Authored by Christopher Joseph
You can pretty much guarantee that every adventure will come with its bumps in the road, but with careful planning and a few handy travel accessories you can be prepared for anything.
The accessories you travel with will depend on a variety of different things – the environment you’re heading to, the length of your journey, the type of transit you prefer, and even the weather. And then the rest of the time it comes down to personal preference.
Accessories most commonly found in a travelers bag include a first aid kit, flashlight, camera, headphones, and perhaps a travel hoodie, though to cover all possible bases, we’ve listed and discussed 15 more. If you find something that’s missing from your bag, click on the product photo to shop on Amazon.
Whether you’re travelling by car or flight, a neck pillow makes the list for allowing you to sleep comfortably. They are designed specifically to help you sleep better while traveling, and feel better once you’ve reached your destination. (I’m sure everyone will agree that airline pillows are farcically small and essentially useless).
Most pillows are so comfortable that they may even replace a hotel pillow. They are available in different sizes, material and cost. The following are a couple of our favorite options.
Read More: The Tempur Transit Pillow Review
Swiss Army Knife
A multi-tool / tactical knife is a great accessory to take on your travels, but just make sure you’re not carrying it in your hand luggage to avoid getting it confiscated at the airport.
As the name suggests, multi-tools have several attachments making them handy in a variety of situations. Most multi-tools will include a corkscrew, a knife, screwdriver and bottle opener which can prove lifesaving if you need to cut up some firewood to cook any food you’ve taken with you or foraged.
You’ve probably heard the old adage that the best camera is the one you have with you. For most of us, that means our best camera is our humble mobile phone.
Modern mobile phones do a decent job at taking a pretty picture, but they do have their limitations. If you want to get creative with your photography, or get that envious ‘blurred-background’ look, you’re much better off investing in an inter-changeable lens (ILC) camera, or at least, a good compact camera.
Buying a decent camera doesn’t mean breaking the bank – there are plenty of great cameras available for under $500 and some great dSLR lenses which cost much less than you’d expect. And if you invest in one with a good zoom, these can double as a set of binoculars!
Read More: How to Choose a Camera for Travel
All Terrain Trekking Boots
Such boots are not for every traveler. For instance, if you’re travelling by air for a business meeting, you obviously wouldn’t need boots to tackle all terrain! But if your journey involves passing through the hills or in mountainous areas, we recommend all terrain trekking boots.
When searching for the best pair of boots, make sure that you invest in quality; shoes, especially trekking boots, are one thing you end up regretting having taken the cheaper option for. And obviously pick the size that is right for you. It’s best to head into a shop-front so you know how they feel and fit, though if you’re familiar with a brand and their sizing, ordering online can be more convenient.
Consider things like the quality of the material – some trekking boots are made with low quality materials which may not be really effective. They should have water resistance, be as light weight as possible, and made of durable material that doesn’t easily wear out.
If you’re camping, or heading out on a multiple night trek, carrying a sleeping bag is crucial. Even if you’re traveling during summer, you should never underestimate how cold the nights might get. And if you’re traveling in tropical countries, sleeping under the stars without a sleeping bag / mosquito net, might see you with bug bites in the morning!
Unlike other types of bedding used while camping or hiking, sleeping bags can be set up very quickly and are also easier to store. But don’t just grab the first bag you see – make sure you pick a sleeping bag that is the right size for you.
Other features to look for include the type of material the sleeping bag is made of and its designs. If you’re heading into cold climates you should purchase one which has been specifically designed to handle minus degrees and keep you warm on the snow / ice.
If you have trouble sleeping when you’re traveling / not in your own bed, a sleep bracelet could be the key. These look like a watch without a face, and contain a metal disc to harness natural frequencies from the environment to our body to help you sleep.
Studies show that those who use sleep bracelets are more relaxed, have wonderful dreams, feel more refreshed, and sleep for longer hours. Though choose this product from a known brand so that you don’t end up buying a less functional version.
A very crucial item that many people take for granted is a flashlight, but it’s something that every traveler should have. The main purpose of a flashlight is to obviously offer a source of light when making your way through the dark. And this is especially important when you’re in a foreign environment.
But don’t just purchase the first cheap version you find from your supermarket. You should consider if it’s waterproof (are you diving?), how many you want, and if it’s a good style. What power output do you require, and what size? How reliable is it, and how much do you want to pay.
If you’re trekking, you may consider a headlight instead of a hand held. Also, tactical flashlights have been known to act as protective weapons.
A smartphone is used for almost every aspect of travel these days – from WiFi connection, to social media, use of the camera, calculator, games to keep us entertained, and then of course, what they were originally intended for … calls!
Though I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t dropped or damaged their smartphone at some stage, which is why it’s essential to have a case for protection. These days you can even order custom phone cases and choose your own design / photo.
You can choose from slim cases that just attach to your phone and protect agaisnt scratches but offer high picture quality, or silicone cases that are thicker but protect more against drops. I personally have a silicone custom Galaxy S4 case.
“Whether you listen to that album you’ve been meaning to for months, binge-watch movies, or just want to take a nap without having to listen to the passengers around you, our number one piece of advice is: Never board a plane or a train without headphones.”
There are different types of headphones from which to select from, though for the best quality choose a brand which offers wireless noise cancelling. They need to be light (easy to carry in transit), and comfortable (if you fall asleep with them on you don’t want to wake up with a headache).
Weather you’re traveling in hot or cold weather, make sure you’re prepared with skin and eye protection from the sun. Be aware that when traveling internationally you may be entering a country with UV Rays more fierce than you are used to at home. Act accordingly to protect yourself and your health.
When it comes to UV rays, the winter season is more dangerous than you may think, and you can easily get sunburnt in the snow. UV radiation is reflected from light surfaces on the ground, and because snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, it means you’re are often being hit by the same rays twice.
Travel with waterproof sunscreens SPF 30 or higher (with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA rays) and wear sunglasses (or goggles) that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection.
Related Post: Travel Advice: How to Prepare For the Weather Overseas
A water bottle is something which should be with every traveler, on every trip. And you should have one regardless of whether your vacation is to the city, or hiking into the mountains / foothills.
Not only does this ensure you’ll stay hydrated throughout the day, it also drastically reduces the amount of plastic waste from buying bottled water and tossing the bottle. If you’re traveling in a country where the water is not safe, make sure you boil your water or take water filters with you.
Packing cubes are fabric cubes which come in different shapes and sizes usually secured and fastened with a zip. They are a great way to keep your clothes, accessories and toiletries separated and compact in your backpack whilst travelling.
However an added benefit is that they reduce your impact on the environment, and mean you don’t have to travel with plastic bags.
External Battery Charger
When travelling, you never know when your electronics might start complaining that the battery is running low. For this reason, it’s great to travel prepared with a backup for recharging.
An external battery charger usually comes with USB ports for charging more than one device. Pick that you are comfortable with and include it in your travel accessories.
Hanging Cosmetic Bag
Whether you’re male or female, hanging cosmetic bags allow you to pack better. For instance, how do you organize your undergarments when you travel? Do you place them in zipped bags? Store them in luggage pockets? Or just place them wherever there’s space?
I can organize my clothes to look neat and tidy in a suitcase when I’m packing for a trip, though as soon as the case is zipped and flipped to stand on it’s wheels, there’s always a moment of pause where I cringe. After all that hard work separating your underwear from your shirts, and your shirts from your shoes, you know that after you arrive at your destination everything inside is going to be a hot mess.
But cosmetics bag or travel undergarment organizer allows you to organize undergarments or small items neatly in a foldable bag which acts as a portable closet throughout the trip. A little organization can go a long way to making your life easier when you’re on the move. So choose one of these best toiletry bags for travel.
Related Post: Introducing the Ultimate Travel Undergarment Organizer
If photography is a priority and you plan to travel with a lot of gear, you should invest in a photographers bag. It’s impossible to carry a lot of camera gear in your hands, and best to separate this from your other luggage so you don’t lose expensive equipment in between clothes and other items.
A dedicated camera bag means you can carry everything conveniently and comfortably, from your cameras, to each lens, and smaller items like spare SD card, battery chargers, and lens cloths.
Related Post: Camera Gear You Should Have With You on Every Trip
First Aid Kit
Never underestimate the importance of traveling with a solid first aid kit – in fact, this should be one of the very first things you pack.
According to a recent survey, a massive 80 per cent of us are not equipped to deal with minor medical emergencies in our own homes – let alone when we’re out on the travel trail. This means we are making thousands of unnecessary emergency visits to hospitals and GP’s for relatively minor, simple to treat conditions such as grazes, blisters and splinters.
You generally don’t have to be a doctor to help yourself, or others, in an emergency, though you do have to have the first aid skills and tools to administer the care required; you need to be traveling with a first aid kit. Though obviously call for a medical evacuation if required.
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