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The 7 best travel accessories you need in 2023

Oct 19, 2022 by Thea Engst

As Black Friday approaches, there’s no shortage of cool travel accessories that are about to be marked down nationwide. All of these exciting products promise to make your on-the-go experience less stressful, more organized, and even more entertaining. The question is: From this huge selection, which are the best travel accessories of 2023? Lucky for you, we’re a group of experienced globetrotters who’ve had lots of travel successes and failures. We’re using that knowledge to round up our favorite accessories for travel and to tell you what we love and why we recommend them for your next trip.

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Away travel bags

1. The Carry-On suitcase by Away

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If you’re traveling to Europe and don’t want to check a bag, Away is a hard-to-beat brand, and it has been since it hit the market. We love all of their products, but their Carry-On has to be one of the best travel accessories for 2023. It’s no secret that many people are doing their best to avoid checking luggage right now. Away’s Carry-On is a great option for a hefty, fashionable, and efficient bag. It fits in most overhead storage bins and has a hardshell exterior and 360-degree turning wheels.

What do we love most about this durable travel accessory? If you need to check it last minute, you don’t need to worry about those fragile souvenirs breaking, thanks to its hardshell exterior. Plus, you can add a USB charger for $20 and never worry about your electronic travel accessories dying en route to your next adventure. That’s right, this bag can charge a tablet, phone, and more—making it a useful travel accessory in more than ways than one. “It’s the best bag, hands down,” says staffer Josh.

Read more about our staff’s favorite travel accessory gifts→

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person holding kindle

2. Kindle Scribe

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Speaking of tech and travel, this is one of our top travel accessories for anyone who likes to read, write, or doodle. Like the Kindles before it, the Scribe has a glare-free screen, making reading easier on your eyes. But we love the Scribe above others like it because you can also use this large-screen tablet (the largest Kindle screen yet) as a notebook. That means you can draw, make lists, and, if you’re anything like us, make notes as you read. If you’ve booked a long-haul flight to, say, Egypt or Australia, this gadget will help you pass the time.

The Scribe is a unique travel accessory that not only provides you with two different forms of entertainment while you’re on the road, it serves as a useful travel accessory should you need to write any information down. All of this in a sleek tablet that’s easily packed and carried, need we say more about why this is one of the best accessories for traveling?

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anti-theft bag

3. Anti-theft bags

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These must-have travel accessories aren’t exactly new on anyone’s shopping list. Travel belts are sleek, inexpensive, small fanny packs that go under your clothes to keep valuables, like cash, credit cards, and passports, close by. Travel and safety experts have recommended them to travelers for years because, while pick-pockets exist all over the world, they often target areas that are frequented by distracted visitors. For that reason, it never hurts to have a travel belt (a.k.a. a money belt) or any kind of anti-theft bag.

We love brands like Travelon, who make some of the best accessories for travel with slash-resistant material in a variety of bag styles. Travelon keeps your valuables protected, even in the most unlikely of situations. Remember: It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is why we have to put anti-theft bags on our best travel accessories list.

Get more tips on traveling safely today →

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Traveler holding Nalgene

4. Nalgene bottles

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Nalgene makes BPA-free, refillable water bottles that are not only tough as nails (just try to break one), but come in a variety of sizes (10 to 64 ounces) with leak-proof caps. That means you can hydrate all day long without worrying about harmful chemicals seeping from the bottle into your water. And of course, it won’t spill in your bag, which is reassuring too.

Nalgene lands on our list of the best travel accessories for more than all that, though—we teamed up with Nalgene to make our very own EF Education First branded bottles. Want to wear your love for EF on your water bottle and do something nice for the planet? Pack your Nalgene whenever you’re on the go, especially if you’re embarking on a hot-weather or summertime tour.

Learn more about eco-friendly travel essentials →

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packing cubes

5. Packing cubes

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It seems like everyone is talking about these luggage-organizing space savers. These must-have travel accessories come in a variety of sizes and are ideal for rolling up your clothes to pack tightly, optimizing your luggage space. Our favorite brand is BAGGU. The company’s mission is one of sustainability. BAGGU even has an entire team devoted to continuously addressing sustainable production practices for its business. “For much of BAGGU's history, our sustainability efforts focused on the elimination and minimization of waste in our operations and production processes,” a company spokesperson says on BAGGU's website. “As we've grown, we've worked to commit greater resources to operating sustainably, and to addressing sustainability more holistically.”

BAGGU produces as little waste as possible while creating long-lasting products. Plus, have you seen those designs? We love the fun, colorful, and unique patterns, which are easy on the eyes and are also useful for keeping track of what’s in each cube. (Think: dirty laundry in the rainbow cube, clean shirts in the mushroom cube.) In short, packing cubes are a must, and BAGGU is a great company to support to get some of the best travel accessories available.

Hot tip: Packing cubes are great for longer trips, like multi-country, two-week-long tours, or even lengthier trips. You’re going to be so glad you have them when you’re heading home, too—more room for souvenirs!

Learn more eco-friendly travel tips here →

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waterfall in iceland

6. Portable rain hoods

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You read that right: These rain hoods come without an attached jacket. They’re unique travel accessories, but trust us when we say you’ll be happy you have one. Roll up your rain hood and keep it in your bag when you’re out exploring. Our favorite brand is Hood To Go, whose hoods come with straps to keep them in place under coats and shirts.

Portable rain hoods are particularly great when visiting rainforests in countries such as Costa Rica, or places with high precipitation rates, like Ireland. With a portable rain hood, you’re never truly caught in the rain, no matter what you’re wearing. Holiday shopping tip: We think these hoods make great gifts for travel enthusiasts. Not many people think to buy one when preparing for their next trip, but they sure are glad to have one.

Learn more ways to prepare for the unexpected when you’re on the go →

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neck pillow

7. Trtl Travel Pillow

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Lots of people have a neck pillow on their list of must-have travel accessories, but is yours healthy for your neck, comfortable, and easily packable? If not, you have to try Trtl Travel Pillows. Unlike traditional U-shaped travel pillows, the Trtl wraps around your neck and has a plastic support system encased in the soft material so your head can rest comfortably with support from your shoulder.

This positioning keeps your neck from bending into that harsh angle many of us fall victim to when we fall asleep while sitting upright. (It's the same awkward angle we use when trying to pin our thin cellphones between our ear and shoulder.) The Trtl keeps your head from snapping up when it loses the support of the pillow, sweatshirt, friend’s shoulder—whatever you’re using to sleep on. We love it for any trips with lots of train rides, but at the end of the day, it’s a travel accessory we never leave at home. (You never know when you might need a nap!) It's soft, comfortable, flat, and packable. Oh, and did we mention it’s machine-washable and hypoallergenic, too?

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About the author | Thea Engst
Thea fell in love with travel as soon as she arrived in Venice, Italy on a family trip as a child. Since then, she has made having adventures around the world a priority, with trips like retracing her grandfather’s steps through WWII, climbing glaciers in Alaska, and horseback riding in Iceland. Thea is a nomad at heart, always planning the next trip. In her off-time she is working on a novel inspired by the woman she was named after, mixing cocktails, and watching any procedural crime show she can find.

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