Best Travel Accessories For 2023
What are the best travel products right now? See our best travel essentials for all types of trips, from travel accessories to products for working remotely.
Table of contents
- Headphone jack splitter
- Luggage scale
- Travel-sized umbrella
- Canvas totes
- International power converter
- Powered USB hub
- Portable travel charger
- Matador pocket blanket
- Travel utensils & eco-friendly travel snack containers
- Laundry bag
- Microfiber towel
- Ear plugs
Travel is great on its own, but something that really elevates your travel experience is some great gear.
There’s travel clothes, travel accessories, travel tech and travel things you may never have even thought existed. For example, did you ever consider bringing your coffee equipment in your duffel bag when you go away for a while?
What about a black-out travel mask for sleeping on long flights? What about travel clothes that still look great after they’ve been folded up and pressed into a packing cube?
Travel is a time when you have everything you need right in your backpack or suitcase, but you have to make some decisions on what the best type of travel gear for every trip is going to be.
Browse our 5 favorite picks
Let’s check out the list of the best and newest travel must-haves that make a trip worth taking.
Travel organization: Packing cubes
The primary uses for packing cubes are to compress your clothes and help to keep things separate in your luggage.
If you’re trying to save space in your bag or suitcase, packing cubes can pack down your clothes to be as compact and small as possible.
Packing away your things in packing cubes also makes it easy to pack, rearrange and find things in your bag. Instead of digging through a pile of clothes to find one item at the bottom of your bag, you can take out the one or two packing cubes that contain your clothes.
Check out our in-depth guide to find out what the best packing cubes are!
Travel day comforts and necessities: Fanny pack
We love using a fanny pack when traveling. It’s a throwback to the 80s, but they are really effective and back in style. I’m such a fan of fanny packs (ha!) that I made this list of the best fanny packs for travel, and there are so many!
When traveling, it’s the perfect size for keeping a phone, passport, pens and anything that you would want quick access to. Fanny packs are also close to your body, and in the front, so you’re being safe and less likely to have something stolen by a pickpocket.
You can find multipurpose fanny packs, like some that can fit a camera, or maybe a very lightweight jacket inside. There are also smaller fanny packs that are designed to be more like a travel wallet.
I typically like recommending products that you can use for multiple occasions. In this instance, I think that the big fanny packs are too clunky, and small fanny packs are hard for easily finding your little things floating around inside.
Let’s explore some of the best fanny packs for travel!
Travel day comforts and necessities: Travel pillows
Travel pillows come in all shapes, sizes and forms. You can travel with a blow-up pillow, a pillow that wraps around your entire head, or a travel pillow choice that is more modest, and goes around your neck.
I’ve tried a lot of different options for travel pillows and still haven’t found the perfect one. I have issues with anything that wraps around my neck too tightly. It’s not comfortable for me, and makes me feel a bit claustrophobic.
I struggle to sleep on airplanes, and travel pillows haven’t been a huge help in solving this problem; for Becca, though, she can fall asleep by using the Cabeau.
When I’ve traveled and wanted to pack lightly, I would often use my rolled-up jacket as a travel pillow. It checks the boxes for being soft, multipurpose and easy to pack. It does not check the functionality box, because it doesn’t stay as secure as something that is attached to you.
Browse some of our recommendations for the best travel pillows and see which one works for your needs!
Travel accessories and products for fitness on a trip
If you’re like us, you’ll want to engage in some sort of fitness during your trip in order to not turn into a potato.
We like to stay somewhat active so that we can feel better about some of the choices we make while we’re away! I’ve even run some marathons and half marathons while traveling (that’s on the extreme end of things I like to do in order to stay fit while away from home).
Our activity levels and types of exercise may vary depending on where we are and what the weather is like. Our default activity is to go for a run or maybe something easy like a nice long walk. (Did you know that long walks can burn almost as many calories, per mile, as running?)
We’ve had friends go as far as to travel with certain fitness equipment in order to keep up some of their strength while they are away from home.
If you are interested in fitness (or maintaining your health during your travels) check out our guide for staying healthy while traveling!
Travel accessories for working remotely
You might know that we have worked remotely and traveled through many countries, from East Asia to South America. We really enjoy that remote work can be done while traveling and we’ve come up with lots of tips for working remotely in cities around the world.
Nevertheless, working remotely from places, whether another state or another continent with a whole new timezone, can be daunting.
Trust us, though, if you go through the recommendations below, you will have a great remote work setup that can be packed up, travel-sized and mobile. All it takes is some preparation and some good expectations, and you’ll be ready for success.
See some of our best and most essential recommendations for products to help you work remotely while traveling.
Best travel accessories that easily fit in your luggage
Through our years of travel, we’ve compiled a list of things that we’re glad that we packed during some of our trips. Some of these have created tons of relief, and sure, some of them have gone unused during a trip, but we’re glad we had them on deck for emergencies or conveniences.
Headphone jack splitter
If you’re traveling with someone else, a headphone splitter can help you share media with someone else. You can plug it into the airplane media console, or use what you already have, to split the audio signal.
This is a great way to spend some time with someone during a long trip, before you drift away into your own worlds for a few hours.
During long flights, I will usually watch five or six movies and Becca is fortunate enough to sleep.
If you’re concerned about the weight of your luggage, or if you plan to pick up a few items at your destination and you want to know if you can still carry on or check a bag, a luggage scale can help out!
They are simple to use. You connect the strap to your luggage, lift up and then you have the weight displayed. We typically are always under the weight limits, but we’ve had some scares when we have weighed our bags and see that we’re at or over the required weight.
It can be easy to think that the weather is always bright, sunny and warm wherever you are traveling. Well, that’s not always the case. It rains everywhere.
Becca and I have gone out for a long walk to explore a city and got stuck in the rain. We were forced to hop into a store or cafe to try and avoid the rain for a few hours.
When we realized that the rain wasn’t letting up, we ran to our Airbnb. Luckily, we didn’t have anything with us that got ruined.
A small compact travel umbrella is small enough to fit in your bag and is easy for you to take around every day when you’re exploring somewhere new! Having one on hand even if there is a smidge of rain the forecast will help you avoid having to search for one or buy one when there’s a flash thunderstorm during your day of sightseeing.
We love to shop with canvas totes when we’re at home in Brooklyn. When we shop when we travel, we keep the tradition. It’s a great way to save the environment, avoid fees for plastic or paper bags at stores and also, a way to have sturdy bags for buying groceries, souvenirs or anything else like wrapping up something semi-breakable for the trip home.
We don’t like wasting plastic bags and when we want to pick up groceries or things that we need while we’re traveling, we’ll stash away a few totes for the occasion. They don’t take up a lot of space and we keep them folded at the bottom of our luggage.
Before you leave for your trip, shop around at your favorite store and see if they offer any canvas toes that you like.
If you’re in the market for something plain and simple, check out this basic tote bag on Amazon.
International power converter
If you’re traveling internationally, you would be in trouble without an international power converter!
Sure, you can find an overpriced converter at an airport, but they are usually marked up quite a bit. It’s often hard to find a power converter when you’ve reached your final destination, as well.
We’ve got you covered. This power adapter will allow you to plug in for any country type into the front and it will convert for any country type into the back!
Powered USB hub
This powered USB hub will allow you to charge multiple USB-powered devices at once.
If you’re traveling internationally, you only need to have one power converter. You can plug this into the converter to power everything that you have.
I actually use this power adapter when I work remotely to easily charge a few things, like my headphones, phone and whatever else is at my desk. It’s incredibly handy and has saved my electronics from going dead.
Portable travel charger
A portable battery charger will be one of the most valuable assets to have with you if you’re out for the day and need your phone to help you get back to your accommodation. Anker has a wide selection of portable batteries that you can check out. Take a look!
If you’re nervous about plugging your phone into a sketchy power outlet, you can exclusively use your backup battery to charge your phone, and you can charge the battery with the sketchy outlet istead.
Anker is a company that makes excellent portable chargers. Check out this 10,000 mAh version and this 20,000 mAh version for double the power.
Becca has been using their power chargers for years, since around 2013, first getting into the brand with their power charger that is about the size of a lipstick case. Having something simple like a backup battery (with your own phone cord) in your backpack or purse for the day can save you from being stranded, lost or in danger.
A cheap pair of flip-flops can help you in a variety of situations. If you’re staying in a shared living situation, like a hostel, or even one of those historic hotels with shared restrooms, flip-flops can be your dedicated shower shoes.
If you’re headed to a beach and don’t want to get your shoes sandy, you can wear some flip-flops!
Becca and I both had a situation on a trip when our shoes got soaked. We used our flip-flops during the day when our shoes were drying in the sun.
We’re really glad that we each had a cheap pair of flip-flops! They’re low-risk, so in case you lose them, you won’t be too heartbroken. It’s pretty win-win, and usually they cheaper they are, the more lightweight they’ll be in your travel bag!
Matador pocket blanket
When we’re at home in Brooklyn, we have an old bed sheet that we bring with us to a park when we want to have a picnic.
If you want to upgrade, and have a product specifically made for the modern traveler, Matador has this packable blanket that is light, foldable and perfect! It can work on damp surfaces and folds out to 63”x44.” It’s great for the beach, the park or to have with you when you’re camping.
Travel utensils & eco-friendly travel snack containers
Convenience is key when you want to have a snack during travel. We recommend the EcoLunchbox travel snack containers, which are made of durable silicone leak-proof lids and stainless steel compartments. Try taking these on a flight or a hike! We can’t recommend them enough.
Depending on your preference for cleanliness, eating with shared utensils might not be for you. Or, if you are looking for something more substantial or reusable than plastic to eat with while you are on the go, check out bamboo utensils.
Bamboo eating utensils are easy to travel with and shouldn’t raise any red flags when you’re going through airport security.
Our favorite brand for bamboo eating utensils is Totally Bamboo. Check out this 3-piece flatware set. We can’t live without it.
If you’re looking to brew coffee while traveling on the road, an Aeropress is a compact way to make a cup of coffee while you’re away from home and traveling.
There may be a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making perfect cups of coffee from your hotel, hostel, campsite or Airbnb during a trip.
We like Aeropress because the entire brewing kit is plastic, therefore not breakable, and you can stow it away in a packing cube or wrapped in bags within your luggage.
You may also want something like this travel coffee mug to help you brew your Aeropress.
If you’ll be traveling for more than a few days, keep in mind that laundry happens. In fact, laundry is one of our favorite things to do, when traveling, because laundry always means you’ll have clean clothes afterward!
To do laundry, though, you need something to keep dirty clothes in, and you need something that won’t break (cheap and flimsy plastic bags are not the answer, and we’ve learned this the hard way).
So, try bringing along a multi-purpose laundry bag that can bring your clothes to a laundromat or a dry cleaners, if necessary. We recommend a laundry bag that folds up into a compact size, like this travel laundry bag by Miamica.
We haven’t counted the number of accommodations that we’ve stayed in. Hint: it’s a lot.
One thing that we’re always glad about was that we had a quick-dry towel to use when an accommodation didn’t provide a towel.
We’ve also taken our quick-dry microfiber travel towels with us to a beach, public pool or used them to dry ourselves if we got caught in the rain!
Quick-dry towels are great because they are just as effective as regular towels, but a fraction of the size and weight. They also dry quickly, hence their name. If you leave them in the sun after use, they dry in a few hours.
I’ve had my towel since 2016 and it still holds up great. Check out our travel towels.
I always like to have a pen in my bag because sometimes you need one when there are no pens to be found.
When you arrive at an international destination, you typically have to fill in paperwork to present to the passport entry area. Sure, there are usually pens at those tables where you have to manually fill paperwork, but everyone flocks there first. And, those pens are usually half-dead.
If you have your own pen, you can skip the lines and have everything prepared and ready to go. This is one of our favorite travel hacks! Plus, if you receive the paperwork and documents during the flight, the flight attendants never give you pens and you have to have your own. Your in-flight neighbor will probably want to borrow your pen, too.
Becca is a big fan of ear plugs. She uses them to block out noise on an airplane, or to block out noise if we’re trying to sleep somewhere that has a lot of noise (street noise, dripping water, noisy fans, construction, etc.).
We’ve stayed in a lot of different types of accommodations. Some of them have been shared, some of them have had noisy neighbors and some of them have been on loud streets.
Ear plugs are small to pack and make a big difference to your sleep quality if you are a light sleeper (like Becca is).
Last updated on April 29th, 2023
You may also like
The Best Men's Travel Pants For Every Type of Trip
Having traveled with many different types of pants, I did my research and I'm sharing my recommendations for the best men's pants for traveling.
Allbirds Wool Pipers: Trendy, Eco-friendly and Comfy
We review the Allbirds Women's and Men’s Wool Pipers, rate the Allbirds fit and sizing, and see if these stylish walking sneakers are worth it as a versatile travel shoe.
Jack Wolfskin Packable Down Jacket: Travel Layer Review
Is this windproof packable ultralight down jacket worth it as a travel essential? We review the Jack Wolfskin packable athletic down jacket (with travel bag) in men’s and women’s.
Tom Bihn Shadow Guide 23: An Honest Review
Is this the best top-loader backpack yet? Here’s my honest review of the Tom Bihn Shadow Guide 23 backpack as a durable, versatile daypack and travel bag built to last.
Best in Wrinkle-Free Travel Dress Shirts: Bluffworks Zenith & Meridian
Are these the best no-iron wrinkle-free button-down men’s dress shirts for travel? Here I review the Bluffworks Meridian 2.0 and Zenith affordable casual travel shirts.
22 Best Travel Backpacks for Women
Learn about the best travel backpacks for women in all styles, sizes and prices. Here are the top choices and what you should consider when buying one.