I'm a Travel Writer, and These Are the 9 Amazon Essentials I Tell All of My Friends to Pack for Vacation (2024)

Working on the commerce team at Travel + Leisure, you can infer two things about me: I love to travel, and I love to shop. So, when a friend asked if I would compile a list of my own tried-and-true travel essentials — that I would never not pack or leave home without — to pick up before her upcoming trip to Italy, I couldn’t resist.

Even outside of taking trips, I relish in being organized and over-prepared, so from my favorite power adapter to the portable charger I swear by to keep my phone at full battery even when I’m in transit or exploring a city, these are the 9 travel accessories I swear by for more comfortable and stress-free travel.

For my friends and shoppers working on a budget, prices start as low as $7. Keep scrolling for the Amazon travel hacks I recommend to my friends.

Anker Portable Charger

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My portable charger is one of the first things I pack when preparing for a trip (no matter the distance), and this slim Anker power bank proved to be essential after boarding for a recent trip to Portugal and realizing my AirPods had died.

This quick-charging device features two ports and holds enough battery to fully charge your phone more than once while on the go. It’s even compatible with a wide range of devices, so you can make sure your Kindle, phone, and headphones all stay powered up during your flight.

SwissGear Scansmart Laptop Backpack

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If you’re not using a backpack as your personal item, you’re missing out on the opportunity to free up your hands while heading through the airport and to your accommodations. And if you’ve been known to stuff your suitcase to max capacity, it’s worth snagging a backpack that essentially functions as a second suitcase while still fitting under the seats of most commercial airlines.

I’ve been traveling with this laptop backpack for nearly 10 years, and can attest that it’s well-equipped with all the space you need to store an extra set of clothes, shoes, and more. Plus, it’s durable enough to remain in tip-top shape despite withstanding years of wear and tear from travel.

Baggallini Travel Kit

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Long flights often leave me feeling less than my best once I deplane, which is why I like to have my toiletries organized in one place for an easy refresh once I reach my destination. This hanging dopp kit from Baggallini is great because once I arrive at my hotel, I can hang it on the back of the bathroom door, rather than allowing my essentials to take up all the space on the bathroom sink. Not to mention, this pouch comes with several pockets which will make it easier to locate your liquids while heading through TSA, effectively eliminating one common stressor in the airport.

Tessan Universal Power Adapter

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Of course you’re going to need to be able to charge your devices once you arrive at your destination of choice, and while a travel converter may not be essential on the plane, it’s certainly a must-have for the airport and beyond. This compact cube is suitable for more than 150 countries and offers ports compatible for USB-A and USB-C cords. Not to mention the prongs can simply be slid back inside the cube when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about them damaging anything inside your bag. No matter your travel plans in the future, now you’ll always be prepared. Trust me, I just used it in Portugal, and it was a lifesaver.

Dot & Dot Twist Memory Foam Neck Pillow

If you struggle with your head bobbing around while you sleep on planes, this memory foam, twisting neck pillow is the perfect solution for providing ample support to avoid the discomfort of a crick in your neck once you land. While the neck pillow I often travel with is no longer available for purchase, I’ve been eyeing this option as an upgrade since it’s made with a soft cotton exterior, and it can be easily cleaned thanks to the removable cover. A snap closure secures the pillow around your neck while sleeping, and it can also be hooked to your suitcase for hands-free travel. Best of all, it can be easily maneuvered to meet your specific needs thanks to the bendable memory foam core.

Cambond Compression Packing Cubes

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I will never again travel without packing cubes, and these compression organizers from Cambond come with several different sizes that make it simpler than ever to fit even your bulkiest items into your suitcase without a struggle. Typical packing cubes are a great hack for staying organized, but opting for compression cubes optimizes the space in your suitcase which is ideal for overpackers like myself (and my friends). You can be rest assured that these cubes will withstand the test of time, as they’re designed with reinforced zippers and a durable nylon fabric that will evade ripping — even when packed to the brim.

Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask

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Unfortunately, I have no control over how long my seatmate chooses to keep their overhead light on while I’m trying to sleep during an overnight flight, so I’ll never travel without an eye mask again. If you’re anything like me and can’t stand the discomfort of the pressure on your face, this contoured sleep mask is the best solution for blocking out light without pressing on your eyes in the process. The gentle memory foam material feels luxe against the skin while you get some shut-eye, and the strap is even adjustable to fit your head with ease.

Caoodkdk Electronic Organizer

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While you’re traveling, it’s not unlikely that you’ll have an excess of cords that end up being shoved messily into a pocket of your suitcase, inevitably leading to a difficult tangle when it comes time to extract the one you need. This electronic organizer pouch is great for not only holding your cables, but is also a safe place to store your passport while rushing through the airport — which is why it has been sitting in my Amazon cart, waiting for my next vacation. Seeing as it’s slim enough to be tucked into an easily accessible pocket, you can kill two birds with one stone while leveling-up your travel organization.

Mee Audio Connect In-flight Bluetooth Adapter

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It’s no secret that the headphones airlines provide during long-haul flights are far from comfortable. In fact, my ears quickly become irritated from the small rubber nubs of the airline-issued headphones. So, this Bluetooth adapter has been sitting in my shopping cart, as it allows travelers the ability to watch a movie with the comfort of their personal headphones — and even pair them with a seatmate for tandem viewing.

This portable device simply plugs into the aux port on your seat back television, and with the press of a button, your Apple AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones are connected to achieve the highest quality audio. Plus, the device contains an impressive 20 hours of charge, so you don’t have to worry about losing sound halfway through your movie. It’s certainly at the top of my shopping list ahead of my next trip.

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I'm a Travel Writer, and These Are the 9 Amazon Essentials I Tell All of My Friends to Pack for Vacation (2024)
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