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    29 Travel Products That'll Even Make Staying At A Hostel, Dare I Say, Pleasant

    Champagne taste on a hostel budget.

    1. A travel backpack that’s basically a TARDIS: With the amount you can fit in it, you’ll swear it’s bigger on the inside. Rather than unzipping solely from the top, this pack opens like a book, so you can load and unload it with the same ease you would a regular suitcase — but it’s also compact enough to make globetrotting easy, both when you’re on the move and when you’ve only got a cubby to stash all your earthly belongings in.

    2. And a set of six compression packing cubes to level up your packing efficiency game even more. 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 all in THIS cube and your socks are in THAT one), they also squish everything down with an additional zipper for maximum space-saving. Yes, packing light is recommended for hostel stays – but you can still get a little ~extra~ if you’ve got some of these on hand.

    3. A pair of 4-digit combination padlocks for your locker, so you can make sure your stuff stays safe while you’re off adventuring. True, some hostels these days have fancy digital lockers or safes – but for those that don’t, a tried-and-true padlock is the way to go. (Source: me — my padlock and I went everywhere together during my hosteling days. I still have it, too. Just, y’know… in case I ever need it again.)

    Reviewer's photo of the padlock in the color Black

    4. A contoured sleep mask, in case your bunk’s privacy curtain is a little on the thin side. This pick is padded with pillowy bumpers for extra comfort and extra light-blocking abilities: Because it doesn’t sit right against your eyes, it gives your peepers some room to breathe while simultaneously making sure literally nothing will make it through. Snooze in comfort, no matter where you are!

    5. And some good ol’ fashioned earplugs, so you can sleep even in the dormiest of dorm situations. Of course, I say “good ol’ fashioned,” but these earplugs are a step up from your average foam ones. Made of silicone, they’re washable, reusable, and fit right into your ears – no budging, not even out of the most temperamental of ear canals. They’ll muffle sound up to 33 decibels so you can snooze the night away, even if your hostel-mates are a little on the loud side.

    6. A soothing sheet mask or two, because your face deserves to be pampered even when you’re on the road. Sheet masks pack easily, and the right formula – like, for instance, this ultra-hydrating lychee sheet mask from the Sephora collection – can work wonders on travel-stressed skin.

    7. A good (yet affordable!) pair of noise-cancelling headphones for those moments when you need a little quiet time even while you’re surrounded by other travelers. These over-the-ear headphones will filter out the sound of the outside world for up to 40 hours so you can create a little noise-free oasis if you need to unplug from your frenetic surroundings — and as a bonus they fold up for easy storage, too, making them an A+ choice for when you’ve got limited luggage space.

    Reviewer's photo of a person wearing the headphones in the color Rose Gold

    8. A travel wallet and passport holder with RFID-blocking capabilities that’ll keep all your most important stuff both safe and organized while you’re on the go. I’ve traveled a number of places with this exact wallet, and it’s always come 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?

    9. A collapsible water bottle so convenient, you’ll want to use it even when you’re not in jet-setting mode. Made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone, this pick 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 (a must when hosteling!). Proof that good things come in small packages? I think so.

    10. A solid shampoo and conditioner bar set that’ll keep your locks sleek and shiny without the fuss (and mess!) of traveling with liquids. This duo of bars uses colloidal oats, green tree extract, jojoba oil, and cocoa butter to nourish hair and soothe scalps — and because they’re solid, they’re easy both to get through airport security and tote to and from the shared showers in your home-away-from-home.

    The shampoo and conditioner bars

    11. And a compact mesh shower caddy, so you can keep all your cleanliness essentials in one tote-able package as you make your way back and forth between your bunk and the bathroom. The design may be simple — it's literally just a pouch made of mesh with a zipper at the top — but don’t underestimate its usefulness; you’ll be able to stash everything from haircare to soaps in it. It even has a hanging strap and a suction cup, in case your hostel-going shower situation doesn’t include a shelf or hook for bath products.

    Reviewer's photo of the shower tote in use

    12. AND a quick-dry microfiber towel because, as Douglas Adams taught us, a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker (or just a global traveler) can have. Soft and absorbent, it does its job and then some – and because it dries super fast, you’ll never have to worry about carting a wet towel around with you on your way to your next destination.

    13. A pack of travel-friendly laundry detergent sheets that’ll help you finally learn the art of packing light. Instead of overpacking – or trying to lug around a little bottle of liquid laundry detergent – just throw this compact packet of six little detergent sheets in your luggage.

    The laundry detergent sheets

    14. A Fire tablet, so you’ll never again be at the mercy of whatever paperbacks your fellow travelers left in the communal bookshelf for entertainment during your downtime. Don’t get me wrong – I love physical media as much as the next bookworm – but when you’re on the road, nothing beats having an entire library at your fingertips in one sleek, slim package. Bonus: The Fire is also excellent for all your Netflix and other streaming needs, too!

    Reviewer's photo of the Fire tablet in the color Plum

    15. A copy of the game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, for when you feel like making some new friends (that’s one of the biggest reasons to stay at a hostel, right?). A fast-paced challenge for three to eight players that’s easy to learn but tricky to master, it’s the perfect pick to pull out to meet new people – and because it’s a card game, it’ll take up next to no space in your luggage.

    The card game

    16. A pair of super comfy shower shoes that’ll make even a shared bathroom feel like a spa. Unlike your standard pair of flip-flops, these shower shoes feature drainage holes for fast drying – and to make sure you don’t slip, of course. Heads up that reviewers say they run a little big, but also that they’re the most comfortable shower shoes they’ve ever worn, so sizing down for this pick is probably worth it!

    Reviewer's photo of the shower shoes in the color Grey

    17. A set of TSA-compliant toiletry containers, because you don’t have to stop using your favorite lotions and potions just because you don’t have access to the full-sized products. This cute little set is made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone — and each of the 10 containers is leak-proof, too. No more spills!

    Reviewer's photo of the travel containers

    18. And a TSA-compliant toiletry bag to transport all of those 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). Easy peasy!

    Reviewer's photo of the toiletry bag in the color Black

    19. A portable door lock that'll give you a little extra security, if you’re lucky enough to have a private room instead of just a bunk (the height of hostel luxury!). Sticking this device between the door and the jamb prevents the door from being opened from the outside, giving you an additional level of safety beyond your room’s own lock.

    Reviewer's photo of the lock in use

    20. A small-but-mighty travel-size flat iron, because you can still glam it up even in a shared rooming situation, if that’s how you roll. Don’t be fooled by this cute lil’ baby’s compact size; its titanium plates heat up quickly and evenly, and despite its teeny-tiny size, it'll smooth out the kinks from even the wildest waves — including (ahem) my own.

    The mini flat iron compared to a full-sized flat iron

    21. An insulated travel mug, so you can take full advantage of your hostel’s breakfast spread. Fill ‘er up and stay caffeinated on the go with this pick. The insulated design will keep your drink hot for hours, report reviewer after reviewer, while the flip-top lid makes it hard to spill but easy to drink from.

    Reviewer's photo of the travel mug in the color Engraved Lunar

    22. A tin of toothpaste tablets that are both travel-friendly and eco-friendly. To use them, just pop one in your mouth, wet your toothbrush, and start brushing. The tablet will foam up just like your standard toothpaste — except the packaging has a lot less mess, and can even be reused for small item storage when you’re done. Fewer liquids and less to dispose of afterwards is always a good thing, right?

    23. 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 and it includes both a regular plug and four or five USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices at one time. Share an outlet or two with your newfound traveling companions, and you’ll be the most popular jetsetter in the entire hostel.

    Reviewer's photo of the adapter in use in the color White

    24. 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 safe. This pick’ll do that for you – and it’s only about the size of a passport, so it packs up well, too.

    Reviewer's photo of the voltage converter in use

    25. AND an external battery that’ll make running out of juice when you’re halfway up a mountain 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!

    Reviewer's photo of the power bank in the color Black

    26. A pocket-sized Wi-Fi router compatible with VPN services, so you can access the internet safely and securely even over your hostel's extremely public network. This model isn’t the smallest option available, but it’s still pint-sized, and very highly reviewed. More than a thousand 5-star ratings can’t be wrong, right?

    Reviewer's photo of the router

    27. A travel pillow that is the comfiest you ever did see (or feel, or sleep on), because you deserve only the best, even when you’re staying in more budget-friendly accommodations. Although most hostels provide bedding, it’s not always the most… luxurious. Having this expandable pick on hand can be a boon if you find your standard-issue pillow lacking. It gives you all the benefits of a memory foam pillow (because that’s what it is) but it also folds up into a tiny, travel-friendly package when it’s not in use. Perfect travel pillow, or perfect travel pillow?

    28. A mini USB-rechargeable fan so you’ll stay cool as a proverbial cucumber even in the hottest of accommodations. 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.

    29. And a pack of hand soap sheets, because you never know when the soap dispenser in shared spaces might be empty. 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.

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.