8 Travel Accessories That’ll Upgrade Your Next Trip

Whether you’re traveling solo or bringing the kids, make travel more enjoyable with the right accessories

There’s only so much you can control when traveling. Busy airports, flight delays and cranky toddlers may all be obstacles along your journey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come prepared.

Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, by yourself or with loved ones, you can increase your odds of an enjoyable trip when you pack the right gear. Before your next voyage, consider upgrading your experience with a few of these clever travel accessories.

1. A carry-on that’s as intelligent as you are

The most sophisticated luggage doesn’t just keep your electronic devices safe, it charges them too! This breed of carry-on is commonly called “smart” luggage, and it could be your new go-to bag.

Whether you’re off on an overnight to Chicago or a weeklong trip to Europe, smart carry-ons come loaded with a number of slick features that make storing and transporting your belongings easy. Think built-in batteries, combination locks, hidden laundry bags, interior compression systems and wheels that rotate 360 degrees. And the exteriors—often made of durable polycarbonate or ballistic nylon—can be just as cutting-edge as the interiors.

The ability to charge your devices while waiting for a flight—coupled with smooth handling, superior organization and durability—make these carry-ons a must-have in your travel arsenal.

2. Wireless earbuds with ambient sounds to lull you to sleep

Whether you’re dealing with a snoring roommate, noisy hotels or louder-than-expected street noise, travel can bring a host of unexpected nighttime disturbances.

Need to guarantee a good night’s sleep? Earplugs are a quick fix, but sometimes they just don’t cut it—the sound, that is. You could try a white-noise app on your phone, or check out a next-level solution from Bose®: SleepbudsTM. Instead of just plugging your ears or playing music, these wireless earbuds come preloaded with relaxing, ambient sounds to block unwanted noise and help you get uninterrupted sleep—even when your accommodations aren’t as peaceful as home.

Are you an early riser? You can set a personal alarm with Sleepbuds that only you will hear.

A man holding Bose Sleepbuds.

The Bose Sleepbuds work to block unwanted noise to help you get uninterrupted sleep.

3. A space-saving, collapsible water bottle that’s easy on the environment

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’re probably familiar with TSA’s liquids rules. Full water bottles aren’t allowed through security checkpoints—but you can bring an empty one. And if you’re short on space, a collapsible water bottle could be a game changer, especially if you’re working out on the road.

Collapsible water bottles are usually made from sturdy, yet flexible, materials that hold form while full, but easily roll or fold up when empty. And these bottles do more than just free up luggage space—they also cut down on waste. So instead of buying plastic bottles every time you need a drink, pack a single reusable bottle for your next trip.

4. A child carrier that lightens your load

Travel can be hard on kids, but it can be even harder on parents—especially if you’re not prepared for hours of piggyback rides once your child’s legs tire out.

So if your next family trip includes a decent amount of walking—and a stroller won’t suffice—look for a child carrier like the Poco® AG Plus by Osprey® that’s specifically designed for hiking. A special “anti-gravity” system disperses weight to help you balance the load, and a mesh shoulder harness and back panel help provide ventilation. Easily adjustable and equipped with a built-in, removable sunshade, the carrier can help keep you and your little one happy and comfortable throughout your travels—just don’t forget to pack the snacks.

A woman holding her baby in a child carrier while hiking.

If long walks are on your family’s travel itinerary, look for a child carrier designed for hiking. Pictured: the Poco AG Plus by Osprey.

5. A travel wallet for protected passports and peace of mind

Ever experience the mild panic that sets in after misplacing a boarding pass or passport? Your mind starts to race through all the possibilities. You check your pockets—you check everyone’s pockets. You dig through luggage. And if all else fails, you retrace your steps until you find the lost item.

There’s a better way! Stay organized with a travel wallet designed to store all your most important documents. Whether you’re getting through airport security or checking in at the hotel, you’ll have boarding passes, passports, IDs, itineraries and credit cards all at your fingertips.

Traveling with kids? Look for a travel wallet large enough for multiple passports. And if you’re traveling with a partner, consider using multiple travel wallets in case you’re a victim of theft. To be extra safe, follow the U.S. Department of State’s advice: “Make two copies of all of your travel documents in case of emergency, and leave one with a trusted friend or relative.”

6. Multi-bag luggage straps to keep your luggage in line

Travel is all about getting from point A to point B. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Navigating airports and other crowded places with multiple bags and family members can be a challenge, especially when your children are young.

One solution? Multi-bag luggage straps that link one suitcase to another—and another, and another—allowing you to easily pull multiple bags at once. They’re a cheap and easy way to take the load off a young and weary traveler. Simply strap their bag to yours and pull them both with ease.

7. A compact luggage scale to weigh your way to confident bag check and boarding

Did you know that many airlines place weight restrictions on baggage, limiting what you can carry on and check? If you show up at the airport with an overweight bag, you could find yourself moving items from one bag to another, throwing things away or paying hefty fees. Not the best way to start your trip.

A luggage scale can save you time and money, not to mention the headache of having to rifle through your bag at the airport. There are both digital and nondigital options, with several priced under $20. And many fit in the palm of your hand, so they’re lightweight and easy to store.

Pro tip: Read the fine print. Weight limits can vary depending on the airline you’re flying, the fare class listed on your ticket, whether you’re checking or carrying on, and whether it’s a domestic or international flight.

8. Packing cubes to take your organization to the next level

Even the most organized of travelers have dealt with a carry-on that starts to resemble a junk drawer after a few days on the road. To improve organization and give yourself more space, add packing cubes to your list of must-have travel accessories.

Packing cubes help keep clothes organized within your luggage. If you’re traveling with family and sharing a bag, they can also help keep everyone’s clothes separate. And they provide extra privacy and easy access to your things—in case you need to open up a bag for TSA or grab a warmer pair of socks for a cold flight.

Travel Smarter, You Deserve It

Traveling can be taxing enough—you owe it to yourself to make your experience more comfortable and efficient with smart travel accessories. Whether it’s getting a better night’s sleep or keeping everything (and everyone) more organized, having the right gear makes a big difference. 

Up your travel game today with some of these travel accessories and find the smarter travel you’ve been missing.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Related Content