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20 Travel Items That You’ll Kick Yourself For Not Having Bought Before Your Last Trip

A portable charger because a dead phone is one of the worst things that can happen while traveling

Promising review: “This is an amazing rapid power charger! It charges an iPad faster than plugging it into AC, even while using it! The size is very manageable — about the size of a deck of cards. I travel frequently, and I’m not always near a power source. I just make sure to charge the Anker each evening and then none of my devices will be without power during the day. I was so happy with it, I purchased two more — one for my husband and one for my sister who can’t seem to remember to keep her devices charged.” — Cathy K

A set of 12 charcoal odor absorber bags so you never have to worry about your shoes smelling

Promising review: “Stinky shoes be gone! These guys are on the smaller size (1”x3” each) so I put two each in my size 10 Women’s shoes when I pack them up for travel. I LOVE that they make the stinks go away. They don’t add any particular scent either. It’s just a neutral sucking up of the ‘stop wearing those shoes’ scent blues. I’ve used them in my favorite ballet flats and shiny sneakers. My dog approves.” – Izzi

Wireless noise-cancelling headphones so you can tune out distracting background noise on the plane

Promising review: “Now that I’ve had these headphones for a couple of weeks, I can’t imagine my life without them. I chose them because they were the highest rated noise cancelling headphones in this price range reviewed by Consumer Reports. These headphones work SO well at blocking out the noises I was getting so distracted by. I also listen to podcasts and meditations on them, but not really music so I can’t really speak to their sound quality there. I use them for work (Teams meetings or listening to live broadcasts) and they work well. The battery life is great and I could probably get through two full days on a charge.” — Kelly

Portable soap paper sheets that get instantly sudsed up with a drop of water

Promising review: “Exactly what I wanted! Hands feel very clean after wash! Highly recommend! I read other reviews and decided these had the best reviews, and those reviews did not disappoint! Each sheet of soap produces enough soap to give the comfort of knowing your hands are throughly clean. We liked our first order so much that we bought 10 packs for my fiancé’s work crew to help make keeping their hands clean during this pandemic! (He’s a delivery driver/repair tech.) If you have wanted to try something like this product, I highly recommend this brand!” — Clippin4You

Amazon

Traction mats to help your car get unstuck if you get trapped in mud, snow, or sand

Promising review: “If you’re on the fence, just do it. They are half the price of MaxTrax and just as good, I haven’t used them as a bridge, but they literally saved my and my wife’s lives in a recent Colorado Blizzard on a horrible mountain pass. Good tires, and 4LO couldn’t get me up the 12% grade in about 1′ of fresh snow on top of 1-2″ of ice and we were just sliding sideways toward the literal cliff. We got these babies out, wedged them against the front and rear opposite corners and it got us out of the terrible situation and back home.” — Tony

A waterproof satin-lined Hairbrella hat that will protect your wash and set (or wash and go)

Hairbrella is a Black woman-owned small business that has been creating fashionable hats that protect hair from all kinds of weather since 2016. It’s available in eight colors.

Promising review: “Traveled to London last month with a raincoat that did not have a hood, and wanted something that would protect my head/hair/blowout without lugging an umbrella. This definitely did the trick. 2 of the 3 days were rainy (some quite heavy) and my hair stayed totally dry. It stows nicely, too.” — Miss Information

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

A bottle of Poo-Pourri to mask bathroom smells

It’s available in 20 scents and 11 sizes.

Promising review
: “I have this one, a travel size one, and an extra one to refill all my travel size ones. I keep one in the house bathroom and one with me at all times. I even bought one for each of my relatives. I was always too subconscious about pooing in any public or private bathroom unless it was my own. When my friend heard about it and knew of my shy problem, he ordered it for me. I gave it a try and it honestly masks almost all of the scent. It has helped me regulate myself by allowing me to get comfortable enough with going when I need to despite where I am and who’s around.” — AriQuinn

Amazon

Disposable silicone ear plugs that can help with that painful feeling that happens when your plane is landing

It’s available in multi-packs up to 10.

Promising review:
“This product has changed my life. I travel fairly frequently and always have issues with ear pressure on the plane. My ears will be clogged up, and it is painful to swallow for a day or two after short-distance flights. But now, I use these and fly incident-free. You are supposed to insert them before the plane takes off and then before landing. I have found that it works best if I leave them in the entire flight from before takeoff until landing, but they work almost as well if you take them out once you reach cruising altitude.” — Thomasina

Amazon

A portable espresso maker so you can have a fresh cup of joe while on a road trip

Promising review: “The best thing for traveling ever!! I have to have espresso every morning and most small hotels and gas stations don’t have espresso coffee so this is perfect! Easy to use. The cleaning takes 30 seconds; just rinse with water and let it dry.” — Joanna Verdeja

Amazon

A LifeStraw that can filter bacteria, parasites, and micro-plastics from water

It’s available in four colors and in multi-packs up to five.

Promising review:
“This thing is no joke! I took it backpacking on Maine’s Bigelow range. When I ran out of the water I brought, I was A-OK with this. Just bring a wide mouth bottle to fill with water you find. On top of one of the lower peaks, I drank from the most disgusting-looking crevice filled with brown scum. I thought, this is going to be safe, but taste horrid. WRONG. TASTED LIKE THE FRESHEST SPRING WATER. Better than any tap. I’m from Maine, and I’ve tasted plenty of water right from mountain springs, so take my word. One caution: it can be a little challenging to start. You have to prove it by soaking. If it still doesn’t work, blow into it a bit.” — Amazon customer

A mask bracket that allows you to be fully and safely covered

A lot of reviewers also mentioned this was great for saving their lipstick or when fabric from masks gets wet in the rain!

Promising review: “These make it so much easier to have a conversation since your mask isn’t right on your mouth and you don’t sound all muffled. Another benefit is I don’t have to speak as loudly. I’m not so sure about being cooler with this because it always feels hot when I have my mask on. There are some clips on both ends of these but I’m not sure how they are used. I find they stay in place if my mask is nice and snug, which it should be. Very satisfied with this product.” — Duarte Lady

An anti-blister balm for your feet that provides a barrier between your skin and shoes

Promising review: “I purchased two of these for our one-week Disney World trip. I knew I’d be walking around A LOT, and my feet aren’t used to the many miles of walking a day in the hot and humid environment, so I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. I’m happy to say I put it on once in the morning, slipped on some socks and comfy shoes, and I didn’t get one blister or issue with my feet! I wish I knew about this a long time ago!” — Michelle

Amazon

A travel checklist notepad that has every essential you’ll need to pack for your trip

Promising review: “So helpful! I travel a lot, and so does my husband, and this pad makes packing so much easier and stress free. The list is quite extensive, while I probably will never need to pack all of it for one trip, but it covers everything for a business trip or a pleasure trip. I don’t worry about what I forgot to pack anymore. Use a pencil, erase it when done, and one sheet will last three to four trips.” — Cktine

A pack of three Tide To Go pens which will especially help those who pack light

Promising review: “These were a lifesaver. I was walking to the bus and decided it was a great decision to drink coffee while walking. Like a scene from an infomercial, I spilled coffee all over my white shirt. Yes, the classic coffee on the white shirt. Luckily I had one of these in my bag (I put one in each of my most-used purses in anticipation of my clumsiness). I went into a store bathroom and quickly scrubbed the Tide To Go on my shirt. All of the coffee blobs went away and once the awkward wet splotches dried up, my shirt was perfectly white again. You’ve got yourself a big fan, Tide.” — NAD

Amazon

Weleda Skin Food Cream so your skin won’t be flaky and dry from all the hand-sanitizing while traveling

Promising review: “I am a flight attendant and this is my go-to hand cream! It is a little greasy when you first start rubbing it in, but it absorbs quickly and that along with the smell (a bit medicinal) dissipates before you know it. It doesn’t take much of this at all. I rub a little on my tired feet at the end of the day as well, and trust me I have tired feet after being on them for 14-plus hours. This stuff works great for this as well. Win-win, Weleda!” — Lauren

Amazon

A beach blanket made from parachute nylon that is water- and sand-proof

The blanket comes with four securing anchors.

Promising review: “I recently purchased this blanket for a family vacation to Florida, and everyone LOVED it! It’s lightweight, big enough for the whole family to lay out on, and the sand rolled right off. One of the things I loved most about it is that it rolled up super compact and light so it was easy to pack! When you are going to the beach with kids, you drag along a lot of equipment! It was nice that this was easy to pack and travel with. Fun fact: If you have one of those canopies to bring to the beach, this blanket fits perfectly under it!” — Megan

A portable luggage scale

Promising review: “This luggage scale is so handy and is great for weighing your luggage. I was a little concerned before I got it because I wasn’t sure how accurate it would be. When I used it when I went on vacation, it was dead-on to what the airport said, so I highly recommend this. Plus, it’s easy to pack in your bags.” —Teresa Daniels

Amazon

A travel contact lens kit which includes a solution bottle, tweezers, stick connection, case and mirror

Promising review: “When I travel, I worry about misplacing my contacts, so this will help me keep them in a safe place and make them easy to find.” — Tamara G.

A portable fan that will help keep you cool during any outing despite the high temperatures

Promising review: “I have ZERO complaints!!! My sister got married outdoors and I decided I needed a fan as I sweat a lot. Suffice to say I LOVE IT! I was cool the entire time in the sun, it has a handle and is not too big which makes it easy to tag along anywhere and everywhere. You won’t regret this purchase.” — DIONNE HOOK

Goodwipes

Hypoallergenic plant-based body wipes which will allow you to freshen up when you don’t have a tub

Promising review: “I wish I had a funny review here, but B.O. is no joke! I work out hard, I sweat hard, and sweat stinks! I also run my own incredibly busy business and have two small kids. Every minute of my day counts and showering early in the day is a luxury that I don’t always get to indulge in! But that leaves me smelling ‘straight out the locker room’ for a large part of my day before I get to shower — no good! Enter these — they’re a game changer! I work out, sweat like a boss, wipe down, and voila: no longer offensive! In fact, I actually smell and feel fresh! Big fan!” — Anna Palestis Frenke

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