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Reviewers say these things are must-haves if you're hellbent on sticking to a carry-on.
These work best with hand-washing!
Promising review: "This came SO in handy during my vacation to Europe! I was making lots of different stops to places with different types of weather. With these laundry soap sheets I was able to wash my clothes in the sink — letting me pack just the right amount of clothes for all the different places I went." —Katie Fujarski
Get a pack of 50 from Amazon for $12.49.
You can also use it for packing jewelry, hair ties, earbuds, and more.
I swear by these pill cases for keeping my meds secure while on the go. The cases are sturdy and, for pill holders, surprisingly fashionable — their smooth, minimalist design makes me feel confident carrying them around without feeling self conscious. Each compartment holds a *lot* of pills, so I feel prepared for basically anything with this in my bag. One of my best purchases this year.
Promising review: "These travel pill cases are totally worth it! We are always out and about traveling, and this case helps keep the travel pharmacy organized! No more clunky pill bottles. The pill case is very sturdy and has a clasp that stays tightly latched. The compartments on the inside are easy to open with plenty of storage for pills. I was able to fit about 10 larger pills into the smaller compartments. It’s nice to have the larger compartments too. You can fit wrapped cough drops or other medications in those. Highly recommend!!" —Sydney Harsh
Get a three-pack from Amazon for $9.97.
Promising review: "Must-have traveling accessory. Best way to pack a suitcase! I’ll never go back to stuffing everything in on its own. These compartments held way more than I imagined and kept me organized. I will definitely add more to my collection. Makes a great gift for frequent travelers too!" —Lisa
Get them from Amazon for $18.95+ (available in eight styles and in packs of two, three, or six).
Promising review: "You can totally fit three pairs of shoes in this! (Women's size 6.5 shoe, fit heels, wedges, and sandals.) I bought two and will absolutely be buying more for my husband. 10/10 would recommend! I travel frequently, and I always overpack; this helped cut down space and stress immensely!" —Taylor
Get it from Amazon for $22.99 (available in nine colors and patterns).
It also easily attaches to backpacks and luggage handles (see the photo on the right), weighs less than half a pound, and is machine-washable!
Promising review: "I can't stop recommending this pillow to all of my friends! It has let me comfortably sleep on flights that take place on the most uncomfortable airplane seats. On long flights, I always need to prop up my hand and I rest my head on it. But this method always ends with my arm falling asleep and I end up waking up every 30 minutes. Now this pillow provides that exact same support without needing my arms to prop me up! It's small enough to fit in your bag and doesn't take up much space." —Simona Krifman
Get it from Amazon for $47.99 (available in four colors).
Promising review: "We travel frequently and have two children. As any parent knows, packing for yourself and your children can be overwhelming (especially for a trip longer than a few days). I have found this list to be a lifesaver and I also give it as a gift for other traveling families. It is easy to plan, organize, and list out items that are easily forgotten. You can also list the quantity of each item needed. It has a variety of clothing options and space to add more. Overall, wonderful purchase and has likely saved me many forgotten items!" —I-really-bought-this
Get it from Amazon for $7+ (available in three colors/styles).
BuzzFeed Shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly brought this on an international trip and loved it: "I first bought this for a week-long Croatian vacation last year when I did carry-on, and as long as you are *thoroughly* reapplying, this stuff stays on pretty well. On a beach club afternoon, I did haphazardly reapply and missed a strip on one arm, but I tend to do that with spray-on or lotion sunscreen, too. Since then, I've packed this for any trip I've been on, including a two-day Disneyland trip where I toted this around in my bag and shared with friends. I sometimes carry it with me in my purse on my everyday adventures because I know it's so easy to apply. Also worth mentioning...I am about the palest lady you've ever seen and swear by daily application of sunscreen. But when on a beach trip, I'm constantly swimming in the water and sweating. So yeah, this stuff works. And if you're a bit hesitant about jumping on the solid sunscreen bandwagon, you can pack a stick of this, knowing you have enough sun protection to get you through to finding some spray-on or lotion SPF at your destination."
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
Check out a TikTok of the portable charger in action.
Promising review: "iPhone users rejoice. This was the only portable charger I could find on the market that did not require a lightening adapter to charge an Apple product! I bought this for my fiancé since he spends long days on movie sets. This has been a lifesaver. It charges fast and you get more than one charge out of it. This would be great for travel, long work days, bad service areas (eats up battery faster), or older phones whose battery isn’t that great (this worked on his iPhone 7 and my iPhone XR). It may require you to remove your phone case, but that’s an easy accommodation. Highly recommend!" —Kelly Schuetz
Get it from Amazon for $24.49+ (available in six colors).
The charger can be used in Europe, the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Russia, Asia, Central America, South America and the Middle East.
Promising review: "If you travel a lot, especially internationally, this is a must-have because you have every kind of adapter on one plug and don’t have to worry about constantly buying a certain adapter every time you travel to a different country. This has it all." —Abby Santiago
Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in four colors).
Check out a TikTok of the foldable 3-in-1 charger in action.
Promising review: "This is a MUST-HAVE!! I love this charging station - it literally is the best! I use it every day at home and bring it with me when I travel. It's super functional and space friendly. I love how you can feel the magnetic connections to confirm that your device is attached and charging. I appreciate how you can fold it into a triangle to allow your phone to charge while you watch your favorite show too." —Shawna Heck
Get it from Amazon for $31.99+ (available in nine colors).
*Plus* decanting your creams and liquids into these babies will free up space in your carry-on and spare you weight.
PS: It also comes with pre-printed labels and a handy, clear zipper pouch!
Promising review: "Just took a trip to the Dominican Republic and used carry-on luggage only throughout the entire trip, never once was questioned about the size. The bag they are in seems thin but it worked great to put bottles back in as well as some smaller items fit in the bag too, like lip gloss, mascara, and such. The holes are big enough to get your product in to the bottles without any complications. My fiancé and myself had plenty of shampoo, conditioner, sunblock and lotion for seven days. Highly recommend these bottles, they are perfect for carry-ons!!" —Stephanie Miller
Get a set of four 3-ounce bottles from Amazon for $9.59+ (available in three sizes and a variety of colors).
Promising review: "Liquid unicorn magic for the clumsy. These were a lifesaver. I was walking to the bus and decided it was a great decision to drink coffee while walking. Like a scene from an infomercial, I spilled coffee all over my white shirt. Yes, the classic coffee on the white shirt. Luckily I had one of these in my bag (I put one in each of my most-used purses in anticipation of my clumsiness). I went into a store bathroom and quickly scrubbed the Tide To-Go on my shirt. All of the coffee blobs went away and once the awkward wet splotches dried up, my shirt was perfectly white again. You've got yourself a big fan, Tide." —NAD
Get a pack of three from Amazon for $7.88.
It comes with one handle and one blade refill!
Promising review: "I got this for a vacation and it was great! The little carrying container is awesome, and keeps you from having a weird, loose razor floating around in your suitcase. Plus, the heads are the same as a regular-sized razor, so you can keep using it when that one is worn out!" —Tegan H
Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (also available with a case and refills).
You can even pair two sets of headphones at once to the AirFly! They work on gym and gaming equipment, too.
Promising review: "Worked beautifully on a recent eight-hour flight from New York City to Frankfurt! Really easy to pair with my Bose noise-canceling earbuds and charges quickly. The sound quality was excellent. I'm so excited about this product that I'm going to buy one for each of my family members!" —emily p murray
Twelve South is a husband-and-wife-owned biz based in Charleston, South Carolina! They've been designing accessories inspired by and made for Apple products since 2009.
Get it from Amazon for $54.99 (also available in two other styles).
It's lead-, latex-, and BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and can be used for hot or cold drinks.
Promising review: "Well this is the coolest thing ever! I travel quite a bit, and I usually don't take a bottle with me because they are big and bulky and I usually lose them! This collapsible water bottle is a perfect traveling accessory. It stays collapsed until after security, and then I fill it up for the trip. It's a good size and fits in my side compartment in my travel backpack, and the cap screws in securely so I don't have to worry about it opening accidentally and spilling all over the place. I follow the instructions on how to clean it and it works just fine." —M. Lyons
Get it from Amazon for $34.95 (available in eight colors).
Promising review: "I was skeptical at first about how well this little noise machine would work in my hotel room (I am a frequent business traveler). However, skepticism gave way to satisfaction. This little sound machine blocked out hotel noises very well and helped me sleep through the night. For a little machine, it provides very good volume and different noise options. I highly recommend this product!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in packs of two or three).
Promising reviews: "Okay, so I know there’s a ton of reviews for how amazing this thing is, and I really thought it was going to be super overhyped. But seriously — THIS THING IS AMAZING! Usually, I have to really scrub to get my mascara off, and I’ll typically lose an eyelash or two in the process, but I wet this down and wiped my face once, and everything was off my face and on the towel. And I mean wipe, there was no scrubbing. I literally did a quick wipe expecting it to be just an initial pass, then looked up into the mirror and was like, holy hell, I think it’s all off. I’m in total shock. I have literally never once had a cream, oil, cloth, or otherwise that so effortlessly wiped off my mascara before. There’s got to be some magic going on here...my face thanks you." —anonymous
"I was skeptical. But for less than $10 I tried it. I am traveling with a carry-on only and wanted limited the amount of liquids so this seemed like a good replacement. I thought about wipes but I would need so many and the package is a little bulky. I got this, used it for the first time, rubbing in circles like the directions stated. I even used micellar water after to see if any makeup was left...NOTHING!! My face felt super clean. This thing is amazing!!" —volvomom
Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in seven colors and in packs of two and seven).
Promising review: "I bought this nifty gadget about six months ago for a multi-leg, ultra-long-haul trip and it more than held up the entire duration. I was able to finagle it to fit the tray tables on different planes and like others, I find the height just nice when clamped onto a stowed tray table. It also works on my roller carry-on handle during layovers. However, I find myself using it a lot outside of travel, too! Work-wise, I've clamped it onto my office desk shelving to hold my phone at eye level beside my computer. At home, I simply clamped it to a deck of cards and it turns into a versatile stand that I can place on any flat surface. Heck, I've been using it to hold my phone comfortably at eye level while watching videos in bed. It's extremely well-built and I find myself fidgeting with it all the time. Thus far it still feels solid and I don't anticipate breaking it any time soon. Even if it does break, I'll be happy to buy another one or two of it!" —Earendil
Perilogics is a small biz that specializes in tech-oriented travel products and backpacks.
Get it from Amazon for $10.38 (available in two colors and in a pack of two).
The card includes an eyeglass screwdriver, letter opener, nail puller, ruler, bottle opener, can opener, box opener, cellphone stand, hex-head nut and bolts, screwdrivers, and a fruit peeler. Reviewers said it is TSA-approved, but some had to remove it from their bag and put it on the belt by itself just to be safe.
"I bought this as a gift for my husband. I can't tell you how many times this little card has come in handy. We take it with us when we travel and we always end up using it." —Andy Aguirre
Get it from Amazon for $14.98 (also available in packs of two, three, and five).
When you apply it, the solid melts into a silky, lightweight oil.
Promising reviews: "Love this moisturizer. This leaves my face feeling silky and smooth without feeling greasy. Perfectly balanced. And I love that I can take it traveling without worrying it will leak all over the place." —Lynn A.
"I had no idea how thirsty my face was until I began using the face stone. I have used so many skin care regimes, packed full with chemicals to mimic the fountain of youth, when all my face was crying out for was moisture! Now I have found a product that feeds my skin the moisture it so desperately craved. The gentle scent is food for your senses, too. My skin is truly grateful." —Suzanne D.
Get it from Sephora or Kate McLeod for $68+ (also available in a refill size).
They're also great for freshening up after meals and for folks with braces.
Promising reviews: "PERFECT for travel. When I travel, I always keep a pack of these in my purse/backpack. There is nothing worse than stinky/gritty breath after a long travel day and you can use these super easily and non-conspicuously. I always feel weird brushing my teeth at the airport, so this is a great alternative if you need something quick." —Berea Janzen
"I do lots of traveling and keep a pack of the disposable mini toothbrushes in my backpack and carry-on luggage. Perfect size and I can use them use about anywhere." —Saving4Retirement
Get a 24-count pack of four from Amazon for $17.76.
Promising review: "The best thing for traveling ever!! I have to have espresso every morning and most small hotels and gas stations don't have espresso coffee so this is perfect! Easy to use. The cleaning takes 30 seconds; just rinse with water and let it dry." —Joanna Verdeja
Get it from Amazon for $54.90 (and here are some Nespresso pods to go with it).
I recently bought a Kindle and it has, no exaggeration, revolutionized my life. I love mine for so many reasons — it's truly helped me incorporate my love of reading into my often hectic life, and all my titles literally live inside of this half-pound wonder gadget, so I can switch between books super easily. For traveling, this is a literal dream. I don't have to pick between titles and then regret the entire trip that I didn't bring the one I left at home — and, as any book lover knows, traveling with books is heavy as hell, and the Kindle literally completely eliminates that weight. Traveling will never be the same for me. BTW, I am also obsessed with the Libby app, which allows you to check out e-books from your local library on your Kindle!! My inner child is *screaming* with joy.
Promising review: "I LOVE reading and being able to access a book anywhere with this thing. It is easy to navigate, very easy to read and adjust the brightness or how warm the light is. It doesn't auto adjust, but I don't need that feature. I've read in bright sunlight to dark rooms, and it's always been so clear. You can adjust the font and use the library to search whatever books you want. Makes packing books for traveling very easy. Battery life lasts me two weeks if I'm reading every day for a few hours." —R@L0
Get it from Amazon for $89.99+ (available in 8GB and 16GB sizes and in three colors).
It's also microwave-safe! Note that the 12-ounce size does not include a straw, but both the 16-ounce and 24-ounce sizes do.
BuzzFeed Shopping editor Danielle Healy has this and loves it: "This is one of the first zero-waste swaps I made and I've never looked back. If you buy to-go coffee – whether you're jet-setting or just grabbing a mid-day pick-me-up — this cup is a must-have. So long as you remember to bring it, it's all the convenience of to-go coffee with none of the waste. It's leakproof and, when you're all done, it collapses down teeny tiny and can be tossed back in your bag. Oh! And it comes with a straw, so all you iced coffee lovers can get in on the action, too."
Stojo is a small biz founded by three New York dads who wanted a better way to get their convenient coffee fix without all the waste. Now they make stylish collapsible essentials in a variety of sizes and colors, including bottles and food storage containers.
Get it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in four sizes and in 24 colors).
Pssst: It also comes with a lifetime warranty!
Promising reviews: "This bag is amazing. Tons of space. I am an elementary school teacher, and normally have about 3-4 bags I haul around. I originally bought this to be a gym bag, but now it’s my everyday commuter bag. It holds my laptop, snacks, chargers, paperwork, lunchbox, portable speaker, and a bunch of random teacher things. I love the protection of having the zipper against your back so there’s no wondering if someone is opening your bag behind you. Super sturdy, waterproof, oh, and the straps are SO COMFORTABLE! Like, for real, better than any backpacking backpack. 11/10" —Brianna M.
"My go-to bag for travel. As someone who is vehemently against checking in bags at the airport, this Go-Bag is the perfect item. Easy to transport and small enough to be taken as a carry-on, yet still spacious for all your essentials." —David C.
Get it from Baboon to the Moon for $159+ (available in 10 colors). A larger 40L size is available here.
Promising review: "Wore this belt on a recent 10-day trip, with several hundred dollars neatly folded in its full-length zippered pocket. The bills (USD) had to be folded lengthwise, in thirds, and for practical reasons, in stacks of 4–5 (or less). My belt had room for four such stacks, so theoretically $2,000 could be comfortably carried in complete concealment. The nylon buckle was perfectly adequate for its purpose, and nothing about the belt would indicate its hidden purpose. Well worth it." —Tony B.
Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available for pant sizes 20"–50" and in seven styles).
Promising reviews: "OMG! I am a very picky shopper, this is one of the best pieces that I have purchased. It has a great weight without being too heavy, and pockets — love, love pockets. I am going to order every color." —jane carney
"It’s lightweight, fits and washes well. Great for travel days, too." —R. Copeland
Get it from Amazon for $33.99+ (available in women's sizes S–XXL and 20 colors).
Promising review: "Works like a charm! So...of course the day I get my hair done, an unexpected torrential downpour occurs and I have NO umbrella. But...I DID have my Hairbrella in my bag! This was the first time I would get to try it out since I purchased it so I was REALLY hoping it would live up to its hype. I loosely pinned my hair up with a few bobby pins, secured that sucka in place and took off! While I looked like I just exited a dunk tank after my valiant sprint to my car, my hair was BONE DRY!!! 🙌🏾 Not a drop of moisture hit my hair. Hairbrella is the TRUTH!!!" —Lina
Hairbrella is a Black-owned small business that specializes in hats that protect hair from all kinds of weather.
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in seven colors).
Promising review: "Best jewelry travel pouch ever. Plenty of room for all my travel jewelry needs. Half the size of previous pouches I have tried and holds more than any of them." —T Rex Mom
Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in two sizes and nine colors).
Promising review: "I’m being honest when I tell you this is the most 'worth-it' top around. I read a review from some frequent flyer who claims this is her go-to for flying. She said aside from the top’s flexibility – which allows much less packing as the top itself looks and behaves like four shirts and a jacket – it’s a savior on planes because it allows you to get into a usually overheated plane, and to weather the transition to iceberg that happens about twenty minutes into most flights, and it holds its shape and looks great. I was skeptical, as I do not have the money to blow on someone else’s opinion, but my husband told me to try it as I have the same issues with temps. Long story short, I got it. It’s a gorgeous fabric despite my usually hating the ribbed thing. It’s nice. REALLY nice. Yes, it’s extraordinarily flexible, and yes, it’s like a jacket,. There is a travel shirt Santa Claus. Ordering in the off-white now. Glad I read the article, and glad I bought the shirt. You should too." —Mary B.
Hackwith Design House is a woman-owned small business that creates made-to-order apparel. This shirt can be worn as a V-neck, off-the-shoulder, boatneck, V-back, and even open as a jacket.
Get it from Hackwith Design House for $145 (available in women's sizes XS–4X and in five colors).