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10 (More) Unexpected Items Every Traveler Should Pack

While it’s true you don’t need much to travel, you can upgrade your travel experience by bringing along these travel essentials.

We’ve all seen the basic packing lists that remind you about clothes, comfy shoes, and medication. But what about the other, possibly surprising items that have become essential to take on trips? These unexpected items might just make your next travel experience even better than the standard recommendations. Earlier this year, we recommended 12 items, but we’ve got another 10 to add to your packing list.

1 OF 10

Suitcase Cover

Suitcases go through a lot of bumps and bruises in the travel process, so investing in a good suitcase cover can help protect your luggage. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of not having a scratched-up suitcase, luggage covers also make it easy to wipe down your suitcase after traveling and it can make your suitcase easier to identify at baggage claim.

2 OF 10

Bluetooth Audio Adapter

There’s no better place to cry than when watching a sad movie on an airplane, but nothing will take you out of the moment faster than the static interference from using the provided airline headphones. Connect using your own comfortable wireless headphones with the help of a Bluetooth plugin, and say goodbye to scrambling with wires whenever someone in your row needs to get up for the toilet.

3 OF 10

Solid Laundry Soap

If you’ve ever been forced to unexpectedly open your suitcase for airport security, you know how embarrassing it can be to have a laundry bag of reeking clothes exposed to the world. Cheaper than paying for official laundry service, you can use solid laundry sheets to quickly clean your smelliest of items, including damp swimsuits, before you repack and head home.

4 OF 10

Exfoliating Bathing Net

Upgrade your travel shower time by packing a sapo or exfoliating bathing net. It’s compact, antimicrobial, dries quickly, and reusable. Most importantly, it will leave your skin feeling soft and clean. Make the most of your fancy hotel body wash (or whatever you pack yourself) with a cloth that foams as easily as it travels.

5 OF 10

Undereye Patches

Traveling can be rough on the body. You don’t have to sacrifice your skin care! While you can’t always predict how jet lag will affect you, you can prevent looking crusty in the meantime. Pack a few undereye patches for the plane ride so you can step out at your destination ready to go—or at least look like you are. 

6 OF 10

Wig Hat

Sometimes, your hair just won’t cooperate. Hair emergencies are the reasons hats were invented in the first place. However, take it one step further by packing a hat with hair already attached, so you won’t have to worry about your hair at all. You can choose from beanies to sunhats to fit any destination’s weather. Just note that airport security will make you take all hats off.

7 OF 10

Airport Pants

While the airport may be the last judgment-free on Earth (whiskey at 7 am, sleeping on the floor, sprinting through crowds), wearing functional clothes instead of pajamas can make your journey more comfortable. The most crucial part of any airport outfit is the pants, so make sure you choose some that are long but made from breathable fabric, and pockets are a must. Choosing a tailored pant is also beneficial if you want to go straight from the plan to exploring the area and feel comfortable and confident in your clothes.

8 OF 10

Portable USB Fan

Thanks to technology, you don’t HAVE to be hot. Bringing along a small portable fan can help keep you cool in stuffy airports, humid beach days, and questionable hostels that stretch the truth on their AC strength. Plus, great for your travel skincare routine!

9 OF 10

UV Blocking Umbrella

Get a travel umbrella that shields you come rain OR shine. Umbrellas for the rain are pretty straightforward, but using a UV-blocking umbrella for sunny days can help protect you from sun exhaustion and keep you exploring longer. Frequent sun breaks can also help prevent flare-ups or painful sunburns for those with certain chronic conditions or sun sensitivities.

10 OF 10


Planes, trains, busses, and boats— popular methods of transportation for both travelers AND germs. While the common cold and other flu viruses are going anywhere anytime soon, unfortunately, you can help keep your immune system suited for defense by adding vitamin C and other minerals to your water while traveling.