"These Were A Lifesaver": 30 Things That’ll Smooth Over Travel Annoyances So You Can Just Make Memories

1 week ago 63

A compact bag *with wheels* that fits under plane seats, reusable TSA-friendly toiletry containers, Pedialyte packets, and other things you'll never travel without again.

1. A portable safe ideal for the beach or when you're staying at a hotel or Airbnb that doesn't have a working safe in your room. Use the handy cable to secure it to a beach chair or other fixed object so you can worry less about someone walking off with your passport and other valuables while you concentrate on having a great time!

pink masterlock personal safe with belongings inside of it

reviewer's pink personal safe that's attached to a beach chair at the beach

It's the perfect size to hold phones or wallets, and easily carry in your beach or tote bag. 

Promising review: "This safe has become a MUST-HAVE on all our vacations. We no longer travel without it. We put two iPhones, cash, and car keys in this little safe, locked it to a beach cabana, threw a towel over it and took off for a hour of snorkeling. Never once worried about our belongings. We now use several of these as room safes AND as 'hide a key' lockboxes outside our vacation condo for teens who come and go throughout the day. They are invaluable!" —KeepIT Reel

Get it from Amazon for $23.98+ (available in two colors).

2. A small wheeled carry-on bag that qualifies as a personal item even on the strictest and budget-friendly airlines. Now you can stop trying to squeeze everything into a backpack and hobbling under its weight through the entire airport just to avoid having to check your bag (and wonder if it'll *actually* make it to your final destination or not). With this, you can glide through the terminal with ease, and it'll even fit right underneath your seat so you can skip the stress of wondering if there'll be any overhead compartment space by the time you board.

person sitting in airplane seat with wheeled suitcase fitting under seat

It'll also make getting off the plan faster since you won't even have to pull your suitcase out of the overhead when you land!

Promising review: "This works out so well for me. I’m a flight attendant, and I’ve had an infinite amount of day trips over the summer. I got tired of carrying around my regular TravelPro spinner, so I finally ordered this. SOOOOO MUCH BETTER FOR ME. It’s light, has enough pockets, and can easily fit under a seat if needed.

The ONLY picky thing I can think of is how loud it sounds going across rough concrete. The wheels aren’t as silent as others, but that won’t stop me from buying another." —Kayla T

Get it from Amazon for $57.08+ (available in three colors).

3. A mini lightweight flat iron — it'll barely take up any space in your toiletries bag and will actually do an impressive job so you can keep up your hair routine while globetrotting!

reviewer showing their naturally curly hair and then pin straight hair achieved using the straightener

reviewer hand holding straightener

It also comes with a heat-resistant pouch for easy carrying!

Promising review: "This fits perfectly in my toiletries travel bag that I take with me as a flight attendant. Anything that comes in a small size and still works well is perfect for me." —Kathy S

Get it from Amazon for $14.97.

4. A set of packing cubes that'll help you fit a LOT more stuff in your suitcase than you thought was possible.

The packing cubes in a suitcase

shirts inside a packing cube

The set comes with four packing cubes of various size, as well as a laundry bag.

Promising review: "I was skeptical about packing cubes, but finally decided to give them a try and I won't travel without them now! It helps with organizing and to prevent wrinkles. Especially helpful when I’m going to multiple destinations so I don’t have to completely unpack or dig through my suitcase at each stop. My son has used them when packing a duffle bag, and I can’t imagine using a duffle bag without them. The quality of the brand is very good, and I love that each cube has their own handles. I ended up buying a second set since one wasn’t quite enough for extended travel." —April

Get a set of five from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in seven colors).

5. Or a set of compression packing cubes — these work similarly to a vacuum sealer to save you a *shocking* amount of space... even if you always pack more clothes than you actually end up wearing. They come in different sizes ideal for everything from jackets and sweaters to socks and underwear, and there's even a spot to put a little card on the front so you can label what's in what!

stack of thick sweaters and then it in the compression cube

the full cube and then showing it zipped and compact

Just be sure to look up any weight restrictions on carry-on luggage!

Promising reviews: "I'm a flight attendant. Great for my four to five days trips when I need to pack extra!" —Amazon Customer

"These bags are amazing! Everything fits, and the compression keeps everything in order and leaves space for last minute additions. No more emptying the suitcase looking for an item. So easy and organized. My travel life just became 100% easier! Highly recommend them." —LYNN vT

Get a pack of six from Amazon for $39.99 (available in a variety of colors and as a pack of two or four).

6. A tube of anti-friction foot balm here to keep your feet happy on those vacations where you put in more steps per day than you usually average in a week. 

A model applies the BodyGlide Foot Anti Blister Balm to the back of their ankle


Check it out in action on TikTok here!

Promising review: "The best! I used this every morning and each night on an 11-day Disney vacation. No blisters! So thankful for this product! There's no awful scent, it's easy to glide on, and it's well worth the money!" —JaeMamaJams

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

7. An AirFly Pro wireless transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack on the in-flight TV screen so you can use your wireless headphones instead of having to pay for those crummy wired headphones they sell on the plane. You can also use it to send audio from one device to two separate sets of headphones, so you and your friend can listen to the same music or watch the same movie!

the transmitter plugged into an airplane seat TV

child models watching something together on one tablet with the AirFly plugged in so they can both hear through their headphones

Promising reviews: "Ever since I purchased my wireless Bose earbuds, I always hated having to use another set when I was on an airplane with the seat-back entertainment system. I tried many different models to connect the system to my Bluetooth headsets until I came across this one, and it is amazing! It seamlessly connects to my headset, very clear and reliable audio, and it takes the stress away from having to carry multiple headsets! Thank you!!!" —Ryan Malloy

"I fly a lot, and bought this due to disliking corded headphones, as either the cable line breaks during flight, and/or gets tangled up. I just recently flew four times last week and used them for the in-flight entertainment, and did not have one issue. I also use these in the gym while connected to my iPhone for music. And I plan to use them on my PC at work for meetings." —Marky

Get it from Amazon for $54.99 (available in three styles).

8. A portable door lock you can easily attach to pretty much any regular door in *seconds* without needing any tools or causing any damage to the door. It'll help you feel safer when traveling alone or staying in any hotel rooms, Airbnbs, or guest houses that feel like they could use an extra layer of security. Then when it's time to depart, it's super easy to remove and small enough to travel with! 

lock on door

how to guide for door lock

Promising review: "I’m a flight attendant and swear I live in hotel rooms and needed extra security, and these seem to be the talk in the airline world so I order myself two. It took me a YouTube video to figure out how to install them and yes very easy and very secure. Safe sleeping is important and I’m glad I have these." —Elizabeth C. Breton

Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (also available in multipacks).

9. And a tiny, portable doorstop with a built-in security alarm designed to 1) emit a loud, high-pitched sound when door pressure is applied and 2) prevent the door from opening or being pushed in. The alarm is loud enough to wake you and possibly even neighbors so you can feel extra secure while staying in an unfamiliar place.

The doorstop under a closed door

Model putting the doorstop into a bag


Promising review: "This small, but very capable product out preformed itself on our recent vacation with our grandkids. While his mother and sister slept, our 3-year-old grandson tried to sneak out of their motel room. Fortunately, we had given our daughter one of these alarms. He only managed to pull on the door and the very loud alarm sent him running back to bed. He never tried to get out again. Would highly recommend this product." —evie

Get it from Amazon for $13.25.

10. bendy travel pillow to help make long hours of sitting upright on a bus, plane, train, boat, or car ride a *whole* lot more comfortable. It's super adjustable, making it easy to customize for the support you need whether it's your back or your neck that tends to suffer on long trips. Some reviewers even love using it in bed or to help prevent back pain while driving!

model sleeping against car door thanks to bending travel pillow


Promising review: "I’m a flight attendant and I travel with this pillow all the time! In hotel rooms I use it to support my neck, on the plane I use it to support my lumbar area. When I drive it helps my lower back. I love that it has a liner that can be removed to wash. I bought my boyfriend one too and it goes everywhere we do!" —Debbie

Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in two sizes and seven colors).

11. Or a super soft, adjustable Trtl neck pillow designed to hold your head in a comfortable position when sleeping upright so you can stop waking up every time your head starts to nod on long trips.

model wearing a gray trtl pillow while sleeping on a plane


Promising review: "As a flight attendant for a major airline I have heard from passengers how much they like this pillow. So I ordered it...I LOVE IT. I lost my U-shaped memory foam pillow recently so I thought I would give this a try. It's smaller than a U-shape pillow and easy to pack up. Lots of fun colors to match your outfits. But most of all it works. It's cheap enough to give it a try...so just do it." —Franny

Ciera Velarde, an editor here at BuzzFeed, also loves this! She says: "I've used this for the past few years and swear by it! Before this, I always found traditional neck pillows uncomfortable and would end up ditching them halfway through the flight and getting frustrated. The Trtl pillow is adjustable — you wrap the pillow around your neck and secure it with Velcro, and if you find it's too loose, just make it a bit tighter! I've truly never slept better on a plane than with this pillow.

Get it from Amazon for $59.99 (available in four colors).

12. A pocket-sized, refillable travel perfume atomizer you simply press against the nozzle of your favorite perfume to pump it full of a travel-size portion of your signature scent! Now you won't have to find space to pack your larger perfume bottle and worry about it leaking the entire time.

atomizer pumping on a perfume bottle

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

Here's why BuzzFeed shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly loves this:

"^ That's me pumping my signature perfume into one of these travel atomizers I've been using for about a year. As the reviewer down below mentions, it's great to just throw in your purse on the reg for a fragrance re-up throughout the day. As you can see, it's about the size of my thumb and therefore takes up very little room. Plus! It's smaller than most rollerball travel fragrances you can pick up. This first one is working so well, that I just have the other three in storage. But if this one bites the dust this summer during travels, I'll be OK about digging into my stores to use one of the remaining three...especially at this price point."

Promising review: "I bought these due to traveling a lot for work and needing to cut down on the size of things in my carry-on bag for flying. I can bring four different perfumes now instead of one big one. They’re super easy to fill, haven’t leaked so far but I keep them in a sandwich baggie while traveling just in case. I would 100% buy them again." —Emily

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $8.99.

13. And a reusable TSA-friendly toiletries set so you can easily travel with your everyday products! They're easy to fill and clean, *and* the bag is super sturdy so you can rest assured that nothing's going to escape and turn your entire carry on into a gross soup of skin cream, body wash, and other sticky liquids. 

the set with bag and labels

Reviewer holding the smaller containers in their hand to show size

Check out what BuzzFeed shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly has to say about this:

"I own and love this set! It includes the zippered bag, four soft silicone bottles with leakproof caps, three compact jars, an two toothbrush caps. I've used this set on more than five trips and and for trips when I don't require body wash or shampoo (like to visit my parents) I use the extra room in the bag to shove in all my beauty products and daily contacts. Plus! It comes with labels that stay on the containers really well despite my thoroughly washing these containers between trips. I bought this set in spring 2019 and have, admittedly, lost a container or two. But the ones that I've held onto over dozens of trips have all held up well!"

Promising review: "This set is perfect for traveling. Was looking for a set to use for work (flight attendant). I use the bottles for lotion, body wash, hair oil, and shampoo. None of them have leaked yet and I love that it comes with a bag just in case. The only negative is that sometimes you need to unscrew the cap to puff the bottles back out after you squeeze them, but doesn’t really bother me. It’s a quick fix. Easy to fill/refill." —Kandice222 

Get it from Amazon for $14.79+ (available in a variety of colors and multipacks).

14. Or if you already have some travel-size containers without a bag, a clear TSA-approved toiletry bag is a worthy investment to place one more barrier between your liquid goods and everything else you stuffed into your personal bag. 

clear bag with toiletries inside


Promising review: "This is a game changer. I work in consulting and travel 50–75% of the time for my job. I've burned through many a quart baggie over the last few years and dozens of flights. It's nearly impossible to use the full volume of a quart baggie without breaking the zipper, and this toiletry bag allows me to bring about 150% of what I was able to fit in my crappy press-and-seal bags. I do not regret this purchase one bit, and have already recommended it to several friends and family members." —Ainsley H.

Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in 11 colors).

15. Pedialyte powder packets because it's easy to overexert yourself while traveling and end up feeling a little run down (or... uh... hungover). This powder is much tastier than electrolyte tablets, and it simply dilutes into your water to give you an extra boost when you could really use it — making it great to *always* have on hand when traveling.



Here's why BuzzFeed shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly loves this:

"~Trust me~ when I tell you that these will work in a pinch. I bought them a few years ago to take on a bachelorette party to New Orleans, and everyone in the Airbnb was grateful I did. Since then, I've always had them in my carry-on bag when going on a trip. They REALLY came in handy when I went to the Greek islands for 10 days with an apparent mission to eat every piece of seafood and cheese within sight while washing it down with jugs of wine. These are powder in small individual packets, so they're so easy to pack! And also you don't have to lug around a bottle of Gatorade to feel better."

Promising review: "I always have it with me. I travel a lot and I’m super busy so I will forget to drink enough water (I live in a VERY hot climate) so these drink packets save the day often." —ashley v

Get a 24-count from Amazon for $25.59 (also available as a pack of eight).

16. An airplane footrest — it loops right over your tray table so you've got the comfiest seat in the house, even if you (like me) sprung for quite literally the *cheapest* seat in the house.

reviewer on a plane, with feet in the sling-like flexible foam footrest

Promising review: "I’m a flight attendant and I travel A LOT! This is a game changer! Folds up super small in the cute bag they provide and really makes a difference when on those long flights. The people in front of me had no idea I was using it. Thanks for the great product!!!" —sarah rubin

Get it from Amazon for $21.99 (available in three colors).

17. And a hands-free (rotating!) phone mount that easily attaches to the seatback in front of you so you can comfortably watch a movie — even if the plane you're on doesn't have built-in TVs. This is great for when you wanna opt for the more budget-friendly airline!

side view of the phone mount on the tray table

front view of the phone hooked to the tray table

Promising review: "Very happy with this holder. It has multiple configurations. I originally got it for plane travel, but find myself using it every day at work, school, while cooking, and taking it with me to the gym. So happy I got it. Very sturdy, and great quality. I'll be getting a couple more for friends and family.

P.S. this is a must if you travel a lot!!!!!!" —Mila

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

18. A digital luggage scale because there's nothing worse than getting to the airport and finding out that you have to pay an overweight luggage fee *or* frantically move stuff out of your checked bag into your already-stuffed carry on while the entire line behind you watches in judgement.

hand held luggage scale


Promising review: "We use this in every trip to avoid paying for extra weight as we travel internationally quite often. I have tested in several ways and also always note the weight number in the airport. After several trips, I can say that the accuracy of it is right within 2 pounds. I have it for almost two years and I am still using the same batteries." —Cass Young

Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (available in eight colors).

19. A lightweight, compact, and high-speed portable charger so you can freely use the GPS and take all the photos and videos you want while traveling *without* the constant anxiety of being in an unfamiliar place with a dead phone.

Model holding the charger so you can see how slim it is

Model holding the charger in their hand to show the size

This highly-rated slim option holds about 2.25 charges for iPhone 12, 1.6 charges for Galaxy S20, and 1.2 charges for iPad Mini 5 and comes with a Micro USB cable (to charge the charger) and a travel pouch.

Promising review: "Very handy! I’m a flight attendant and travel a lot. This has come in handy on the airplane and in the airport. Perfect size and lightweight." —Rae

Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in two colors).

20. A packing list pad because even though you said "don't let me forget my sunglasses" to your partner, chances are you'll prob still wind up leaving them behind. This pad is really well thought out, giving you lots of space to write out everything you wanna make sure comes with you, organize it by category, and even note what should go in which bag if you want! When it's packed, check it off, and now you'll have a definitive list to look over one last time right before you head out the door.



It even has spots where you can write out where you're going and for how long, what the weather's gonna be like, if you have any special events planned, and more so you can make sure you're prepared for everything!

Promising review: "If you travel often for business or pleasure this is the list for you! It helps me to plan ahead for my trips and even has a cute little section to write in the number of days and weather for my destination! This list has become essential for every trip I take!" —Kpille1

Get it from Amazon for $7 (available in three colors/styles)

21. Some laundry soap sheets you can use to hand wash your clothes in the hotel sink if you've run out of outfits and can't imagine finishing out your trip without something clean to wear.

reviewer image of the orange laundry soap sheets

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 it from Amazon for $9.02.

22. A quick-to-use mini-steamer because you spent way too much time picking out perfect vacay outfits only for them to be wrinkled beyond recognition by the time you reach your destination. It heats up in about 90 seconds, and steams about five garments before needing to be refilled — making it perfect to quickly take care of those wrinkles you noticed at the *last minute* before heading out the door!

reviewer holding the mini steamer

a garment before and after being steamed

For more on why this particular one's great, read a BuzzFeed editor's mini steamer review

Promising review: "This steamer is very compact, easy to use, and well-made. I am a flight attendant so this has helped my life tremendously. I never even pick up an iron anymore. It works extremely well on my uniform and also just to get wrinkles out of my clothes while on layovers. The best part is that it doesn't take up too much space in my bag. I hate ironing with a passion, so I am so glad that I found this product!" —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $24.97.

23. A pack of Tide To Go stain removing pen to save the day and remove those unexpected stains that happen while you're exploring (and eating) your way through a fun (but potentially messy) trip.

white shoe with a red stain in a before pic, with the stain gone in the after pic

reviewer image of three orange pens in the packaging

Promising review: "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 $7.74.

24. A luggage-mounted cup caddy because trying to juggle your phone, coffee, water, luggage, and other airport essentials all at the same time while darting through the terminal makes things way more stressful than they need to be. This adjustable caddy is easy to attach to your suitcase's handles, and it has three convenient pockets perfect for cups, snacks, phones, passports, and other small items!

reviewer image of the cup holder attached to a suitcase with a Starbucks drink in it

Promising review: "This cup holder is perfect! It helps me a lot! Last time I took a plane with a suitcase and a cup of coffee, I dropped and spilled my drink everywhere when it was my turn to check my passport and ticket. It was a nightmare! This time, I bought this cup holder to do me a favor! I don't have to worry about where my cup and phone are! I can free my hands to do other things. I love it so much! Hope you love it too." —Philip

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in a variety of colors and patterns). 

25. And a leakproof, refillable collapsible water bottle you can roll right up so it's easy to store when it's empty! Now you won't have to spend money on disposable water bottles at the airport or on the go.

reviewer holding up the water bottle all rolled up

reviewer showing the water bottle full of water

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 it! 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 $31.95 (available in eight colors).

26. An electronics organizer because nothing is more stressful than digging through your bag to track down your various cables, adapters, and headphones that you SWEAR you packed.

The organizer open and closed


Promising review: "I am a flight attendant and I LOVE this organizer! I keep my iPad, passport, cords, paperwork, and hand sanitizer in here. It keeps me organized! Definitely recommend to anyone who travels and needs to keep organized." —amazonislife

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

27. A memory foam seat cushion designed to help relieve back pain and sciatica, promote good posture, and help reduce pressure on the tailbone — making it ideal for long hours in planes, trains, buses, and cars. 

the cushion on a drivers seat

the memory foam cushion on a car seat

Lots of reviewers who drive for a living rave about it. 

Promising review: "I drive a truck and suffer from sciatica. After a few days, I began to feel relief. I highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from sciatica." —lou jones

Get it from Amazon for $35.16+ (available in three colors).

28. An acupressure anti-nausea wristband if you tend to battle feeling ill on planes, boats, buses, or roller coasters. It applies pressure to the acupuncture point on your wrists, which some say helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Therefore, it can help you feel less anxious that you'll get sick while everyone else has a grand ol' time.

A reviewer wearing the gray anti-nausea wristband

Another angle of the wristband on the reviewer's wrist

Read more about travel-related motion sickness from The Cleveland Clinic.

Promising review: "My car sickness has been getting worse for years. I drive often with my family back to my hometown about five hours away. I put these on and was finally able to ride without constantly fighting nausea. They fit comfortably and I quickly forgot they were on. This feels like a simple, cost efficient fix." —Breya Porter

Get a set of two from Amazon for $8.53.

29. A portable, cordless electric razor — it's the perfect compact option to travel with. You can use it on both wet *and* dry skin, and the blades are specially designed to capture hair at all angles while preventing cuts and avoiding skin irritation.

Reviewer holding the small, portable, cordless electric razor

Promising review: "I love this thing so much! If you are in a rush or if you don’t want to shave your armpits or the hair on your armpits is too short to shave, this thing is perfect. I wear tank tops to work every day so I always make sure that my underarms are shaved and this has saved me so much razor burn. You can also use it on your bikini line, legs, and your arms! It’s super easy to clean, too, and I have taken it on multiple airplanes. Extremely happy with this purchase, I actually just got my coworker the same one!" —Kasey Mogavero

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

30. And finally, a sleep mask featuring contoured cups designed for reducing pressure on your eyes while blocking out the light pouring in through the window your seat neighbor *insists* on keeping open for the entire flight while you're trying to rest.

front of a sleep mask that blocks out light

back of a sleep mask with contoured cups that cradle eyes

Promising review: "I’ve been using this mask for over a week now, and I must say that it’s the best mask I’ve ever used yet. I have used a sleep mask every night for... probably the last nine years, and it’s the most comfortable one I’ve ever used. I love the strap. No Velcro to get caught in your hair! It’s got adjustable wide elastic that is soft and comfortable. Not the stiff stuff! The mask has nice memory foam in it which cushions your face when sleeping on your side. It has nice deep eye pockets so there is never any pressure on your eyes or eyelashes, which I love. Overall, this is the best mask I’ve ever had. It’s made so well; I feel pampered in it." —DePlume

Get it from Amazon for $21.99 (available in five colors).

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Read Entire Article