For as much enjoyment as it brings, there’s no denying that travel can be stressful. Between determining what to pack, where to go, where to stay, what to see, and who to bring you might be ready for a vacation just thinking about all of the details you need to attend to. Thankfully, there is an entire industry designed around helping us travel smarter and more successfully. Before you head out on your next adventure, be sure to take these five accessories along. All of them will fit comfortably into a carry-on and you’ll be glad you remembered them.
1. A Luggage Scale That Travels
There’s nothing like getting all the way to your gate only to find that your bags are too big or heavy to carry on and you’ll have to go through the extensive (and sometimes expensive) process of checking them instead. To prevent this, save yourself the time and the headache by bringing along a portable luggage scale.
Use it to see precisely how heavy your luggage is so you know which option to pursue before you grab your tickets. Most models on the market are only around $10 and can hold up to around 150 pounds. You’ll just attach it to the top of your bag, then pull up (bag included) to get the weight measurement. Pro tip: Do this before you even head out to the airport. That way, if you know your bags are over the weight limit, you can take out or move around any unnecessary items you don’t need.
2. Music and Headphones
Whether your flight is one hour or 18, there are only so many sky-high vistas you can look at before the trip starts to feel a little mundane. That’s why it helps to have some great songs already downloaded on your phone or smart device, so you can simply plug in your headphones and listen.
As you’ll have to pay to hop online during the flight, be sure that any music you want to listen to or movies you want to watch while in the air are already on your device of choice. Then sit back, grab your cocktail peanuts and ginger ale, and enjoy. Once you land, you may want to switch over to wireless earbuds while you’re waiting for your pickup in the airport lobby!
3. A Portable Charger
Looking for a charging station in an airport can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Some locations eschew them altogether, leaving you stranded, which can quickly drain any fun out of a long layover, stat. You also need your device in case of an emergency, so keeping it juiced up is a necessity, especially when you’re traveling. That’s why a small, portable charger is a travel essential to always keep in your bag.
Most are only around the size of a candy bar, but they pack a powerful punch. That means if you have a smartphone that needs a quick boost, you can hook it up to this ingenious device and be back in business in no time.
4. Collapsible Hamper
Chances are, you’ve stuffed your clothes into your luggage. You may have even sat on top of your bags to make sure they zip closed, leaving no wiggle room at all. Yet, did you remember to pack a hamper to put your dirty clothes in once you arrive at your destination? One of the most common travel woes is having to look for a plastic bag or bin to keep your worn articles in, so they can remain separate from your clean ones.
You’ll never have to worry about that again if you remember to bring along a collapsible hamper. When closed, most are the size of an extra-large frisbee, yet they can spring into life and action once you twist them open. Alternatively, you can invest in a few canvas laundry bags that will lie flat in your luggage and take up minimal space, yet serve you big time once you arrive.
5. Luggage Organizer
If you had to, would you be able to reach into your luggage right now and pick out the exact item you need in five seconds, flat? Or, would you need to open the entire thing up completely, rummage around for a few minutes, completely disrupt your strategic packing formation and still wind up empty-handed? If it’s the latter, a luggage organizer can help make life so much easier.
This handy little satchel fits inside your bag and is intended to hold all of your accessories. Most have segmented and zippered compartments for your laptop, cell phone, passport, toiletries, wallet, and more. That way, you’re really only looking for one bag when you reach in the abyss that is your fully packed bag. Grab it and be on your way.
At the end of the day, travel should be about making new memories and taking in new sights. You shouldn’t have to spend time stressing about the ins and outs of packing, getting to your destination, having everything you need and staying organized along the way. These five little devices are handy, small and insanely practical, so invest in your sanity, then go see the world!