Hi friends! I recently found some essential travel items from Amazon that made it so easy to stay organized during extended travel. I was definitely skeptical about a couple of them (*cough cough, packing cubes*), but after putting them to the test for our trip to Italy, I can confirm they were life savers!
Rounding up these products + a couple of tips in hopes it helps you with future trip planning. What else would you add to the list??
P.S. I want you to know I use affiliate links below, meaning I may get a small commission if you purchase. Please know there is never a cost to you and I only recommend things I truly loved. Thanks for your support!
P.P.S. Don’t forget, the fun is on Insta! A little reel to see these products IRL here.
1) LARGE TRAVEL BACKPACK – $49.99 currently
We typically do everything we can to avoid checking a bag – saves time and less risk of anything getting lost in transit! That means regardless of trip length, I have to pack smart in my carry on (The Bigger Carry On in Sand from Away) and a personal item.
For 10 days in Italy, I knew my personal item had to go a long way! I ordered a couple of different bags to try after lots of research, landing on this sleek, spacious backpack. When fully packed, honestly it looked comparable in size to my suitcase. The good news is airlines don’t really care how big your backpack is – at least, so I’ve always been told and my experience has confirmed. As long as you can shove it under the seat (which we could), you should be good.
Not only was I able to use this for books, a purse, and other smaller items, it served as an overflow for shoes and a couple clothing items that didn’t fit in my suitcase.
Why this backpack was great for a long trip: Plenty of supportive straps for long travel days, shoe compartment, laptop sleeve, multiple spacious sections, water bottle/umbrella holder pockets, FITS SO MUCH.
2) LARGE TOILETRY BAG WITH HANGING HOOK – $29.99 currently
I have thick, curly hair, which means I travel with quite a bit of product, in addition to skin care and make up. I loved the 4 compartments in this bag that made it easy to categorize. In Europe, bathrooms are typically smaller, so the hanging hook saved space and allowed me to see everything easily – no digging!
This toiletry bag is great quality and comes in multiple colors. If you like to sort products and have a lot of them, I truly recommend this! It could even be helpful at home if you have a small bathroom space.
Tip for packing toiletries: Going through security in the U.S., I find they typically aren’t as strict if you have a little more than a quart size bag of liquids in your toiletry bag and/or if you leave it packed vs. pull out in a zip lock bag. This said, I leave my toiletry bag packed in my suitcase when traveling within the country. Going through security internationally, I find they are more strict, which I totally respect! Therefore, I always keep a couple quart size bags with me, so when re-packing I can distribute toiletries (one in my suitcase, one in my personal item), so things are more spread out. If they ask me to throw things away, I will get rid of items easy and cheap to replace (ex: shaving cream, drug store make up)! I have only had to do that once in the last several years.
3) PACKING CUBES – 6 PIECE SET, 3 SIZES – $27.98 currentlyI was never used packing cubes because I thought they limited the amount you could pack. WRONG. It definitely allows you to pack just as much or more, especially if you roll your clothes up like I did. The packing cubes also made it really easy to repack as we moved from city to city over 10 days!
Four of the cubes + my toiletry bag fit perfectly in my suitcase. Eric used the other two. I could’ve used all six if I would’ve used some in my backpack too, but hey, sharing is caring. 🙂
Ideas on how to use the packing cubes: Small cubes for undergarments or shoe bags. Medium cubes were perfect for tops, dresses, or skirts. Large cubes could be great for thicker clothing, jeans, or dirty clothes! You could even play around packing by day or outfits. The great news is there really no wrong way, but undergarments, tops and bottoms is how I ultimately split them! Bigger sweaters or jackets I laid on top or put in my backpack.
4) PASSPORT HOLDER WITH MAGNETIC CLASP – $8.99 currently
This purchase was really just more for fun and ~style~, but I ended up really loving it and the amazing price. Eric got in green to match his suitcase, and when they didn’t have a tan one available for matching mine, I went with my favorite color – this pretty blush. The gold airplane emblem is the cherry on top!
Why this passport holder stood out: Pockets inside, perfectly fit our COVID-19 vaccine cards, which we always travel with internationally just in case. Loop for a pen (hi, customs declaration docs on planes). The magnetic clasp > a button. It has RFID technology to travel safe and prevent theft (scanning your personal documents/cards from afar…I can’t tell ya much more, but it’s a thing).
Being an over packer and a procrastinator, I’m always on the hunt for a good travel gadget or tip that makes life easier like these. If you have others, please share away!