Somewhere between folding, rolling and practicing extreme restraint lies the perfectly packed bag. It's an art form that doesn't usually involve taking up valuable luggage space with frivolous accessories, but this list of handy little extras may just change your mind. Ranging from practical to downright clever, here are nine travel accessories you should add to your suitcase or carry-on before your next trip.
If you're tired of trying to find your favourite liquids and gels in the 100 millilitre travel size, you may want to invest in some GoToobs. Billed as the 'civilised, squeezable travel tube', these silicon containers are durable and easy to use. More importantly, though, they're carry-on approved. They feature a no-drip valve and a wide opening for easy filling.
Extra Long Charger Cords
Because you deserve a longer cord. Seriously though, travelling isn't always conducive to charging mobile devices. Ease some of the pain by picking up one of these babies. It makes charging your phone a little bit easier, even when the only outlet in your hotel room is hidden behind the bedside cabinet. Apple sells charging cords up to two metres long. If your travels happen to take you to more rugged reaches, brands such as Kikkerland sell tough, cotton braided versions. Just make sure you double check device compatibility.
Speaking of cords, how annoying it is when they get all tangled in the bottom of your carry-on? You try to grab it and end up hauling out a ball of cords along with all those miscellaneous loose items from your bag. Enter Cord Tacos. So simple yet so effective; these little leather discs snap together around your cords to keep them organised. Even better, they don't take up much space and they come in a variety of sizes and colours.
Looking for more top travel tips?
Carry-On Approved Toiletry Bags
Getting your toiletries through security checkpoints just got a whole lot easier. Carry-on approved toiletry bags (such as the sleek, clear, reusable, zippable varieties available from Flight001) meet all airline standards, which means all you have to worry about is the 100 millilitre rule (see above). Handy and definitely more visually appealing than a Ziploc bag!
Flight delays and cancellations are a drag. Even more so if you're stuck somewhere overnight without anything to freshen up. Pinch Provisions has come to the rescue with their Minimergency Kits. These little pouches are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but contain 17 items to get you through in a pinch. Think along the lines of deodorant towelettes, breath freshener, pain reliever and more. They're available in him and her versions of all different colours and designs.
I know what you're thinking. How fashionable can foldable sunglasses really be? The answer is: very. Iconic sunglass purveyor Ray-Ban has created a whole line of their best styles that fold in half. This includes favourites such as Wayfarers and Aviators. And when you're wearing them, aside from a slight seam on the bridge and legs, you can't even tell they fold up into a smaller, easier to pack version. They take up less space in your carry-on/pocket/shoulder bag when you're travelling, which is something we can all appreciate.
Gone are the days of trying to find a comfortable sleeping position when you're wearing headphones. Be it on the airplane, in your hotel room or at a crowded hostel. SleepPhones are a physician-designed headband with high quality speakers built in. Worn over the ears, they are compatible with mp3 players, smartphones, tablets, notebooks and laptop computers. Wireless versions are also available, and when not in use, they can be rolled up into a compact ball.
"A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." Even if you're not an interstellar hitchhiker, there are plenty of travelling situations when a towel comes in handy, but packing one in your carry-on is pretty impractical. Unless you get compressed towels. They're often about the size of a large pill, but when exposed to water they expand into a full size washcloth – perfect for washing your face on a long haul flight.
Oenophiles rejoice! The VinniBag is here to solve the conundrum of packing souvenir wine in your luggage. It is a durable, sealable plastic bag designed to provide protection against bottle breaks and leaks. It does this by suspending the bottle in an inflatable air cushion that perfectly conforms to the shape and size of the bottle. All you have to do is pack it and forget it. When not in use, it stores completely flat or rolled up. You can also use it to protect other liquids and fragile items.