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Whether traveling in a car, through the airport or on a train or bus, there are a number of gadgets and accessories that make the process go more smoothly. Some accessories provide personal comfort, while others help you pack more efficiently and dodge extra baggage fees. Most of these handy products are compact enough that they can easily fit into your luggage without adding too much weight. Here are the best travel accessories to help make life on the road easier.
Our Top Picks
Best Travel Towel: Shandali Microfiber Travel Towel
Whether you’re going camping for a night, backpacking through Europe for months on end, or going on a long weekend trip, having a quick-dry microfiber travel towel on hand can be ultra-convenient. The Shandali Microfiber Travel & Sports Towel is perfect for on-the-spot yoga, drying off after a shower, wiping sweat from your brow during a hike, or for making an impromptu travel pillow. Made of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent nylon, this popular Shandali towel (which comes in several attractive colors that include army green, river blue, and stone) dries up to 10 times faster than regular towels, holds up to four times its weight in water, and folds up easily, which makes for convenient storage when you’re on the road. The company will even provide a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the towel. The Shandali Microfiber Travel & Sports Towel is available in two sizes: 20” x 40” and 24” x 48”.
Best Compact Pillow: Morph Pillow
One of the biggest problems with travel pillows is that they take up space in your carry on, so many travelers end up wearing a pillow around their neck as they walk through the airport. The Morph pillow takes a different approach: it is a circular-shaped ball about the size of a large rolled-up sock. Made of memory foam, the pillow fits snuggly under your chin or head and the plush casing is machine washable. The brainchild of a Kickstarter project, Morph compresses into a pouch, while its newer version will also feature a handy attachment strap. The pillow is perfect for any type of travel or for catching a quick power nap.
Best Eye Mask: Bedtime Bliss BTB01 Contoured & Comfortable Black Sleep Mask
Let’s face it: the free face masks that the flight attendants hand out on longer flights just don’t cut it. They often don’t cover enough light or can easily slip down off your face. For a better fit, the “Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask” is shaped to fit your face without putting pressure on the eyes. The mask features adjustable straps, a contoured shape around the nose, soft material and it completely blocks out light. The mask also comes with a convenient carry bag and ear plugs to drown out background noise.
Check out our guide to the best sleep masks you can buy today.
Best Packing Cubes: Gonex
Gonex is a fantastic choice for packing cubes because they have so much variety of colors, types and sizes that it makes packing a breeze. Choose from sets that include four slim packing cubes (great for those small spaces in the carry-on bag) or combination sets of medium and large rectangle-shaped cubes with bright colors of red, yellow, and blue. The cubes are constructed from nylon rip-stop fabric and have sturdy grab handles, high-quality zippers and seams that can stand up to travel. Plus, there are mesh tops for ventilation, so you easily see what’s inside each cube. The cubes are very competitively priced and can also be used for day-to-day organizing when you’re not traveling.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best packing cubes.
Best Luggage Scale: Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
With airlines charging extra for overweight bags, having a small travel scale is a handy feature to have in order to avoid exorbitant fees. The “Etekcity Hanging Luggage Scale” gives an accurate digital reading of up to 110 pounds, easily hooks onto purses, suitcases or backpack handles and has a comfortable grip for heavier items. The scale measures 5.1 x 1.6 x 1.2 inches and weighs just .8 ounces, so it won’t take up valuable space in your luggage. The battery-operated scale also has a thermometer reading in case you are carrying delicate, temperature-sensitive items. The easy-to-use scale comes with a one-year warranty and the battery is included.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best luggage scales.
Best Foot Rest: Embody Care Adjustable Footrest
For travelers suffering from chronic foot pain, or for those who’d prefer to have the additional comfort of a portable footrest during a long flight, Embody Care’s Adjustable Footrest is a worthwhile investment. Specially designed to have ergonomic benefits, this footrest is great for all those times during long-haul travel that you find yourself in an uncomfortable resting position. Compact and portable, the Embody Care footrest also helps to improve circulation and posture, and may even help relieve back pain. It’s designed to naturally massage different pressure points on your feet, which is certainly a nice perk during long travel days. With an adjustable height feature, the Embody Care Adjustable Footrest weighs just five pounds, measures 17.5” x 6” x 14”, and comes in an attractive charcoal gray color.
Best for Transporting Luggage: Travelon Bag Bungee
If you’ve ever tried (and failed) to stack and balance a smaller bag on top of a rolling luggage, the Travelon bag bungee can solve that problem. Simply rest the smaller bag against the extended carry handle, wrap the bag bungee around and tighten to secure the smaller bag. You can also squeeze in a travel pillow, sweatshirts, blankets or other loose items and tighten the bungee. The bungee comes in black and weighs just eight ounces.
Best Shoe Bag: Misslo Portable Nylon Travel Shoe Bags
Keeping your clothes clean in your suitcase is important, so a shoe bag is a useful accessory to avoid dirt ending up on your threads. Keeping shoes dry is also important, so Misslo has created a water-resistant shoe bag that’s made of nylon and is a lightweight (4.8 ounces) addition to luggage. Although this product is great for sneakers, hiking shoes, several pairs of flip flops and dress shoes, it measures 15 x 9.8 x 4.3 inches, so extremely large boots may not fit. The product also comes in a pack of four in red, grey, navy or light blue, so you can easily identify them in your luggage.
Best Travel Blanket: World's Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket
Get cozy on the road fast with the World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket, which is crafted from 100-percent, ultra-soft polyester fleece-knit and works exceptionally well as a plane blanket thanks to its compact size; it unrolls to 50” x 60”. This plush travel blanket is easy to keep clean—when it’s gotten a little grimy from travel or heavy use, simply throw it in the washing machine and wash it in warm water with similar colors. The Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket comes in an array of lovely colors and designs, including black, hot pink, navy, and leopard, and is made by the reputable Wolf Manufacturing Company, a Texas-based manufacturer that imports high-quality travel items. The World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket is truly ideal for those who get cold easily on planes, want to stave off dry skin, or just want to get extra-comfy on a particularly lengthy plane or train ride.
Best RFID Travel Wallet: Samsonite Luggage Travel Wallet
The Samsonite Luggage Travel Wallet is the perfect tool for organizing your essentials during your next vacation. Whether you’re going on a quick weekend getaway or jetting off to a far-flung destination for the next month, this well-reviewed travel wallet is a solid pick. It features multiple storage slots for your passport, credit cards, boarding pass, and other important travel documents. It’s also made of a specialized RFID-blocking material to help protect all your documents, while the textured material on the outside lends it a sleek, elegant look. This Samsonite wallet measures 1” x 5” x 4” and weighs 3.52 ounces, so it’s not too bulky but contains just the right amount of pockets. Sturdy, well-made, and RFID-protected, the Samsonite Luggage Travel Wallet is beloved for its organizational capabilities and sophisticated appearance. Best of all, it's affordably priced.