27 Travel Accessories You Need by Travel Editors

(Travel + Leisure) With a trip on the horizon, there are particular moments travelers tend to look forward to most: the first night’s sleep on those floofy hotel pillows, that impossible-to-get dinner reservation you scored, or the glowy sunset view that you’re absolutely armed to capture. But getting there? Not so much.

As travel editors, we spend time in that dull in-between — on planes, in airports, in a last-minute packing frenzy, and the like — so often that we’ve been forced to seek out the things that make those underwhelming travel moments more of a pleasure, and less of a pain.

At the airport, take comfort in knowing your boarding pass and travel documents are all in one sleek travel wallet and that your suitcase is practically indestructible. On the flight, arm yourself with a portable tablet, a stylish scarf that could double as a plane blanket, and an impeccably good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. After checking in, light a comforting candle, unpack in seconds thanks to your packing cubes, and treat your jet-lagged eyes to a revitalizing session a la Chanel. Experience, upgraded.

Here are our editors’ picks for the travel products that are actually worth your money.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise-cancelling Headphones

"Sony's newest over-ear headphones are so impressively good. They've made the latest model lighter and more comfortable to wear and increased the battery life to a whopping 30 hours. But above all, Sony focused on sound, and, wow, it is delightfully immersive to listen to music with these on. The noise-cancelling is better than ever before, and if you are forced to return to the outside world, lightly pressing on the right ear with your hand will activate an external microphone, allowing you to hear announcements clearly or answer a question without having to lift a cup." — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Revitalizer

“It's rare for me to get a solid eight hours these days (chalk it up to being the mother of a toddler AND a frequent traveler.) Which is why I love serum from Chanel. It's packed with three vitamins to help reduce dark circles and puffiness. I first apply the serum, then wear these cool eye patches with the Chanel logo to help the formula sink in. They make me feel glamorous, whether I'm doing a DIY treatment at home or taking a red eye to Buenos Aires!” — Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-chief

Travel Wallet

"I will evangelize to anyone who’ll listen about my travel wallet. It’s got neat little labeled slots for keeping all my travel documents organized, and it’s this soft, buttery leather that makes me feel like a Fancy Lady every time I carry it — a nice, albeit fleeting, sensation when you’re sardined into a middle seat in economy. It’s roomy enough to carry a phone and a backup battery, and it even doubles as a clutch for dressy events." — Lila Battis, Food & Travel Editor

Brooks Brothers Leather Tie Case

"Sadly, I have a tendency to just cram my ties into whatever nook or cranny is left in my suitcase when I’m headed out on a trip that requires more formal attire. When I get to the hotel I usually pay to have it pressed, and it adds up. Instead, just invest in a proper leather tie case, like this timeless one from Brooks Brothers, and really you’ll be saving yourself money in pressing fees down the road." — Tanner Saunders, Associate Digital Editor

Marvis Toothpaste

“I’m a recent convert to fancy travel toiletries: nice shampoo, facial mists, and yes, even this Italian toothpaste which I like mostly because of its pretty label. Stocking my Dopp kit with products I wouldn't otherwise buy makes every trip feel a little indulgent and vacationy, even if my destination isn’t all that glamorous and my journey turns out hellish.” — Lila Battis, Food & Travel Editor

Tory Burch Far & Away Square Scarf

"I always bring a chic scarf with me when I travel, and I love the eye-popping colors in this model by Tory Burch. It keeps me warm if the air gets cool at night during a beach trip or a spring city getaway. It also comes in handy on the plane when the air conditioning is blasting!" — Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-chief

Baracuta G9 Harrington Jacket

"Worn by celebrities, from James Dean to Nick Jonas, the Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket is the luxe piece of outerwear to bring on the plane. I particularly love the classic black version. Most importantly, it’s comfortable, which is what you want when you’re 30,000 feet in the air." — Tanner Saunders, Associate Digital Editor

Molton Brown Travel Bath Set

“Two hotels I've stayed at in recent months have used Molton Brown toiletries, and they smell so amazing I've become disappointed when I check in and they're not waiting for me. The best solution? Bring your own, and suddenly even your next Airbnb will feel like a top-notch hotel. And if you happen to be staying in a place with a great bathtub (https://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/architecture-design/best-bathrooms), the Japanese Orange body wash will fill the tub with aromatic bubbles and make the whole room smell like a garden. But don't take my word for it — grab a set that lets you find a favorite scent of your own.” — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

Lowa Tibet Backpacking Boots

“Every time I go hiking, I feel renewed gratefulness for these incredible boots. I give them the highest marks for comfort, traction, ankle support, water resistance, and aesthetic. I've worn them everywhere from the Andes to Crete to the streets of New York City, and since it appears that they will last forever, I expect them to carry me to many more destinations in the years to come.” – Jesse Ashlock, Executive Editor

Apple Airpods

"AirPods do, in fact, stay in your ears — which means one less thing to lose when deplaning." — Devin Traineau, Associate Photo Editor

Frye Logan Overnight Duffle Bag

“I prefer a leather duffel to a rolling carry-on — it makes me pack less, I can fit in under the seat if overhead storage gets tight, and it's easier to carry around if I'm in the mood to wander, wherever I am. A great leather duffel is rarely (never?) cheap, but a Frye bag will last years.” — Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

Stow Leather Tech Case

"Packing and toting around your travel essentials can be some of the most mundane parts of taking a trip. But London-based luxury brand Stow has set out to change that with colorful, beautifully crafted storage pieces. A lifelong adventurer herself, founder Carol Lovell designs each case, pouch, and bag with meticulous intention. I love the tech cases, which are inspired by the leather writing case she carried along on a gap year trip through Australia. You can also choose from an array of personalization options — from hand-painted art to embossed replicas of your own handwriting — that make Stow's pieces super giftable." — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Tumeric Face Oil ​​​​​​​

"Instead of lugging my entire skincare routine with me, I just pack this little guy. I have sensitive skin that easily dries up whenever I'm traveling, but this facial oil helps keep the flakes at bay. And much praise to this TSA-approved mini bottle." — Kim Duong, Digital Assistant Editor

Packing Cubes

“In my pre–packing cube life, it seemed sort of frivolous to spend money on pouches to pack my clothes into before proceeding to pack them into my suitcase. But while it may look like you're just paying for extra fabric, you're actually getting more space in your luggage, Marie Kondo–level organization, and the ability to unpack at your hotel in mere seconds. I love using them with less structured bags, so I can actually locate my socks in the vortex of chaos that is often my backpack by day two of a weekend trip.” — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket ​​​​​​​

"I invested in this lightweight, packable rain jacket after getting soaked on a rainy hike up Vancouver’s Grouse Grind a few years ago. It folds up compactly, will last forever, and looks smart — and I haven't had to buy a throwaway emergency umbrella or plastic poncho during a vacation since." — Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor

ZIIP Beauty Nanocurrent Facial Device ​​​​​​​

"I love a good facial — here in New York, I’m especially partial to the treatments at Heydey Tribeca — but when I travel, I don’t often have the time or budget to indulge. Enter: ZIIP, a handheld facial nanocurrent device that offers the results of an hour-long micro-current facial in one 12-minute session. The innovative gadget uses micro and nano currents to tighten, lift, and smooth, allowing me to get that just-back-from-the-spa glow anywhere, anytime. And sure, it’s pricey, but if it saves me a lifetime of over-priced treatments at fancy hotel spas, I say it’s worth the investment." — Siobhan Reid, Associate Editor

Snuggs Sheepskin Slippers

“I love to travel, but I also like to bring along a small reminder of the comforts of home. These sheepskin slippers roll up pretty easily and can be stashed in a suitcase. (You can also stuff socks or other small items in them). It's soothing to have something warm between your bare feet and a tile floor, particularly when you're visiting cooler climes.” — Peter Terzian, Articles Editor

Blue Block Optical Glasses

"I'm a big evangelist for blue-light-blocking glasses — designed to make looking at screens all day a bit easier — and I find they're a godsend in the strange, harsh, constantly shifting light environment of an airplane. Obviously, the only way to get through a long flight is to watch a bunch of movies; even if you don't, everyone around you will be. The lights go on, they go off, they go on again. You fly through time zones and people open their windows to sudden, blinding daylight. The button on the screen thingy never works, so you can't turn the brightness down. These glasses help me get through it all while minimizing headaches and strain on my eyes." — Hannah Walhout, Assistant Editor

Gucci Ace Sneaker

"Hot take: It's more worth it to spend big on sneakers than designer heels. While those Louboutin pumps will sit in your closet only to be worn a handful of times, you'll get your money's worth out of a fancy pair of sneakers. Yes, it doesn't hurt that celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift have been seen wearing Gucci sneakers — but on a practical level, these make a statement without being flashy and can be dressed up or down (and we all know when packing, versatility is key). Plus, they're made of durable leather and are something designer heels will never be: cushioned and comfortable." — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

Tumi Super Léger International Carry-on ​​​​​​​

"I've tried and tested all sorts of carry-on luggage, but this is my favorite because of the durable yet lightweight nylon material. It's indestructible when it comes to coffee spills, rain, and the general wear and tear of the baggage carousel." — Jacqueline Gifford, Travel Director

Hand Cream

"Ever since a photographer gifted me this Claus Porto Favorito hand cream, I always have it in my travel bag. It keeps my hands extra soft and has a great, subtle scent." — Scott Hall, Photo Director

Luxurious Travel Candle

"This Diptyque candle makes even the most basic hotel room feel like home. It has notes of rose and blackcurrant and releases a warm, musky scent that creates instant ambiance. Bonus: it also makes my luggage smell great!" — Siobhan Reid, Associate Editor

iS Clinical Active Serum

"If, like me, you tend to break out while traveling, this pricey serum is worth the splurge: With key ingredients that include salicylic acid and herbal extracts, it's clinically proven to smooth the skin's texture while reducing redness and acne. I apply it like a spot treatment and smooth it over the rest of my face for good measure. It seems I'm not alone: iS Clinical's Active Serum has more than 100 five-star reviews on dermstore.com, where people are calling it a 'life-saver,' 'liquid gold,' and a 'must-have for acne sufferers.'" — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

Unbound Merino Black V-neck T-shirt ​​​​​​​

"When you're trying to fit all the clothes you want to take on a trip in a single carry-on, it's important to have basic pieces you can wear and re-wear. Unbound Merino is just starting with women's clothing, and its V-neck tee is stylish and odor resistant — meaning you can wear it a few times on a trip without washing it." — Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

Microsoft Surface Go ​​​​​​​

"Whether you're someone who's often traveling for business or often creating for fun, Microsoft’s most portable tablet is the ultimate tech companion. It’s the lightest and smallest of the Surface models, weighing barely over a pound, but this doesn’t come at the cost of performance or battery life. You can get up to nine hours of unplugged use out of a single charge. It’s also got all the features you’ve come to expect from a top-of-the-line tablet: an intuitive touchscreen; crisp, bright resolution; and an adjustable kickstand for your tray-table binge-watching pleasure. And the design team put a ton of thought into making it feel like you're using a laptop — for example, the keys have the same amount of drop as you'd feel on a desktop keyboard, so you can avoid that weird adjustment period you sometimes get when typing on a portable device." — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

Louis Vuitton Upper Case Loafer ​​​​​​​

"Investing in a quality pair of black loafers is always a good thing. They can last for years. And this pair is perfect for walking the streets of Paris, New York, Tokyo — any major city, day to night." — Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-chief

Gold Volt Link Sunglass Safeties ​​​​​​​

"If you’re going to splurge on sunglasses, you should also invest in some high quality sunglass safeties — like this gold link chain version from Miansai — to make sure you don’t lose them. I’ll be the first to admit that me and sunglasses aren’t always a great team, but this chain will keep them secure while serving as a stylish accessory on your next vacation." — Tanner Saunders, Associate Digital Editor

 

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