There are countless gizmos and gadgets specifically for travelers that spare no expense when it comes to keeping up creature comforts. While many of those travel accessories sound great at first glance, most end up feeling like dead weight before your trip is even over.
And when space in your suitcase is limited? Those extras that come along need to work even harder justify their place on your packing list. To help you keep room in your bag and cash in your wallet for souvenirs, here are our top eight picks for cool travel accessories that could noticeably improve your next trip.
Wallet-Friendly Travel Accessories
You don’t need expensive travel gear to globetrot by plane, train, automobile or foot—just a few of the right extras. These will allow you to pack purposefully, save on space and stay organized without breaking the bank.
1. Red Maps City Guides ($9.95)
IMAGE CREDIT: www.redmaps.com
Smartphone searches and guidebooks only take you so far. When you’ve reached your vacation spot, be sure to have this personalized guide in your travel bag. Laminated and waterproof, these maps feature the hottest spots your destination has to offer, including cultural, artistic, historic must-sees and incredibly detailed lists of the best shopping and hotels in the city. And don’t worry about their information being out of date—Red Maps are updated every four months!
2. Go-Sim International SIM Cards & Phone Packs ($19-69)
These days being digitally disconnected is like being stranded on a desert island. It’s almost a given that when you land in an international destination, you may need to make a phone call, check Google Maps for directions or stay on top of email. Save yourself from the nightmare of international roaming fees and surcharges and get an international SIM that offers cheap data and even cheaper local calls. Don’t know if your phone is compatible with international cell networks? Go-Sim also offers SIM card + phone combo packs so you’re totally prepared.
Pro Tip: Picking up a “throwaway” candy bar phone, like the ones offered by Go-Sim, has a couple of benefits. First, you eliminate the risk of losing your expensive smartphone while overseas. And since they’re pretty low-key and low-tech, the risk of experiencing theft is less as well.
3. SuperSmartTag Luggage Tags ($19.95)
You know that panicked feeling of being one of the last few travelers left standing at the baggage carousel, wondering if your luggage ended up having different travel plans? Now you never have to worry about losing your bags again! These trackable luggage tags help you to travel smarter with a unique tracking code that enables airport staff to trace your baggage. Each purchased tag is supported with three years of global coverage, beginning from the date of registration, and can be switched to a different bag at any time. Grab an extra to attach to headphones or anything else you’d hate to leave on the plane as well.
Nifty Space Saving Travel Accessories
Trying to keep it to carry-on? These compact travel gadgets can make fitting luggage into overhead bin space easier —and your carry-on lighter—without skimping on fun.
4. Vapur Element Water Bottle ($14)
IMAGE CREDIT: lavamagazine.com
Stay hydrated and save cash by filling up at drinking fountains with Vapur’s soft-sided bottles. BPA-free and constructed from three layers of ultra-durable plastic, Vapur bottles are designed to endure hard use and repeated cleaning. When your thirst is quenched, just roll it up or hang it from your belt or bag with the handy top ring.
5. Scrubba Washbag ($55)
IMAGE CREDIT: thescrubba.com
Listen up chronic over-packers! Did you know that you can totally go away for several weeks with only a carry-on? The trick is washing your own clothes, and Scrubba makes that easier than ever with its internal nodules and packable size. Even better, the sack doubles as a laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes separate and ready for soap.
6. TravelSmith Laundry Soap Sheets ($8)
IMAGE CREDIT: travelsmith.com
These thin sheets of soap are great for travel, offering another ingenious way to pack light. Biodegradable and eco-friendly, they come in dry form so you can pack them in your carry-on bag.
7. Speakeasy Travel Supply Scarves ($55)
IMAGE CREDIT: speakeasytravelsupply.com
Alright, maybe it isn’t so much a “space saver” as it is a super cool safety precaution. But Speakeasy Travel Supply’s scarves feature an awesome hidden pocket that keeps your valuables safe—and gives the option to go purse or wallet-free! So it kind of counts, right? Super comfy and easy to wear, these scarves can hold up to an 8oz flask and come in a wide variety of colors and prints.
8. Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series ($20-50)
IMAGE CREDIT: photojojo.com
Don’t need high-resolution images of your vacation? These tiny lenses put the fun back into cell phone pictures with increased options for shooting. Photojojo lenses are easy to use, snapping onto a magnetic ring sticker that you place around your phone’s camera. They even come with tiny lens caps to keep them from being scratched.
Try To Buck Trendy Tech & Travel Light
The key thing to remember when picking travel accessories is not to get carried away. It’s easy to end up with far too much in your luggage when browsing for travel gadgets, but don’t forget that anything you really miss, you can likely purchase upon arrival.
Instead, pick a few accessories that combine two or more different functions or can save you frustration, time, money, and space in your bag. If you do? You’ll have an easier, more enjoyable trip—without lugging an extra twenty pounds of junk along for the ride.
Are you bound for an adventure? Share your travel gear necessities in the comments below.