Travel like a pro: 10 essential travel accessories

Woman packing suitcase for travel

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If you’re picturing yourself exploring faraway places, you’re not alone. Travel is making a big comeback this summer. Memorial Day weekend brought nearly 5.5 million Americans to the airport, shattering projections.

Whether you’re planning an international vacation or a trip to see family across the country, you’ll likely need to pack a bag or two. We’ll help you brush up on how to pack for a trip with these 10 travel essentials. Our recommendations will keep your electronics charged, your stuff organized and your mind as worry-free as possible. Beach vacations should be relaxing, after all.

Amazon Basics packing cubes 



Tired of your clothes coming out of your luggage a wrinkly mess? Hate digging through tons of packed clothes just to locate something specific? These packing cubes will help you stay organized while you prep your luggage. They’ll also keep your clothes and shoes separated inside your suitcase.

TSA-approved travel bottle set


Polentat via Amazon

You probably don’t need to bring a Costco-sized shampoo bottle on a weekend trip, and the TSA won’t let you bring bottles larger than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag. These travel containers will save you loads of luggage space, and keep you under those mandatory liquid limits. The funnel will cut down on spills while you’re filling the bottles with your shower essentials, and the colors will help you remember what’s inside.

Cowin SE7 active noise-canceling headphones


Cowin via Amazon

The highly rated SE7 noise-canceling headphones from Cowin block out the roar of the plane engine so that you can listen to music — or take a quiet nap — on your flight. When you’re not traveling, these wireless Bluetooth headphones can just as easily help you concentrate in a busy office or coffee shop.

American Tourister 24-inch hard-sided suitcase


American Tourister via Amazon

If you plan on checking a bag, having an easily identifiable suitcase will make your baggage claim experience quick and foolproof. Currently $91 on Amazon, this luggage is a good deal — it’s normally priced at $140.

American Tourister also makes a 21-inch carry-on version of this suitcase ($70, marked down from $110), if you’re in the market for hard-sided luggage you can bring with you into the airplane cabin.

Disposable face masks


Hygenix via Amazon

Most mass transit options, including airlines, still require passengers ages 2 and older to wear masks while on board. An inexpensive box of disposable surgical masks will keep you and your fellow travelers compliant and safe.

Portable power bank


BOMT via Amazon

Whether you’re exploring a new city or hiking through the wilderness, you probably won’t be spending much time next to a wall outlet. Carry this portable power bank instead, so your phone will have enough charge to capture that Instagram opportunity of a lifetime, whenever (or wherever) it happens.

Apple AirTag locators


Apple via Amazon

Now you don’t have to worry about losing your stuff while you’re out and about. Apple AirTags will help you keep track of your important items. Stash one in a wallet or purse to track its location from your phone, or stick one to the back of your phone to track its location from a separate device. You can even attach one to your luggage with a polyurethane Apple AirTag Loop ($29). Sold in a pack of four.

Fjallraven Kanken classic backpack


Fjallraven via Amazon

A sturdy, roomy backpack will help you keep all your stuff in one place while traveling and once you reach your destination. This backpack is 16 inches tall, large enough to fit most laptop computers. You’ll easily be able to stash your camera, sunscreen, maps and wallet inside.

Fjallraven backpacks are sturdy and well suited for adventure. The zippers are covered by thick, water-resistant flaps, making it that much harder for water — and pickpockets — to get in.

Fansteck diving phone case


Fansteck via Amazon

Upgrade your travel photography game by taking your phone with you into the pool or ocean. This one-size-fits-most waterproof case protects in up to 50 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s compatible with iPhone models 6 through 12 (including many Pro and Max sizes), and with many Samsung Galaxy phone models as well. 

Packable rain jacket


Hount via Amazon

A packable rain jacket will keep you dry during a sudden storm. This 98% polyester, 2% rayon windbreaker design is lightweight and comes in 13 colors. Tip: Keep the jacket’s included storage bag someplace safe, like inside the jacket pocket or in zipped in your backpack — it’s small and easy to lose.