As a frequent traveler, it’s important to have luggage and travel accessories that can keep up.
TikTok and Instagram stories remain my favorite search engines for real-time reviews of products, especially anything travel-related. Last year, I tested out some backpacks, weekenders, and luggage pieces that are still in excellent shape after over a year of wear and tear. But what about those other popular and trending gadgets we see going viral and selling out? Have I been missing out on ways to make travel easier for myself? While I added some new bags in this round of testing, I found some pretty nifty services, gadgets, and devices that I can’t believe I wasn’t using before.
Top Picks for You
Uncarrier On by T-Mobile x Samsara
In this collaboration of Un-carrier On by T-Mobile x Samsara, both the phone carrier and luggage brand thought of everything that will keep travelers moving from take-off to landing and everything in between. My favorite feature is the wireless charging, but for those who prefer to plug in, there is a removable portable charger. It is also carry-on compliant, equipped with GPS tracking via the included Apple air tag, and comes with packing cubes. And, it wouldn’t be T-Mobile without the signature bold magenta color that makes it easy to spot in a sea of luggage at baggage claim, should you check it. Being tall, I am also fond of the handle length and comfort. The Uncarrier On comes in at $325, but considering the separate prices of quality luggage, an air tag, plus packing cubes, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
Block Print Overnight Bag by Beth Ladd Collections
I don’t want the hassle of dragging along a suitcase for quick weekend getaways, but sometimes weekenders aren’t as spacious or comfortable to carry on your shoulder once packed. I found the Block Print Overnight Bag by Beth Ladd Collections to be the perfect solution. It was able to fit three days’ worth of clothing and two small toiletry bags, along with a pair of sandals and an accessory bag. The inside and outside pockets were great for organizing items like snacks, charging cords, wallets, and keys. As a bonus, there is a trolley pass for attaching your bag to a suitcase if you’d like. The overnight night bag is $114.
Stevyn Mini Crossbody Bag by Calpak
Whether navigating the airport or moving about the city, I like having some kind of day bag for easy and quick access to my travel essentials. Stevyn Mini Crossbody Bag by Calpak has a lot of features that are important to me, like ample storage, a comfortable yet adjustable strap, multiple zippered compartments, and it is water-resistant. This makes it the perfect bag for outdoor adventures, too. I also like that the mini crossbody is part of a set, so you can order accompanying pieces in a variety of prints and colors. You can grab it for $58.
Cincha Travel, The Belt Buddy
Cincha Travel is revolutionizing how we move throughout the airport with its collection of travel belts. Available in fun and bold prints, the travel belt connects a bag to your luggage, preventing it from toppling over. It’s a simple yet genius design! They recently launched The Belt Buddy. Similar to a fanny pack, it connects to your travel belt and allows you to gain quick access to your travel essentials without rummaging through your suitcase. The travel belts start at $39.99 or $35.99 for the mini-belts. The belt buddies are $24.99. And, for the girls obsessed with monograms, that’s an option, too!
Cadence Travel Capsules
For the most part, I buy my toiletries, make-up, and perfume in mini or TSA-approved sizes. So, initially, reusable travel containers weren’t on my radar. I have tried a few others in the past and found them to be ineffective. They would leak, it was hard to get the product in or out, or the labels would eventually fall off, making it a guessing game as to what the contents of each container were. However, I have seen Cadence Travel Capsules advertised for quite some time, and everyone always raved about them. I understand the hype. They are an expensive splurge, about $80 for six capsules. I am a fan of the vibrant colors. I did not experience any kind of leakage or spills. Above all, they are magnetic, and the labeling is engraved by either customization or a pre-selected list. I can’t believe I didn’t make the plunge a while ago.
Nomatic Compression Packing Cubes
I have been traveling only using a carry-on and a bookbag for most of my travels this year. While I have used every packing hack known to man, I don’t find them plus-size friendly. The underrated hack for plus-size travelers or those who don’t want to check luggage is to use compression packing cubes. Nomatic Compression Packing Cubes allow me to pack more without taking up additional space because the cubes reduce in size once double-zipped. In the largest cube, I packed four pairs of pants, two biker shorts, a dress, and five shirts. Utilizing the three sizes available, I fit a little over three weeks of clothes into one side of my carry-on suitcase. Pricing for the cubes starts at $19.99.
The Large Tech Case by Away
My main caveat with tech cases is the lack of space inside. I want something that can hold my gadgets and give me quick access to whatever I need to pull out. The Large Tech Case by Away does that, all with a stylish exterior. Plus, it’s water-resistant, so my electronics are protected if any liquids spill inside my luggage. Here’s what I fit inside: Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, Airpods, MagSafe Battery Pack, 2 Anker Portable Chargers, and all the charging cables for these devices. I could also fit a plug-in car charger, 2 iPhone chargers, and a European travel adapter. There is plenty of space! The tech case is $75, but the smaller one retails for $55.
Packd Bags Prepaid Mailers
On our last family vacation to Orlando, Packd Bags Prepaid Mailers were an absolute godsend to have with us. It is truly a hassle-free way to ship dirty clothes, souvenirs, or anything you don’t have room for in your luggage back home. Each bag is pre-paid and pre-labeled with your mailing address and holds up to 10 pounds. I loved the convenience of scanning the barcode on the package to schedule a pick-up with USPS from my hotel. They come in a pack of 3 for $75, or you can get them individually. When compared to the price of going to and from the USPS by ride share + weighted shipping or the largest flat rate box, $25 per bag was a pretty neat deal. Plus, they offer a 10% discount for recycling!
For me, it has been a year of long flights and international travel. So, when someone suggested a foot hammock, I was immediately intrigued. Essentially, they attach to your tray table and aid in preventing back and leg pain during long periods of sitting. The straps can be adjusted based on height, and the memory foam cushion makes it extra comfy.