The 8 Best Travel Accessories to Buy in 2017

Don't head off on a trip without these necessities

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 eight best travel accessories to help make life on the road easier.

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    Quick drying items are important when on-the-go, and the “Wildhorn Outfitters Microlite Quick Dry Travel Towel” is a useful accessory when camping, taking beach vacations, hiking or lounging at the hotel pool. They can even be used as a blanket or cover for baby changing tables. The towels are very absorbent, yet they take only 30 minutes to dry. Unlike typical bath towels, you can quickly wring them out, brush the beach sand off and keep using them. The towels come in a three-pack in grey, orange and blue. They can be stored in small pouches that can be easily stuffed into carry-on luggage or the glove compartment of a vehicle for those times when you get caught in the rain.

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    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.

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    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. Many Amazon buyers stated that they tried several sleep masks before having success with Bedtime Bliss.

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    Packing cubes help keep items organized so you can pack more efficiently, but Eagle Creek takes it a step further with the “Pack It Original Compression Cubes” that will save travelers a lot of space in their luggage. The cubes have a patented one-way pressure valve with a two-way zipper design that significantly compresses items without a need for air vacuums. The set comes with four pieces, including a medium and large compression cube made from nylon with a breathable mesh top. These impressive cubes can save up to 80 percent packing volume and are a must-have for frequent travelers, however, keep in mind that clothes will wrinkle in the bags.

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    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.

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    Turn a cramped seat in coach into a more comfortable experience with the “Meyoung Adjustable Airplane Hammock.” The foot hammock is great for kids or shorter adults whose feet cannot reach the floor or for anyone who needs more foot support. Weighing just three ounces and measuring 8 x 2 x 2 inches when folded, it can easily be transported. Simply hook the hammock around the tray table of an airplane or train and adjust the strap to the appropriate length to cradle feet or the lower legs. The hammock also works great at the office for those casual Fridays when you need to lounge.

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    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. This game-changing accessory is so useful, many Amazon buyers wondered how they ever traveled without it. The bungee comes in black and weighs just eight ounces.

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    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. Amazon buyers also noted that Misslo has excellent customer service and is quick to fix any issues. The product comes in a pack of four in red, grey, navy or light blue, so you can easily identify them in your luggage.

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