With summer upon us, lots of you will have travel plans! There is no reason traveling should be stressful, and organization is key. This applies ESPECIALLY to those of your traveling with children. I spent some time researching and testing some top rated, must have travel accessories, and picked some of my favorites for you. These will help keep your organized just like they did me!
Without fail, I find my toiletries somehow spread throughout my bag is disarray. Doesn’t matter HOW I pack them…..that is, until this toiletry bag came into my life. It’s large enough to fit everything from my razor to my makeup to my husbands deodorant, but it folds super flat, so it doesn’t take much room in your suitcase. Another reason I adore it is because of the simple hanger feature. I was able to hang this up in our hotel bathroom and have easy access to everything I needed. I also really like the pockets on the sides that leave room for all those “little things” you just can’t find a place for.
On our recent trip to Thailand, my husband and I tried several different neck pillows. My husband HATES to fly, and Thailand was a hefty 23 ish hour travel time. He was dead set on finding the BEST travel pillow (along with lots of Dremamine!) and this was his winner. First, it’s memory foam – similar to our pillows at home. IT’s firm, but then gently molds to your head/neck. On top of the memory foam is a cooling gel layer. This is the kicker. It helps to cool and regulate your body temperature. If you’ve ever been on a slightly stuffy international flight with LOTS of people, you get how awesome this can be. I did have a lot of people talk about the ease of packing an inflatable travel pillow. We tried that as well, and although more compact, it just WASN’T remotely as comfortable. If you’re looking for a traveling pillow, or taking a long flight, try this baby out.
This is another product I wish I had known about sooner. Carry on bags can be so important. Let’s be honest, if your luggage is lost (which has happened to all of us a time or two), you WANT your carry on bag to be versatile. When we travel, we always carry essentials close to use in our carry on just in case! I personally, don’t love a wheeled carry on. I’m often traveling with our children, and I need my hands-free. This is a sort of combo between suitcase and backpack and it’s IDEAL. We would even take this baby on day trips with us because it wasn’t too cumbersome, but had room for everything. And, I mean everything.
4. Packing Cubes
Not going to lie, these are packing GAME changers. When I first heard about them, I thought, “There is nothing about these that can’t be done with a plastic baggie”. I was so wrong, and now I’ll never go back. They are super lightweight which means, more room/weight for more shoes (High five to my shoe lovin’ sisters). Second, they really are the BEST way to stay organized. They lay flat, and you can really pack a lot into them. You could even buy different colors for different memebers of your family. If you’re like me, everyone is digging through your suitcase looking for a missing sock or something else. These cubes prevent that because you know what is in each one and can see through the mesh top of the cube. You can divide them by family members, or an outfit for each day of the week, or “category” of clothing. One un obvious effect of using these is I really found myself packing LESS. It was easier to plan out clothing. When things are messy in my suitcase, I will inevitably forget what’s in there, and end up packing 24 tshirts for my 4 day trip. #chronicoverpacker
One thing I swear by when traveling – especially if you have children – are labels. I label SO much from shoes to each packing cube. For my little kids, this really helps them to identify what is theirs and prevents a ton of fighting. One safety recommendation, do not label kids’ things where it is visible to a stranger. because they are high quality, and don’t leave a nasty residue when removing. Oh, and they’re super cute!
6. Crossbody travel purse
There are lots of options for bags to take along with you on your travels. This one wins my award HANDS DOWN. IT’s cross body, so it’s great if you’re in areas where you need to keep your valuable safe. It also converts to a small backpack! IT’s lightweight and compact, yet there really is a place for everything. You’ll stay organized and be able to find your passport/money/keys easily. It’s also a wipeable fabric, which might not seem important, but it’s always amazing how dirty things get when you’re really traveling. This bag is a MUST have for a woman (or man!) traveling.
There are lots of options when it comes to passport holders. I like them because they really help keep your passport neat. If you’re pulling it out over and over in airports or want to keep it close to you, I recommend a lanyard type passport holder. Be sure to tuck this UNDER your shirt!
8. Lightweight fanny pack
I know, I know, a FANNY PACK? Listen, it doesn’t matter how cool you are, fanny packs make life better. I actually really love fanny packs for quick trips away from your hotel. I never leave my passport or valuables. This fanny pack is light enough for a few valuables and easy to hide under your shirt and around your waist. I especially appreciated this on crowded public transportation or markets where pick-pocketers can sometimes frequent.
After a few trips, and a minor fortune spent on travel size products, I was so happy to be introduced to these little guys. You can fill them with the same products you use at home and they dispense like a dream. They’re made of silicone and easy to pack. They come in several sizes, but the travel size are 2 ounces and you’re able to carry them on! No annoying stops at security. I also really like these because you can use them over and over, saving you cash in the long run.
10. Perfume Spray Bottles
This is sort of random, but I always struggle with knowing how to pack my perfume. Often, I’d just bring some free samples I’d received at a department store. But, sometimes you WANT your signature scent. These little perfume spray bottles are perfect for travel. They’re actually really easy to fill, which surprised me!
These items all helped me to really simplify and organize my packing. I hope they help you too! Happy travels!