If you’re already planning a vacation in 2024, you’re not alone – many of us are getting ready to hit the road or hop in a plane to a great destination. The wanderlust is strong, and 2024 is shaping up to be an epic year for travel. But with new destinations and experiences come new considerations. To ensure your journeys are smooth and stress-free, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 travel essentials you need to pack for the year ahead.
The Best Travel Essentials to Pack
Traveling is not only exhilarating, it can be worrisome especially if you’re not sure what to pack! Enter the best travel essentials for 2024. They’re lightweight, easy to put in your suitcase and make traveling all-around easier.
1. Compression Packing Cubes
This year brings a new way to pack everything in your suitcase with room for more: compression packing cubes. A similar concept to the extendable zipper on your suitcase, all you have to do is pack your clothing and other items in the compression cubes, zipper the main zipper, and then zip the second zipper to make the cube even smaller. Voila! You’ve got up to 40 percent more room thanks to these travel essentials.
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2. Multiuse Extension Cord and Power Strip
No matter where we travel, there are always times when we can’t seem to find enough outlets, especially when there are three of us in a room. I always keep an extension cord in my suitcase to alleviate the problem. For this year, however, the travel extension cord gets an upgrade thanks to its multiuse capabilities. Offering both electrical outlets and USB ports, everybody needs to add this to their travel essential list.
3. Neck Support Pillow
I have a few of the traditional types of neck pillows (the type with memory foam is lovely!), but many times, they’re a proverbial pain in the neck to carry around, especially through airports. Enter the neck and shoulder support. It is not a pillow; instead, it has hard plastic and a velcro scarf-style to support your neck. The material can be wrapped in anyway you like, and the way the plastic is molded makes for an ideal angle to rest your head and support your shoulders.
4. Weighted Eye Mask
Traditional satin eye masks can do in a pinch, but I prefer to block out all of the light. Thanks to eye-hugging weighted eye masks, they offer both comfort and zero light that gets through. Super comfortable, they have eye cups so your eyes don’t feel squished or pushed. Additionally, the small amount of weight and compression helps to relax your eyes and help with fatigue.
5. Carry-on Travel Backpack
A travel essential must, a good carry-on travel backpack with plenty of exterior pockets to hold all of your receipts, tickets, and even proof of identification is the way to go. Look for a backpack that has openings for your charging cords for easy usage and a mesh pocket for a water bottle.
6. Portable Hotel Room Door Lock
Safety is a top priority when you’re traveling, for certain. Sadly, we’ve all heard stories about hotel rooms being opened without permission. To stop that, especially when you’re in the room, consider bringing a personal door lock. Simple to use, it works efficiently and will give you peace of mind.
7. Luggage Travel Cup Holder
We never knew we needed a luggage handle travel cup holder until we used them. Super light and easy to pack in your travel bag or suitcase, it uses strong Velcro to wrap around your luggage handles and stay put there. With three pockets, you can actually have two beverages on the outside and use the center pocket for your phone or portable charger.
8. Digital Luggage Scale
We’ve seen comedy skits about the woes of weighing luggage at airports, and they’re so true they’re hilarious. Happily, you don’t have to guess, thanks to having a portable digital luggage scale. Great for checking in at your airport ticket counter, it works even better on the way home – no need to wonder how much your souvenirs weigh before you arrive at the airport.
9. Solar-Powered Earbuds
Solar-powered earbuds are the best thing since regular earbuds. The case uses either solar or artificial light to charge the earbuds, so you can keep it out during a flight, in the airport, or put it on the dash of your car for simple powering up.
10. Luggage Straps
We have well-loved suitcases that have never let us down. Having written that, there are times when we’ve expanded them to the max, so the worry of a busted zipper comes into play. Using luggage straps not only provides peace of mind but also makes finding suitcases at the airline terminal even easier. Additionally, if you have a travel bag or backpack, it’s a breeze to strap it to the top of your suitcase so you don’t have worry about it sliding off.