10 Awesome Space Saving Travel Items
It seems like airlines these days keep charging more and more for less, and smart travelers are determined to play the game and learn to pack for any trip only in a carry on.
I'm definitely one of those people who used to just throw everything in a medium / large suitcase that I would need "just in case" and not think twice about it....until I hated myself for having to lug around a 50 lb suitcase all over the place.
When it comes to packing light, it helps to weed things down to the just the essentials - nobody ever said they wished they had packed more - but it also helps to take things that don't take up a lot of space, or assist in maximizing the space you have.
Take a look at these 10 awesome products that will make packing light for your next trip a whole lot easier, whether it's for a week or a year!
Sometimes you have no choice but to take bulky items with you. Take my latest trip to Iceland - a warm coat, boots, thick socks and a sweater were necessary. You can always wear your heaviest items on the plane, but for the things that you can't? Compression bags are a lifesaver. I know, they're kind of 90s and you have to wonder if people actually use them - but I do! And they work! I use the Travelon ones, which you don't have to use a vacuum to suck the air out of. They compress heavy, bulky items down to at least half the size and make packing for cooler climates in a carry on SO much easier.
Normal packing cubes are lifesavers, too. They're the best way to organize and maximize space. To make even more space, you can use compression packing cubes like these, they don't remove all the air like a compression bag, but they still compress everything down and add a lot of extra space.
Most trips involve the need of a towel, but they just take up SO much space and take about a million years to dry. Not cool. What is cool? The fast-drying, space saving and antibacterial abilities of the microfiber towel. They take up almost no space, dry quickly, and the antibacterial factor keeps things fresh. (This one from Matador is extra cool and packs small enough that you can clip it onto a backpack!)
I personally love the Turkish Towel. Sometimes microfiber towels don't absorb a lot of water, but the turkish towel does and still manages to dry fast and take up a fraction of the space that a normal towel does. They also don't weight a lot, which is great if you're trying to keep things light!
Traditional toiletry bags are bulky, lack organization and generally all kinds of inconvenient. I've gone through my fair share, and my favorite are the lay-flat option from ebags. They come in different sizes that work for trips of all lengths, have lots of organizational pockets, and take up a lot less room that your traditional boxy rectangle shape.
There are a lot of lay-flat and hanging options available from a wide selection of retailers, so find something that suits you personally and is well made. It will last you years!
As someone who always travels with a decent amount of camera gear, I always end up having a bulky camera backpack as my personal item, but I don't necessarily want to be lugging that around every day. I don't need everything every day that I'm away, so having a day bag that can carry just what I need for the day is essential, but carrying around a whole other bag? Not so great.
For some ladies, a purse or tote is sufficient. But more often than not I find myself on bikes, hikes or doing activities where a pretty purse isn't the most practical option. Lightweight packable bags like this one or this one are the solution. Find one that is durable and has everything you need (like a water bottle pocket), and your days will become a lot easier and lighter.
You can also find packable totes, like this one, that are great for beach days or on the days when a backpack isn't as appropriate.
Even if you have a waterbottle pocket, which any decent backpack should, it can be more convenient and efficient to carry a water bottle that packs up and only takes up extra space when you need it to. I bring a water bottle everywhere, even if it doesn't seem like I'll need it - and I always end up needing it. The best one I've tried is this Nomander one because it's solid not flimsy when filled.
Cold climates are, in my opinion, one of the hardest things to lightly for because of how bulky and heavy all the items you'll need typically are. Coats, hats, gloves, boots....all things that aren't know for being light and packable. While I don't really have a solution for boots other than to suggest you just wear them on the plane, the best option for a warm coat is a packable down puffer.
Since the coat is filled with down it keeps you very warm, but packs down to such a small size and weighs almost nothing. They're also great for layering!
Maybe you're at the beach and heading to dinner after. Or maybe you're hiking to a swimming pool / area in Iceland or a waterfall in Puerto Rico. If you plan on getting wet, nothing is more uncomfortable than having to walk all the way back in your wet clothes because you can't put the wet stuff around all your dry stuff. That's when a wet bag comes in handy.
You can use it to separate the wet items from the dry and avoid getting everything sopping wet. My personal favorite version is this key chain friendly droplet from Matador. It's so convenient and you can just clip it on your bag when you're not using it. Having this little guy will save your life.
Toothbrush covers are great, but the size of a toothbrush can actually be a little inconvenient when it comes to tiny toiletry bags. Plus, it's always smart to have a toiletry kit that you just use for traveling. Try checking out a foldable travel toothbrush that will keep a wet toothbrush from getting grimy.
I would also suggest getting a travel sized razor and hairbrush that all fit nicely in a small toiletry bag and are ready to go whenever you are. That way you don't have to worry about forgetting to throw in the extra stuff you needed to use in the morning before leaving for your flight.
What makes a travel blanket different from a normal one? Well, ideally it doesn't take up your entire suitcase like a normal blanket would. You also want something that will keep you warm while on freezing cold planes and as an extra layer in your hotel, Airbnb or tent. If a blanket is something you need to bring with you, then a travel-friendly one is the best way to go.
This one from Cocoon is excellent because it's moisture wicking and breathes well so you don't have to worry about cleaning it too often.
There are a lot of adapter and converter sets out there that all do essentially the same thing - make it possible to use your electronics. My first adapter and converter set was for worldwide use - and it was huge. With all the different adapters and the massive converter it weighed a good two pounds and took up a good chunk of room in my backpack.
Thankfully, today that isn't the case. You can find a worldwide adapter and converter all-in-one that also has USB ports to make it easy to charge your phone, and it's all in one piece and weighs less than a pound! Save space and save weight!
Keep in mind that most electronics nowadays don't even need the converter, so do your research and see if that will even be necessary for what you're bringing.
All of these things have helped make it possible for me to travel any length of trip to any climate without having to pack an extra bag or worry as much about weight.
There are some really innovate, great products out there that are helping to make traveling the world a lot easier and more convenient, and I'm always on the lookout for something new to try.
I get very excited about new travel products, so if you have anything on your radar that you think I should add to my suitcase, let me know!
P.S. I have a Facebook page now! It's a great place to keep up to date on everything that I'm up to, so check it out and give it a friendly like!
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