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Not sure what to get your favourite traveler this year for the holidays? I’ve got you covered. I’ve asked a few fellow travel bloggers for their must have travel gadgets and accessories. The one thing they couldn’t leave home without. Items ranged from things to wear to tools to get your adventure on to the latest tech gadgets. I’ve used some of these, but a lot of these will be going on my Christmas wish list this year!
Note: this post contains affiliate links meaning if you make a purchase from these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can see my full disclosure statement here.
For what and how to pack
The must-have clothing items to keep you warm or cool and fashionable.
Chantell of Adoration 4 Adventure
Buy it now: Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket
If you are planning to travel in the cooler months then it’s important to be prepared with the right footwear and jacket. I love the combination of my Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket. The trail running shoes are great for hiking, running, or just walking around – plus they are completely waterproof thanks to the GORE-TEX® lining. The Climaheat jacket has been made with heat seals around the neck and sleeve cuffs to keep out the cool air. I traveled to chilly Finland and Estonia with these must-have travel accessories, staying warm and dry.
Jerny of The Jerny
Buy it now: Uniqlo Heattech
Living in a tropical country (the Philippines), we never had to use insulator underpants and undershirts to generate and keep warm. But when we went to Japan and other countries where winter is observed, I must say that this has been an important part of my daily living. It kept me warm inside. Ordinary winter coats and jackets are not enough alone so I always wore them with underpants and undershirt with good insulating properties. Uniqlo has a great selection for winter under clothes and you can easily find one when you go to the store!
Scott and Hayley of International Hot Dish
Buy it now: Wool socks
As a digital nomad, wool socks are a must-have. Whether in the mountains or jungles, don’t stand between me and my wool socks. No question about it. Long gone are the days of cheap cotton socks that wear out within the year. Wool keeps your feet extra warm in cold weather situations, reduces heat in hot situations, wicks moisture away from your skin, dries faster than cotton, is naturally fire retardant, and lasts much, much longer than conventional socks. Oh, and wool has natural anti-microbial properties, which means you don’t have to wash them after every wearing. Just buy a pair – your feet will thank us.
Hadas of The Fashion Matters
Buy it now: A practical makeup bag or these ones are cute
Instead of using packing cubes what I like to do is to pack my stuff inside small make-up bags. I have a lot of make-up bags and I feel like it’s a great way to put them into use. I put all my jewellery into one bag, then my small perfumes into another, as well as my socks or lotions; each category has its own little bag. Then I put it all into my suitcase or even when I’m not traveling I use it to store things in my everyday bag.
Stephanie of Big World Small Pockets
Buy it now: Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack
At less than $150, investing in a Bobby Anti Theft Backpack was one of my best travel purchases ever! This ideal sized-day pack is a must-have simply because I don’t think there’s a bag out there which will protect your valuables better. Anti-cut, anti-theft, water resistant and shockproof, the Bobby Anti Theft Backpack keeps my laptop, phone, camera, money and passport safe no matter whether I’m weekending in a European city known for its pickpockets or backpacking through less safe continents like Central America. It’s also incredibly comfortable to wear, easy to pack and looks stylish too – result!
Anne of Travellers Archive
Buy it now: Lightweight scarf or blanket scarf or scarf with a built-in pocket
I never go on a trip without taking a light scarf with me. It’s such a multi-talent as I use it on planes or buses to protect myself from any flu that is coming out of the air-con. Also, it functions very well as a small pillow or maybe even as a little protection against the cold that is sometimes coming up at exotic destinations during the night. Also for the girls: A light scarf is a perfect way of preparing yourself for a spontaneous visit to a mosque or any other religious institution where a certain headdress is needed.
Maria of Travel with Maria
Buy it now: Sutton Sandals
I hate wearing shoes or anything that kind of strangle my toes. My ultimate travel mantra is to keep everything light that’s why I chose Sutton sandals. It’s like flip-flops and sandals in one. It is as light as flip-flops but definitely much more stylish. For those who love to wear mix and match their dresses, Sutton sandals can be paired with anything: skinny or boyfriend jeans, a hooded sweater, boho skirt or floral tank top. It used to be a beach accessory for me only but now I get to wear it everywhere I go and still look fabulous.
Micki of The Barefoot Nomad
Buy it now: SCOTTeVest Chloe Glow hoodie
My top must have article of travel gear is my women’s SCOTTeVest Chloe Glow hoodie. It’s perfect for holding gadgets and travel documents, with 15 pockets that hold my phone, passport, wallet, keys, a small tripod, sunscreen, earphones, and even a few little snacks for the family. As a woman, it’s especially hard to find a comfortable, good looking travel jacket, so the Chole Glow quickly became one of my must-have pieces of travel gear!
For the toiletry bag
To keep you spick and span on the road.
Thais of World Trip Diaries
Buy it now: Coconut Oil
The one thing I ALWAYS carry is coconut oil. I usually buy the smallest one that I can find and fill little bottles with it to use during my travels. The uses are endless: I can do some oil-pulling, use it as a moisturizer, as hair treatment mask, as a massage oil, as an ointment for rashes, insect bites, and acne, as lip balm, as eye-cream, and even as cooking oil.
Vicki of Make Time To See The World
Buy it now: Tangle Teezer
Not to sound dramatic, but the Tangle Teezer is literally The Best Hairbrush, Ever. I bought one of these almost 4 years ago now and it goes everywhere with me. Compact and in its own protective case, it is perfect for travel and it’s unique bristle composition means it glides through long hair with ease – and gets rid of knots without ripping the hair from your head. I don’t know how I ever lived without one before!
Claudia of My Adventures Across the World
Buy it now: Lush solid shampoo and Lush solid conditioner
Among the best travel accessories of all times, especially for girls, are Lush solid shampoo and conditioner. They are perfect for carry on travel, as they don’t have to go through the 100 ml only restrictions applied to liquids. They are great value for money as a bar of shampoo lasts for months. Besides, Lush products are great to the hair, scalp and skin, and they are not tested on animals – making them pretty much perfect and ecologic, great to use in places where water is limited such as the Maldives.
Sky of Sky vs. World
Buy it now: Personal Packtowel
The one thing I can never travel without is my quick-dry microfiber towel. Many hostels don’t provide towels for showering, regular towels are way too bulky to pack, and who really wants to use random clothes to dry off? My quick dry towel folds up so small it barely takes up any room and it’s absorbent enough to use even on my long, thick hair. It dries overnight and can be used several times before it needs to be washed. A definite must-have!
Hannah and Adam of Getting Stamped
Buy it now: Clothes Line
We’ve been traveling nonstop for over 4 years and always have a clothesline with us in our bags. If you have ever find yourself needing to do laundry there is never anywhere to hang it. It also has come in handy in Asia when the shower head is handheld we’ve been able to tie it up. When packing for a safari it’s a must!
Matilda of The Travel Sisters
Buy it now: Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes
I never go anywhere without my Wet Ones antibacterial wipes and I am convinced this is why I rarely get sick when I travel. I pack some in my carry on and use them on dirty airplanes to wipe down the tray table and armrests. They are also useful when I find myself somewhere with no soap or water to wash my hands. Best of all these wipes are individually wrapped so I can toss a few of them in my daypack, purse or even a pocket when exploring.
On the best gadgets
Ashley of A Southern Gypsy
Buy it now: External power bank
One of my most valued travel gadgets is my external power bank. As a blogger, I am constantly on my phone updating social media, taking photographs and using maps. All of this constant use of my phone obviously means that it drains my battery. On a full day of travel, I easily go through one charge on my phone by mid-day so having a backup way to charge my phone without needing an outlet is necessary. I always charge up my phone and power bank at night so that each morning I start the day with two full charges. This is seriously a lifesaver and I never leave home without it.
Nicholas of Rambling Feet
Buy it now: Mogics Power Bagel
Travelling light as a blogger can be tricky, especially when you have so many electronics to lug around. Start counting: a camera, a phone, a tablet or laptop, perhaps a drone, and all their associated chargers – that’s 8 items! A room with just one wall socket only makes things worse. No one should need to prioritise the devices that they have to recharge.
Enter the Mogics Power Bagel. It fits four plugs of all types, plus two Type A plugs and two USB cables; thus, I can leave the wall adapters and a few chargers at home, saving myself a chunk of weight and a few headaches in the process. Furthermore, the round design means that no matter how a plug is designed, it’s unlikely to block the adjacent sockets. Why didn’t someone invent this sooner?
Lance and Laura Longwell of Travel Addicts
Buy it now: Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger
The absolute single greatest, must-have travel accessory for any adventurer is a multi-purpose all-in-one travel charger. These handy devices have multiple outlets, which are always in short supply in hotels and hostels. Plus, they also offer the best in modern convenience: multiple USB charging ports. One of these should be the very first thing any traveler packs!
Tracey of Pack the PJs
Buy it now: Fintie Bluetooth Keyboard
I struggle to travel light. I also struggle to work when I’m away from home as my laptop is too bulky to fly with me. I get frustrated trying to write on a touchscreen keyboard of a tablet. But on a long-haul flight, with a writing deadline looming, I had no choice but to work on the plane. I invested in a Fintie Bluetooth keyboard, and it’s been a total life-changer for me. My iPad is set up like a mini laptop with all my usual apps and programs, and I can type for hours. It goes for days without needing charging. It is so much easier and more comfortable than working on a touchpad.
Bertaut and Alexis of World Travel Adventures
Buy it now: OrigAudio Power Bank
Our portable power bank by OrigAudio is one of our most-used travel accessories. It has three ports which means we can charge both our phones and our tablet at the same time while on the road. We use our phones all the time while traveling for staying in touch with family, getting work done, and even GPS when we need power on the go. Our power bank has saved us from travel mishaps like getting lost in a foreign country. It is one of our must-haves any time we walk out the door, even when we’re not traveling.
Tom of Travel Tom Tom
Buy it now: TEP Wireless
When traveling abroad I can’t go without my portable wifi device from TEP Wireless. I admit I am an online addict and when I don’t have internet I get annoyed. The best way to get internet access while traveling internationally is to have my Teppy on me at all times. For a couple dollars a day it lets you use unlimited data in more than 100 countries worldwide. So far I used it in India, Malaysia, United States, Belgium, Vietnam, South Africa and Australia.
Rashmi and Chalukya of Go Beyond Bounds
Buy it now: GPS
We love road tripping in every new destination we visit. Exploring places at our own pace is a great fun and we end up exploring unexplored and untouristy places. And GPS makes for a great travel mate for an awesome road trip with handy information on route maps, speed limits, petrol stations, restaurants, and other route information. GPS is a must carry travel gadget for us during our travels and we definitely cannot go without it.
Nick and Val of The Wandering Wheatleys
Buy it now: Eagle Nest Outfitter DoubleNest hammock
The Eagle Nest Outfitter DoubleNest hammock is a super lightweight, compact, durable hammock that is extra roomy for one person or big enough for two! We always toss it in our bag prior to heading out on any outdoor adventure. It’s perfect for soaking in the scenic views while resting along a trek or for spending the night in the great outdoors on a warm night. You won’t want to leave home without it!
Katherine and Hali of Tara Lets Anywhere
Buy it now: Water-resistant flashlight
A water-resistant flashlight is a must-have item for the adventurous backpacker. We always carry one especially when we’re going on a hike or overnight stay in an underdeveloped/virgin island. We find it useful in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines where there are provinces with limited electricity. The added water-resistant feature makes it a reliable companion during undesirable weather.
Brooke of Roamscapes
Buy it now: Sawyer Mini Water Filter
I always pack my Sawyer Mini water filter on trips. I love how it reduces the amount of drinking water I need to pack for hiking, and it also cuts my usage of bottled water in places with questionable tap water. This helps me be a more environmentally friendly traveler! The filter is super packable (fits in the palm of my hand), removes 99% of bacteria and protozoa, is easy to clean, and fits onto a typical PET bottle or hydration pack so you can use it like a straw.
Danielle of Ultimate Country Guides
Buy it now: Igneo sleeping bag
Anyone who backpacks and camps needs a sleeping bag – but finding an ultralight one? That’s going to cost you. Still, it’s well worth it. My Igneo sleeping bag from REI is absolutely amazing; it’s survival rated for slightly below freezing, yet I can sleep in it in warm climates without a problem as well (and without roasting!) It compacts incredibly small and weighs practically nothing – a must have for those camping! It came in quite handy while traveling Utah and Arizona in October – when it was warm as could be in the daytime, but frost would cover the tent at night!
Sarah of Trip Gourmets
Buy it now: Lifesystems Portable Mosquito Killer
The one travel gadget that has been invaluable during all our tropical travels of the last 4 years is our Lifesystems Portable Mosquito Killer. This device, powered by two AA batteries, slowly emits an odourless scent that knocks out mosquitoes and other biting insects. It takes refillable cartridges that last for a week each time. We would never be without it again!
Dan of Honeymoon Always
Buy it now: Waterproof phone case
For years, I have always seen expensive cases as the only way to bring your phone around with you when you may get wet. Instead of bringing my phone along when I went to the beach, kayaking or to a water park I would leave it someplace away from the moisture. Last year, I went to a water park and saw a new must-have. Everyone was walking around with a basic plastic waterproof pouch case around their neck. This protects the phone, gives you a place to store a few other things like a credit card and allows you to still use your phone’s touchscreen while it is stored. I picked one up for $8 and now bring it whenever there is a chance I will get wet.
Bret and Mary of Green Global Travel
Buy it now: Ziwa Convertible Pants, Breez’r Shirt, or Give ‘n’ Go underwear
We’ve been huge fans of adventure apparel from ExOfficio ever since we first wore them to the Galapagos Islands back in 2011. Now, we pack their Ziwa Convertible and Damselfly pants, shirts such as the Breez’r and Trip’r, and Give ’n’ Go underwear every time we travel to a destination with a warm climate. We love the ultra-lightweight, breathable fabric of their BugsAway line. It’s remarkably comfortable even in hot and humid environments. It’s also moisture-wicking, water/stain resistant, and comes with an odourless “Insect Shield” that repels bugs for 70+ washings. In 2017 they started combining their BugsAway and Sol Cool lines, incorporating bug repellant and cooling features to create even airier summer-weight styles. They take up virtually no space in our luggage, are wrinkle-resistant, and can be washed and dried in a matter of hours, making them perfect for our eco-friendly adventures!
Danielle of Like Riding a Bicycle
Buy it now: Spark 2 Tent
I could not live without my Spark 2 tent from MEC. It’s light as can be, fits two people (or really, me and my gear), and has a one pole setup. As I backpack all over and camp a ton, I could no longer deal with cheap and heavy tents. This is a definite must-have for all those backpackers who camp out!
For the eco-friendly traveler
Maya of Travel With the Smile
Buy it here: Badger Natural Sunscreen
In an effort of preserving our ocean life including plants and animals, countries are trying to ban sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs. Some eco parks already do, in Mexico for example, they ask you before entering not to put a sunscreen on if it’s not reef friendly. Badger’s natural sunscreens are made with organic ingredients and are highly rated for their eco-friendliness. Their sunscreen is always in my bag wherever I go.
Yulia of The Foodie Miles
Buy it here: Keep Cup
The one thing I never forget to take with me when traveling is my Keep Cup. If you care about the environment, it should be in your bag too. It’s a reusable cup that will help you avoid disposable cups when buying coffee or tea. You can use one cup for up to three years. All of its parts, including the cup itself, the lid, and the plug are recyclable. Keep Cups come in many different colours. My turquoise cup gets a lot of compliments whenever I order my coffee.
Natasha and Cameron of The World Pursuit Travel Website
Buy it now: The Little Sun
The Little Sun is literally our favourite travel product and should be in everyone’s suitcase, especially if you’re into outdoor adventures. Little Sun is essentially a solar light featuring the world’s most efficient solar cell. A few hours of charging in the sun will get you at least six hours of light with Little Sun. Little Sun is compact and fits easily in luggage, which is why it makes for a great eco-friendly product. The best part about it is that proceeds from each sale go back to people living in places of the world with no electricity, even focusing on children so that they can study more in school with light at home. We have had it for years and it stayed with us throughout our entire camping trip in Africa.
Jessica of Independent Travel Cats
Buy it here: Travel tripod
My husband Laurence and I love taking beautiful photos during our travels, so one thing that we always travel with is a travel tripod. These are more lightweight and compact than a full-size tripod but still able to provide stable support to your gear, whether you attach a compact camera or a professional DSLR camera with a long lens. Tripods help us take better travel photos, and we especially love them for couple shots and low light situations. We use the Vanguard VEO range of travel tripods, but there are loads of travel tripods available.
Liz of It’s a Drama
Buy it here: DJI Spark Drone
Anyone who travels knows the importance of a good photograph. Whether you are perched on the edge of a magnificent cliffside or standing on the Great Wall of China, there will be that moment that you wish your arms were ten times longer to get that perfect shot. As a travelling family I found it inconvenient to stop and ask people to take pictures of us all but then we discovered the DJI Spark Drone. Not much larger than an iPhone in height and as wide as a pair of sunglasses it means we can now do videos and capture every moment.
Read more: Best Gifts for Travellers Who Love To Take Photos
For your security
Andrew and Emily of Along Dusty Roads
Buy it here: Travel combination lock
Whether you’re staying in the cheapest dorm, r the fanciest boutique hostel, every backpacker will have to place their faith (and all their valuables) in the lockers provided. Having a sturdy padlock with you is not just a packing recommendation, it’s absolutely essential to give you peace of mind. We always carry one with a ‘combination’ lock as it removes any worries about losing keys and, if you’re travelling as a couple, means you can both access the shared locker.
Will Hatton of The Broke Backpacker
Buy it here: Travelon Security-Friendly Money Belt
Whenever I hit the road, I always travel with a specially designed backpacker security belt – these things are awesome, they are super discreet, way more so than a money belt, and you can hide up to twenty notes in the belt itself. Hand’s down, this is the best way to hide your cash when travelling.
Miguel of Travelsauro
Buy it here: Passport holder
When traveling, you must take care of your most precious belongings. That usually means keeping your credit cards, passport and money in a safe place. Passport holders come in handy because you can keep everything together. You will also avoid those stressful moments at the airport when you can’t find your boarding pass. Passport holders come in different designs, materials and sizes (there are great models for family travel), and new models include security systems like a radio-frequency identification to prevent digital theft. They’re a must-have for the regular traveler!
Tom of The Travelling Tom
Buy it here: Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack
The Bobby anti-theft Backpack is an essential item if you’re serious about keeping valuables safe while travelling. The backpack is unique, because the zips are hidden, instead of in plain view. There are also a number of secret pockets, where you can stash your most valuable belongings away from would be thieves! As someone that was nearly pickpocketed while living in Barcelona, this bag is a necessity. It provides you with peace of mind on your travels, instead of walking around, wary, of pickpockets. I wouldn’t leave home without it!
For the traveling family
Carrie of Flying with a Baby
Buy it here: Travel Snug
The Travel Snug has proven its worth time and time again for us- especially for late flights and long haul. They are fleece padded cushions which sit on an airplane seat and provide a comfortable cushion around the armrest. The curved bit at the top, also provides somewhere for small heads to rest. They are a bit bulky to carry around but we have always been glad of them once we have them on-board.
Rene of Together We Roam
Buy it here: Travel compression bags
I’ve always been an over-packer and with kids more so. Clothes tend to take up allot of space in our suitcases. To try and maximise every spare inch in our luggage we use travel compression bags. The lightweight plastic travels bags save our skin. Puffer jackets, bulky ski clothing, socks and jumpers all shrink into flat parcels, creating more room and the plastic helps provide an extra layer of protection from spills. The way the compression bag works requires no vacuum, simply fill the bag to the marked line, zip up the top and roll, there’s the satisfying hissing sound as air escapes from the bag making your travel packing super compact.
Marianne of Mum on the Move
Buy it here: Mifold Booster Seat
When we travel with the kids, we always take our mifold portable car booster seat with us. We do a lot of travelling to and from airports in taxis or hotel cars and if we are on a city break, we usually take a taxi across town at some point. So having a portable booster seat with us is essential for the safety of the kids. The best thing about the mifold for travellers is that it is one tenth of the size of a regular booster seat, and folds up small enough to be able to fit into your handbag!
Hannah of Adventure Family Travel
Buy it here: Travel kettle
As a full time travelling family, we wouldn’t be without our travel kettle. The cheap homestays and hotels that we book are often very basic and don’t have hot drinking water facilities. Having a travel kettle means that we can make our room more homely, enjoy a comforting cuppa and a coffee in the mornings to perk us up, and quickly make a snack of instant noodles if we need to. It helps us relax a bit more quickly when we move hotels as we don’t have to tramp around looking for cheap coffee shops!
Jenny of Travelynn Family
Buy it here: Amazon Fire Tablet
We travel a lot with our two boys aged 2 and 4. Often this is to intrepid destinations where public transport doesn’t run to a timetable and accommodation rarely has access to kids’ TV. The Amazon Fire Tablet, loaded with their favourite games and TV shows, has been invaluable in keeping our little ones entertained in such instances. Also, there’s a 2-year worry-free guarantee: if it breaks, just return it and Amazon will replace it for free. No questions asked.
For the offline traveler
Sometimes not being connected is the best part of traveling.
Mike of Bemused Backpacker
My must-have travel accessory isn’t a gadget or a piece of tech, it’s a good old traditional notepad and pen. That may seem strange to a lot of people but I am just an old-fashioned writer and apart from the practical aspects of being to jot down notes anytime you need to and it being cheap and easy (with nothing that can break), I just love the tactile feel of pen on paper, it feels more natural as a writer and aids the creative flow. I generally have two notepads with me at any one time, one for general notes when travelling for my blog, and one for my next novel!
Helen of Not Without My Passport
Buy it now: Compass
A paper map is useful for directionally challenged travellers like me but too conspicuous for sketchy neighbourhoods. It also won’t always help me determine which way I’m facing (north, south, east or west) especially when streets signs are nowhere to be seen, which is where a compass comes in handy. My smartphone has a GPS and compass app but I don’t like to pull it out in pickpocket-prone areas. An old-school compass allows me to gain some perspective without flaunting my electronic device and drawing too much attention. A simple, no-frills compass costs less than $10 and makes a great stocking stuffer!
For those travelling moments
When you’re going from point A to point B.
Kaylie of Happiness Travels Here
Buy it now: Noise cancelling headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are a must-have gadget for every traveller. Watching a movie on the plane with these on lets you just switch off from what is going on around you and relax, the sound quality is so good and it is great to tune out from the background chatter and drone of the engine. They have also been such a blessing to get to sleep on long flights or in hotel rooms with a lot of street noise. I don’t travel without them now.
Arzo of Arzo Travels
Buy it now: Travel neck pillow
If it is time to pack my bags for my next trip, I never forget my travel neck pillow. This little thing, which you wrap around your neck, is just freaking awesome because it lets you sleep much easier. Whenever I know I will be spending more than 1 hour in the plane or bus, I take it with me and it has helped me so many times to fall asleep even before the plane took off (can you believe that I sometimes did not even notice that we were taking off?). There are many different ones out there, and I have tried many, so my recommendation is to invest in a better one (which you can also put into the washing machine) as it can become your best friend.
Arimo of Arimo Travels
Buy it now: Kindle Paperwhite
If you love reading, an e-reader will save you from cramming all the heavy books in your backpack. My favourite e-reader is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Kindle Paperwhite has a convenient backlight, so you can keep reading in a hostel dorm after the lights go out. Besides ordinary novels and non-fiction books, I like to buy my Lonely Planet guidebooks on my Kindle. This gives me an access to offline travel information wherever I go.
Charlotte Anne of Charlotte Anne
Buy it now: Travel blanket
One of my favourite must-have travel accessory is a travel blanket. I am always looking for that extra bit of comfort in any scenario while travelling. A simple thing such as stashing a great travel blanket can go a long way in making any trip near to perfect. I’ve personally been on many flights, train rides, and road trips that were way too freezing that I might as well get a frostbite. A jacket or a scarf was just not enough. After suffering through years of uncomfortable trips, my boyfriend bought me a travel blanket and it was one of the best travel gift ever.
What are some of your must-have travel accessories? What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree this year?