I wanted to share a few of my favorite useful travel accessories and tips.
Shower cap shoe covers
I do have shoe bags for my shoes when I travel but I found that shower caps work even better for covering shoes. The shoe bags tend to leave extra space that could be filled up with other items. And the dirt will come off the bottom of the shoe and get on the rest of the shoe. With shower caps, you trap the dirt on the bottom of the shoe as you pack them away. I also like to fill my shoes up with socks and underwear to make use of that space. We are currently using the super cheap shower caps you get from hotels but I am planning on upgrading to some nice ones like these on Amazon.
I like to have as much light as possible in my space so I tend to use clothes pins when I travel to pin open curtains. I also will tie long curtains up in a loose knot if I can. I also use clothes pins for sealing up open food. They can also pinch a toothpaste container if it is getting low. Check out these cute painted clothes pins on Amazon – I really like these!
Paperclip or safety pin
I rarely need a safety pin to pin something back together but it is so small and easy to have in the bottom of my cosmetics bag. I also like to have a paperclip – it works best for popping out a sim card in your iPhone when you get to a new country and need to swap out the sim card.
I’ve always preferred a headlamp over a flashlight. In Georgetown, our garbage was in the alley next to our house. When I remembered trash day was the next day and it was after dark I would always pop on my headlamp before going into the alley. We had a motion light in the alley but it didn’t kick on right away. In our travels, we have popped breakers twice already (Yikes! Don’t run an electric kettle and an electric oven at the same time and don’t let your husband try to fix something electric that doesn’t work) and it was nice to throw on my headlamp while we tried to find the breaker box. We also stayed at a really dark farm where it was nice to walk James late at night with some light. I’ve had a few over the years and they don’t always last – usually the plastic breaks where the lamp can be adjusted. But I use them enough that I don’t mind buying a new one every now and then. This Petzl one I have had the longest – I found it at REI online years ago. In addition to adjusting the beam up and down manually it also has a flashing light setting and a red light setting and you can adjust the brightness.
I enjoy having candles at night to calm me down before bed. And I also find that some gas stoves don’t light very well and matches do the best job.
GoToob travel bottles
I used to use cheap travel bottles. I would bang them on the counter to try to get my products out and sometimes they would start to bend and break from the wear and tear. With the GoToob bottles you don’t have to squeeze them hard and your products flow right out. They are rugged and worth every penny for traveling. I know it seems crazy to spend $6 to $10 on an empty travel bottle. But trust me – these are WORTH it. I will never use another type of travel bottle again. And did I mention they don’t leak? Ever? You don’t have to put these in ziplock baggie after ziplock baggie preventing a mess. Thank you humangear for making these! I found mine at REI and I’ve also seen them at the Container Store (both REI and the Container Store have great travel item sections by the way). You can also find the GoToob bottles on Amazon.
JBL Bluetooth speaker
When we first arrived in Europe, we planned on playing music through our iPhones’ speakers. It works okay, but after a month we decided we really wanted a nice travel speaker. Chris found this little JBL speaker and it packs a punch for being so small! We also like to connect our Apple TV to it and then play music or TV from the JBL speaker instead of the TV’s speakers. We put the speaker right next to us on the couch and then we don’t feel like the TV’s volume is turned way up across the room and the entire building can hear what we are watching.
What travel accessories do you like to use? Post a comment – I’d love to hear from you! I learned about the shower cap shoe covers from another traveler!