Travel items to buy for your next big trip - Times Union

Travel items to buy for your next big trip - Times Union

As someone who travels quite often for both work and pleasure, I’ve come across a lot of different items that make my life a lot easier while packing or on vacation. These are a few that I would recommend when you’re ready to hit the road again or jump on a plane.

This is probably the one that I get the most questions about while traveling. The Sleeper Scarf wears like a normal infinity scarf, but hidden inside is a deflated neck pillow. Once you’re on the plane, you unzip a little flap where you can blow air into the pillow to inflate the scarf into a neck support pillow to take a relaxing nap. They now even sell three-piece sets that include the sleeper scarf, an eye mask and a spray with hints of lavender to relax you and help lull you to sleep.

Packing Cubes

I’ve had many people ask if Amazon Basics packing cubes are worth it, and the short answer is absolutely. Not only do they somehow save room, but they help keep your clothes organized. Generally, packing cubes come in groups of at least three with various sizes and these have help me on a number of trips to organize my bag by delegating certain items into particular pouches. It’s definitely a crucial travel accessory.

Toiletry Bag

Speaking of keeping things organized, this Venture 4th toiletry bag is a lifesaver. It has so many different compartments, so you can keep all kinds of things in there. Mine is stuffed with anything I could ever need in a pinch, from my toothbrush and lip balm, to sewing kits and Band-Aids. I know that if I need anything on a trip, it is most likely in my toiletry bag.

Compression Bags

My obsession for compression bags started when I traveled to Europe with nothing but a carry-on. I was able to pack for three countries, calling for all different weather, for about two weeks in a carry-on. I was motivated because I didn’t want them to lose my luggage with all the connecting flights, trains and shuttles we needed to take. You essentially stuff the bags, like the HiBag brand ones, to the brim and roll out any of the air. They were really easy to use and super effective.

Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

If packing lightly, it’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan to wash your clothes if needed. That way if you run out of socks or want to re-wear something, you know it’s clean. I would always travel with Tide detergent packets so I could wash my clothes in a sink or tub, but this portable wash bag is even more effective and washes your clothes like a laundry machine. It’s such an amazing tool to have, especially on a long trip or if you’re backpacking through various locations.

Cameras

A good camera is an absolute must. A smartphone can be a great tool, but there are even better cameras out there that are pretty affordable (and in my opinion, completely worth the money). The DJI Mavic Mini is a small portable drone that can take photos and videos from a bird’s eye view. If you’re traveling to the mountains or coastal beach towns, this camera is fun to use and can get some amazing footage. The picture is not as crystal clear as the one you get with more expensive drones, but it’s a great one to learn on and easy to travel with. My all-time favorite camera is the GoPro. I plan a lot of adventure travel and this has come in handy so many times. I’ve now upgraded this camera four times because each version that comes out is significantly better than the last. I now have the latest one, the GoPro Hero 9. It’s compact, has a front-view camera and takes clear videos. You can even pull photos from the videos taken if you’re doing something active or underwater.

Safety

Traveling solo is becoming more and more common. Whether you’re doing it for leisure, for business, or because you’re just sick and tired of waiting around for people to take a trip with you, it’s important to be safe. I find myself in a lot of situations where I’m traveling alone and safety is crucial. There are a lot of great items like the Invisiwear bracelet that I talked about in my solo travel article where you can push button to alert up to 5 contacts of your choosing that you’re in trouble and alert the police discreetly, but there’s also this travel door alarm that you can set up on any Airbnb or hotel room door to alert you if someone’s trying to enter the room.

Jessica Kelly is a food and travel writer originally from Buffalo. @adventures.are.waiting