I get asked a fair amount about my “must have” travel accessories and to be totally honest – I don’t have a ton. I know I might be in the minority here, but the more you bring, the more you have to carry, am I right? That said, there are a few necessities I use regularly and if you’ve been around for a little bit, they will all probably look familiar to you! Today I’m sharing travel accessories I actually use and what I have, that might not be a necessity, but is still useful for certain trips. If this is something you’ve been wondering, today’s post is for you!
Travel Accessories I Actually Use
Carry-On Suitcase – $150 – You might recognize this suitcase from this post about packing for Tahiti. I am still learning the ropes when it comes to being a carry-on only type of girl, but I really do love this bag and all the compartments it offers. I was also shocked by just how much I could fit in there, given the size. It’s definitely an investment, but if you travel frequently for work or pleasure, it’s a good investment. The hard exterior makes it pretty durable and it fits in the overhead plane compartment easily. I’m one of those people that would rather saw my arm off than have to struggle with a bag in public, much less in an airplane aisle, so this is a really high selling point for me.
GoPro – We had a GoPro when we first moved to Hawaii, but the original ones weren’t waterproof without a housing, so one faulty case later, we had a fried GoPro that was useless. We invested in a new one last year before our first trip to Tahiti and it’s been a game changer. I love taking photos and videos and I’m trying to get better about documenting our trips on my Youtube channel.
GoPro Travel Accessories – $23 – I know it’s really easy to fall into the trap of buying branded accessories for an investment piece like a GoPro. I was that person for awhile, until I discovered this incredible bundle pack. I figured, if the accessories were a bust, I had only invested $23 and I wouldn’t feel terrible about that. First of all, it comes with about a million pieces, so I honestly was going to be pleased if just one of those worked out. Turns out, they are all freaking fantastic and whenever anyone tells me they are getting a GoPro, this is the set I recommend to them. We’ve used all of these accessories for various adventures and none of have let us down yet!
40oz Hydro Flask – $48 – What can I say that hasn’t been said about this amazing invention? I hate to even call it a water bottle, because for us it was a total game changer. When we moved to Hawaii, we discovered Hydro Flasks and they’ve been a favorite ever since. They keep your water/liquid incredibly cold for DAYS. Seriously. I always tell the story about how I filled my water bottle up with ice and water at the Honolulu airport, flew all the way to Baltimore, drove to my parent’s house in Pennsylvania, crashed (hello exhaustion) and woke up the next day and the ice was still going strong. My mom was shocked and got one right on the spot. They are truly awesome and really durable!
Noise Canceling Headphones – $350 – I always thought to myself – “what is the big deal with those Bose headphones?” And then I tested out a pair from a friend of mine and I was HOOKED. Now when I travel, I wonder what I ever did previously. I use them on flights, train rides, in noisy airports where I’m trying to work and at the gym. I realize they are an investment, but if you’re traveling frequently I really do recommend them, especially if you’re like me and need peace and quiet to operate (i.e. work or sleep).
Portable Charger – $38 – You will never find me traveling without this gadget in tow. My mom gifted it to me for Christmas one year and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. There is nothing quite like trying to jockey for an outlet in an airport, particularly if you’re running on little or no sleep. Just make sure it’s charged up before you leave the house!
Laundry Detergent Sink Packs – $7 – I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times Dane and I have run out of underwear or socks on a trip or have wanted to do a little stain treatment on a garment while we’ve been traveling. I forget who initially told me about these laundry sink detergent packs, but they have been in my toiletry bag ever since. I have never been able to find them in the stores (what the crap?), which is why I snag them off Amazon a couple times per year.
Nikon D3300 – $439 – This is the exact camera I shoot all of my photos on and the kit lens it comes with is 18-55mm, which is the lens I used for years and years, before I upgraded to a 50mm lens a couple years ago. To be honest, I’m not a professional photographer, so I always knew that I would need something that was fairly easy for me to use and learn. For me, it’s this Nikon, but I would highly recommend going into a local electronics store and testing out several different cameras if you’re looking to invest in one. This is what works for me and I love that it came with a lens, camera base and wifi adapter, which makes uploading photos directly to my phone easy breezy. I also recommend a wifi enabled SD card if you don’t want to go the adapter route. Both have worked well for me, but I will say that the adapter’s connection isn’t always great, because it requires using the Nikon mobile app, which I’ve found to be spotty overseas.
Totally optional travel accessories I have and my honest thoughts on them:
Drone + Accessories – $1300 – This is a pricey investment for travel photos and I would say that unless you are 1. Really into photography or 2. Registering your drone for commercial use (Drone 101: What You Need To Know About Owning + Flying A Drone), I would skip this one. The photos are incredible and we really love having ours, but drone photography has become so mainstream now that if you want a few aerial snaps, you can hire drone photographers pretty easily for custom snaps most places in the world.
Refillable Cosmetic Containers – $12 – I bought these with every intention of using them instead of lugging around a bottle of conditioner (have you seen this mane?). The reality is that I bought them with good intentions and have never used them which is incredibly wasteful. That said, now that I’ve brought this shameful secret to light, I really want to put them into use. I mean – WHY NOT?!
Waterproof bag – $28 – I was adamantly against this bag when we went on our cruise to Alaska, but Dane was insistent about investing in one for our trek to Mendenhall Glacier. Turns out, I wish we would have invested in one way before now. This bag isn’t the most visually impressive, but dang, it is handy. It keeps everything mega dry (it may or may not have wound up in the water and everything inside was bone dry!), is pretty spacious and comfortable to wear as a backpack for flights, hikes, etc.
Packing Cubes – $23 – When I first heard about packing cubes, I felt a little bit like….why is that necessary? But honestly – they work really well and are incredibly convenient and time saving, especially if you’re going on an extended trip where a huge bag is necessary. I don’t use them as much since I got my Genius Pack (and honestly have been putting my best foot forward in the carry-on only club), but I do like them for keeping my stuff organized and not strewn amuck within my bag…not that I know anything about that 😉