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We have flown over 1.7 million flight miles, 49 countries, and four continents. Over many years of travel, we have tried and tested tons of travel gear and accessories; clothing, shoes, luggage, backpacks, travel guides, packing gear, and gadgets. Some appeared to be amazing, only to turn out to be duds. Others became everyday items even when not traveling. The best of the bunch has become what we feel are the best travel gear and accessories, and we would feel lost without them when traveling.
We have added some fun travel novelty items for those who love travel-themed gifts. The Christmas ornaments are our favorite.
Why you may ask, is the list below almost all Amazon links? It is the only site we buy from for all practical purposes unless buying in person. We used to price compare, but over time Amazon always won out. You can likely find these items on your favorite online shopping site.
All reviews are honest and come from our own experience with these items. Nonetheless, we encourage you to read the recent reviews of our recommended travel gear and accessories, as the quality of a product can change over time. Please let us know if your experience differs from ours or if a product is no longer available. Click HERE or leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you have a product you swear by, let us know, we would love to try it out!
This page contains some Amazon affiliate links as well as other companies. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
*Please note we do state a price point, but that can change over time.*
Apples Air Tags 4 pack
Price point @ $94.98
With recent stories of lost luggage, these little gems can provide peace of mind when tracking down your luggage in a sea of thousands of bags. It is also perfect if you are that person who is always looking for your keys.
We have used Apple AirTags on several trips now. Though our luggage was never lost, we could always keep track of where they were. We could see it once loaded on the plane while transferring planes or if it was arriving at baggage claim. They work great on your key chain. We will never travel without them again.
A simple one-tap setup instantly connects AirTag with your iPhone or iPad. It could not have been easier. Play a sound on the built-in speaker to help find your things, or just ask Siri for help. They also can guide you to the location of the AirTag.
All communication with the Find My network is anonymous and encrypted for privacy; location data and history are never stored on AirTag.
Leather Bound Travel Journal
Price point under $9.89
This is an elegant way to keep notes during your travels for those of us who still use pen and paper. How often have you wished you had written down that great restaurant, that wine or beer you loved, or the off-the-beaten-path town you discovered? Or wish you had a place to write your thoughts during your trip? This cute travel journal is the perfect solution to record your cherished memories.
The journal is 5″ x 7″ and has 176 quality paper pages. It will easily fit into a purse or backpack. It is light, durable, well detailed, has an elastic band closure, and even has a ribbon to keep your place. Add a handy pocket to save those tickets you will later use in a scrapbook or business cards from your favorite eateries. Each page provides a place for a date, location, and weather details.
This artisan travel journal will hold those special memories long after your trip is over. Excellent travel gear and highly rated on Amazon too!
The Way of Wanderlust
The Best Travel Writing of Don George
Price point under $10.55
As a professional travel writer and editor for the past 40 years, Don George has been paid to explore the world. Through the decades, his articles have been published in magazines, newspapers, and websites around the globe and have won more awards than almost any other travel writer alive. Yet, his pieces have never been collected into one volume.
The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George fills this void with a moving and inspiring collection of tales and reflections from one of America’s most acclaimed and beloved travel writers.
It is a must-read for anyone who has a case of wanderlust.
Travelon Set of 4 Mesh pouches, Gray
Price point @ $11.88
This set of Mesh pouches is fantastic. Joelle bought a pack a week before leaving for Croatia. They were such a hit another set was ordered and arrived the day before the trip. They are so versatile and have many uses. We used them for prescription bottles, over-the-counter meds, electronic cords, foreign adapters, our masks, documents, undergarments, socks, etc. These pouches deserve to be on our best travel gear and accessories list.
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL ORGANIZER Use pouches as cosmetic bags, tech accessories, currency pouches, travel document organizers, etc.
- BREATHABLE MESH KEEPS CONTENTS VISIBLE, easy to find, and saves time
- CONVENIENT ZIPPER POUCHES Zippered closures keep contents secure.
- MULTIPLE SIZES FOR SIZE APPROPRIATE ITEMS X-Small: 6″ x 5.75″ Small: 7.75″ x 6.55″ Medium: 10″ x 8.5″ Large: 12″ x 8.75″
CGBE Clear Toiletry Bag with Handle, Zipper, for Traveling 3PCS Black Quart Size
Price point @ $9.83
TSA Approved Toiletry Bag fully complies with TSA 3-1-1 rules and regulations of airlines. Easy and quick to pass through airport security, save time, and no more hold-ups or hassles at the airport. The clear travel makeup quart-size bag for toiletries measures 7.7″ x 5.5″ x 2.4″. Perfectly sized for carrying in-flight essentials, convenient to carry on when traveling or going out. No more mess!
This was a new purchase for our Croatian trip. Joelle had previously used clear makeup bags. It was always about digging around and looking for smaller items. With these, you see everything, and no time is lost retrieving what you need. Any liquid time and power can go in here. The last thing you need is liquid makeup all over your clothes. It has happened to Joelle, and it wasn’t very good. Ziplock baggies work too, but they have a preferred wider base.
Having a nurse on the blogging team lets us be extra prepared for medical issues when traveling. Check out our post on essential medical supplies to bring on your travels abroad. Click here.
Rick Steve’s Hide-Away Tote Bag
Price point @ $15.99
This is the best lightweight pack-away tote bag you will ever use. It weighs close to nothing and is very strong. It serves many purposes on trips; laundry bag, beach bag, shopping bag, supply bag for the car, extra carry-on for those post-security duty-free shops, and even check luggage. It can be stuffed anywhere, and we always have one in our day pack if we are at an open-air market and make purchases. It is machine washable.
Joelle has been using the same one for over ten years. It looks as good as the day she got it. It recently went on sale, and she bought four more gifts for family traveling overseas. When she initially bought it on Amazon, it was only available through Rick Steve’s store. Comes in two colors. A must-have travel gear!
Travelon Anti Theft Backpack
Price point @ $65.00
Joelle bought this backpack in 2016 for an overseas trip. She fell so in love with it that she uses it year-round to this day (2021). In 2020 it was beginning to look a little worn though absolutely nothing failed on it. She bought another one. It is durable, reasonable in size, lightweight, and comfortable.
With having had multiple shoulder surgeries, it needs to be! If you look at our photos, Ryan wears it quite often as it is our only daypack. The best feature for traveling overseas is its anti-theft system. (see below)
It holds a lot in what seems like not much space. It is water-resistant, but we don’t suggest standing in the rain with it. Easy to wipe down and keep looking like new.
5-Point Anti-Theft Security System Advantage
Travelon Anti-Theft technology begins with a complex, interlocking mesh barrier engineered right below the surface material to prevent a blade attack aimed at opening up your bag.
The second is a hidden steel cable that runs the strap length to prevent it from being cut, and your bag pulled off your shoulder.
Third, the main compartments of our bags lock to prevent a skilled pickpocket’s hands from accessing them.
RFID-blocking card slots and passport pockets protect against hand-held identity scanner theft.
And lock-down hardware allows you to lock your bag to a chair or stationary object when sitting in a public area.
Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Carry-On 22-Inch
Price point @ $145.00 This color is out of stock due to its popularity, but some other colors are available.
Travelpro is a long-standing line of luggage favored by frequent travelers. This ultra-lightweight, ultra-durable 22 inches expandable Rollaboard suitcase maximizes your packing power and meets carry-on size restrictions for most domestic and international airlines. 4 wheel spinners rotate 360 degrees for a smooth roll. The lightweight, sturdy PowerScope handle stops at 38 and 42.5 inches and features a patented contour grip with rubberized touchpoints for easy maneuvering. A unique bottom tray design increases durability. It expands 2 inches and has a water guard to protect the interior.
Luggage is something Joelle is on the hunt for. Over the years, the one brand that withstands her abuse and overpacking is Travelpro. As some airlines also limit carry-on weight, it must be ultra-lightweight to start with. This version is 5.4 pounds. This has been used on several trips, and it lives up to its reputation. Joelle highly recommends this suitcase.
Travelpro Bold-Softside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Grey/Black, Checked-Medium 26-Inch
Price point @ $212.00 but can vary with color.
I strayed away from Travelpro luggage for a few years, though I never found anyone else that came close. I went on a hard shell suitcase kick but never found to perfect piece or size. With a long history of overpacking, I need a sturdy lightweight piece of luggage. I have found that 25 inches is too small and 27 inches too big. Twenty-six inches was hard to find until I discovered this gem. It is my favorite ever!! Durable, reinforced straps, lightweight, and wheels glide effortlessly on any surface. I may buy one in case they ever stop making this one.
The high-quality eight-wheel spinners rotate 360 degrees for superior maneuverability. Strong, telescoping Aircraft-grade aluminum handle stops at 38 inches and 42 inches for users of different heights.
Tough-built, lightweight, 26 inches spinner is made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric with water-repellent coating for excellent stain resistance. There is a 25-inch and a 22-inch version of this model. On the Travelpro page, scroll down to Bold.
Backed by Travelpro and built with a lifetime limited warranty. Dimensions: case 26x18x11.5 inches overall 29×18. 5×12.5 inches weight: 8.9 pounds
Compression Packing Cubes for Travel, Set of 6, Color Black, Double Zipper, LeanTravel
Price point @ $45.00
We have two packing cube sets here on this list because we like both of these, and they have different features that may be more valuable to some. These we began recently using, and they are the preferred brand now. They aren’t as lightweight, but they are very sturdy. What we like most about them because they compress very well; they offer multiple sizes in this set.
We will repeat what we wrote above. Many travelers swear by packing cubes. We have a mixed reaction after many years of trying. We use them for undergarments, socks, nightwear, accessories, swimwear, dresses, and skirts. For more oversized items like pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes, and boots, we find them bulky and impede our packing space. Rolling the articles to go in the cubes helps but still makes the cube bulky if using more oversized clothes. These bigger items are easily visible and can be extended to fit easier. We used them for prescription or over-the-counter meds in the past, but we prefer the mess zipper pouches better.
- STYLISH, WRINKLE-FREE PACKING thanks to our premium quality polyester fabric and sturdy construction with durable mesh; Clothes can be seen through an inspection, and odors are minimized thanks to increased breathability
- PACK MORE CLOTHING INTO LESS SPACE with the extra zipper feature for added compression; Reduce the packing bag’s thickness from 4 inches to 1 inch. Best quality rated SBS brand zippers with anti-catch technology.
- DIMENSIONS – 15.5 x 11.5 x 4 inches (2 large cubes) 11 x 11 x 4 inches (2 medium cubes) 11 x 7.5 x 4 inches (2 small cubes)
OOFOS Unisex OOCLOOG CLOG
Price point @ $58-75
These workhorses are incredible. This versatile clog brings unmatched
comfort into your everyday work or
leisure routine. OOfoam Recovery Technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam, giving your feet the break they need. The patented footbed will cradle your arches to reduce stress on sore feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. They are designed to allow natural motion and relief. They are very lightweight and durable. Easily wiped down and machine washable. They are not slippery on wet floors, per Joelle’s experience, and her feet stay cool. Unisex sizing. They are true to size.
If Joelle could give this ten stars, she would. These shoes have been lifesavers with a history of significant foot issues, surgeries on both feet, serious injuries, and active Achilles tendonitis. Her physical therapist recommended them, and she would never travel without them. They have been on every trip in 4 years, and the first pair lasted the first three years. They are also her daily shoes. These have walked up to 17 miles in one day on cobblestone streets. They have requested Christmas gifts from her kids. Problem feet or not, these will be your favorite travel shoes! It has also been one of the best travel gear and accessories.
Teva Men’s Mush II Flip-Flop
Price point @ $25.00
These versatile all-day wear flip-flops are rugged and sturdy. Quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE® polyester yarn by Unifi® supports your foot and stands up to abuse. A Mush® top sole cushions and forms to your foot for exceptional comfort. A lightweight EVA-foam outsole keeps you light on your feet. Grip traction outside.
These are our favorite flip-flops for travel. Joelle has been using them for over ten years, and Ryan now swears by them too. They have stood the test of long walking days in hot weather, even on cobblestone streets. They are even suitable for trail hiking which has been tested often in Hawaii. Lightweight and true to size. This goes in our carry-on luggage as an easy change of footwear during the flight. You know, when your footsies start swelling on a long flight. We can’t recommend these enough, and they will always be at the top of our best travel gear and accessories list.
Rick Steve’s Travel Guides
The price point varies between $15-25
We are huge Rick Steves fans; it will be rare to recommend one of his wonderful guides. His guidance and insight are spot-on. We love his travel style and perspective. His off-the-beaten-path approach and his independent travel philosophy match how we travel. The guides never disappoint. His books make for a fantastic resource in planning and during the trip itself. The books tend to be lightweight. He suggests you tear out only the sections you need from his books to take with you. As we approach a destination, we read aloud the great synopsis of the history and details of what we are about to see. His dining and hotel selections are usually excellent. We are most drawn to how he brings the culture of where we are into the experience.
His guides are updated regularly. We always found between his books and videos; that he builds such excitement for the trip that no one else does.
We have developed travel guides for most of the countries we have visited. Each guide has a resource section in which we provide links to our favorite Travel Books and Maps. Click here to view a list of our country travel guides.
Cabeau Evolutions S3 Travel Pillow
Price point @ $40
The award-winning neck pillow is the best of the bunch. The pressure-relieving memory foam conforms to your unique contour and evenly distributes weight to provide hours-long comfort. The best part of this neck pillow is how it keeps you from doing that awful head falling forward that wakes you up when flying. It keeps the neck and spine in alignment and pain-free after hours of sleep. It can be used in hotels if your pillow is not ideal. The compact travels make it easy to clip it to your roller board. It attaches to your seat with velcro straps. The cover is removable, moisture-wicking, and machine washable, so your neck stays dry and comfortable.
It has become Joelle’s favorite as she absolutely needs a neck pillow. She is not a good plane sleeper, then add the head falling forward that occurs with most pillows; she was always on the look-up for something better. Though this is in the higher price range, it is well-made and high-quality. It can be used for gaming too.
Diu Life Graduated Copper Compression Socks for Women Men Circulation 20-30mmhg-Best Support for Running, Nursing, Hiking
Price point @ $18.99
Medical compression socks for men and women with 20-30 mmHg. They are knee-high, made with breathable, high-performance fabric, which keeps an optimal temperature and stays odor-free. Copper-infused in the fabric claims to rejuvenate blood circulation. Wicks moisture away from your skin to ensure you feel fresh and comfortable. These are high quality and hold up to prolonged use. They are easier than most pressure stockings to put on. They come in many colors, making the bright ones stand out in your sock drawer.
It is always a good idea to discuss using this kind of product with your doctor if you have any contraindications. Joelle uses these as lower leg swelling is a persistent problem for her on long flights. It stops it in its tracks. After a long day of walking and standing, she uses them at night to decrease swelling and reduce leg cramps.
International Power Adapter for Travel (SandBlack) – 4 USB European Plug Adapter for 150+ Countries – for Europe, U.K., America, China, Ireland Italy
Price point @ $21.00 (Black currently unavailable)
This universal power adaptor can be used in 150+ countries and fits with U.S., U.K., E.U., and China outlets. This all-in-one travel adaptor comes in one piece. Dual USB is not enough these days; you need a power travel adapter that can charge two phones, a tablet, and a camera. There is a multi-USB port hub with four smart USB ports 2×2. 4a/2×2. 1a, at 3500mA. Charge up to four devices simultaneously, with the ports automatically adapting the output for each one accordingly. It comes in various colors, and ours came with a case, but it does not mention that on Amazon.
This is an item Ryan bought to try out. We were both very pleased with how durable it was and how it functions. We would charge two phones, a laptop, and a camera battery all at the same time. Ryan is way better at not losing adapters, so having only one works well for him.
Small Travel First Aid Kit
Price point @ $6.99
This is the perfect lightweight complete first aid kit you will ever find. We take two with us, more in our daypack and one in our carry-on roller. Ryan is known to take hikes up to steep castles; this way, we can each have one with us at all times. Joelle always wants to add more gloves, Neosporin, a mini hand sanitizer, a few extra gauze pads, and extra bandaids. This is quickly done with this pack. This is a must-have!
Joelle keeps one in her carry-on in her purse and her car. It is always about being prepared.
Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with Silicon Cover, Batteries, and Lanyard (Royal Black)
Price point @ $23.00
I have one of these in my carry-on at all times. They have served me well when emergencies occur on flights. During the pandemic, most people learned what an essential element they are both during travel and at home. It could be the determining factor of when to seek medical care when on the road.
This is a well-reviewed pulse oximeter. It accurately determines your SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation levels), pulse rate, and pulse strength in 10 seconds and displays it on a large digital LED display. Appropriate for ages 12 and above.
X-Edition Wall Charger, 4 pack 2.1A Dual Port USB Wall Charger
Price point @ $13
Solid P.C. shell with reliable performance and durability. Compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. Comfortable grip. Suitable use for home and travel. Smart dual port I.C. automatically recognizes and assigns the most effective current to your cell phone and tablets, and the USB Plug interface adopts an integrated injection molding technology.
These are the perfect fit for a purse and an electronics pouch. We chose the colors as they are easier to notice when packing to leave the hotel. Cost is low, so it isn’t a big deal when you lose, which we all inevitably do.
Europe Travel Adapter
Price point @ $13.00
This adapter is perfect as it is lightweight and offers two USB ports. It is a little bulky, so not something to carry in a purse as easily, but great in your roller boards. Bulky enough, you aren’t likely to miss it when you are checking out of the room.
We always carry two with us.
Unidapt European Plug Adapter Power Converter, Travel from USA Us to E.U. Europe Italy Plug Adapters, European Travel Plug Adapters from America to Europe Outlet Adaptor (4 Piece)
Price point @ $9.00
These electric adapter plugs can charge smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, shavers, power banks, laptops, tablets, and so on. They are good quality but inexpensive as well.
Joelle carries a pouch with about 6 of them on each trip. We are lucky if we come back with 2. They are perfect for purses and pockets. We often leave them on the device, such as the camera battery chargers, at all times. They are relatively small, so they disappear into European outlets and often get left behind.
Universal Waterproof Case, Waterproof Phone Pouch Compatible for iPhone Pros Max XS Max XR X 8 7 Samsung Galaxy s10/s9 Google Pixel 2 HTC Up to 7.0″, IPX8 Cellphone Dry Bag -2 Pack
Price point @ $10.00
This is more than just for cell phones. This extra-large size universal waterproof phone case dry bag fits all smartphones up to 7 inches tall and 4 inches wide, including iPhone, Samsung, Google pixel, etc. Credit card wallet money waterproof dry bag for beach, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, and water park activities. The cover will not block the camera. It is lightweight and takes up no room.
How many people have you known who have jumped in the water with their phone or wallet in their pocket? Be ready for those trips to the beach or snorkeling. Best to be prepared vs. worst-case scenario. Joelle used it on trips to Hawaii, and it works great!
Sink Suds Laundry detergent liquid soap + odor eliminator for all fabrics and delicates TSA compliant
Price point @ $9.00
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It is for handwashing your clothes in the sink while traveling. It is rare to find a washing machine while traveling in Europe unless we have a machine at our Airbnb. This is not too bubbly, easy to rinse, and leaves the clothes smelling fresh.
If we are ever in a hotel for more than two days in a row, we wash clothes we wish to re-wear the first night, so they have two days to dry. This is the perfect tiny size to do quite a few clothes. We brought one box for a two-week trip and did some laundry every three days. So much better than using the small soap they give you in most hotels.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Large Backpack
Price point @ $95.00
This is the full-size version of the back we have up top on the page. This easily holds a full-size laptop, camera, change of clothes, and lots more. On one, we brought this one versus the smaller one up top. However, it was durable, protective of its contents, anti-theft, and had tons of space. It was much too big for our purposes. It would serve well as a carry-on but not a day pack. This is the exception if you are looking for a strong backpack as your only carry-on. It has lots of features, as listed below.
Anti-Theft Security System Advantage
Full Anti-Theft features include locking compartments, slash-resistant construction, and adjustable straps.
The main compartment has a wall pocket to hold large items; the rear compartment is fleece lined to keep a laptop to 15.6 inches and has an iPad or tablet pocket.
The front compartment has an organizer with an RFID blocking card and passport slots, an open pocket, a zip-top pocket, two pen loops, and a tethered key clip with an LED light.
Air mesh back panel and backpack straps for comfort, mesh expansion pocket holds a water bottle, top grab handle, and add-a-bag
Homedics White Noise Machine Portable Sleep Therapy
Price point @ $21.00
To our surprise, this has been one of the most purchased items. Sleep is essential during travel!
This is only here for those used to white noise in their daily lives and may have issues sleeping during travel. If you also live in the country and city noises keep you up, this will help. Joelle uses it for her grandkids, and Ryan for his son. We have a lot of experience with them. They are reliable, offer a variety of sounds, and have an excellent range of volume. They work.
It is lightweight, sturdy, and can work with a battery or plug. It is a little bulky if your space is tight. Batteries seem to last a long time. They work great when visiting a home with lots of activity, and you may have different bedtimes; they are nice to bring on any trip!
Bagsmart Electronic Organizer Travel Universal Cable Organizer Electronic Cases for Cable
Price point @ $18.99
This 6.3 x 9.5 case packs lots in! It has six elastic loops for cords and earbuds to prevent entanglement. Has slots for 3SD and Sim cards. 2 zippered mesh pockets, and six open mesh pockets for various chargers and cables. It is durable, well-padded, and water-repellent. It easily fits into your backpack or carry-on.
We used it on a couple of trips now and loved it. So much easier to find items and keep them quick to access. When checking, it helps to remind you something might be missing. We can’t imagine a trip without it moving forward.
Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Scale with 110 lb capacity
Price point @ $15.97
There are some items we will never travel without, and this is one of those. Maybe it is because of the wine we bring back from our trips. Ever sit at the airport check-in and see people trying to figure out how to reduce the weight of their suitcases? There is not much more stressful than that when traveling. The fees are exorbitant if you have excess weight; it could be a massive hit on your wallet. Many airlines now also weigh carry-on. Be prepared. This digital scale has never failed us; it is spot on with the airport scale.
Very inexpensive, durable stainless steel, lightweight, and versatile. It is in both kilos and pounds. Easy to read LCD, auto shutoff, and long battery life. Fits in your carry-on easily. This is an absolute must-have!!!
Burt’s Bees Gift Set, 6 Products – 2 Hand Creams, Foot Cream, Cuticle Cream, Hand Salve & Lip Balm, Tips & Toes Kit in Giftable Tin, Travel Size
Price point @ $12.00
Burt’s Bee products are one of our favorite products. Travel-size gift set makes make the perfect stocking stuffer. Pamper from head to toe with our giftable set, including six travel-size Burt’s Bees favorites: Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Cream, Coconut Foot Cream, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Almond & Milk Hand Cream, Hand Salve & Pomegranate Lip Balm.
ALL NATURAL: Made with natural ingredients, these Burt’s Bees skin care trial products are formulated to condition and hydrate skin all day.
PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack, Naturals and Refreshing Gel, 1 fl oz travel-size flip-cap bottle with JELLY WRAP Carrier (Pack of 8)
Price point @ $17.45
Traveling during Covid can bring some interesting challenges. These mini hand sanitizers have been one of our best purchases.
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer kills 99.99 percent of the most common germs that may cause illness without damaging the skin. Perfect for frequent use. They are refillable. I hang one off my backpack so for quick access.
Lewis and Clark AM/PM Folding Pill Organizer
Price point @ 16.99
This pill organizer is color-coded and numbered to keep track of the pills you’ve taken easily. Never miss a dose or take too many. Perfect pill organizer for travel. This pill organizer includes 16 clear slide-locking pill pockets that can be added and removed. A clear pill pouch makes it easy to see your pills and stay organized. Made with durable polyester, the pill holder folds open and closed to keep your medications secure, while the adjustable velcro fastener keeps drugs safe in place. It easily fits in your purse, backpack, luggage, carry-on, laptop bag, or suitcase. Medical reference card to list your essential medical information in case of emergency, with space for your name, emergency contact, physician, medical conditions, allergies, and more. It is easily stored in the exterior zippered pocket.
Joelle used these for vitamins only. Keep in mind with international travel; prescription meds must be kept in prescription bottles with a name on them that matches the traveler’s passport. This was a hit and will be used again and again.
TrailBuddy Trekking Poles 2 Pack
Price point @ 29.00
Adjustable Hiking or Walking Sticks – Strong, Lightweight Aluminum 7075 – Quick Adjust Flip-Lock – Cork Grip, Padded Strap. TrailBuddy Trekking Poles’ rugged aluminum can withstand pressure and impact better than carbon fiber – crucial if hiking on rocky terrain or supporting heavier weight. Aluminum 7075 hiking sticks weigh up to 4 ounces less than the typical 6061 Aluminum common in hiking sticks – making it the perfect gift for an outdoor enthusiast!
Changing the height of these telescoping poles from 24.5 to 54 inches is a breeze even when you’re wearing gloves or trekking in wet conditions, thanks to its lever locks. Cork handles are comfy to use in hot and cold temperatures, are moisture-wicking, and mold to the shape of your hand while the strap is padded to avoid chafing.
Joelle took these to Norway during a winter trip to see Northern Lights. These poles are lightweight, sturdy, and easy to pack in checked luggage. Comfortable grips and easy to use.
Women’s Wallet Small Compact RFID Blocking Bifold Leather Purse Front Pocket Mini Wallet
Price point @ 10.00
Features include a bifold closure. It is made of high-quality cowhide leather and equipped with an advanced unique military-grade proprietary blocking material. It is engineered to block 13.56 MHz or higher RFID signals and protect the valuable information stored on RFID chips from unauthorized scans. This leather wallet has six card slots, one photo slot, one coin pocket, and one bill section.
When traveling abroad, it is essential to thin your wallet as little as possible. Joelle finds this wallet the perfect size for what she carries. Along with her Travelon day pack, which has an internal security clip, she can clip this wallet into her backpack, and then the outer clip offers even more security. The RFID blocking provides one more level of protection.
Amazon Basics RFID Travel Passport Wallet Organizer – 10 x 5 Inches, Black
Price point @ $16.00
Travel organizer with internal pockets for storing passports, tickets, money, credit cards, etc.; made of 100% nylon with durable zipper closure; RFID blocking material to protect against unwanted scans. Full-length zippered pocket and large stash pocket; micromesh zippered pocket for coins. Dedicated slots for credit, business, or membership cards; exterior rear stash pocket for quick-access items. Measures 10×5 inches.
Joelle has used one just like this for years, but that one is no longer made. She would never travel internationally without it. This is a suitable replacement and seems durable. We need a bit more time for a 5-star rating but looks very promising.
EnerPlex 3-ply Reusable Black Face Mask
Price point @ $18.00
This has been our go-to mask when traveling and for day-to-day use. They are comfortable, do not overheat, and are easy on the skin. We wash them every night, and they are dry by morning.
They have a three-Layer Design – Outer layer DWR 100% Polyester, Middle Layer Cotton Blend, and Inner Layer NanoFine Cotton Blend – soft against the skin. They are designed with high-quality lightweight fabric for maximum comfort. Our stretch ear loops allow for a snug and secure fit. Ideal for everyday use – indoor/outdoor.
Rainleaf Microfiber Towels FAST DRYING – SUPER ABSORBENT
Price point @ $9.00 to $22.00 based on size
SKIN FRIENDLY – remarkable soft suede-like feel on your skin and face.SUPER ABSORBENT-will absorbs water five times more than its’ weight but dries fast. ULTRA COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT – easy to carry and space-saving. HANG SNAP LOOP – practical & easy to hang anywhere and dry. CARRY BAG – reusable.
This towel dries very quickly and can be used many times a day. They are perfect for travel and are lightweight. We have one in each of our carry-on with every trip.
Natural Silk Pillowcase, with Hidden Zipper, 22 Momme,600 Thread Count 100% Mulberry Silk, Soft Breathable Smooth Both Sided Silk Pillow Cover
Price point @ $24.00
This is one of those luxurious items that also serve a good purpose. Hotel pillowcases can be rough on the skin and even hair. Skin wakes up feeling more refreshed and hair shinier. Pick brighter colored ones, so you don’t forget them before leaving, or the staff will take them out to the laundry. Joelle swears it helps her sleep better and is a good temperature regulator. She has started bringing a silk pillowcase on her travels to use in the hotels.
This pillowcase is well-made and durable. It is as light as a feather. It is well-reviewed. Comes in multiple colors. The zipper is important as it keeps the pillow from slipping out. The price is very reasonable, around $21.00. It is naturally hypoallergenic.
BYB Pack of 4, Super Bright 9 LED Mini Aluminum Flashlight with Lanyard, Assorted Colors, Batteries Not Included
Price point @ $ 10.00
BYB Super Bright 9 LED mini aluminum flashlight is the perfect companion for everyday use. Compact, Durable, and Versatile. Use in a wide variety of situations and circumstances. Aluminum body, good illumination, no blinding, run times, can be used for calamity search & rescue. Simple on/off push button operation and 3x AAA Battery required but not included.
Part of being prepared is for instances when there could be power outages, lost at night, car trouble, looking for items in dark spaces, and even signaling for help. We carry one in our roller-board and our backpack at all times. One of those must-haves for safety.
Conde Nast Travel Magazine
Price point Annual Subscription $5.00
Conde Nast Traveler requires its writers to travel anonymously and pay their way. This assures that you get credible, truthful information. With Conde Nast Traveler as your guide, you’ll discover the best islands, cities, spas, castles, and cruises. Your subscription includes our must-have Gold List, Hot List, and Reader’s Choice issues filled with the world’s best places to eat, drink, shop, and stay.
The subscription runs about $5.00 and is a breath of fresh air when it arrives. We both subscribe, and we suggest any travel-hungry person does.
Spartan Industrial – 3” X 4” (1000 Count) 2 Mil Clear Reclosable Zip Plastic Poly Bags with Resealable Lock Seal
Price point @ $18.00
These fantastic little bags were quite the find and had so many uses. These 2.0 Mil Clear Sealable Zip Bags. 100% airtight and resealable poly bags protect contents from moisture. These 3 X 5 Inch small zip baggies are perfect for packing vitamins, small soaps, safety pins, jewelry, business cards, candy, treats, powered products like collagen, over-the-counter meds, etc., 100% Food Grade Safe – Durable, Odorless & Non-Toxic. They are sturdy as well.
Joelle fell in love with these on our Croatia trip. She takes many daily vitamins and makes one bag for each day. They also were an excellent way to store vitamins such as zinc and Vit C in case we got sick. It was a protective place to hold business cards and some special photos. If you take powdered supplements daily, your daily serving would fit nicely. Has so many uses beyond travel.
Ziploc Slider Storage Bags with New Power Shield Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization, and More, Gallon, 26 Count, Pack of 4 (104 Total Bags)
Price point @ $16.00
You may ask, really, Ziploc bags on here? Yes, they are essential to any trip, and their uses are endless. From holding cosmetics to lotions, sunscreens, meds, or any items, you want to consolidate. Keep liquids safe from your clothes. Shoes can go in them. We keep our pens in baggies to avoid the risk of leaking ink.
These are the way to go for those who want to keep it simple and cheap. They are sturdy, but it is important to choose the Ziploc brand. Press and seal could easily fail and be a nightmare. Though the link here takes you to Amazon, warehouse stores like Costco will be your best deal out there. We always have ten of these on us, gallon, quart, and sandwich sizes.
Old World Christmas Glass Blown Ornaments for Christmas Tree, SLR Camera
Price point under $16.00
Bring the love of photography to your Christmas tree with this gorgeous handblown passport ornament. Hand crafted in age-old tradition using techniques that originated in the 1800s. Molten glass is mouth-blown into finely carved molds made exclusively for Old World Christmas.
This makes a great gift that will earn a special space in their heart. It was how we received it, and it is cherished.
Old World Christmas Glass Blown Ornament S-Hook Gift Box, Vacation Collection (Passport)
Price point under $29.95
Bring the love of travel to your Christmas tree with this gorgeous handblown passport ornament. Hand crafted in age-old tradition using techniques that originated in the 1800s. Molten glass is mouth-blown into finely carved molds made exclusively for Old World Christmas. With a matching S-hook and gift box included.
This makes a great gift that will earn a special space in their heart. It was how we received it, and it is cherished.
Landmass – Scratch Off World Map Print – Wall Art – Deluxe Travel Tracker Map – 17 x 24 inches
Price Point @ $24.00
Landmass World Map is not a travel accessory but a fun gift for travelers who like to document their journeys.
Scratch-Off Map Of The World – Get the original Travel Tracker scratch-off world map. Scratch off the places you’ve been and reveal your path in beautiful, bold colors that pop against a classic matte black background. This black and gold scratch-off world map poster is perfectly sized at 17( h) x 24 (w) inches and will inspire you to plan your next trip.
Clean, Accurate, And Detailed – Precise design, detailed cartography, clean typography, and high-quality craftsmanship. The exquisite design satisfies the deepest wanderlust. This scratchable world map features 210 flags of the world; state outlines for Australia, Canada, and the USA, and island outlines.
Travel Gift Cards
Price Point Whatever you want it to be, from $25 up
Unsure what to get your traveler that is travel-related? If they are regular travelers, you can never go wrong with gift cards to use during travel. We have received these at times; they are a welcome gift when on a budget.
Amazon has many travel gift cards to choose from, such as Southwest Airlines, Hotels.com, Amtrak, Airbnb, Carnival Cruise lines, Lyft, and Uber. Of course, a general Visa gift card works as well.
Give the gift of travel.
Our Favorite Online and Brick and Morter Stores for Travel Gear and Accessories
Disclosure: We do NOT have affiliations with any of the stores and companies listed below. We make no commissions if you buy via the link. They are here because we have been purchasing from them for years and trust their products.
Chicos Travel Clothes
This quality women’s clothing line has a dedicated Travelers Collection. This will include pants, capris, tops, sweaters, dresses, and skirts. The collection consists of Black labels, Slimming, and No Iron and is offered in Petite sizes. They are easy-care, lightweight, and coordinate well. The clothes are comfortable and classy.
Joelle has fallen in love with many of these items. She has a pair of capris from Chicos she has been wearing for tens of years, and they are as good as news. They have storefronts, and best to see what sizes fit before buying online. Their sizing is unique, ranging from 000 to 4.
This hi-performance adventure clothing for men and women is all about travel. Whether hiking in the outback, visiting a South American rainforest, or just wandering Paris, this collection has something for everyone. They are known for their underwear as it is breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. Their extensive clothing line includes tops, bottoms, jackets, sweaters, bathing suits, and many travel accessories such as hats, gaiters, bandanas, and socks. Some items have a built-in Ultraviolet Protection Factor to shield skin from the sun. Many of their clothing items offer protection from bugs with Insect Shield technology. These items are all lightweight, with no iron, and fast-drying.
This is a favorite of Joelle’s over the years. The clothes are sturdy and last for years. It is of high quality. It can be pricey, so watch for their sales!!
The company’s mission is to help you walk comfortably in all aspects of your life. Whether in dress shoes, sandals, clogs, or sneakers. They carry various brands that are technically advanced and durable. Some of the well-respected brands they care about are ABEO, Dansko, ECCPO, Taos, Birkenstock, Mephisto, Rockport, and Merrell, to name a few. Their collection is extensive.
These are Ryan’s absolute go-to travel shoes. He has been them to travel from day 1. They also stood the test of time, as he wore one pair for four years before they clearly needed to be retired. Considering we are walkers and have done as many at 17 miles a day on our feet, these shoes are put through the wringer. Ryan doesn’t tend to wear sneakers to travel; he chooses the casual yet dressy leather slip-on, such as at Rock Port and ECCO.
Rick Steve’s Travel bags and luggage from Rick Steve’s Travel Store
Rick Steve’s has an impressive line of travel bags and luggage that is durable and lightweight. His message; pack light, and you have easily mobile luggage. You may need to take that roller board several blocks on cobblestone streets to get to your transportation. Though if you have gotten to know us, Joelle is not a light packer, but there are several items she has used from his line. The very lightweight Civita Day Pack, Packable Backpack, Packable Hip Pack, Crossbody Travel Bag, and finally, the packable tote, her favorite. (it is listed above)
These items used to be available on Amazon, but they are now only sold through Rick Steve’s online store or in his storefront ins Washington State near Seattle. You can’t go wrong with any of their products. They are tried and tested.
Rick Steve’s Travel Accessories from Rick Steve’s Travel Store
Rick Steve’s has a good line of travel gear and accessories that is both durable and lightweight. Some of our favorite items are the Essential Silk Moneybelt, Civita Neck Wallet, Packing Cube Set, Classic Toiletries Kit, Quick Fresh Natural Odor Eliminator, and the Travel Dreams Sleep Mask. He also offers water bottles, company binoculars, a compass/thermometer, ponchos, umbrellas, a sewing kit, electrical adapters, a security pouch…..you get the drift, lots of stuff.
Of course, the site also offers all their travel guides, an extensive collection of road maps, and streetwise maps.
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Our Recommended Travel Resources
Our favorite travel insurance site!
If you are booking a trip, don’t forget to get travel insurance within 14 days of your first booking. We could not be stronger advocates of being well-insured. Not just for the little stuff but the big stuff like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Over the years, we have used many sites but have now found our go-to place. Squaremouth.com does a fantastic job; it has a user-friendly interface, they use top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover Covid medical issues and cancellations. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems with your policy.
To empower you as a consumer, we suggest you read our blog post on the importance of travel insurance and how to get the best coverage from top-rated companies for an affordable price.
Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world
They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover Covid-related transports as well.
Medjet carries its own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for around $300. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.
To learn more about how Medical Evacuation membership with Medjet Assist works, check out our blog post for a more detailed review.
Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours
Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Whether planning a family vacation, booking for business, or organizing the trip of a lifetime, they are a fantastic resource. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you would need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and cruises, to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.
Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours
Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes.
We always start with Expedia to check prices, but it sometimes says it is sold out. We then try Booking.com, and we find it lists plenty of rooms. It could be they are a Europe-based company. Try both before booking accommodations.
Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO)
Are you traveling with a family or having an extended stay at your destination?
With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, VRBO connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip. The VRBO community offers families or groups various rental property types such as condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses, etc.
VRBO is under the Expedia group ownership now, which many were worried about, but it hasn’t panned out to be a concern. It is a massive network that has access to all forms of lodging should issues arise. Joelle has used VRBO for many years with her family with no problems.
As the leading marketplace for travel experiences, Viator believes that making memories is what travel is all about. And with 300,000+ experiences to explore—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—making memories that will last a lifetime has never been easier.
With industry-leading flexibility and last-minute availability, it’s never too late to make any day extraordinary. This one site has it all and has experiences throughout the world. We use them often during our travels, especially for food tours. We especially take the time to read the reviews provided.
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers worldwide use the Tripadvisor site and App to discover where to stay, what to do, and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.
With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at popular restaurants, and discover great places to see nearby. We use them for guidance and research on every trip; it is a valuable app for the independent traveler.
(Airport and sightseeing service)
A global leader in ground transportation for travelers. They help hundreds of companies around the world enhance their services and boost their revenue with our 5-star ride experiences and hassle-free automation
Founded in 2015 in Athens, Greece, Welcome Pick-ups goes above and beyond the standard transfer service as the first company to deliver a holistic, in-destination travel experience. From the moment a traveler arrives at a new destination until they return home, Welcome accommodates all their travel needs (transfers, travel products, things to do, information) as the easiest, friendliest, and most personalized solution.
Discover Europe by Train
Rail Europe sells train and bus tickets for travel across Europe. They cover 24 countries, 105 rail operations, and 20,000 stations. They are the official rail and bus operations agents in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Rail Europe continues to add coverage all the time.
It is a fast, easy, and economical way to purchase European train and bus tickets. Eurail passes are also available to buy through their site.
An excellent source for travel essentials and guides
We now have our own Amazon Storefront with all our favorite travel accessories and gear in one place. Check out our travel store at the link below.
Amazon is one of the most comprehensive online shopping sources in the world. On behalf of their customers, teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery. They offer a vast inventory, and their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com provide extensive options to customers.
We buy most of our travel books, accessories, and luggage from Amazon. We have ordered up to two days before travel and get what we need.
Thoughtfully Designed | Meticulously Constructed | Quality Guaranteed.
We have used this luggage for years, left briefly to try others, and returned to Travelpro. Travelpro luggage is carried by crews from over 90 airlines worldwide.
Travelpro takes the time to learn what travelers want and need, then builds it. The key factor for us is that it must be lightweight upfront and resistant to rough handling. Their luggage is the best, and we could not recommend it enough. It is our go-to luggage.
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