Wondering what to bring traveling? You are not alone! We’ve been traveling worldwide for over five years and now have a massive list of travel essentials that improve our lives when we are away from home.
We recommend thousands of travel must-haves on this site, but I wanted to narrow that list down to 50 essential travel accessories. All of these products we have personally tried out and own. Let’s dig in!
The Best Travel Essentials
Organization while traveling is essential to take care of your belongings and not lose anything. As frequent travelers keeping organized on the road ensures our sanity and keeps our belongings in good shape.
Travel can be very tough on clothing and personal items. A packing cube can be a great way to store and organize your clothes and other items while you travel. These come in a range of sizes and are available from a variety of brands.
Pouches are also an excellent option for organizing small items and won’t add extra weight to your bag. Jewelry can be stored in a small case to keep it from getting tangled or lost. Leakproof travel bottles are also an excellent option for storing toiletries and beauty products. These can be stored in a water-resistant toiletry bag for added protection.
A travel passport wallet is an affordable travel essential. Your passport is a vital travel document you will need to carry for a decade. Protect your passport in a wallet to ensure its longevity and save the headache of replacing it. Several options can protect the passport or replace your wallet. We recommend a great wallet from Herschel Supply Co.
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Packing cubes are phenomenal for the organization of any backpack or suitcase. They are one of those packing essentials that should be in every bag as they keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. Cubes also keep clothes folded and protect them from wrinkles.
Our favorite packing cubes are currently from Peak Design. It’s a slick design, and each cube has a divider to separate clean from dirty clothes. This saves the need for additional cubes and makes organization easier.
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As a great travel tip, take a small pouch with everything you’ll need for a long flight. Once you board the flight, you can place it in the seatback pocket. It saves you from retrieving your essentials from the overhead bin and reduces the risk of leaving something behind.
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It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. It almost feels like a toiletry bag is essential for any trip. Plus, it’s not uncommon to find small or cramped bathrooms in Asia and Europe.
If you are limited on counter space, buying a hanging toiletry bag is a great option. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option. We love the Peak Design Wash Pouch. It contains a hidden hook to hang and features terrific organization.
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Portable Jewelry Box
A portable jewelry box is a staple in my packing list. It’s a great travel essential but is easily overlooked until it’s too late. It’s easy to break necklace chains or loose earrings in your suitcase or backpack. No one wants to lose or damage precious jewelry.
Before I had a travel jewelry box, I stored all my necklaces and earrings in a plastic bag, constantly untangling them. This organizer will safely keep jewelry organized and stored thanks to a straightforward design and a few compartments.
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GoToob Travel Bottles
These GoToobs are my carry-on packing essentials. It’s best not to pack large cosmetic containers. Instead, place liquids in spill-proof travel bottles! GoToob bottles are made with durable silicon that is food-safe, and airplane carry-on approved.
They are 100% BPA-free and also a great eco-friendly gift idea. Plus, if the liquid is confiscated for some reason, I’m not out of an expensive facial lotion or toiletry.
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Travel Luggage & Bags
Luggage and bags are essential to travel as they provide a safe and convenient way to transport your belongings while on the go. A good luggage set or travel bag can help to protect your clothing, electronics, and other personal items from damage while keeping them organized and easy to access.
Luggage and bags come in various styles, sizes, and materials to suit every traveler’s needs, whether you are looking for a hard-shell suitcase for a long trip or a lightweight backpack for a weekend getaway. We prefer to be fast and light with a carry-on backpack or versatile with a hard-shell suitcase.
They all come with wheels, compartments, and straps that help make traveling easier and more comfortable. Quality luggage or a bag can last for years, making them a worthwhile investment for any frequent traveler.
Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack
Cotopaxi’s Allpa Travel Pack is a stylish and durable carry-on backpack with a clamshell-style main compartment. The interior has various compartments and pockets for organization. The front pocket is perfect for quick-grab items, while a padded laptop sleeve on the back keeps your laptop safe and secure.
The Allpa has four exterior handles for easy grabbing and an over-the-shoulder strap for messenger bag-style carry. The traditional backpack suspension system is comfortable and sturdy, with a hip belt and sternum strap to distribute the weight evenly.
The only downside is its bulk when fully packed, but it’s still an excellent choice for a short trip or any other travel adventure for one-bag travel. We love the aesthetics of Cotopaxi, but if you’re looking for a more stylish bag, check out this post on carry-on backpacks with dozen recommendations.
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Delsey Helium Aero
Delsey’s Helium Aero suitcase is made of 100% polycarbonate, and it’s our favorite bag among Delsey’s checked and carry-on luggage collection. It has a tough shell, high-gloss finish, four substantial wheels that roll easily on most surfaces, an aluminum handle with an ergonomic grip, multiple levels, a TSA-approved lock, expandable side zip, and a rubber side handle.
As a clamshell, it features a zippered divider for organization, elastic straps for packing cubes, and comes in nine colors and three sizes from carry-on to large checked bag. Delsey offers a ten-year warranty on all their products at a reasonable price. It’s my most used luggage and has survived at least 100+ flights.
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Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack
The Black Hole Tote Pack is a rugged, lightweight travel tote. The bag is all about function, and its unisex style adds a lot of versatility. The tote offers an excellent range of features, such as the ability to double as a backpack.
Strap lengths and layout feel perfect, and the interior is roomy enough to carry daily items, groceries, or gym clothes. It also features a laptop pocket, a foam back panel that doubles as a seat, and two mesh water bottle pockets.
Best of all, it’s light enough to pack in your checked luggage. Despite its weight, it’s durable thanks to Patagonia’s Black Hole material which uses recycled material to create a rugged and water-repellent exterior. We enjoy Patagonia’s travel tote, whether doubling as a daypack or market bag.
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Peak Design Everyday Bag
A daypack is a travel essential as it fits seamlessly between exploring a new city, a short hike, or commuting to our favorite coworking space. It’s excellent for carrying a camera, laptop, map, headphones, or your favorite water bottle when traveling.
Our favorite daypack is the Peak Design Everyday Bag, thanks to its intelligent design features and excellent quality. The tech bag excels at organization and looks sharp for any discerning traveler. We have more great recommendations that will fit anyone’s needs.
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Classic Travel Essentials
These items are classic travel essentials that can make your journey more comfortable, enjoyable, and sustainable. A journal, water bottle, travel pillow, journal, travel towel, and reusable straw are all classic travel accessories that serve multiple functions. Most importantly, we consider some form of insurance necessary for a trip abroad.
Grayl GeoPress Water Filter & Purifier
Regarding travel essentials, a travel water bottle is at the top of our list. And when it comes to water bottles, our favorite is the Grayl GeoPress purifier bottle. It saves money, reduces plastic waste, and ensures that our water is safe and free of viruses and other waterborne illnesses.
The Grayl bottle is not only practical but also innovative in design. A press-like system effectively filters out sediment, bacteria, and heavy metals, leaving only clean and safe water. Its wide-mouth top makes it easy to drink and fill, and its sleek design fits comfortably in any bag or backpack.
This water bottle is handy for travelers spending a significant amount of time in developing nations where water supplies may be questionable. Additionally, it’s also a convenient choice for outdoor activities such as hiking and saves space in our daypacks. It is an expensive water bottle, but it is a must-have travel essential as it provides safe and clean water when we’re on the go.
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We always pack a travel towel when we’re on the road. It’s one of the best travel essentials for international travel you can buy. They pack up small, antimicrobial, and lightweight, so they will save you from always needing a new towel or constantly washing yours.
The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton towels we are accustomed to at home and in hotels. However, with the PackTowl, you can forget that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel.
A towel is necessary for backpackers as hostels often do not supply a towel. However, they’re also excellent for those not on a budget for excursions such as a waterfall hike, snorkeling, or beach days.
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A reusable straw is a great travel essential for several reasons. First, it helps reduce waste and is more environmentally friendly than disposable plastic straws. Second, it is convenient and easy to enjoy drinks while on the go, whether in a hotel room, at an airport, or on a plane.
Third, they are lightweight and easy to clean, making them ideal for travel. Additionally, many reusable straws are made of durable materials such as stainless steel, which can withstand the wear and tear of travel.
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A proper travel pillow is a must-have for long flights, road trips, or train travel. It may take up some space in your luggage, but the comfort it provides during your trip makes it worth the inconvenience.
Memory foam pillows are popular as they mold to the shape of your head and neck, providing support and reducing pain. With a good travel pillow, you’ll be able to get some much-needed rest and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.
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Moleskin Classic Journal
A journal is essential for long-haul flights and other forms of travel. It is a great way to pass the time and allows you to document and reflect on your experiences. Keeping a journal has been shown to have mental health benefits, as it helps you process and make sense of the information and emotions you encounter on your journey.
Moleskin’s line of journals is a classic, well-made, and stylish choice that will last through your travels. They are perfect for long plane rides, bus rides, or lounging on the beach. Don’t forget to pack some pens in your daypack; if you pack a journal!
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Travel Insurance is essential you should purchase for any international trip. Many travelers would be shocked to learn their health insurance policy at home does not cover them abroad. However, several companies offer short-term travel insurance plans for emergency medical, trip delays, and theft.
Heymondo is a great place to start shopping for a policy. Sign-up is easy, and rates are competitive. Having the peace of mind that you have a good backup plan helps you sleep at night or enjoy that questionable activity.
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Tech Travel Essentials
Having the right tech gadgets in your travel bag can make your trip more comfortable and convenient. A travel adapter to use in foreign countries, headphones, an e-book reader, a streaming device, and a smartphone case can all be very useful. While an Apple AirTag keeps tabs on your luggage and valuables while you’re on the road. Or have fun and capture memories with an instant camera.
An essential travel accessory for any international trip is a universal power adaptor. We recommend picking up one before arriving at your destination. Once at your destination, finding one that is not overpriced or poor quality can be challenging.
Also, I never want to be searching for an adaptor when I have just come off a long travel day and need to plug in my computer. I want to have it with me and ready to go. We’ve tried a bund of adapters, but this one from Ceptics has to be our favorite in our travels. It has multiple plugs and USB ports. It also works as a surge protector.
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A Kindle is an essential travel accessory for travelers who love to read. As much as we love an actual book, they are too heavy and take up too much room in my suitcase. We recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it. It’s small, has touchscreen functions, and has a backlight to read at night without a harsh glare.
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Apple AirTags are great travel accessories because they allow you to keep track of your items, such as your luggage, purse, or camera, while on the go. Additionally, the AirTag has a built-in speaker that can play a sound to help you locate your item if it is nearby.
It’s small and discreet, making it easy to attach to a variety of items or throw in your luggage, that way, you can locate your valuable items. The little tag also lets you see your device’s last known location and get notifications when the item arrives or leaves a specific area, making it easy to keep track of your luggage while flying. On tight flight connections, it’s nice to know we can keep an eye on our luggage remotely.
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Mobile Phone Case
A great travel accessory is a mobile phone case that makes life easier on the road. Many cases can protect your phone, but the Peak Design Mobile case is the first to enhance your phone.
Its innovative design works with wireless charging and has a suite of handy accessories. It utilizes magnets and a locking ring to connect to a mobile wallet, car mount, desk charging station, or tripod mount.
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A streaming device is a travel must-have. Don’t count on hotels or vacation rentals to have a smart TV. A streaming device like the Roku Express is excellent as it comes with a remote and does not require a phone to control like the Google Chromecast. Plug the streaming device into any TV, connect to Wifi, and voila – Netflix!
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Anker Power Bank
I love traveling with a power bank to ensure my electronics never die. I usually don’t need to use it on long flights as some new international flights provide entertainment systems with USB ports! (Always make sure your charging cable is handy when boarding the plane)
We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a significant pain. I recommend purchasing this power bank because it’s a great value with solid reviews.
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Sony WXMH5 Headphones
Almost all international flights have entertainment systems, but the headphones are often lackluster. That’s why I think headphones are an air travel accessory you need. Traveling with a decent pair of noise-canceling over-the-ear headphones is best for comfort.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are perfect for travel with their top-notch noise cancellation, high-quality sound, clear hands-free calling, long battery life, and comfortable design. The multipoint connection and intuitive touch controls make it easy to switch between devices and control your music. The redesigned case allows for easy carrying, and the instant pause/instant play feature makes it convenient.
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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
We live in a digital world, and it feels like most photos now only exist on our phones, cameras, or the cloud. With a fun camera like the Instax Square SQ6, you can take instant photos as a fun keepsake.
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GoPro Hero11 Black
A GoPro is a versatile and durable camera that makes for an excellent travel essential. Whether going on a hike, snorkeling, or exploring a new city, a GoPro can capture high-quality photos and videos. With its wide range of mounts and accessories, you can attach it to your helmet, bike, or even a selfie stick to get unique and creative shots.
It’s also waterproof and shockproof, making it ideal for adventurous activities and extreme weather. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to pack and take on the go. Overall, a GoPro is a great investment for travelers looking to capture and share their memories.
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Classic Clothing Travel Essentials
When traveling, having classic clothing accessories that are both functional and stylish is essential. A down jacket will keep you warm in colder climates and provide a smart layer to your outfit. Stylish sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and can add a touch of fashion to your look.
Comfortable shoes are a must-have, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. They can make or break a trip, so choose a stylish and supportive pair. These classic clothing travel accessories are the perfect combination of form and function, making them ideal for any traveler looking to stay warm, stylish, and comfortable.
We don’t need a dozen iterations of products we use in life. For a timeless pair of sunglasses, it’s tough to find a more versatile pair than the Original Wayfarer. Another fantastic option for sunglasses is the Clubmaster.
We love to travel and hike around the world. Sunglasses like the Ray-Ban Wayfarers are perfect for mountain summits or new cities. They work for a trip to the French Riviera or a ski trip to Park City, Utah. There isn’t a scenario or journey that these don’t feel appropriate.
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Classic Linen shirt
It’s tough to beat a classic shirt from hemp, linen, or rapeseed materials. They look excellent and practical as they have anti-microbial properties and will stay fresh longer when you sweat. Linen is a perfect option as it has a timeless look for your trip.
Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, chinos, jeans, or shoes. It will always work. Linen shirts are versatile clothing that looks good for both sexes and works at the beach, museum, archaeological site, or safari. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but I love the quality of J. Crew’s or Everlane’s linen shirts. You can often score a deal, so it won’t be the world’s end if you stain or snag the shirt.
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A pair of chinos work for both sexes. It’s a classic look that can combine with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. Regarding color choice, try to match the destination—darker colors in cooler climates and lighter colors in warm climates.
For women, Tasha likes a pair by prAna called the Halle. For men, prAna makes the Brion Pant. They are a fabulous pair of comfortable pants that belong on the trail or city streets. However, Western Rise and Bluffworks make excellent travel pants for men if you’re after a worthy investment.
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Women’s prAna Halle
There are only a few items we recommend everyone has, and one of them is a down jacket. A down jacket is a staple for travel and outdoor activities as it’s versatile. They pack up small and come in incredibly handy whenever you find yourself just a wee bit chilly.
We always recommend you bring a tremendous packable down jacket on any extended trip. When dealing with vast temperature shifts, it’s a great way to keep warm without eating up too much space in your luggage.
Down Jacket Recommendations
Hitting the sidewalk and letting a city unfurl around you is one of the best ways to get familiar with a city. A comfortable pair of shoes for both men and women are essential when packing your bag. However, I wouldn’t recommend packing clunky hiking shoes or athletic shoes many tourists like to bring. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb.
A pair of casual sneakers are a great travel accessory. Most international cities are walkable, so be prepared to spend a lot of time in them. We love to wear our Allbirds, but any comfortable casual shoe will work.
Rainbow Sandals are our absolute favorite sandals. No one wants to be someone who shows up to the beach in sneakers. Sandals are a staple of island life worldwide; we couldn’t imagine a trip without them.
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On every travel packing checklist of mine, there is a Buff. I travel everywhere with a Buff because it pulls my hair back when it looks like crap (often), keeps the sweat out of my face, and protects me from the sun. They are one of the best travel accessories for women and men.
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Lifestyle Travel Essentials
Traveling can be hard on the skin and body, so having the right essentials can make a huge difference. A facial lotion, lip balm, and face mask can help keep your skin hydrated and protected from the elements. A hammock and yoga mat are perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating after a long day of travel.
The hammock allows you to relax in nature and enjoy the scenery, while the yoga mat provides a comfortable surface for stretching and meditation. These lifestyle travel essentials are fantastic for staying comfortable and refreshed while on the go.
Avène Facial Product
Avène facial mist and lotion are great travel accessories because they are lightweight, easy to pack, and can help to refresh and hydrate the skin during travel. The facial mist can refresh the skin throughout the day, especially on long flights or in dry, air-conditioned environments. The Hydrance Hydrating Cream provides hydration to the skin, helping to keep it feeling soft and smooth.
Both products are formulated with Avène Thermal Spring Water, known for its soothing and anti-irritant properties, making them ideal for use on sensitive or stressed skin. Additionally, both of these products are non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, so they are suitable for all skin types and can be used in any situation.
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Just like your skin, it’s easy for your eyes to become dry and irritated on a plane. To make it only worse, you’ll probably arrive a little tired and groggy at your destination. A bottle of eye drops does a great job of keeping your eyes happy and healthy.
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We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals, especially if you are on the beach. Once you enter the ocean, those toxic chemicals from your sunscreen will run off and ruin the coral and marine life, so it’s essential to sunbathe responsibly.
Eco-friendly sunscreen is mineral-based and usually only costs a few dollars more to help protect our natural bodies of water. If you’re not going to swim and only sunbathe, go with a reliable name brand — granted, runoff often ends in our oceans and lakes.
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An eye mask is beneficial for catching some sleep on a plane! We often find they’re slow to turn off lights, and there can be a lot of distractions between other screens and reading lights.
Many airlines provide them, especially if you’re flying business class. However, if you don’t want a cheap one from the airline, consider a nicer one to make your long flight just a little more enjoyable.
Earplugs are a small but valuable long-haul flight essential. Airplanes are pretty noisy whether you’re flying in business class or economy. A good pair of earplugs will help you catch some vital shut-eye. As a bonus, eye masks and earplugs are great for your destination in case of any pesky lights or noises in the bedroom.
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Hydro Flask Insulated Tumbler
The Hydroflask coffee tumbler is one of the best-insulated coffee mugs out there. A reusable coffee mug is an essential travel accessory for coffee lovers. It’s a little cumbersome for long trips, but we love packing our tumblers for short business trips or road trips.
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The Scrubba is a tiny, lightweight mobile laundry machine that makes washing clothes while traveling easy. Add dirty clothes, water, and soap to the bag, seal, and scrub. With the Scrubba, you can wash your clothes anywhere with water.
This travel accessory is worth the $50 price tag as it saves you money in the long run by avoiding expensive laundromat or hotel laundry fees. Its eco-friendly design also uses less water and no energy. It’s a great gift idea for travelers and hikers.
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Travel Laundry Soap Sheets
I hate doing laundry when I travel! It’s always a pain to find a washer when you’re on the road, and it’s expensive to pay for hotel laundry. But when I find a laundry machine to use, I always seize the opportunity to do a load of laundry.
Of course, you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of laundry soap when you’re traveling, and that’s where travel laundry soap packs come in handy. They are also a fantastic add-on to the Scrubba, or you can use them to hand wash in a bathroom sink.
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Travel Yoga Mat
A travel yoga mat is a great travel accessory because it provides a comfortable surface for practicing yoga or stretching while on the go. It’s lightweight and easy to pack, making it perfect for travelers who want to maintain their yoga practice while traveling. The compact size of a travel yoga mat also makes it easy to bring along to the beach or park for a quick yoga session in nature.
Additionally, many travel yoga mats are made with durable and eco-friendly materials, making them an environmentally-friendly option for the conscious traveler. It’s a great way to stay active and healthy while traveling, whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just starting. We love the Manduka eKO Lite Travel Yoga Mat, but several options also fold.
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After camping in Africa, we learned that a headlamp is never bad. Our headlamp came in handy when we were glamping in Hawaii and walking around at night in Costa Rica. It’s also great for any sunrise or sunset hikes you plan while adventuring around the world. A great option is a rechargeable headlamp like the BioLite 330 or 150.
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ENO DoubleNest Hammock
One of the top travel accessories for adventure on this list is a hammock. There are so many places around the world that are accessible places to lounge around and do absolutely nothing. If you are wondering what to pack for an outdoor adventure, consider a travel hammock that you can string up between trees. It’s perfect for those times when you want to relax in nature.
The ENO hammock was the original producer and the first travel hammock we bought. Now, you can find many cheap ones online as they’re easy to manufacture in China, and people love to buy and sell them on Amazon. I’d still stick with the original.
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Canvas Tote Bag
Traveling with a canvas tote bag in your luggage is great for shopping around your destination. Now that short-term rentals with kitchens are standard for trips worldwide, it’s great to visit the local markets with a reusable bag. A canvas bag is versatile and takes up less room than a T-shirt.
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We always travel with a dry bag, whether or not it is a beach vacation. They come in so handy if you find that you need one on the fly. They have saved our electronics several times. They have quickly paid for themselves when we’ve traveled to beach destinations like Seychelles, Cyprus, yachting in the Mediterranean, or white water rafting down the Nile River.