this post are listed in women's.
1. Some 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 easy-on, easy-off sneakers lightweight and supportive, they’re also — key point! — cute. Perfect for days spent wandering the streets of Madrid or climbing the Duomo in Florence? I think so.
2. A packable Panama hat to keep you shaded and cool during all your warm-weather adventures. Breathable, adjustable, and très chic, this pick is as Capital-F Fashion as it is practical — and it rolls right up so you can tuck it into your bag when you’re out of the sun and don’t need it anymore.
3. Or a packable down vest for those times when your travels take you somewhere the opposite of tropical. For those of us who prefer to vacation in, uh, less toasty destinations, being able to layer up is key for comfort — and with this pick on hand, you’ll always have what you need to stay warm.
4. A collapsible water bottle, because a well-hydrated tourist is a comfortable tourist. Made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone, this bottle holds 22 ounces of water when it’s full — but when it’s not in use, it rolls up into a teeny-tiny little package for simple, space-efficient storage.
5. And a collapsible travel coffee cup, if you a) cannot function without caffeine in the morning, and b) want to get the most out of your in-room coffee maker. Made of flexible yet sturdy silicone, this cup expands in seconds when you’re ready to fill it, and then Squooshes back down into itself for easy packing when you’re done. Start your day with a cup of the good stuff and you’ll feel ready to tackle whatever your itinerary has to throw at you!
6. An external battery that’ll make feeling adrift in an unfamiliar place with a dead phone 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.
7. A tube of Blue Lizard sunblock, because nothing ruins a trip like the sting of a bad sunburn — but with this stuff, you won’t have to worry about that anymore! Packing an SPF of 50, broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection, and water resistance for up to 80 minutes, this option is also formulated for sensitive skin — that is, you can be sure it’ll protect your skin without irritating it. And as a fun little gimmick, the bottle changes color when it’s under UV light, so you’ll always know when to put it on.
8. And a tube of Innisfree’s Daily UV Defense facial sunscreen, so you can keep your face as well-protected (and sting-free!) as the rest of you while you jaunt across the globe. Another favorite of mine, this stuff is super lightweight and wears great under makeup, if that’s your jam.
9. Some anti-blister balm that’ll keep your feet and toes comfy and blister-free, no matter how many miles you trudge each day. Just rub a little of this travel-friendly stick on the backs of your heels, on the sides of your feet, or wherever else you tend to experience painful friction when you walk, and voila. Not for nothing is this stuff called “BodyGlide.”
10. A pack of Kitsch’s spiral coil hair ties, so you can keep your hair out of your eyes without constantly needing to retighten your ponytail. (All the better to see the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu, or Sagrada Familia with, my dear!) These unique hair ties can hold even the thickest of locks without causing damage or breakage — and they’ll stay put all day long, too.
11. An anti-theft crossbody bag that provides plenty of space for all your sightseeing must-haves, and loads of security features to keep it all safe. Travelon specializes in anti-theft gear; with its five-point security system — which includes lock-down straps, locking compartments, slash-resistant straps, and even pockets with RFID-blocking capabilities — this bag will help protect your belongings, and look darn good doing it, too.
12. Or, a lightweight anti-theft backpack, for those days when you feel like you need to bring a little more with you. Also from Travelon, this day bag boasts the same security features as the crossbody bag except it’s bigger (the main compartment can fit a tablet), and of course goes on your back for easy, hands-free wear. The best part? It doesn’t look like a travel backpack — that’s how sleek it is.
13. A Pinch Provisions “minimergency” kit, so you’ll be prepared for any travel woes you might experience while you’re out and about. Pinch’s adorable little kits bundle tons of useful little bits and bobs into one chic and compact little package. Toss it in your day bag and you’re good to go!
14. A packable rain jacket to keep you dry in even the most unexpected of rain showers. (No one wants to wander around in wet clothes all day, right?) This windproof and water-resistant pick comes with its own little storage bag; just roll it up and stash it inside, then tuck the whole portable package in your day bag. If it starts to rain, yank it out and you’ve got the situation covered.
15. A Hairbrella, so you can rainproof your strands and give them a lil’ treat at the same time. (Your hair’s on vacation, too, after all!) 100% waterproof on the outside and lined with satin on the inside, this pick is the travel-friendly rain accessory you didn’t know you needed. It’s even got its own storage pouch for easy transport, too.
Hairbrella is a Black-owned small business that specializes in protective hats that also look super cool.
Promising review: "Awesome hat, a must-have for hairdos. I get my hair done often and don’t want to destroy a great hairdo. I have been out in a rainstorm and taken it on the log ride into the splash down, hair stayed nice and dry. Love it so much I fold it up and keep it in my purse! It even has a ponytail pouch hidden in it." —applekoolaid
Another promising review: "This hat arrived just in time for my trip to Niagara Falls. I have braids and this hat protected my hair completely. The visor provided excellent protection on The Maid Of The Mist as well as the walk behind the falls. This is a must have." —sandra l darrett
Get it from Amazon for $34.99 (available in 10 colors).
16. Some quick-dry socks that’ll save you from the distraction of wet feet. (No more missing the sights because you’re too busy fretting over your rain-soaked or sweaty toes!) These colorful crew socks feature Dickies’ Dri-Tech construction, allowing them both to wick moisture away and keep the air circulating. No more clammy feet for you!
17. A mini USB-rechargeable fan, so you’ll stay cool as a proverbial cucumber even in the hottest of locales. With a convertible handle for adjustable, handheld-to-freestanding ease, this colorful little pick keeps the breeze blowing no matter how tropical your environment might be — and whether or not you’ve got air-conditioning.
18. Some resealable, reusable Stasher bags, because they’re the unsung hero of travel gear — especially when it comes to keeping you comfortable while you’re out and about. Hangry? Not if you have a Stasher bag full of snacks on you. Just changed out of your wet swimsuit, but don’t want it getting everything else in your bag all wet? Throw it in a Stasher bag. They do everything a regular ol’ resealable plastic bag does — except you wash them, dry them, and reuse them over and over and over again.
19. Some individually-wrapped body wipes, so you can take a moment to freshen up whenever you start to feel a little… let’s call it travel-worn. Formulated with aloe, tea tree oil, and peppermint, they’ll give you a quick cleanse with just a swipe — meaning you don’t have to wait until you get back to your accommodations at the end of the day to de-sweat-ify yourself.
20. A refreshing facial mist to cool you down when you’ve overdone it in the sun a little. This travel-sized bottle of Mario Badescu’s fan-favorite aloe and rosewater spray packs easily (including in your liquids bag, if you’re flying with it) — and a quick spritz on the go can make a big difference when it comes to soothing parched, sun-soaked skin.
21. A Shark Tank-famous Bug Bite Thing, so your warm weather adventures will never be rudely interrupted by itchy, irritating stings or bites again. This suction tool works by literally sucking out the insect saliva or venom from the bite, eliminating — or at least greatly reducing — the cause of the itching.
22. A pair of pants tailored enough to make sure you always look put-together, yet comfortable enough to wear on all-day sightseeing tours without ever feeling a pinch or a dig. With pintuck detailing and a tapered leg, Everlane’s Dream Pant has a polished, finished look to it — but since it’s made of double-knit fabric with an elastic waist, it’s super soft and easy to wear. Add to that the fact that it’s wrinkle-resistant, and well… are they the perfect travel trousers? Quite possibly!
23. Or, a short-sleeved jumpsuit so comfortable, you’ll never want to take it off, no matter where in the world you are (literally). Nothing beats a one-and-done outfit when you’re off on your own Grand Tour, and this soft jersey off-the-shoulder pick is about as good as it gets. It looks great. It feels great. Everybody wins.
24. A teeny tube of the Body Shop’s Almond Milk And Honey hand cream, because the dry hands struggle is real — especially when you’re jet setting around the world. Just pop this tiny tube in your carry-on or day bag, and you’ll always have it on hand (get it?) when you need it.
25. A travel scarf with a sneaky hidden pocket, so you can stay comfortable in more ways than one. This cozy infinity scarf from Waypoint Goods offers both warmth, style, and peace of mind; wrap it around your neck to achieve the first two, and stash your most important gear in the zippered pocket to achieve the third.
26. A pair of classic, goes-with-anything aviators, so you can protect your peepers from the brightest glare of the sunniest locations. From Ray-Ban (so you know they’re going to be good), these sunnies boast 100% UV protection — and the nose pads are even adjustable, so you can make sure you get the perfect fit. Don’t go to the beach without them!
27. And lastly, a three-pack of Sun Bum lip balm with SPF 30, because your pucker needs sun protection, too. The flavors are yummy and tropical — the set comes with one each in Banana, Coconut, and Watermelon — and also? You will never regret having a lip balm or two in your bag, wherever you are in the world. Trust me. (Dry lips are the woooooorst.)
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.