To celebrate becoming an Amazon affiliate, I combed through my Amazon history and came up with the best 10 things I’ve gotten for travel. None of these are expensive (I’m too cheap for that), all of them are useful & practical (no sort of weird items nobody would use). These are listed in the order I thought of them, not in any sort of ranking. All item links are affiliate links, so it doesn’t cost you anything and I get a tiny bump from Amazon.
This thin (but not too thin) t-shirt is a great travel staple, easy to pack because it folds/rolls up SO small. And don’t let the slim fit fool you. I definitely don’t have a slim figure and ordered my typical size of women’s clothing (XL for a 16/16W) and I can wear this shirt on its own without it being too snug. It isn’t baggy, for sure, so if you want LOTS of extra room, size up, but otherwise true to size is good. And at roughly $20/2, you can’t go wrong. No fear of ruining some expensive merino wool garment (sure, it doesn’t have the benefits of merino either, but you’re not getting merino for $10.)
Okay, I don’t know what the heck Fxkoolr is, but this organizer cube had what I was looking for: pockets that looked made for battery packs and a low price tag. I got it and I am really impressed. I managed to pack it with 1 battery pack (size of a double-thick cell phone), a long lightning cord, a long 3-way cord (lightning, mini USB, USB-C), a couple of shorter cords, and my phone/watch charger (see below). I also put a couple of not-very-small brick plugs in there and it still zipped. The size is totally manageable in even a small carry-on or personal item bag, and if you need more cords than fit in here, you might want to reevaluate how many devices you travel with. And for like $8, you can’t go wrong.
This is the second multi-charger I tried. The first my phone wouldn’t stick to. This one has a very strong magnet for that charger. You can fold it in half for storage and transport, unfold it like the image, or fold into a triangle to watch something on your phone. I’m thrilled with this. It uses a USB-C cord, but that is one cord for 2 devices. I’ve had issues with cheap-o chargers not working for my Apple watch also, but this seems fine. I tried it overnight last night and everything charged fine. This one goes for about $30, but is worth it with space-saving convenience alone, in my opinion. Mostly because I always almost forget or do forget my watch charger.
I’ve never used an eye mask for sleeping before. I don’t usually have trouble sleeping. But with an upcoming trip to Spain, knowing we leave at 4pm and arrive at 7am to a whole day of touring, I wanted to make sure I could sleep on the flight, even if it’s still light out. This mask doesn’t leak at all. With its memory foam inside, it will fit tight to your face and like it says, block out 100% of the light. I haven’t actually traveled with it, but I’m really impressed. It fits comfortably for me without adjusting the strap but you can adjust as needed. Costs about $8.
I’m a big fan of Travelon. Their anti-theft features are nice (zipper clips, slash-proof straps), and I’ve found their products to be very good quality. They don’t always have the most stylish items, but if you look, you’ll probably find something that works with your aesthetic. I like this one because to me it looks like a pretty regular purse. But I’ll be able to carry all sorts of things in it as a daypack. This is about $35-40, and is 8×5″square. This is something you’ll be able to use while not traveling.
Okay, I’ll admit. This looks kind of ridiculous. But then I thought about how I want to keep several things handy during flight without constantly going in and out of my bag under the seat in front of me…with the lack of room to bend over, it’s super inconvenient, especially if you’re stuck in a middle seat. When I travel with students, I don’t book my own seat. So that seat is definitely a possibility for me (hoping a smile and knowing look with the agent when we check in puts me on a window or aisle). I haven’t flown with it yet, but I’m super excited. This is gonna be handier (and cleaner!!) than the seat-back pocket. I might pre-fill it in the gate area so it’s ready to just slide on when I board. This was $25, so it could either be the most fantastic item I’ve ever gotten, or I’m going to be really mad.
I have both sizes of this bag, the 19″ Junior and the 22.5″ original. Both are carry-on sized, although the larger one does brush against the limit and I have been asked to gate check it. The smaller one can fit under the seat in front of you if it isn’t super full, but is still a bit too obviously a travel bag in my opinion to try to pass it off as a personal item. Maybe a lenient airline will let you get away with this, basically having 2 carry-ons, but I wouldn’t press my luck that way. I have packed the larger one for a 3-week stint at 2 conferences, one in Ohio and one in France, plus a week in Spain afterward. That was a really full bag and was inconveniently heavy but not unmanageable.
I’m going to try to make my 12-day trip in Spain with the junior size this summer, and if my stuff doesn’t fit, hope nobody notices that the full-sized one is .5″ bigger than the size allows. The interior is bright orange, which I know turns some people off, but since most people don’t pack bright orange things, it makes a great lining where you won’t lose anything in there. As I write this it’s on sale for $97 with a 5% coupon. It isn’t the cheapest backpack you can get, but I’ve checked these and carried them on for years and it has held up. I don’t know that a cheap bag would do the same.
I don’t take a lot of pills, but for about $6, this little guy is a great size. It’s got 3 compartments that I now use daily at home! It fits in my bathroom drawer and can hold a decent supply of the pills I would use most regularly. This may not be ideal for someone with a lot of pills to take, but this could hold the typical preventative medicines many travel with, or even a prescription or two. The dividers are removable so you could also use this for any other very small items like jewelry, SD or SIM cards, or other tiny things. The lid has a clasp on it so it closes securely. I’ve also seen 6-compartment versions of this. You can get a 4-pack with pink, blue, green and white here for only $9.50, if you’re into value packs.
If you want a jogger, for $15 these are SO soft and amazing I had to include them here. They fit true to size, not super tight like leggings would. I have a couple of pairs of these now and they’re my favorite loungewear. And I would 100% recommend wearing them to fly, if you prioritize flying in comfort and not in style. I may wear these on my flight to Spain this summer (they may be a bit warm for summer though) and change when we land. It may sound like an exaggeration but I smile every time I put them on. What can I say, I love cozy. Oh, and yeah, they have pockets.
I fell into these through a Facebook ad thinking they looked a lot like my favorite summer capris that I no longer had and which were discontinued. And they fit the bill. I really love these. A smooth nylon-ish feel, but without the major swish-swish when you walk, even if you have thighs that rub together (trust me, I know). These are super thin material, and do not wrinkle, so they’re great for travel. I pretty much just wear these all summer (I don’t often do actual shorts), and these are comfy. The cargo pocket is small, and lays flat when not being used. It wouldn’t hold a lot anyhow. The regular pockets are decent normal pocket size (don’t be swayed by the model in the photo, her hands are posing that way, you can see the pocket seam is much larger. I have no problem fitting my phone in the pocket. I wear an XL, and am a 16/16W size. These run between $15-30 depending on the color and size combo on Amazon.