15 Smart Travel Accessories for Any Type of Traveler

Learn about travel accessories that might make your next trip more enjoyable

Americans took millions of trips in 2017. And whether you travel frequently, or it’s your very first time, sometimes it can be hard to remember all the travel gear you need. You also might not be aware that there are a number of travel accessories designed to make your experience easier.
Here are a few travel accessories to consider taking on a trip. Of course, travel is a very personalized experience—so you might want to take all of these travel accessories, none of them or maybe just a few. This list provides a few general tips, rather than a complete checklist.

1. Travel Pillow

There are a few different types of travel pillows out there, so depending on the trip you have planned, you may have different preferences. There are a variety of neck pillows—which wrap around your neck—designed to support your head while you sleep upright. Travel pillows also come in different textures. You can get all kinds of travel pillows, with all kinds of fillings—including ones you inflate yourself for easy packing—so figure out what works for you.

2. Toiletry Bag

If you’re flying, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) places regulations on the types and amounts of liquids you can travel with, especially when it comes to your carry-on baggage. TSA recommends separating out “liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes” in a separate resealable quart-sized bag. This means the bag can be easily removed from your main luggage for security checks. You might also opt to use leak-proof bottles that match the 3-1-1 requirement.

3. Space Bags

Packing everything you need for a trip can be hard. To give yourself more space or enhance organization, you might use space bags. These bags, or similar travel accessories, allow you to keep your clothes compressed. This enables you to fit more clothes in a smaller space, which may even save you on airlines’ checked-bag fees. There are also things called “packing cubes” that will divide up a suitcase. They may provide you with a sense of organization, privacy and easy access in case you need to open up your case at the airport, or upon arrival.

4. Travel Document Organizer

Perhaps you’re worried about keeping all your important documents safe. While you’ll always be responsible for looking after them, there are many travel accessories designed to make this easier. You also might like travel document organizers that keep your passport, wallet and other important travel items in one place.

5. Luggage Straps

If you’re traveling alone with more than one suitcase, you might have trouble pulling them around all at once. Luggage straps can make this easier. These are connecting straps that link one suitcase to another, allowing you to pull them all together.

6. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

If you’re the kind of person who needs your own personal headspace, wants high-quality sound for your devices, or even relief from the ambient noise on planes or trains, you might consider noise-cancelling headphones. These are available in a variety of styles, at a range of prices. They come as either in-ear buds or over-the-ear headphones. There may be a wide scope when it comes to effectiveness, so it’s worth doing some research and testing out different options before you buy.

7. Money Belt

Regardless of where you are traveling, it can be nice to feel comfortable exploring without a lot of baggage. It might also be nice to have a feeling of security. One option for carrying your money and important documents around is to use a money belt. You might be picturing something akin to a bulky eighties fanny pack, but while that’s certainly an option, there are also an array of slim money belts, some of which are designed to be worn underneath clothing.

8. Luggage Scale

Most airlines place weight restrictions on your baggage, limiting what you can bring. And while you might have access to a scale at home, this might not always be the case when you’re traveling back. So it may be useful to bring a luggage scale. You can choose between many digital and non-digital options depending on your personal preference.

9. Travel Laundry Kit

When you’re traveling, you may not have access to a washing machine or the means to clean your clothes. And when you’re limited to the clothes you’ve packed for the trip, sometimes even a small spill or mess can be problematic. One way to deal with this is to pack a few on-the-go laundry essentials. This can be a pre-made laundry kit, some wipes or even just a spot-remover pen. And if you’re flying, keep in mind TSA’s liquid guidelines.

10. Portable Charger

With 95% of Americans (as surveyed by Pew Research in 2018) now owning some form of cell phone, and 77% owning a smartphone, it’s reasonable to assume you have at least one device that will need charging over the course of your travels. And while you can’t always guarantee an outlet will be near, a portable charger or extra battery is something you can carry in case of emergency. There are a variety of portable chargers for various devices. Larger chargers might charge your device a few times before needing to be charged themselves. And some smaller ones may just give your device a quick battery boost to make essential calls.

11. Collapsible Water Bottle

If you’re traveling by plane, you won’t be able to bring a full bottle of water through airport security due to the TSA’s liquids rule. However, you can bring an empty water bottle with you. If you’re short on space, you might consider a collapsible water bottle. These are usually made from sturdy, yet flexible, materials that hold form while full, but easily roll or fold up when empty.

12. Portable Jewelry Box

If you wear jewelry, you’ll know that traveling with it can sometimes become a conundrum. Small pieces can be easy to lose, and things like necklaces can become tangled. To address this, there are portable jewelry boxes of varying sizes that allow you to store your jewelry as you travel.

13. Mini First Aid Kit

You never know what’s going to happen when you travel, so it can’t hurt to be prepared. A first aid kit is one way to give yourself peace of mind or just convenient access to things such as pain relievers or bandages for minor cuts. While it’s not the most traditional of travel accessories, it may just end up being the most useful.

14. Hand Sanitizer

Similarly, hand sanitizer is the kind of thing that’s easy to forget about until you wish you had some. If you’re traveling somewhere more remote—or even if you’re not—you may not always have access to soap or running water before you eat. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (PDF), while not a perfect solution, can be an adequate substitute. Just be sure to get a small enough bottle to stay within TSA guidelines for liquid sizes if you’re flying.

15. Portable Hangers

If you’re traveling with clothes that are easily creased, you might consider portable hangers—either foldable or inflatable—rather than bringing full-sized ones. They’ll take up less space in your luggage, and you won’t have to worry about not having a way to hang your clothes up when you arrive at your destination.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it may have uncovered a few useful travel accessories. You’ll need to decide which travel accessories are ideal for your specific needs and trip. And with the right travel accessories on hand, you might find traveling even more enjoyable.

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