1. Kindle eReader
I just received a Kindle as a gift this past Christmas and it is arguably the best gift I could have asked for. As an avid reader, I used to try to haul enough books for the length of a trip with me or I would use the Kindle app for my iPad, but traditional books are heavy and my iPad does not have the best battery life for long travel days. For my Kindle, I got the simple, original Kindle that is lightweight, portable, and has amazing battery life. I love that I can use it day after day and only have to charge it about once a week at most. The one drawback is that the original Kindle does not have a back-lit screen so you do need a reading light in order to see the screen, but Amazon has the Kindle Paperwhite which solves that problem if you are anti-reading lamp. As a bonus, consider investing in an Amazon Kindle Unlimited.membership if you do a lot of reading because for $9.99 a month you can get unlimited access to over 1 million book titles. You can even try it risk-free for 30 days and I highly recommend it. Another option is to download the free Kindle Reading App on your existing tablet or smartphone, something I did until I got my Kindle for Christmas.
In my opinion, the most important item to have when traveling(besides your passport) is a decent set of headphones and yet they are one of the easiest things to lose track of. When I was in traveling through Europe during the Summer of 2014, I actually carried three sets of earbuds with me because I was so paranoid about them breaking or losing a pair. I have since upgraded to the Beats by Dre Studio On-Ear headphones for the comfort and the fact that they are completely noise-blocking so on overnight flights I can tune out the noise and get some sleep without having to put on music or anything. Whether you choose to go high-quality like Beats and Bose or go with the $5 ear buds from Walmart, every traveler needs a good set of headphones to carry with them everywhere.
3. Electronic Luggage Scale
Whether you are a chronic overpacker like me or a carry-on only, budget airline professional, we all come up against luggage weight limits that stress us out. Luckily, some technology genius decided to create handheld luggage scales to solve our problem! For me this is a must have for anyone that does any of traveling especially if they fly with airlines that have strict carry-on and checked bag weight regulations.
I cannot count the number of times I have had a long travel day and had to fight tooth and nail for the limited outlets in an airport terminal to charge my phone. Now I carry my portable power bank in my purse and can charge my phone anywhere as long as my bank is charged. The best part is that its about the size of a lipstick so its easy to carry around.
Long flights, train rides, and bus trips all make you crave one thing: comfort. As silly as those U-shaped neck pillows may look, they can save you a great deal of discomfort on long journeys and can make traveling in the middle seat of a crowded flight a little more enjoyable.
As a highly accident prone individual, I never leave home without at least a basic first aid kit and its something I think every traveler should carry with them. Even just a simple kit with some band-aids and gauze can come in handy, especially for blisters and small cuts. I am not a big fan of most pre-packaged first aid kits so I opted to piece together my own with things I need most, but this is definitely something to have on your travels, especially if you tend to be accident prone.
For long trips and even short trips, its really important to be able to find things in your suitcase or backpack and packing cubes provide the ideal way to organize your luggage. I personally own a variety of them in different sizes and love how easy they make it to find things in my bags and how useful they are for keeping my suitcase from devolving into chaos.
Finding the perfect suitcase or travel backpack is a never-ending quest that every traveler has trouble with. At this point, I have own almost 5 full-size suitcases and gone through 4 rolling carry-ons, 2 carry-on dufflebags, and now have a carry-on sized Osprey Porter 46 backpack(which I am in love with). When selecting your luggage its important to identify the things you absolutely need, such as wheels, lightweight, backpack straps, etc. and use those qualities to narrow your search before you then take the leap of faith on your most important purchase. I love both my backpack and my IT lightweight luggage(review here) and highly recommend either one, but its choosing luggage is a very personal decision as every traveler has unique needs.