Trusted Travel Accessories For Your Summer Escapes
According to travel experts, this summer is predicted to be the busiest travel season yet, with many considering taking a bucket list trip we’ve been dreaming of since pre-pandemic. Whether you’re mapping out a domestic road trip or overseas adventure, being thoughtful about which travel accessories accompany you can enhance the experience. For your pre-packing enjoyment, here are our top travel accessory recommendations, curated with help from our travel aficionado friends, including Mollie Krengel, travel architect and founder of Wild Hive, which coordinates women’s retreat experiences around the world, and Wild Bum, an online global marketplace featuring comprehensive travel guides curated by real travelers. From gadgets and gear to snack suggestions, prepare yourself for the journey ahead. Bon voyage!
- Travel Cubes. Whether you’re an overpacker who needs to be reined in with organization support, or a Type A packer who needs every item grouped by color or category, AWAY travel cubes are a packers’ best friend. They compress and organize everything in your suitcase, from socks to shirts to bulky items. Made from water-resistant nylon, they make it easy to find what you need without fully unpacking. They come in sets of 4 ($45) or 6 ($65) at awaytravel.com. Also find a variety of travel cube options at your local AAA travel store.
- Item Trackers. If you identify as someone who frequently misplaces precious possessions anywhere you go, Pebblebee Finder 2.0 and BlackCard are tracking gems that help find lost items! When paired with the Pebblebee App, which is easy to install and use, Finder 2.0 and BlackCard devices provide peace of mind, helping keep sight of your keys, wallet, fanny pack, water bottle, sunglasses, phone, luggage, passport and more. With a glance at your phone or Apple Watch, and leave-behind alerts, your valuables are less likely to be lost or left behind at your hotel. Both are equipped with a 500-ft. range tracker, compatible with Android and iOS devices, incredibly durable and come with rechargeable, long-lasting batteries. Finder 2.0 SRP is $24.99, or $99.99 for a 4-pack and BlackCard SRP is $24.99. Both come with a standard USB-C cable for charging.
- Satiating Snacks. Traveling with a compact snack that sustains you is critical, especially if you become hangry in unexpected moments. “Whether in the car, on a long flight, or at the top of a strenuous hike, I am picky about my snacks, and especially love delicious, healthy options that renew my energy such as Elavi,” says Mollie, who recently included a few packs of Elavi’s new nut butters in swag bags for an upcoming group retreat she’s planning in Panama. “They’re easy to pack, nutritious and will hold you over until your next incredible vacay meal.” The brand’s nut butter flavors come in blue spirulina vanilla superfood, dark chocolate superfood and pomegranate beet superfood. (SRP: $30 for 8 nut butters) Elavi also makes delicious collagen protein bars (SRP: $30 for 8 bars) in chocolate chip cookie dough, blueberry vanilla crisp and chocolate goji berry flavors. Their snacks are easy to travel with, contain non-dairy protein, include antioxidant rich ingredients i.e., cacao, dates and organic honey and are gluten-free, egg-free and non-GMO. If you prefer nut free snack options, consider green pea chips, dried fruit including plantain chips, whole grain pretzels, popcorn, homemade turkey jerky and string cheese.
- Portable Language Translator. A must-have if you’re traveling to a destination where the native language is not your first language, Pocketalk is a two-way translation device that helps visitors and locals converse across 82 possible languages. With a touchscreen, text-to-translate camera, and noise-canceling microphones that allow for full conversations even in noisy environments, Pocketalk provides accurate, real-time translation of two languages simultaneously, helping you more confidently connect with the communities you’re visiting. Oh, and don’t be intimidated – it’s incredibly easy to use. You don’t have to be a tech geek to figure it out. Pocketalk translators start at $129.
- Flexible Phone Tripod. If you like the flexibility of capturing your own vacation moments and prefer not to rely on a stranger for assistance, Mollie recommends a mini-tripod with flexible legs to hold your mobile phone, like the UBeesize Flexible Phone Tripod with wireless remote, a mini tripod stand for mobile phone cameras and GoPro. “One of my favorite activities is scrolling through past vacation memories. It brings me so much joy and gratitude, especially when I tend to focus on what comes next, and capturing those precious memories is essential,” said Mollie. “A tripod makes it super easy and fun – set the phone timer or the remote and you can snap away without feeling bummed if a bystander doesn’t capture the moment the way you hoped.” SRP: $19.99 on Amazon.
- Carry-On Bags. Consider the right accessory bags for the type of trip you’re headed on. A simple backpack is a fantastic airplane carry-on for nearly any type of escape, and doubles as a daypack on city and country adventures, hikes, and more. Especially if you require space to throw in layers for yourself or sweatshirts for the kids, snacks, Pocketalk, phone tripod and all the things! A fanny pack also provides flexibility for quick jaunts and offers hands-free accessibility. It’s easy to keep hidden under clothing if you’re concerned about pick-pocketers or worn in the front if you’re not. Mollie’s favorite backpacks and fanny packs that have stood the test of time are from Lululemon. She’s also a big fan of any bag by Dagne Dover, which offer style and function. We also love Everlane’s ReNew Transit Weekender, a travel-friendly bag also great for everyday use, and Haute Shore neoprene bags, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and patterns, and are thoughtfully designed for function and fashion. And, if you’re looking for a sporty sling with room for your water bottle, check out the Osprey Daylite Sling at REI.
- Comfy Shoes. Don’t let your shoes slow you down while you’re traveling. Mollie’s go-tos are Teva (love how their flatform can go from day to night) but she cautions that you must wear in those straps before walking miles. And, as much as we want to look stylish, keeping our feet happy is the priority. So, consider On men’s or women’s shoes for a sporty look, and Nike Blazers o Veja sneakers for a cute in-between option.
- Zzzz Sleep Mask. Last and certainly not least is purchasing a proper sleep mask to keep the lights out and ensure you receive proper shuteye during your travels. Three of our favorites are the Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Eye mask, MZOO Eye Mask and Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask. All three do the job and are budget friendly. SRP: $10-$30 on Amazon.