10 Must Have Travel Accessories
When it comes to planning for a trip, every traveler spends time to search for deals to book tickets, research to make a perfect travel itinerary, browse through numerous hotels to book the best one and shop for clothes suited for the destination. What most of the travelers overlook is what to pack to make their overall trip comfortable. Research shows that 80-90% of travelers do not have a packing check-list and pack their bags in a frenzy at the very last minute. Hence they tend to forget carrying essential items and look out for them most of the time during the trip. So here’s a list of must have travel accessories for every kind of traveler. While some of these travel accessories add extra convenience to a traveler's experience, others make the trip easier, safer and enjoyable.
1. Neck Pillows
Whether you are travelling on a flight, bus, car or train, the pillow provides great support to your neck and head and allows you to sleep peacefully during the journey. Not only while travelling but neck pillow is an accessory can be used to relieve pressure while working on a computer, reading a book, binge TV watching or while just lying on the couch.
We bought a 100% memory foam neck pillow which is super light in weight, occupies less space when packed, comes back to its original shape even if used roughly and is very light on the pocket. Neck pillows are a must have in long-distance travel trips. Note that you get neck pillows that even start at Rs.500 or lower, but our experience with such cheaper neck pillows has not been good. They look good to start with but tear away very easily and you would end up regretting buying them in an effort to save some more bucks.
2. A multipurpose Swiss knife
What would you prefer carrying for a prolonged trekking trip - a nail-cutter, a knife, a scissor, a screw driver, a key ring, a tooth pick all separately or a multipurpose Swiss knife?
Our Victorinox Swiss Army knife is one of our most worthy accessory possession. It is a pocket size toolbox which gives lots of tool combinations that one can choose from. It is made up of stainless steel, sturdy to use and is the go-to product in all emergency situations. It is every hiker’s best travel companion. Not just during trekking, but even for road trips of any kind, we prefer keeping one in our pouch for any foreseen circumstances. You would be surprised to see so many situations come up where one of these could be handy. While poor quality ones are easily available, they tend to be little too rigid to open and use. It is easy to get hurt by swiss knives if you do not take care and so, a good quality swiss knife is advised to ensure they open up smoothly.
3. Universal travel adapter
With the world becoming a small place, people often tend to travel to different countries. Most travelers struggle to fit the plug into a differently shaped outlet while travelling abroad. It is difficult to know which adapter is right for the country you are travelling to. Hence, the most popular travel adapter to adopt is the Universal travel adapter.
We recently bought an ultra-portable adapter which is very compact. It works in more than 50 countries that includes most of Europe, Asia, Canada, Africa, Australia and the United States. Its built quality is excellent, fits the sockets very well and can be used in different combinations. We highly recommend this product.
4. Power bank
As smartphones have replaced most of our gadgets, we use it way more than just calling - like internet browsing, taking and editing photographs, playing games, social networking, listening music, reading books etc. Smartphones are now ‘The Digital Swiss Army Knife’ replacing alarm clocks, watches, camera, laptops, etc. As the smartphone technology keeps on improving, we are increasingly finding that running out of battery can be a big problem especially when you are travelling and on the go.
A power bank is a portable charger designed to recharge the batteries of electronic devices while on the move. A medium sized USB power bank with about 10000 mAh capacity which rapidly recharges 2 of phones when fully charged is adequate. However if you are someone who loves being outdoors and visits offbeat places often, getting a solar powerbank that is also waterproof would be ideal. You never know if you are going to get electricity in remote places. A portable solar powerbank gets charged whenever it is sunny and can easily charge 2 mobiles. Waterproof powerbanks are also a great option to have in monsoons.
5. Packing cubes
These are small containers made of fabric used for packing clothes and accessories. Packing cubes are best accessories to stay organized and save space. It easily compartmentalizes the travel gear and comes with simple zip locks. With different sizes and shapes, packing cubes make finding exactly what you need easier. These are must haves if your luggage is a suitcase but can also be handy while traveling with a backpack. They make the task of packing and unpacking very easy we would definitely recommend one if you are on a trip where you hop from one destination to another every 1-2 days.
We have lovely blue colored 6 piece packing cubes in different sizes. We use the bigger ones to pack clothes and winter wear & the smaller ones to pack under garments and accessories. During impromptu camping trips they can also double up as a pillow. We also have a separate packing cube for our footwear!
6. Multi-point power plug
We could never travel without one of these travel accessories. While traveling, you often come across accommodations where you do not find many power outlets in hotels, hostels or B&Bs. Charging mobile phones, laptop, camera batteries, power banks etc. becomes a challenge here. Multi-point power plug comes as a savior at such times when your room has only one wall socket.
We have a cube shaped multi-point power plug that has 5 sockets and 2 USB ports which plugs in various electronic devices all at once. Its cubical shape ensures that it does not occupy too much space in our bags. It also has a 1.5 metre long wire which means even if the socket in our hotel is little far from the bed, we can plug in our cube and charge our mobiles while still sitting on bed and using the mobile.
7. Silicone bottles for toiletries
When we travel, we always want to have our favorite shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, body lotion, face cream, hand sanitizer and sunscreen. Packing all these toiletries separately may take up a lot of space. There are even chances of them leaking and spoiling all your travel gear or be removed because of the stricter airline policies for liquids. Hence, it’s important to have small travel bottles/ tubes that don’t leak, are strong to bear a long trip and occupy less space. This would especially help if you are traveling to higher altitudes where atmospheric pressure is less. You would often find bottles of lotion or cream suddenly pop open spilling out.
Our refillable, 6-pack leak-proof silicone bottles with large openings are the best travel containers. They have 80 ml capacity and allow us to squeeze the very last drop of content in the bottle. We have labelled and color sorted them as per our must-carry toiletries. This is one of our very smart purchases.
8. Travel first-aid kit
A first aid kit is an absolute essential for any road trip, adventure trip or backpacking trip. You never know when something can go wrong and you need a medication, so you should always be prepared for the worse. Little things like bruises, cuts and blisters are inevitable while on the move. And based on your immunity, you never know if water or some food item might affect your bowel movements.
We never travel without our first-aid kit. It is a small pouch that we bought that contains 2-3 tablets/ capsules for general sickness like cough, cold, fever, pain, diarrhea and constipation. It also has a pain relief spray for quick application. Apart from these, band-aids, sterile cotton, crepe bandages, gauze, antibacterial cream/ ointment and antiseptic wipes are always present in our first-aid pouch. For camping, we also place a mosquito repellent cream such as odomos in the kit.
9. Reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated can be a challenge while travelling. While a water bottle is available everywhere, it creates tons of plastic waste and sometimes gets heavy on the pocket. Hence, a sturdy travel ready water bottle is a must. It serves as an eco-conscious investment to the earth as well as your health. With water-bottle refill stations from companies like aquaguard coming up on all major railway stations and airports, having access to drinking water is no more a problem.
We use a 1 liter leak proof, easy to clean, light weight metal water bottle for our travel purposes. It has ability to keep the drinks hot or cold which we absolutely love. Water filtering and water purifying water bottles are also in trend these days.
10. Quick drying micro fiber towel
Budget hotels, B&B’s and hostels won’t necessarily provide towels to the guests. And sometimes if you are visiting smaller offbeat places, you never know if you will get a clean towel or not. Regular bath towels are heavy weight, super bulky and may take forever to dry. They also occupy a lot of space in your luggage.
The micro fiber towel that we possess is really small and compress really nicely in our luggage. The best part is it dries really fast and doesn’t get too smelly. It came with a small travel pouch! It’s so small that we carry it in our hand luggage to beaches or on hiking. It’s super absorbent and extremely soft to skin. In a nutshell – microfiber travel towels were literally made for backpackers and travelers. Note that if you are using a microfiber towel for the first time, using it couple of times at home and washing it once before you travel outside is advisable. Micro fiber towels take little time getting used to but once you are comfortable using them, you would always carry one with you.
Did you like our list of top 10 must have travel accessories? Do you think we have left out on some essential travel accessory? Do let us know in the comment section below. We would be glad to know what all you mandatorily pack in your travel trips!