1. Solid Shampoo/Face/Body Wash Bar - Gone are the days of worrying about air travel spills or your liquid allotment. I've been loving Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Co. and their organic Neem & Tea Tree Body & Hair Shampoo ($8.65).
2. A Good Travel Pillow - My REI Self-Inflating Travel Pillow ($19.50) is soft and velvety, rolls up small for easy packing, and has silicone strips on the back to keep it from slipping down (great for window-seat leaning)! It's nice that you can adjust how inflated it is, so your neck doesn't get stiff.
3. BB Cream/Sunscreen Under 3oz - It's handy to have double-duty beauty products for packing light, getting ready in a hostel, and having fewer liquid products to be hassled about. Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream ($13) doubles as SPF 20 sunscreen and a nice light foundation.
4. A Good Travel Purse - Nobody has dared to try to pickpocket or mug me, possibly because they are aware of the security that comes with my Travelon Crossbody Shoulder Bag ($40). It has 3 locking compartments, slash-proof construction, cut-proof shoulder strap, and RFID-blocking card and passport slots. Plus it's water-resistant (perfect for my time in London), has a good amount of pockets to stay organized, and looks pretty chic for a travel purse!
5. Trusted Traveler Memberships - If you travel frequently, these programs are well worth looking into. Basically, you can be pre-approved for clearance to get through border control faster (as an American, being able to use the UK/EU ePassport gates is a dream come true). All it takes is an application, an interview, and a fee. I have memberships with the US ($100, good for 5 years) and UK (£70, good for 1 year).
6. Selfie Stick - Don't judge, it's an incredibly helpful accessory for solo travel! I have short T-rex arms, and don't like handing my iPhone to strangers that may not speak English in touristy areas. I also don't have faith in their photography skills. A sturdy bluetooth Selfie Stick ($13) is a more reliable solution.
7. A Good Hat - Dry shampoo is great, but I think hats are better. They make you look accessorized and styled with even less effort. Enjoy a bit more sleep, or more time out enjoying your destination (and looking foxy in your photos). A simple Wool Hat ($22) makes you feel like Carmen SanDiego while you tour the world.
8. Kindle - I'm a big fan of packing lots of books while keeping my purse light with my Kindle Paperwhite ($119). It has great battery life and the adjustable back light is brilliant for any lighting situation, from bright beaches to dark hostel bunks. I'm also a fan of syncing my Kindle with my home library account to "check out" e-books for free, from anywhere!
9. Eye Mask & Ear Plugs - I love to sleep. I don't love when travel noises keep me from getting a few extra hours of precious rest – you need maximum energy for adventures! Drown out crying babies and let your neighbors know that you don't feel like chatting by going to your quiet dark place! I love my Sloth Sleep Mask ($24) from Appendage Accessories on Etsy.
10. Universal Outlet Adapter - With two USB charging ports, 1 standard plug outlet, and the ability to plug in throughout the US, EU, UK, and Australia my FosPower FUSE WorldWide International Adapter ($11.95) is one of my favorite and most essential travel gadgets. I've used it in 8 countries with no issues, and love the peace of mind that I won't find myself lost in the world with a dead phone.
xox - Erin