Tips From Above-Average Travelers: 28 MUST HAVE Travel Items

My favorite Facebook group is a community of wanderlusting, frequent flight-buying travel addicts. They talk about travel allll day and share all kinds of travel-related insider knowledge.

You guys, the members of this group are real life TRAVEL BUFFS!

To prove it, I polled the group to find out how many (longer than a weekend and non-work related) trips that the average group member has taken in the past 365 days.
Out of 1,179 responses, 75% took 3 or more leisurely trips that were longer than a weekend over the last year. About 1 out of 4 respondents took 5 or more trips over the last year!!

28 Must Have Travel Items & gadgets for long flights & packing list.

**This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases (at no additional cost to you)!**

Compare that to the average person.
According to the Destination Analysts, the average American takes about one overnight leisure trip per year! (I emailed for clarification and the average is 0.7).

These guys are the true definition of “frequent fliers”.

Recently, someone in the group asked a really good question:

What must-have travel items do you pack that most other people wouldn’t think to pack?”

SUCH a good question. I was all ears (technically all eyes).

The travel gurus didn’t disappoint.
A lot of travel tricks and unique must-have travel items were shared.
(Some, I purchased right away!)

I have compiled the top 28 must-have travel products recommended by expert travelers and I’m confident that some of them will really surprise you.

Must Have Travel Items That Increase: Comfort

1 | A TRTL Pillow, for amazing neck support

Apparently, this is the holy grail of neck support.
Though this pillow is designed to look like a scarf, it has an internal neck support system to support your head when sleeping upright.
Over 10,000 people have rated this pillow!

I believe that good neck support is the single most important thing when it comes to having a comfortable flight. And since I still haven’t found anything great for neck support, I’m buying this pillow!

2 | A Leg Hammock, for less leg swelling or pain

Most of the people that loved and recommended a leg hammock were shorties like myself!
For long flights, hang this memory foam footrest on the tray table and keep your feet elevated to decrease feet swelling and soreness.

3 | EarPlanes, to reduce severe ear pain

This one isn’t from the group, it’s an exciting discovering made by yours truly!
My niece recently came to visit and was practically crying from the ear pain she gets whenever she flies. Turns out she’s not the only one. We bought these and lo and behold, they significantly brought her pain down from a 8 to a 2.5 (out of 10).
Game changer!

4 | A Camping Hammock, for lounging everywhere and anywhere

There’s a picture circulating out on social media of a guy who hung up one of these in the airport terminal to get a nap while waiting for his flight.
G-E-N-I-U-S! That guy is living in 2045 while the rest of us are still in 2019!

Goes to show how flexible and useful a camping hammock can be.

Must Have TECH & GADGET Travel Items

5 | A Waterproof Phone Pouch, for carefree beach or pool lounging

For under $10, this would be perfect for a beach or pool vacation.

Just think about it- lounging in the pool playing music and taking pictures without a single care in the world about water damaging your phone.
Yeah, I’ll take one.

6 | Cord Tacos / Cord Clams, for on-the-go organization

The cutest travel accessory of them all.
Keep your cords detangled and organized with cord tacos / cord clams.

7 | A Universal Travel Adapter, to stay charged in any situation

I can tell you this one first hand, NEVER travel internationally without an adapter. I already made that mistake during my last trip to Paris. The beauty of this one is that it is a one-time investment- buy this once and use it for any country you visit.

Read Next:
What I Should Have Brought To Paris & What I Should Have Left Behind

8 | A Power Strip / Extension Cord, to charge everything at once

It’s a pain in the rear when you stay somewhere without enough outlets. Charging your phone in the bathroom, taking turns with your travel buddies, I’ve done it all and it’s all a pain.

Bring one of these extension cords and charge everything at once.
Even better are the ones with a combination of regular outlets and USB outlets.

9 | A Digital Luggage Scale, to avoid luggage fees forever

One of these is much cheaper than paying that overweight luggage fee.
Batteries are not required.

10 | An HDMI Cable

I’ve never thought of this but several of the travel gurus suggested it.

If you’ve ever come back to your hotel/vacation home and wanted to wind down in front of some familiar TV programming, bring an HDMI cable. Then you can project whatever you want to watch from a tablet or computer to the TV.

Must Have Beauty-Related Travel Items

11 | A Suctioned Lighted Magnifying Makeup Mirror, for on-the-go glam

Any makeup wearer knows that lighting makes a huge difference.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of stretching across (or sitting on) huge hotel tables to do my makeup and I’m definitely tired of doing it in dim lighting. I bought this one and am very excited to start using it.

12 | Makeup Eraser, for eco-friendly & effective face cleansing

An eco-friendly option to makeup wipes.
One side of this makeup eraser can clear 100% of your makeup (including waterproof makeup) with just water. The other side exfoliates!

13 | Bar Shampoo & Conditioner, that actually makes it past TSA (and avoids waste)

 If you’ve ever had toiletries thrown away by the TSA, raise your hand.
*The whole country raises their hands*.

Guess what, they make bar shampoo and conditioner!
They’re not liquid so they are safe from TSA. Bonus- you’ll finally have enough shampoo and conditioner for your whole trip. Those tiny hotel toiletries just don’t cut it!

Get the above from Lush or see an option from Amazon here

Must Have Travel Items For
Safety & Health

14 | A Door Stopper, for maximum security

For those that can’t sleep for fear of intruders, you should try using this door stopper to secure your hotel, motel or hostel door.
Peace of mind = good sleep.

15 | An Infinity Scarf (with hidden zipper), for fashion & function

The reason this is genius is have you ever worn one of those “secret” waist pouches under your clothes? Between the sweat and the bulkiness, those things can be so uncomfortable.

This is an infinity travel scarf with a hidden pouch for important documents and items. You can stay handsfree and comfortable, even while your important travel items stay hidden and safe.
No one will know it’s anything but a regular scarf, and even if they do, it’d be pretty hard for them to get anything without you knowing.

16 | A Mini First Aid Kit, so you can stay ready

This kit is a must for anyone, but it was especially popular amongst the travelers with kids.

It also takes up very little space which is surprising as this kit has 92 pieces! It includes a CPR face mask, eye wash, tourniquet and an emergency foil blanket.
It’s like Mary Poppin’s bag or something.

17 | A Bed Bug Proof Pillow Cover

I totally get it.
Bring home souvenirs, NOT bed bugs.

18 | Sleeping Bag Liners

For those that get creeped out by the thought of sleeping in unfamiliar sheets, bring a sleeping bag liner and sleep in peace.

Must Have Food & Drink Related Travel Items

19 | Collapsible Water Bottle

An eco-friendly and space saving alternative to the plastic water bottle.
Fold and throw this into your carry on for fill up after security.
Then, proceed to staying hydrated.

20 | Water Filter Bottles

For the adventure travelers, campers and hikers!
This Brita filter water bottle is your new best friend. Should you ever be away from a clean water source, clean any available water using this filter.
No e.coli or traveler’s diarrhea for you, no sirree Bob!

21 | Wine Wings

A reusable bubble sleeve that protects glass bottles from breaking in transit.

I regret not having known about these on my last trip to Paris.
It would have been nice to bring home French wine for dinner parties or to give away as gifts.

22 | A Collapsible Kettle or Immersion Heater

Something I was shocked to discover from the group is that people use the coffee makers in hotel rooms for things other than making coffee (or anything edible for that matter).

With that in mind, a collapsible kettle or immersion heater to heat up water for your tea or whatever else may be a worthwhile investment.

23 | Tea Bags (from home)

Apparently, a lot of people do this!
For the tea enthusiast, having your favorite tea bags handy brings a sense of familiarity and calm, in the midst of an unfamiliar environment.

Must Have Travel Items For: Convenience

24 | A Quick Drying Towel, for less time drying and more time exploring

To dry your hair, skin and even other clothes in a jiffy.

25 | Ziploc Bags

Surprisingly, the MOST POPULAR product mentioned by travel group members!

Ziploc bags are handy for so much. They can be used for organization purposes, to compress your clothes for easier packing, to separate dirty clothes, to hold snacks for daily excursions, on and on and on.

Luckily, it’s also the easiest travel item to get as you probably already have a few Ziploc bags at home.

For an eco-friendly alternative, consider reusable food storage bags.

26 | Duct Tape

duct tape is a popular travel tool

People mentioned duct tape A LOT!
At first I didn’t get it, but then I thought of that one time my sisters suitcase handle broke and she had to drag it all around the trip like a broken wagon.

HAA! Now, I get it. Duct Tape for the quick fix!

27 | Foldable Bag

You’re never not going to wish you had one of these.

You’ll be glad you brought one on your way back home when you’ve collected too many goodies to pack. In addition, a bag like this is always handy for family outings; collect everyone’s jackets and knick knacks so that you’re not holding them.
Also, dirty laundry.

28 | Multi-Bag Stacker

This is a game changer especially if you have kids. Keep all the bags in tow while keeping one hand free to do the other million things you have to do!

So many goodies to be found on that list!

Now I’m turning the question over to you!
What travel items do YOU always pack that other people wouldn’t think to pack?


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  • Elizabeth

    I love these tips! I’m one of those weird people who also brings a little baggie of tea when I travel. It can be SO relaxing to have a cup of familiar bedtime tea after a day of exploring.

    • Deze

      You know, I thought it was kinda weird at first (because I figured why not buy local tea) until recently, I started drinking more premium quality teas and now I’m like uhh yeah, I gotta take this stuff wherever I go lol!

  • Yaina

    Love these!! I’m on a long trip for thanksgiving and there a couple of tricks that I did not know about. I’ve had a folding bag for ages that I take to all of my trips. Thanks!

      • Susan

        Thanks for the most informative travel tips I’ve read since I start planning our next long haul trip!
        Maybe a strange thing but I always take along a long bright coloured ribbon to tie my shoes together and to my seat when I go to sleep
        Not a nice thing to discover one of then have slid away under the seats and I had to go on all fours trying to find a shoe!

  • Britt

    Great suggestions! I LIVE for my camping hammock – whether I’m just relaxing at home in my backyard, at the campground or wherever else I want to kick back.

  • Kathy

    I take compression socks, a money belt, a small spoon, breakfast bars, tea bags. Pack folded tops in gallon size plastic bags so they don’t wrinkle. Plastic bags small size for toothbrush to carry in my purse & separate for few makeup items, Larger size Walmart or kitchen tall can bag to put dirty underwear & socks, separate one for other dirty clothes, pack shoes in plastic bags.

  • Linda M

    I love and use the Lush solid shampoo and conditioner. The round bars are much bigger than I need for most trips. I cut them in half & now they both fit into 1 container.

  • Graeme Stewart

    A small coin purse for Europe. You are paying with cash mostly at British Pubs and if you are doing like a Tapas or Pixtos crawl it is the same. Your change is all coins below 5 pounds and 10 Euros. I use mine to put ID, notes and a credit card in and to keep in the front pocket of jeans so everything is together and to avoid pickpockets.

    The one I have is by Manhatten Portage and cost about $10. It is 3 by 4 inches and ultra light (not leather) so can easily fit in a front pocket.

  • Sybil

    Hi, I love these kind of sites that provide tips on travel accessories etc. My tip is to buy a cheap cushion and a pillowcase from a charity shop. Total about 3£. It fits into the case easily. On arrival you have your own clean pillow, you have a cushion / pillow to take onto the sun bed without the worry of sun cream stains and at the end of the stay, you can dispose of them before returning home, giving you that little etc space in your case.

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