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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 when those items are small or easily forgotten. Some of us keep a list, others play it by ear. As someone who used to just pack up and head out before a trip, I’ve definitely gotten wiser with age and now do my best to have a list of things to pack or take with me.
Not long ago I was asked to compile a list of must-have road trip essentials. Thankfully, there weren’t any disclaimers on this list — just a whole bunch of things that make road trips better, go by faster, or a combination of those. However, in this article, let’s talk about some accessories that aren’t necessarily associated with a road trip, but rather with travel in general – and items that can be easily stowed away! Consider this a head start on creating your own list. small accessories that I always have with me when I travel. Or in some cases, they are items brought by members of my family that caught my attention and were subsequently 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 warm up – I sweat a lot – so I’ve personally used it in an outdoor theater, outside in a restaurant queue, at an airport and countless other settings. I actually only used it sitting on the couch before now that I think about it. Since my wife originally bought it, it has been used in many other ways around our home. Compact, lightweight and with plenty of options to shape the bendable tripod as needed, this was a great purchase. It pushes out about the amount of air you would expect. It has three speeds and impressive battery life. For just a few dollars more, you can upgrade to white, blue, or pink from the standard black option.
Anker portable charger
buy now $52.69
As mentioned elsewhere, a portable phone/tablet charger is an absolute must when on the go, and this particular one can charge just about any mobile device. Like many others, this one is the perfect size, lightweight and well worth the money. There’s not much worse than when a phone or tablet breaks – especially when you’re on the go. Having at least one of these sitting around can be very helpful. The charger itself also recharges quickly – a must!
Bath And Body Works hand sanitizer
buy now $18.90
There are many hand sanitizers out there, but I will recommend what I use – the pocket-sized hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works. These are perfect for those times when you can’t wash your hands but have to. Just finished at an ATM, gas pump, or playing games on your phone before dinner? This little item comes in handy for all of those scenarios and more—and it comes in a variety of scents. Don’t worry, many of the scents are fairly neutral or even smell a little like cologne. In any case, clean hands are better than being sick. Always keep this stuff with you!
Bath And Body Works Hand Lotion
buy now $18.29
Another must-have when traveling is a tube of hand lotion that fits in your pocket, purse, or wherever you need to put it. When your hands are dry and easily cracked, it’s important to always have some hand lotion nearby. If you’re on a plane or traveling in the middle of nowhere and need something, you’ll be glad you or someone in your traveling 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 toss a travel-size tube or two of lotion into her purse.
UN United Time Desk and Table Fan
buy now $42.99
Like I said, I’m warming up. So no, you’re not surprised there’s another fan on my list. However, this one is very different. It’s still pretty small, but doesn’t have to stay that way – this one is foldable. Touted as a desk and table fan, this fan can also stand on the floor as a standing fan and fits nicely into a small space when you fold it all the way down to the size of the fan’s round head. If you want to expand it, it can stand up to 3 feet tall, comes in multiple colors, and has four speeds. I own these personally and really love them. It’s battery operated, comes with a remote control and is extremely handy!
Portable EU night light
buy now $12.99
That this is a must when traveling didn’t occur to me until recently. The first time I even thought about packing my own night light was when we had family visiting from out of town. I mentioned a hall light they could leave on, only to be told they actually packed their own night lights. What a novel concept! No more worrying about leaving a light on in a hotel bathroom and hoping it’s dim enough not to keep you awake but bright enough to keep you from banging your leg against one bump dresser. This particular option is simple, inexpensive, and even comes in a multi-pack if you think you’ll need more than one. A helpful tip is to leave a note somewhere so you don’t forget it 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 on a road trip. If you’re like me and tend to get annoyed with liquid rules and airport security, there definitely can’t hurt to use these. These bottles are touted as leak-proof, giving you one less thing to worry about when flying or preparing for a road trip. Available in multiple colors and in a variety of quantity options, this is an inexpensive way to avoid a potential headache. A great buy for sure!
Ohoo back scratcher
buy now $10.99
These were mentioned in another travel article I wrote, but I can’t stress this enough – pack at least one back scratcher for your trip! These are absolutely amazing – expandable, fairly robust, and incredibly cheap. Rest assured, the people you’re traveling with will appreciate you having one, not only because they don’t have to scratch your back, but they’re bound to borrow one at some point. I have one of these at home, at work, next to the bed and yes – in the car. These are a must for everyday life and certainly also when travelling. Don’t hesitate – grab one or more!
buy now $11.04
If you tend to travel with a lot of electronics, chargers, charging cables, etc., consider this FYY Electronics Organizer. Available in multiple sizes, styles and many different colors, you’ll stop trying to remember which little pocket of your suitcase houses all your electronics. Add this to the “one less thing to worry about” list when packing for vacation.
Travel Compression Bag
buy now $19.99
Are you someone who tends to overpack? Touted to save up to 80 percent of your suitcase’s space, the Hibag travel compression bags will help you carry everything you need for your trip. No vacuum is required to make these work for you and they come in packs of eight to 18 sachets. Fit more of these necessities and pick these up today!
Hanging toiletry bag
buy now $22.99
It will not surprise anyone who knows me or maybe gets to know me a little through my texts that I never bought this item. My wife, on the other hand, actually bought this item, took it with her when traveling, and I have absolutely benefited from it. A hanging toiletry bag allows you to have a place for everything and a place for everything. It is compact when closed, available in many colors and comes in two sizes. It’s absolutely worth it!
For more packing tips and tricks, see: