Life·15 min read

26 Smart Accessories That'll Make Travel Easier

smart products for travel
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon, Cushion Lab, STATE Bags
Nov 7, 2022

This post was originally published in August 2021 and has been updated.

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

POV: You’re traveling for the holidays and feel a little stressed about your upcoming trip. Packing? Haven’t heard of her. The good news: we gotchu.

We rounded up all the essentials you’ll be thankful for come travel time. We’re talking the stuff that’ll make packing easier, things to make the flight (or train or car ride) less stressful, and items that’ll make living out of a suitcase just a littttttle bit better. Bon voyage.

Things that’ll help you pack smarter

A five-piece packing cube set that’ll keep your suitcase from looking like a tornado… 

If you’ve been thinking about jumping on the packing cube train, this is your sign. This nylon set comes in a variety of colors and is made to withstand all the wear and tear that comes with traveling thanks to its double stitching and reinforced lid. Each cube is a different size, plus there’s a laundry bag included so you can separate your stuff throughout your trip. Marie Kondo would be proud. ($21.99 per set, Amazon)

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Mini magnetic containers so you don’t have to worry about your bottles leaking...

Now your shampoo and conditioner will stay perfectly intact, even if your suitcase takes a couple tumbles. Cadence’s refillable containers are designed for liquids, pills, and other smaller, random pieces (think jewelry). They’re magnetic so they stick together and can be labeled so you know exactly what’s where. Off you go. ($74/6 pack, Cadence)

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A packing cube for your shoes…

Because if you’re still unclear on how to properly store them in your suitcase, you’re not alone. It comes with a collapsible divider so you can safely stow away your shoes without getting dirt and grime on all your clean clothes. It’s made from water-resistant nylon and has a top handle so you can carry or hang it up easily. Plus, it lies flat when not in use. It’s a yes from us. ($25+, Away)

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A laptop case that’ll make your travel partner say, ‘Where’d ya get that?’...

This 13-inch puffy case provides added protection so you can have peace of mind while road tripping (or flying) with your most valuable companion. Oh, and it’s machine washable and comes in a number of fun prints too. Safe travels, coming right up. ($32, Baggu)

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A clear, TSA-approved bag for all your toiletries…

So you don’t have to stress come your time in the airport security line. These have a large zipper opening, which makes for easy use. Plus, they’re corrosion-resistant and waterproof, so you can set ‘em right up in that hotel bathroom for easy access. ($9.99+ per set, Amazon)

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Refillable, reusable travel-sized bottles for your toiletries...

They’re leak-proof and will ensure you follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. The drip-free dispenser should keep your liquids where they belong (versus all over the inside of your suitcase). Plus, each bottle comes with a preprinted ID label so you’ll be able to tell your liquids apart without having to come up with a mnemonic device to remember that blue = shampoo). ($11.99+, Amazon)

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A tech organizer that’ll make finding your charger so much more manageable...

No more temper tantrums here. This one has a two-way zipper that allows for quick access and will prevent those frustrating ‘oh no, all my cords are tangled’ moments. It comes in three different colors and has dedicated spots for an SD card, mouse, and hard drive, so your precious cargo will be safe and sound. Psst: It’s TSA-approved and water-resistant, so it’s a breeze to move through the airport with. ($18.99, Amazon)

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A jewelry box that’ll make transporting your precious items easy... 

You can select the color plus the option to print your name on the case. Inside there are slots for earrings, loops for necklaces and bracelets, and tiny compartments for rings. Now you’ll have a dedicated place for valuables when you’re on the go. ($27+, Etsy)

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A hanging Dopp kit that’s made to last...

For when you’ve got a small hotel bathroom and no space to put the 12 million beauty products you just had to bring with you. It's got multiple compartments, mesh pockets, and a removable mirror and shower caddy. And zippers that can handle 20,000 zips and unzips. Plus, it's abrasion-resistant and water-resistant (no spilled liquids here, thank you very much). Bonus: It comes in 14 colors. It’s basically the GOAT in our books. ($34.95, L.L.Bean)

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An everything-in-one travel bag…

We’re talking the literal perfect duffle here. The mini size fits up to three days’ worth of stuff, the small holds up to five, and big holds five-plus. Wear it as a backpack or crossbody, or carry it like a classic duffle — thanks to its detachable, adjustable, ergonomic straps and four external reinforced handles. Its other special deets? A lockable zipper closure, double-layered construction for extra durability, an external zip passport pocket, and more. Plus, you get your pick of colors. The real question is, what doesn’t this bag have? ($159+, Baboon to the Moon)

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A foldable duffle to use when you overshop on vacay…

This collapsible duffle bag is great to have on hand for your return trip. It folds down into a tiny pouch and is also TSA-approved as a carry-on option. Plus, the bright colors, recycled materials, and personalization options don’t hurt either. Throw it in your bag now, be thankful you have it later. ($70+, Paravel)

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Carry-on essentials...

A water-bottle sling so you can go hands-free…

Since you’re probably holding a thousand other items too. Whether you rock it on a hike, while trekking through a city, or in the airport, this sling is *chef’s kiss*. It has an insulated compartment and an adjustable strap so it makes for comfy use. Plus, it’s especially great for kiddos who aren’t great at holding onto things. All aboard: hydration station. ($24.50, STATE Bags)

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An unscented hand sanitizer so you can keep germs at bay…

The internet’s obsessed with this one and for good reason. It’s fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and made with aloe vera and essential oils. Oh, and it comes in mist form. Yep, that’s right. No more ‘whoops, I accidentally squeezed an entire bottle of sanitizer onto my hands’ nonsense. Just mist your hands a few times and voilá. Psst: If you do happen to prefer a fragranced option — they’ve got plenty of delicious scents too. ($10, Touchland)

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An ergonomic travel pillow so you can kiss those head-bobbing days goodbye...

This one is designed to secure your neck and stabilize your head while you sleep. It has a bolstered face rest for chin support, plus a removable cover to make washing it no sweat. It also collapses into a mug-sized pouch when not in use. Sweet dreams to you. ($48+, Cushion Lab)

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A bluetooth adapter so you can stream your fave films the entire flight…

No wired headphones to plug into your seat screen? No problem. Just attach this handy bluetooth adapter into your seat’s audio jack and pair it with your headphones. It charges via USB-C and it’ll last up to 20 hours on one charge. Game-changer alert. ($34.99, Amazon)

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A fold-up belt bag for when you’ve got an action-packed trip planned...

Look ma, no hands. Fashion meets function in this trendy option that’s great for a busy vacay. This one’s ultra lightweight, water-resistant, and made from recycled plastic water bottles. We love wearing it on bike rides and morning walks into town. It folds down into a wallet-sized pouch too. So if you prefer to stuff it in your travel bag as a just-in-case item to have in your hotel room, it’s perfect. ($35+, Paravel)

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Reusable, portable utensils that’ll make in-flight meals and on-the-go snacks easier…

Throw these dishwasher-safe utensils in your bag and use ‘em in the airport, on your road trip or during a day at the beach. The pack includes a stainless steel knife, spoon, and fork in a slim, silicone holder that’s ultralightweight. Single-use plastic? We don’t know her. ($10.97+, Amazon)

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A cult-fave mask that actually keeps your lips soft and flake-free…

There’s nothing more uncomfy than the dry air on planes. So instead of letting your lips turn into the Mohave Desert, scoop up this cult-fave lip treatment. It’s technically recommended for overnight use…but so many Skimm HQ’rs layer it on like balm during the day. It’ll leave you with that healthy supple look you’re probably craving during a long day of travel. Psst: Want more of our fave hydrating skin products? Check out our recs here. So smooth, so soft. ($24, Amazon)

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A portable charger aka the MVP of your trip…

Because no one wants to board their flight or long bus ride with a drained battery. Plus, when you’re traveling there’s not always easy access to an outlet. This one from Anker lets you charge two devices at once and is especially optimized to charge low-power devices, like earphones and Bluetooth speakers. Say ‘buh bye’ to that dreaded 10% low battery mode notification in ($49.95+, Amazon)

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Knee-high compression socks to keep you feeling comfy…

No blood clots here, thank you very much. Pros of wearing these include all-day comfort and support, increased circulation, decreased lactic acid buildup, improved leg and foot comfort, and reduced soreness, swelling, and inflammation. Phew. Psst: If you need more sock recs for your trip, we gotcha covered. It’s cozy time. ($28, Comrad)

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Noise-canceling headphones to block out all that unwanted sound...

This Bluetooth pair will help you tune out those loud airplane engines or that crying baby three rows back. And can last up to 60 hours before needing a charge. Plus, the headphones are designed to be comfy on your ears — they’ve got memory foam cushions that’ll keep things pain-free. Sound up. ($47.99, Amazon)

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A portable foot hammock that’ll reduce foot swelling and soreness…

You can use it on flights, buses, and just about anywhere. Simply hook the rest onto a table and plop your feet in for added support. It’ll float your legs and help relieve some of that travel fatigue. It’s made of memory foam and especially handy during long flights or drives. ($12.95, Amazon)

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A RFID-blocking necklace wallet…

To minimize your credit cards or personal info getting hacked, we love using this slim wallet that’s built to protect against radio-frequency identification (RFID). It’s made of moisture-wicking fabric and weighs only about 1.5 ounces, so it won’t add weight to your neck. Safety first, kids. ($13.54+, Amazon)

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A leatherette holder that’ll level up your passport situation…

This one’s as cute as it is functional. It’ll cover your passport and has three slots for things like a credit card or hotel key. We have a feeling it’ll make the perfect bachelorette gift too. Mental vacation, here you come. ($14.99+,

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A three-ply, single-use face mask…

No more worrying about rewashing your masks while you’re relaxing on a precious vacay. These disposable ones aren’t meant to be reused, so you can toss ’em after a long travel day. They come individually wrapped so you can easily throw a bunch in your carry-on. Psst…we did a trusty guide all about masks. Read up and mask up here. ($14.95+/50 pack, Amazon)

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A travel-sized version of a cult-fave moisturizing cream…

Emotional support cream has entered the chat. If you can’t travel without your trusted lotion, we get it. Enter: this irritant-free, unscented cream that dermatologists love. It’s got hyaluronic acid and ceramides in it that will make your skin feel like pure butter — sans the greasiness or stickiness. Slather this one on your face, body or hands and be on your merry way. Plus, it's noncomedogenic (aka it won’t clog your pores) and hypoallergenic too. Say goodbye to dry patches. ($5.99, Target)

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