8 Travel Accessories Buyers Never Regret

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You don’t have to be a world-class jetsetter to invest in your comfort when it’s time to travel. In fact, it’s the everyday traveler – the super-commuters, the home for the holiday-ers, the weekenders – that deserve a comfortable experience every time they hit the road or sky.  

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There are a few fundamental travel purchases you may not have considered that could make a world of difference on your next long layover. Get yourself from departure to arrival with these eight travel essentials you won’t regret adding to cart and carry-on.

Packable Travel Pillow

If you’re lucky enough to snag a window seat, you could participate in my No. 1 plane activity – getting some decent sleep. However if you’re stuck with the aisle or, worse, the dreaded middle seat, sleep becomes a real struggle without a wall to lean on. Rather than turning your naptime into some intricate body-origami or getting too cozy with your neighbor, pack a travel pillow.

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Operative word: pack. Although traditional travel pillows have a solid structure, their shape takes up valuable space in your carry-on. However, purchasing a packable travel pillow gives you the flexibility to stow your pillow and use it in a variety of shapes to cushion your head or neck. 

Try this portable pillow from Away, or this budget-flexible option from Dot&Dot on Amazon.

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Portable Charger

If you’re like me, you remember to download all your Spotify playlists and streamable media on the Uber ride to the airport. So don’t decide between your precious downloads and your phone’s battery life. Pack a portable USB charger that you’ll have easy access to throughout the trip.

My carry-on luggage from Away comes with its own portable USB charger that clicks into the suitcase, making it easy to plug in on the go. However, you could try this portable charger from Calpak that attaches to your bag’s handle like a luggage tag.  

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Bluetooth Trackers

One of my biggest travel nightmares is losing luggage, especially at the front end of a trip. Airlines will usually work quickly to get your bag back to you, but what happens if someone mistakenly picks the wrong suitcase up from baggage claim? What if your carry-on with all the essentials gets left behind? Bluetooth trackers can help you keep an eye on your stuff right from your phone. 

If you have Apple products, you could invest in this AirTag four-pack on Amazon. Just make sure you turn the chime settings off in your “Find My” app, so your luggage doesn’t start pinging below the plane. If you’re less brand-loyal, go for this Tile Bluetooth tracker as a more budget-friendly option.

Airplane Phone Mount

You would think airlines would design a more phone-friendly tray table by now (and call me if you are, I have thoughts). The slight gap between the back of the tray and the seatback makes it impossible to prop your phone up to indulge in some in-flight entertainment. Luckily, you can find plenty of ultra-affordable phone mounts on Amazon that will do the trick. 

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Try this highly rated option from Perilogics on Amazon. 

Compression Socks

The older I get, the more I understand the essential nature of this travel accessory. After all the changing cabin pressure and what feels like a whole day of sitting on the airplane, you start to feel your extremities swell, which can last for hours after your arrival time.

Compression socks help increase circulation in your feet, which can prevent swelling and cold feet during your flight.

You could try the compression socks from Bombas, which donates a clothing item to homeless shelters for every item purchased. Making a long trip? Try these compression socks from Away with anti-odor technology that allows for multiple wears. Or scroll Amazon for a well-rated multi-pack option like these.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’re immediately flung into your next travel battle: bathroom counter space. If your hotel has less room to work with, or if you’re sharing a guest bathroom back home, you’ll need to get creative with how you’re stowing your toiletries. Hanging toiletry bags are a great space-saver and organizational solution, so you’ll never have to claim a corner of the bathroom counter again.

Try this bag from Calpak, or this option with multiple sizes from L.L. Bean. 

Two-Player Games

Traveling with kids? Odds are you’re hoping to avoid hearing the phrase “I’m bored.” But there’s only so much space in your carry-on for multiple gaming devices.

Get creative with the in-flight entertainment by packing some two-player activity books. Mad Libs, crosswords, Dots and Boxes. There’s an extensive collection on Amazon, but call and check with local bookstores to see if you can leaf through a few in person and make sure there’s enough variety.

Snack Containers

Plane pretzels and fruit snacks can only go so far. And if you’ve got a long travel day ahead with several quick connections, odds are you won’t even have time to wait in line for the painfully overpriced airport food. 

So level up your carry-on goodies with these snacking containers from Whiskware. They’re affordable and stackable, so they can easily slide into the water bottle pouch of your backpack or be tied onto the handle of your tote. 

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