Great travel accessories are essential for a great vacation. Everyone has their favorite bags and essentials to take with them when traveling. It has taken me awhile, and many unorganized trips, to find what works best for me. After many trials and errors I made a list of my favorite travel accessories and why they work for me.
First of all, great luggage just makes a trip better. I have had many suitcases over the years that have either not been good for organizing, haven’t held up, were hard to either carry or roll from place to place or became damaged at the airport. I went through three different bags before I decided to pay a bit more for a bag with a guarantee. So glad I did. I absolutely love my Travel Pro.
What I like about my Travel Pro is it’s durability and organization. I also like that the warranty covers any damage by airline or other travel carriers. The garment bag has plenty of space and pockets which are great for organizing. The suitcase is large enough to hold all our backpacking gear including both our backpacks, trekking poles and hiking boots. The carry-on works great for a weekend or short trip.
Under the Seat Bag
I’m not sure how many under the seat bags I’ve been through to find the perfect one for me, but it’s been a lot. I have tried tote bags, weekender bags, duffel bags, and big purses. I always seemed to have something or other not work for me. Usually what I had was hard to access, or the bag didn’t have any organization to it. This post isn’t meant to be a Travel Pro ad, but I again bought a Travel Pro bag and am very happy with it.
This under the seat bag is perfect for me because it is so organized. There is a place for my computer, a pocket with separate spaces for all my media cords. Side pockets which work great for a water bottle, cell phone and my Kindle. The top can open like a suitcase leaving plenty of room for my snacks and extras. This bag has enough room for an outfit or two, perfect for an overnight bag. I pull it instead of carry it. Best of all it slides perfectly under an airplane seat and is easy to access.
Let’s talk about the backpack purse. When these first started becoming popular, I said I’d never get one. I didn’t think they were practical and thought a regular purse was fine. Wow! Was I wrong. After carrying a large bag or purse on my shoulder or even a larger crossbody bag, my shoulder’s would hurt. Ok, I suppose I could have packed less stuff, but I need my stuff. After a particularly long walk at an airport one day followed by a long day of site seeing while carrying my bag, my shoulder was killing me, even trading off shoulders didn’t help. Having Steve carry my pretty floral bag didn’t necessarily go over well either. I decided I was going to try the backpack. Another item I love.
HOBO brand purses are my absolute favorite and this backpack is beyond what I expected. It definitely qualifies as one of my favorite travel accessories. It is roomy enough for my stuff plus enough space for a water bottle or two, (and snacks!!), yet it isn’t too large or bulky. The leather is soft so it isn’t a stiff bag. The top zips for security and there are pockets inside and on the back. What is really wonderful about using a backpack is my shoulders don’t hurt and Steve has never had to carry it! Also, Steve never uses an under the seat bag so I get to bring both my purse and my bag on the plane!
Overhead Bin Bag
I rarely use the overhead bin, but Steve does. He had been using a duffle bag for years but it was bulky and not necessarily efficient. My son, who travels a lot for work, suggested a TimBuk2 bag. Steve found a TimBuk2 backpack he likes and has been very happy with it. It is not too bulky or heavy. The bag is roomy enough for a couple of extra outfits, his camera and a computer. He tells me the straps are comfortable and it’s easy to carry.
My favorite travel accessory is definitely my laptop. I had been a Windows fan but switched to an Apple MacBook Air when I started blogging and it has not disappointed me. This is a very lightweight laptop and fits nicely in my bag. I am amazed at how easy the Macbook Air is to use, especially for a non-techy person like me.
Steve doesn’t go on a trip with out his Canon camera, when it comes to travel accessories this is his favorite must take item. He loves photography and has been very happy with the quality of pictures from this camera. Easy focus with multiple settings. Downloading the pictures to his computer is simple and quick. He uses a 100mm lens. His is a bit older version than the links. The only thing he doesn’t like is that it is heavier than the newer models.
Books are a great way for me to pass the time while traveling. I used to pack a couple of paperbacks which ended up taking up space and becoming tattered by the end of a trip. Steve gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I do like taking it on trips. There are pros to the Kindle including its small size and ease to pack. I can download several books at a much cheaper price than buying books. It is easy to read even at night. What I don’t like is I can’t easily jump to the ending, travel guide books are hard to ‘flip through’ to something you have read earlier and maps are hard to see. Regardless, the convenience is wonderful and I feel it is a travel accessory worth having. I just use it for reading books, I still buy regular travel guide books and maps.
The Little Things
These are probably not travel accessories but I included them because they are things I always take with on a trip.
- Small Lightweight Blanket. I pack a small lightweight blanket that I roll up and use as a pillow. I can’t seem to get comfortable with the popular neck pillows that are sold and this works well for me.
- Jacket. Like most people I like to take a jacket in case it gets cold in the plane or if we have a temperature disagreement in the car. Any jacket works fine. I take my favorite Stitch fix jacket. I don’t like to shop so I get my clothes through an online styling service called Stitch Fix. You receive clothes as often as you like and can try them on at your convenience in your own home. Not for everyone, but works great for me! Click on this link if you would like to find out more. https://www.stitchfix.com/invite/lorifischels?sod=w&som=c
- Maps and Travel Guides I still like maps, no matter how great google maps are, I can’t not have a paper map. Many times this has helped me when I don’t have phone service. I like travel guides because they are easy to mark a page or highlight an area.
- Smartphone Great resource and also great for taking pictures.
- Earphones if Flying I like my own earphones on a plane,
I don’t use anything fancy but still prefer to bring my own.
- Puzzle Books Steve is a Sudoko fanatic and I enjoy crossword puzzles, keeps us busy.
- Snacks. Lots of them.
When it is all done and said, vacations are meant to be enjoyed. If you find travel accessories you love, it can make your vacation a bit less stressful and more organized. Happy Travels!
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