travel products that will make your life easier

Over the course of many international and cross-country trips, I've found products that make every journey easier. Most of these products have saved the day on more than one occasion.  They all make travel easier, more organized, or more comfortable. 

Here are travel products that every serious globetrotter needs to consider purchasing... 


Power bank //

Traveling anywhere where there are notable power outages? A power bank can save you in a pinch. Without one, it's nearly impossible to use Maps.Me to get from location to location all day long. It's also helpful if you end up in a hostel bunk far from an electrical outlet or in accommodation that's charging ports aren't working. There are some international airports where outlets are far and few between and many of them aren't working anyway. I have a cheap power bank from Target, but there are nicer models on Amazon. 

Noise cancelling headphones //

On my flight from Seoul to Atlanta, I had forgotten my headphones. I was at the very back of the plane so the hustle of the air attendants, the rolling of carts, people headed in and out of the lavatory, and the dinging of attention lights was beyond distracting. Did I mention I was surrounded by people throwing up all around me? Children and adults puking thanks to the absolute worst turbulence. Had I not forgotten my headphones, I could have easily ignored the horror and sounds surrounding me. 


Packing cubes //

Gone are the days of sifting through your Osprey every time you roll up to a new hostel. No longer will you spend hours trying to repack all the belongings you so preciously packed like a puzzle into your bag. I highly recommend these, especially if you are backpacking or traveling around to more than one place or through a variety of climates. I put like things in the same cube that way I know where the exact article of clothing I'm looking for can be found: all my undergarments in one cube, all my warm gear in another, etc.  I have very basic packing cubes purchased off of Amazon in 2015 and they have remained a must-have for me on my many journeys.  

Reusable water bottle //

Fun fact: most airports have free water refill faucets so that once you have made it through airport security, you can fill up your bottle instead of paying outrageous prices for beverages near your gate. You're helping the planet, keeping yourself hydrated, and saving money-- win, win, win. 


Electronics organizer //

I just recently purchased this from Amazon and I don't know how I ever traveled anywhere without it-- and I'm not even that tech-y. Every charging cable, USB, SD card, and adaptor has its place and I know that no matter how rough a flight or jumbled up my bag gets, that my cords and chips are all safely protected and tangle-free in this little pouch. 

Universal adaptor //

I still have multiple adaptors that are region specific, but buying a universal adaptor makes travel in places like South America, where outlets vary between countries, so much easier. It will save space in your bag and time fumbling around looking for the right plug in your hotel. 


TSA approved luggage locks //

A TSA approved luggage lock allows you to lock up your bag but also allows airport security to check your bags if necessary. This is helpful since many hostels internationally provide lockers, but require you to provide your own lock. If you're going out to explore the city and want to make sure that your bags are safe, you can use the lock from your bag on said lockers! I have the same lock pictured above in orange which I bought at a Kathmandu in Petone, New Zealand. There are a variety you can buy from Amazon like these here. 

Luggage tags //

This probably seems so dumb, but it's important. I had a friend who went to visit family in Europe and someone took her luggage at baggage claim because they had the exact same duffle. Something that could have been avoided had they purchased and used easy to recognize luggage tags. I've even given custom leather tags as a gift to those most special to me. 


Camera //

Honestly, I have slight twinges of regret about all the adventures I went on before the days with my DSLR {more reason to re-visit those places I suppose ;)}. Bottom line, it's nice to have quality photos from your travels. I love my Canon DSLR. I had the Rebel T3 to start and got my latest upgrade as a gift from my parents. It came in a bundle package with an extra lens, editing software, and a carrying case on Black Friday special. 


Daypack // 

It's nice to bring a bag with you on your trip to hold your powerbank, money, and camera while you go out exploring during the day. I'm usually partial to my New Zealand tote I picked up in Queenstown or the Kathleen bag from Natalie Jean's former blog. Thanks to Oceans End, however, I've fully become a backpack girl. It's comfortable and stylish, not to mention the company is all about empowering women and is a fully vegan product. Whatever kind of bag suits you, make sure you bring something that can hold your daily essentials without feeling bulky. 

Apps //

There are so many phone apps that I find to be absolutely essential for getting the most out of every trip. For every travel-related app I actually use, read this post


Warm socks //

I've traveled both with and without compression socks and can say they do make some kind of difference. What makes me more comfortable, however, is a simple pair of warm socks {like these found here} to keep me cozy on freakishly chilly flights. My favourites were gifts from a million years ago that I still wear, but these socks from Conscious Step are also wonderful. Bonus: they give back with every purchase. 

Let's be clear: you don't need any of these things to travel.

But all of them are helpful and will make your journey a bit easier. They are all items that I travel with regularly. As always, all opinions and suggestions are my own.