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There are very few things that can ruin a trip more than forgetting things. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast, especially if those items are small or easily overlooked. Some of us keep a list, others play it by ear. As someone who used to pick up and go before a trip, I’ve definitely gotten wiser with age and now do my best to have a list of things I need to pack or take with me.
Not so long ago, I was asked to compile a list of the essentials of a road trip that are absolutely must-haves. Luckily, there were no disclaimers on this list – just a bunch of things that make road trips better, go by faster, or some combination thereof. In this article, however, let’s talk about some accessories that aren’t necessarily related to a road trip, but more to travel in general — and items that pack away easily! Consider this a head start on building your own list; small accessories that I am always sure to take with me on my trip. Or, in some cases, it was items my family members brought that caught my eye and were later added to my must-have list.
WiHoo Mini Travel Fan
Buy now $19.99
Advertised as a car seat fan, stroller fan or desk fan, this really is a “use it how you want” fan. I tend to get hot – I sweat a lot – so personally I’ve used it in an outdoor theatre, waiting in line outside a restaurant, at an airport and in countless other environments. I’ve used it before just sitting on the couch, now that I think about it. Since my wife bought this to start with, it has been used in many other ways around our home. Compact, lightweight, and with plenty of ways to form the flexible tripod to suit your needs, this was a great purchase. It pushes about the amount of air you expect. It has three speeds and an impressive range. For just a few dollars more, upgrade from the standard black option to white, blue, or pink.
Anker portable charger
Buy now $52.69
As noted in other spaces, a cell phone/tablet charger is an absolute must for travel, and this one can charge just about any mobile device. This one, like many are, is the perfect size, lightweight and well worth the price. There’s nothing worse than having a broken phone or tablet, especially when traveling. Having at least one of these sitting around can be very helpful. The charger itself also charges quickly – a must!
Bath And Body Works Hand Sanitizer
Buy now $18.90
There are many hand sanitizers out there, but I’m going to recommend the one I use – Bath and Body Works Pocket-Sized Hand Sanitizer. They’re perfect for those times when you can’t wash your hands but need to. Just finished at an ATM, gas pump, or playing on your phone before a meal? This little item is handy for all of these scenarios and more – and it comes in a whole host of scents. Don’t worry guys, a lot of scents are pretty neutral or even smell a bit like cologne. Either way, clean hands are better than being sick. Keep this stuff on you at all times!
Bath And Body Works Hand Lotion
Buy now $18.29
Another travel essential is a tube of hand lotion that fits in your pocket, purse, or wherever you need it. If your hands dry out and crack easily, it’s important to keep some hand lotion nearby at all times. If you’re on a plane or on the road in the middle of nowhere and need it, you’ll be glad you or someone in your travel party thought to pack it. I can’t count the number of times my wife has bailed me out because she had the presence of mind to throw a tube or two of travel lotion into her purse.
UN United Time Desk and Table Fan
Buy now $42.99
Like I said, I’m running hot. So no, you’re not surprised there’s another fan on my list. This one, however, is very different. It’s still quite small but doesn’t have to stay that way — this one is collapsible. This fan, featured as a desk and table fan, can also sit on the floor as a standing fan, and can fit nicely into a small space when you fold it down to the size of the round head of the fan. If you want to make it bigger, it stands up to 3 feet tall, comes in multiple colors, and has four speeds. I also personally own this one and am really impressed with it. It is battery powered, comes with a remote control and is extremely convenient!
EU portable night light
Buy now $12.99
It didn’t occur to me until recently that this was a must when it comes to travelling. The first time it even crossed my mind to bring my own nightlight was when we had family visits from out of town. I mentioned to them a hallway light they could leave on, only to be told that they had in fact packed their own nightlights. What a new concept! You no longer have to worry about leaving a light on in a hotel bathroom, hoping it’s dim enough not to keep you awake, but bright enough to keep you from breaking your leg in dresser. This particular option is simple, inexpensive, and even comes in a multi-pack if you think you need more than one. A helpful tip is to leave yourself a note somewhere so you don’t forget to bring it with you when you leave!
TSA-approved travel bottles
Buy now $9.89
These TSA-approved travel bottles are specifically designed for flying, but can also come in handy when traveling by car. If you’re like me and tend to insist on liquid rules and airport security, it certainly can’t hurt to use them. Considered leak-proof, these bottles give you one less thing to worry about when traveling by plane or preparing for a road trip. Available in multiple colors and offered in several different quantity options, it’s an affordable way to avoid potential headaches. A great buy for sure!
Ohuhu back scratcher
Buy now $10.99
These were mentioned in another travel article I wrote, but I can’t stress them enough – at least pack a back scratcher on your trip! These are absolutely amazing – stretchy, quite sturdy, and incredibly inexpensive. Rest assured, the people you’re traveling with will appreciate you having one, not only because they don’t have to reach out and scratch your back for you, but they have to borrow one from some time. I have one handy at home, at work, next to the bed and yes, in the car. They are essential for everyday life and certainly when traveling. Don’t hesitate – grab one or more!
Buy now $11.04
If you tend to travel with a lot of electronic devices, chargers, charging cords, etc., you will definitely want to consider this FYY Electronic Organizer. Available in multiple sizes, styles, and lots of different colors, you won’t be constantly trying to remember which little pocket in your suitcase houses all your electronic gadgets. Add this to the “worries less” list when packing for vacation.
Travel Compression Bags
Buy now $19.99
Are you someone who tends to overpack? Touted to save up to 80% of your suitcase space, Hibag Travel Compression Bags are sure to help you pack everything you need for your trip. There’s no need for a vacuum to make them work for you, and they’re available in packs ranging from eight to 18 bags. Install more of these necessities and get them today!
Hanging toiletry bag
Buy now $22.99
It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, or who knows me somewhat through my writings, that I never purchased this item. My wife, on the other hand, actually bought this item, took it on a trip, and I absolutely reaped the benefits. A hanging toiletry bag makes it possible to have a place for everything and for everything to have a place. It is compact when closed, comes in many colors and is available in two sizes. Absolutely worth having!
For more packing tips and tricks, check out: