In a world where we want to save money on travel yet still have the best experience possible, these essential travel items under $20 will help make your travel easier, safer, and more enjoyable. We’ve compiled this list from our own experience with travel items that have made our life easier on the road, so we can fully attest to them. But we’ve also added in some new “essentials” that are now on our own personal list because we wish we had them while traveling the globe.
If you are like the majority of travelers around the world, you might have a blue/black rolling suitcase. If this is the case, then you will want to make sure that you have a way of telling them apart. While luggage tags are great and a recommended accessory, they can get ripped off during transport. So how do you distinguish your suitcase from the person next to you? Simple, colorful handle wraps. This easy and inexpensive accessory can save you time and headaches when trying to distinguish baggage apart.
Place a business card or your info on a handwritten piece of paper inside the main compartment of your bag. In the event that your luggage tag comes off, your handle wrap matches someone else’s or if your bag goes missing, there is a way to contact you!
Do you like to travel light? Then this iPhone case is an essential travel item that you will want to have! Having your phone on the road is a must, especially if you use your smartphone as a mini-computer, music player, GPS, and camera. What we love about this iPhone case is that it protects your phone while acting as a mini wallet. Now you can feel free without having to carry a heavy wallet or purse with you.
Having had splitters in the past, we know how useful they can be! From couples who want to both listen to an audio-guide while exploring or share a movie together on a train, to families with kids who all want to watch the same movie on the airplane without disturbing other passengers — splitters are more convenient than you realize! With so many inputs, this is an convenient little travel item that can make your experience more enjoyable…and save you some headaches on long trips with the kids!
Don’t underestimate the power of a good travel umbrella. Often people neglect to pack these, thinking that it isn’t really necessary. But a lightweight, compact, and functional travel umbrella can be used for more than just rain! I never would have thought that an umbrella was an essential travel item until traveling to China and Mexico. I too used to think that umbrellas were just for the rain, but our umbrella has also saved us from the intense sun. Waiting in line for a trip up the mountain with no shade around can drain you physically, and burn you to a crisp. So having the umbrella handy can really turn a bad day into a much better one!
Do you have someone in your family who loves to travel to different wine countries around the world? Then this is a perfect travel gift for them so they can bring some of that amazing wine home with them! Since you can’t bring the bottles with you on the airplane, you must pack them in your luggage — which can be a little scary! It would be so disappointing to travel all the way to Sonoma or Italy and not be able to bring wine home safely. Or worse, pack it in your bag only to have it break in transit. Even Liz has used these to bring a few bottles of Italian wine back from Tuscany – they are TSA approved and really do work! She arrived home in Atlanta with multiple bottles of Italian Chianti, direct from the vineyard packed safely in her luggage.
*Read about our Experience in the New Zealand Wine Country*
Sand, sand, sand — everywhere! We love the beach but hate the sand sticking to towels and blankets…and packing those large blankets with us is a total inconvenience. But we’ve found an absolute essential travel item if you or your family are planning a trip to the beach. This packable 100% parachute nylon blanket is one of the most convenient we have found! It’s a large size, 6 x 7 feet, and has the ability to anchor to the ground. The parachute material makes it so you can easily shake off ALL the sand quickly, and it packs down to a TINY size so it’s super easy to pack with you.
Our smartphones are everything to us now. More and more people are using their phone not only for talking or texting, but for doing some many other things…including listening to music. But sometimes you don’t want to use your earbuds & want to project the sound. This awesome little device will hook up to your iPhone or smartphone to boost your music volume – great for when you are traveling to the beach or in a hotel room. We love being able to have our music with us. Over the years, we’ve come to realize just how useful a device like this is – making it an essential travel item for us when we are on the road!
I can attest that this is a great watch for the traveler in the family, especially if you are dealing with different time zones frequently. It will display time zones all around the world & it’s easy to change the view. I personally use this watch and love it. This inexpensive watch is not only useful, but it is water resistant to up to 330 feet, so no need to take off while swimming or snorkeling. I love being able to easily check the time back home when I’m halfway around the world, so for me, this watch is an essential travel item.
A good travel bag is critical to any trip – especially if you are heading out on an around the world adventure. A bag like this is great because it packs up super small, so you can put it inside other bags. Bring it on your trip to use it for a secondary / day time travel bag when you are out exploring, or carry it in your secondary bag and pull it out as a back-up — for those times when you are out shopping at the markets and buy a little more than you expected. We both love our collapsible bags & the extra convenience. This type of bag can be used in so many different ways that it makes it an essential travel item for all kinds of travelers.