Must-Have Travel Accessories For Jet Setting In Style & Comfort

ocean with mountain and sunset
Somewhere off the coast of Malaga, Spain Photo by K. Barclay

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself,” Matthew Karsten. We love to travel no matter the distance, every trip is a new adventure where memories are made and cherished.

But these days, the journey itself is often an adventure filled with delays, missing luggage, spilled drinks, and that’s before you’ve even left home. Let’s talk about the unsung heroes of any great adventure: travel products. You know, those trusty companions that make life on the road a little easier and a lot more comfortable. Whether it’s a durable backpack that can withstand being lugged around airports and crammed into tight spaces or a compact yet powerful portable charger to keep your gadgets juiced up, having the right gear can make or break your trip. Some of our favorite travel products are like having a secret weapon against travel mishaps and unexpected challenges. So, to all my fellow wanderers out there, remember to pack wisely and choose your travel sidekicks with care.

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Travel Sidekicks We Recommend

Battery Back-up: Anker Nano Power Bank (30W, Built-In USB-C Cable)

anker power bank


No one should leave home without a good battery pack for backup charging. Anker is one of our favorite brands, and we love that the Anker Power Bank 30W is compact and reliable. The size and attached cable make it perfect for travel. This is perfect for long trips, football games, or just a night out with friends.

Favorite Luggage: Nomatic Check-In Suitcase

Nomatic check in suitcase with handle extended

One would think, with as much travel experience as I have, that I would be the master of packing less, not more. In some ways, I am an efficient packer, but when it comes to traveling for a few weeks or internationally, I like to use a large suitcase. My goal isn’t to pack it to its full capacity when leaving home but to allow room for bringing home local foods or souvenirs. So, I love that the Nomatic Check-In has 78L of space and can expand to 90L, you know, in case I go to Italy and bring back ALL the pasta.

You can pack so much stuff with the innovative magnetic compression straps, and they’re easy to use. I’m obsessed with how easy it is to stay organized with or without using packing cubes. I found their compression straps to be my favorite over those found in other suitcases, like the straps in my Away bag.

interior of large suitcase
Inside of Nomatic Check-In

And let’s not forget about durability. This thing is built to last with a virtually indestructible Polycarbonate shell. It can handle whatever rough treatment the baggage handlers throw its way, as I discovered on a recent trip. I’m not sure what they did with my bag, but it had some new scuffs and marks that made me wish it could talk. Like, were you run over by a golf cart, or did you compete in some super secret suitcase races?

Nomatic suitcase wth ocean in background

The Nomatic Check-in is a beast that is sleek and modern looking and breezes through the airport on its Silent Hinomoto wheels even when packed with 50lbs of ‘stuff’. Its three-stage aluminum handle locks into place at three different heights, making it easy to handle whether you’re short, medium, or tall.

Nomatic makes awesome products all around; if you’re looking for a backpack that’s sleek, stylish, and functional, check out the Nomatic Navigator RS.

sand colored backpack from Nomatic in chair
Nomatic RS backpack in sand

Peak Packing Cubes

two packing cubes in different sizes
Small and large peak cubes-both hold a lot

Let’s talk about the Peak Design Packing Cubes – they’re like the Swiss Army knife of packing solutions, but way cooler and unlikely to get confiscated at airport security! They check all the convenience boxes: compressible, accessible, and dividable – basically, the trifecta of packing perfection. With their tear-away zipper, you can access your essentials faster than with the old-school U-zips. These bad boys come equipped with an internal divider, so you can keep your clean undies away from your, uh, well-loved socks or just separate outfits.

And once they’re packed with your favorite clothes, you can compress them with just a zipper. The outer shell is made of a self-healing 70D nylon/poly blend that’s not just durable but looks great, too. With Peak’s packing cubes, I’ve upgraded my travel from chaotic mess to organized nirvana. They are available in small and medium sizes, and we’ve found both sizes hold a ton. Peak packing cubes are one of my favorite travel products, perfect for short trips, long trips, and everything in between.

small packing cube
Small peak packing cube

I like using them to keep me more organized and use the packs to help with this. If we’re stopping overnight for 1-2 nights, I have a cube for those items. I also use a cube for all swimwear and then cubes for each of us. When checking luggage, I often pack some of everyone’s items in each bag; that way, if a suitcase is lost, each person still has some clothes to hold them over.

Peak Design Wash Pouch

travel bag interior

When traveling with my husband, we were both carrying pouches for our essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc., and they were taking up so much space. His leather bag was like a black hole for bathroom items, and it was difficult to find stuff. I ordered him a Peak Design wash pouch and loved it so much that I got one for myself, too.

The design is perfect, and with the interior pockets and interior open storage spaces for larger items, plus the magnetically-sealed toothbrush pocket with pull-out lining for easy cleaning, everything has its place. It’s still relatively compact and easy to clean.

Air Tags Are A MUST For Any Traveler


Most of us have experienced the nightmare scenario where we eagerly wait for our suitcase to appear on the carousel. Minutes pass, and it’s nowhere to be seen. Cue the panic! Lost luggage is every traveler’s nightmare, and that’s why AirTags are a must for every traveler! Two of our suitcases were left in London and didn’t arrive in Barcelona, so being able to track their arrival and transport them to our hotel eased our anxiety.

With AirTags, your luggage is always just a ping away, ensuring that they’ll always find their way back to you, even if your bags take a detour.

Etekcity Luggage Scale

Have you really traveled if you haven’t asked friends or family to guess the weight of your crammed suitcase? We got tired of playing ‘Is it more, less, or right at 50lbs’ and finally purchased a luggage scale. No more unpacking and repacking in the airport as busy travelers watch as they skate past with their perfectly balanced bags. For under $20, this is a great investment, we use the Etekcity luggage scale. Definitely comes in handy when packing my Nomatic luggage, since empty it weighs in at 12.2lbs.

Trtl Travel Pillow

man and woman using travel pillow

If you’re one of the lucky ones who finds themself dozing off before the plane has left the runway but wakes up when you find your head bobbing up and down, you need a Trtl travel pillow. While sleep is critical to getting the most out of your adventures, the quality is equally important. The design of the Trtl pillow helps relieve stress on your spine and muscles so you can remain relaxed and at ease and wake up feeling ready to explore. Another plus, with the Trtl pillow, you won’t wake up to discover you’ve nodded off and are now resting your head on the shoulder of the stranger seated next to you. And, when you’re back home, you can wash your hypoallergenic pillow.

Laundry Bag: STNKY XL

I always pack a laundry bag when traveling. It makes it so much easier when we arrive home to just toss it in the laundry room. STNKY bags are great because they can be washed, and they lock in germs, odors & moisture. I like the XL size for travel.

Backpack or Foldable Bag for Day Trips or Overpackers

black backpack

REI Co-op Stuff Travel Pack – 20L is my go-to for throwing in our suitcase to use when exploring cruise ports or just in case we need some extra room on the way home. I can carry our battery pack, lightweight jackets, or even swimsuits for a day on the boat. It folds into its own pocket for storage or you can clip it onto your backpack for carrying on. The front stuff pocket holds a light jacket or water bottle; the zippered exterior pocket gives quick access to your phone, snacks, and other small necessities.

The Osprey Ultra Light Stuff tote is a good option if you prefer a tote style over a backpack. It has a zip top and a clip for carrying.

Casetify Phone Accessories

Two kids with Mount Etna in background
Teenage girl weaing the heart charm lanyard from Casetify

We’ve all been traversing through the airport or train station while juggling bags, your coffee cup, and, oh, man, where did you stash your phone? Casetify’s lanyard is the perfect solution to keeping your phone within reach while also preventing you from dropping it or having it snatched away from the thief who watched your distracted circus act and swooped in. This is actually pretty common in Europe, so when traveling overseas, we always use lanyards.

And if you’re running out of juice, the Casetify PowerThru™ Power Bank swoops in like a superhero, keeping your device alive and kicking. Slim, sleek, and packing a 5000mAh high capacity with MagSafe compatibility, it’s a must for all your travels.

Spider Man power bank

Stylish, sturdy, and packing serious convenience, these accessories swing into action like your own superhero sidekick, fueling your epic travel adventures!

Travel Cups- BrüMate

can cooler with palmetto tree
Love my SC Hopsulator trio-perfect for travel

Yes, taking your own cup takes up extra space and adds to your weight, but after many trips, I’ve decided I prefer to have my own cup, whether it’s a road trip or flying on an airplane. And, BrüMate is a must because of its leakproof features. I usually take my Hopsulator with me because of its versatility. I can use it to keep cans cold, or I can pour my water, soda, and beer into it and use it as a tumbler. Our teens prefer the Rehydration 16 oz. because they just clip it onto the outside of their bags, and they don’t drink many canned drinks.

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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation

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