1. An old school pair of corded Apple headphones because my number one solo travel tip? Don't rely too much on Bluetooth or battery power to get you through your days. These are über reliable, never run out of charge because they literally can't, and are SO affordable compared to AirPods. The last part is essential considering how much running around you're about to be doing.
2. A set of scrunchies with — get this — ZIPPERED POCKETS to keep cash, keys, and other small items in completely concealed and without having to carry a cumbersome bag.
3. A Trtl neck pillow to help you and your plane neighbor each avoid a most dreaded fate: you nodding off onto their shoulder.
4. A Calpak Luka Duffel which is far and away my favorite weekender. I just did three weeks in Europe with *just* this bad boy and it handled beautifully. Its best quality? It's the exact dimensions needed to count as an under-seat "personal item" on a plane, which is a game-changer for booking cheap flights and traveling light.
5. A luggage-mounted cup caddy since you only have your own two hands to carry SO much stuff through the airport. No need to forego the tasty bev with this handy dandy invention around.
6. A contoured eye mask that will majorly come in handy if and when you're crashing at a hostel with approximately one billion roommates who each feel the need to keep their reading lights on until 2 a.m. No need to stay awake wondering "What's with these clowns?" when you can just block it all out.
7. And a pack of soft silicone earplugs to help you drown out their late-night yammering and early morning packing. Everyone at every hostel seems to travel exclusively with backpacks full of janitors' keys. Except me, of course, who is a perfect angel and has never made one noise in my life. 😇
8. A six-port USB charger that plugs right into the wall and will allow you to charge (hopefully) any and all devices that need it in one fell swoop.
9. A portable safe that can help assuage some of your worry when it comes to traveling alone with valuables. Equipped with a four-digit code and a cable to affix it to a secure spot, hopefully this'll allow you to feel comfortable enough to take a dip in the pool or ocean while leaving your essentials behind.
10. Or you can grab a waterproof pouch to allow you to keep your phone, cards, and even passport with you *while* you swim, thanks to its lanyard attachment.
11. A Baggu Medium Crescent bag, which to me is the ideal purse both for everyday life and for travel. It tucks neatly under my arm so I always feel like my belongings are secure, and although it looks small, it fits my wallet, notebook, and water bottle with ease.
12. A TikTok-famous packable blanket so no matter where you roam you can shield yourself from unpredictable temperatures. Being stuck on a train alone can really stink, but being COLD to boot? No, thank you.
13. A classic Moleskine notebook because I prefer their large, soft cover for my travels, personally. With this, you can keep a journal of all your adventures without being SO tied to your phone.
14. A universal travel adapter so you're never faced with an outlet you can't use — a horrifying fact every traveller encounters at least once and vows "never again."
15. A travel pouch that attaches right to your bra to avoid any pickpocketing and simply to travel hands-free. Not having a bag to worry about is a freedom like no other. I know that sounds dramatic, but I genuinely mean it!
16. A portable charger because in this day and age, traveling solo and having your phone die on you can be a genuine safety concern. That's your credit card, ride home, ticket, map, reservation...everything! I've been rocking this Anker for years and it's still going strong.
17. A Takeya Actives stainless-steel water bottle with a screw-top spout lid that ensures that it's always leak-free, no matter how much you throw it around in your bag. I love mine! It holds just enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day — and avoiding single-use plastic water bottles whenever possible is obviously for the best.
18. A portable door lock that emits a VERY loud noise should anyone try to get into your room. Having an extra safety measure like this in place should help you sleep a little sounder, and who doesn't want that?
19. Or a wedge doorstop alarm that both physically stops the door from being opened *and* triggers a mighty loud alarm if somebody tries.
20. A tube of Lanolips 101 Ointment because I personally find travel to be very hard on my lips and skin. Whether you need to moisturize and heal your pout, cuticles, or dry skin, this multipurpose balm is simply nice to have around.
21. A waterproof anti-theft backpack whose zippered compartment ingeniously is only accessible from the back, keeping your valuables out of reach from any casual passersby. The fact that it also looks pretty darn cool is just a bonus.
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.