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Award-winning travel accessories you can’t live without — starting at $8

Plus: Smart packing tips to make your 12-hour flight or weekend road trip much easier.
An unrecognizable female tourist packing her suitcase in a hotel room after a much needed vacation.
FreshSplash / Getty Images

Spring is finally here, which means summer is right around the corner, making it the time to book a flight or two and get some well-deserved R&R. But like they say, getting there is half the fun and who wouldn't love a gadget or two to make traveling easier, more comfortable and less stressful?

Whether it's a makeup bag that will help you stay organized or a neck pillow that will make that 12-hour flight fly by, the tiniest of things can truly make a difference.

Luckily for you, as part of Shop TODAY's 2024 Travel Gear Awards, our team tested out all the latest and greatest travel accessories. Keep scrolling to check out our favorite winners, plus some other editor-loved accessories.

Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards 2024 winners | Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards 2023 winners | Other travel accessories we recommend | How we chose | Has your product been featured?

Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards 2024 winners

Mark & Graham Small Travel Jewelry Case

Award: Best jewelry organizer | Quality: 3/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4/5

From sweaters to pillows, Mark & Graham are known for their personalized goods and we couldn't help but to be intrigued by this jewelry case. Not only did it pass our shake test with flying colors by everything staying in place, it makes for a great gift to anyone in your life who has the travel bug.

Gonex Extensible Packing Cubes

Award: Best packing cubes | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 3.6/5

If you're not already obsessed with packing cubes, let us be the first to introduce you to your new go-to travel accessory. Made with a compressive material, these fit more than you'd initially think and make packing and un-packing an organized breeze.

Bagsmart Bonchemin The Space Saver Toiletry Bag

Award: Best budget toiletry bag | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.6/5

Not only does this toiletry bag have four full-sized zipper compartments and straps for lipsticks or makeup brushes, it comes with a handy hook that can be hung over the door, shower or towel rack. Available in 11 various colors and fun patterns, our testers loved the convenience this case offered all while not costing an arm and leg.

Cotopaxi Nido Accessory Bag

Award: Best overall toiletry bag | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.8/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.9/5

Associate editor Sierra Hoeger has used this bag for years has no plans to switch. “There are pockets within pockets, yet it took up about a third of my personal item. I didn’t feel like I had to stuff my items into this toiletry bag, whereas with other ones I usually had to leave larger items like a brush and toothpaste out.” Sign us up!

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack (1L)

Award: Best belt bag | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

Many of our editors are ride-or-die Patagonia fans and this small but mighty hip pack might just also make you one. Made with the brands durable Black Hole recycled nylon ripstop material, not only is it weather-resistant, it holds way more than you'd ever think. Better yet, it also packs into itself, making it super compact when it's not in use.

Speakeasy Travel Adventurous Kate Modern Bohemia Scarf

Award: Best 2-in-1 accessory | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 3.9/5

We know what you might be thinking, a travel scarf? Unlike any scarf you've ever seen, this one is equipped with a secret compartment that can hold anything valuable. Made with hidden, self-locking zippers, our testers loved this handy 2-in-1 accessory.

Veger Portable Wall Plug Charger With Built-In Cables

Award: Best portable charger | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Say goodbye to dead batteries thanks to this portable charger from Veger. It passed all our testing with flying colors by fully charging an iPhone in three hours with a spare 61% left. With four outputs including ports for USB and USB-C, this charger can even attach directly to an outlet for seamless charging.

Apple AirTag

Award: Best tech for checked bags | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

Admittedly, we’ve been a bit skeptical of AirTags, which are designed to be put in your luggage, so if the luggage gets lost, you can track it. But after three staffers gave it a perfect five-star rating, we knew the hype was real.

“I’ve been nervous about checking bags after hearing horror stories the past few months so having an AirTag in my suitcase helped calm my nerves since I was able to check on it mid-flight (thanks to in-flight Wi-Fi) to ensure that it was traveling with me,” shares associate editor Kamari Stewart, who slipped this AirTag in her suitcase on a recent flight to Aruba.

Etekcity EL11 Luggage Scale

Award: Best flight essential | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 4.9/5 | Overall score: 4.8/5

Serial overpackers know the pain of having an overweight bag and having to transfer items from their checked bag to a carry-on or personal item in the middle of the airport.

Partnerships associate Klay Drageset is one of those people and says this product has solved all of her issues. “I even bring it on my trips with me because it’s so small and portable! I typically somehow end up with more items than I brought on the trip, so bringing this device wherever I go has saved me the $150 overweight bag charges many times,” she says.

Twelve South AirFly Pro

Award: Best in-flight must-have | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.8/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.7/5

Refuse to use the headphones provided during a flight but want to take advantage of in-flight entertainment? Introducing the AirFly, which provides a way to use your personal headphones on every flight here on out. Simply plug the device into the headphone port and connect your earbuds via Bluetooth and stream away!

“I like that the AirFly is compact and that the pairing process is very straightforward,” says senior partnerships editor Francesca Cocchi Zabloudil, who recently flew with this adaptor. “Overall, I think this product is great for a super specific purpose or for people who have trouble with the Bluetooth pairing process across products from different brands.”

Shop TODAY readers can get 25% off the AirFly Pro on the brand's site with code TODAY through April 25.

Tessan International Power Adapter with 4 USB Ports

Award: Best adapter for international travel | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 5/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 5/5

With different countries using different plugs, it can be difficult to prepare what adapters you may need, especially if you're traveling to several places in one trip. This adapter covers over 150 countries and has labels corresponding with each, making it easy to adjust and use no matter where you are.

Travelrest All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow

Award: Best travel pillow | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 3/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4/5

Whether traveling by car, plane or train, we've all experienced the pain that comes with sleeping in an upright position. This award-winning travel pillow straps to your seat so that you don't have to worry about holding it with your hands or contorting your neck to get comfortable. The best part? It deflates when you're done so that you can pack it right back up at the end of the ride.

Brita Premium Filtering Bottle (26 oz.)

Award: Best budget water bottle | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 4/5 | Overall score: 4.3/5

It can be difficult to avoid tap water while traveling, so skip the worrying and drink safely with this 26-ounce Brita bottle that's worth every penny. Customers rave about the sleek design and the quality of the bottle, calling it "revolutionary" and "the perfect fix" for drinking tap while traveling.

Stanley IceFlow Bottle 

Award: Best insulated water bottle | Quality: 4/5 | Value: 4/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall: 4.3/5

For the water bottle obsessed, we found the perfect lightweight and leakproof travel bottle around. Never worry about your belongings getting wet or lugging around a clunky bottle again. Plus, it'll keep your water cold throughout your travels thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation.

Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards 2023 winners

Zoppen RFID-Blocking Passport Wallet

Award: Best travel wallet

Skip the stress of having to dig through your entire bag when searching for your passport, thanks to this designated holder. commerce analytics manager Amanda Smith likes this wallet because it holds everything she needs and is easy to manage.

“When you’re traveling, you have to take out your drivers license and passport. So, many wallets and passport holders make it really hard to take the ID out. The easy access makes this one less thing to worry about during a stressful trip.”

Native Union Universal Belt Cable

Award: Best do-it-all charging cable

Each staffer who tried this charger raved about how sturdy and useful it is. Designed to charge several devices with just one wire, it’s perfect for saving valuable space in your carry-on. “I can tell it would be pretty good for traveling because the cord is long and also comes with a little belt to help keep it wrapped up, which is super helpful when you’re traveling with an endless amount of cords,” shares media coordinator Lauren Biggerstaff.

Moft Snap Stand Power Set

Award: Best portable charger

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of forgetting one of the many chargers required by various devices while on a trip! This two-in-one power set resolves that issue, charging both iPhones and AirPods on the go. This MagSafe adaptable case even includes room to store cards and IDs, further replacing a cardholder. Additional perk: It can even serve as a phone stand, securing your phone so you can use it to stream movies while waiting at your gate.

Urbanista Phoenix Solar Powered Earbuds

Award: Best buzzworthy tech

Both staffers who tried these headphones were enamored with its ability to be charged via natural or artificial light. (Don't worry, you can also charge it through an outlet, if you prefer.) According to the brand, a full charge covers eight hours of continuous playback and 34 hours of battery reserve in the case.

"I’ve never had noise canceling headphones and the sound quality really is impressive (with transparency mode for when I’m walking outside)," says assistant partnerships editor Lauren Witonsky.

Other travel accessories we recommend

riemot Luggage Travel Cup

If you’re like us and like to travel with a coffee in one hand, a wallet in the other and a phone in our back pocket, this two-cup travel caddy is for you.

Made of a sturdy-feeling fabric, this cup holder easily slides onto the handle of your luggage, and when not in use, it folds up for easy stowing. It has three pockets: two holders in the front that can hold up to a 32-ounce water bottle (according to one reviewer, though it’s marketed to be able to hold only up to 24), and a back pocket that can hold smaller personal items like your phone.

The material, while sturdy, is also stretchy enough to be able to fit an array of luggage handle sizes. Plus, it’s machine-washable (always a plus).

Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest

It feels like there’s never enough room for our limbs anymore when we travel via airplane. Good luck finding a position that’s truly comfortable in an airplane seat. But while we can’t guarantee this “foot hammock” will solve all issues of discomfort when flying, dozens of reviewers say it helps.

“Not everyone can afford a first class airline ticket, but [this] is a game changer. It’s lightweight, foldable in a very handy storage bag, easy for me to put on my backpack and carry around. All you have to do is slip it onto the tray table, and the person seated in front of you may not even notice,” one Amazon reviewer reported, adding that they also use it while working from home. Just note that, if you have a lot of stuff under the seat in front of you, it may not work, others added.

The footrest, which has adjustable straps, is made of 100% memory foam and comes with a convenient carrying case.

EO Sanitizing Wipes

Whether taking one long flight or multiple flights in 24 hours, these single-use sanitizing wipes are a must-have for disinfecting items. They also work great when it comes to cleaning messy hands after you attempt to eat that hastily-packed sandwich. Amazon sells them in packs of six.

Ostrich Pillow Eye Mask

Getting a night of good sleep, whether in the form of a nap on a plane or a whole night in a new hotel room, can be a challenge. The Ostrich Pillow eye mask makes it a bit easier. It adapts to your face while blocking out all light — so you can go ahead and sleep deeply wherever you are.

One Amazon reviewer, who likes the mask, shared the following feedback: “Unless you sleep very still, I don’t think it works really well in bed. However, I used it on a long plane ride and it was perfect since you sleep in a seated position, [and] it stayed on the whole flight.”

Royce Leather Bound Journal

Keep busy on a long flight by writing or doodling in this classic leather-bound journal. Available in six unique shades, this pebble-grain leather notebook is so chic that'll leave all your fellow travelers envious. You can even personalize this notebook by adding your initials at no additional cost.

Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700

It’s pricey, but with a 20-hour battery life and 10 different noise-reduction levels, Bose’s Noise-Cancelling Headphones will get you almost anywhere you need to go while softening every type of background noise available.

Everywhere Belt Bag 1L

Hand sanitizer, wipes, phone, hotel card—stash them all in an easily accessible spot thanks to the TikTok-famed Everywhere Belt Bag, a Shop TODAY favorite (that's often sold out!). The only thing it can't do is hold your water bottle.

Osprey Farpoint 40

We love a bag with a lifetime warranty, and the Osprey Farpoint offers that plus is roomy enough to hold all your essential carry-on gear. It's sturdy but lightweight enough to use as a day pack for when you reach your destination.

Dagne Dover Large Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Another solid travel backpack with a different aesthetic, we've recommended the Dagne Dover Dakota backpack before, not just for its style, but also because it's designed to slide snugly onto your carry-on's handle.

Its material is soft but water-resistant, and it doesn't lack for compartments, which include a pocket for your phone, a padded laptop compartment and a laptop sleeve.

Bevegekos Tech Organizer Travel Case

We’d like to be those people that leave almost all our tech at home, but we’re never going to be. What we can do, however, is share the best way we’ve found to keep tech organized while traveling. Available in several sizes, the Bevegekos Tech Organizer Travel Case makes it easy to stash and find your phone charger, headphone charger and other miscellaneous tech items.

Benevolence LA Store Plush Velvet Travel Jewelry Box Organizer

This deceptively unassuming jewelry case made Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022, and it’s not hard to see why. It checks off everything you need in a travel box: A chic design, a compact-enough size and shape, and still enough room to hold your essential pieces of jewelry. It even says on Oprah’s site: “It’s small enough to stash in your purse.” There’s an array of lovely colors to choose from, including Emerald, Dusty Pink and Periwinkle Blue.

FULL REVIEW: Read about how much one Shop TODAY editor, who owns this Oprah-winning travel case, loves how chic and organized it is.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal Cube Set

While these aren’t as stylish as some of the other packing cubes on the market, they’re solidly built, and their mesh design means you can see what’s in them. Plus, they hold a week’s worth of clothing and keep them organized.

Sea to Summit TravellingLight Hanging Toiletry Bag

For a week or less of travel, this lightweight hanging toiletry bag is an excellent, inexpensive and compact way to keep your stuff organized, thanks in no small part to its slightly see-through mesh pockets. Plus, it’s made of water-resistant material and comes with a shatter-proof mirror for maximum portability.

Dagne Dover Mila Toiletry Case

If you don’t love the look of a hanging toiletry bag, this stylish toiletry case from Dagne Dover may be the one for you. It’s designed to sit pretty on a hotel bathroom sink — or even your dresser at home. Available in two sizes and several colors, it’s not the most spacious option, but it has plenty of storage options: Removable dividers, a clip for hair ties and a zippered pocket for smaller items will keep all your toiletries organized.

Away ​​The Hanging Toiletry Bag

This hanging toiletry bag from Away is waterproof, has three mesh pockets that provide easy storage and a clear removable pouch for those prone to spilling liquid items. There’s also an external pocket that’s convenient for high-use items like hair ties. But remember that you may need something bigger for more than a week of travel.

Clearalif’s Laundry Detergent Sheets

If you have young kids, chances are you are planning to do laundry on your trip somehow. For some, it means only renting a vacation rental with a washer and dryer. For others, it’s the good old-fashioned wash-it-in-the-hotel-sink trick.

Whatever your method, lightweight laundry detergent sheets make it a snap to do laundry anywhere. They’re easy to pack, and these ones from Clearalif dissolve fast and work wonders when it comes to getting out food stains.

Travigo 4-in-1 Travel Dispenser Bottle

Say goodbye to having to buy travel-sized toiletries. This Travel Dispenser Bottle lets you refill four pouches with the shampoo, soap and other beauty and wellness essentials of your choice. Simple to use, you simply rotate the bottle to choose which liquid you're picking — and it's TSA-compliant.

LIV3D Travel Belt for Luggage

Have you ever been running through the airport trying to catch your connecting flight, only to let all the contents of your purse fall on the floor and slow you down? Make traveling effortless with this belt for your luggage that keeps your hands-free and securely transports your laptop backpack, purse and more.

"With this strap, I can simply connect whatever heavy bag or backpack I’d normally carry on my back to the handle of my suitcase and just wheel both around instead of having to lug the bag through the airport," raved one verified five-star reviewer on Amazon.

miroposs Rechargeable Makeup Mirror

Look and feel your best while traveling with this rechargeable LED makeup mirror that comes in three different shades. This Amazon's Choice compact mirror features a built-in large capacity 2000 mAh battery that can be charged with a portable power supply.

One verified five-star Amazon reviewer said, "This is a great mirror for travel or for home if you don’t have much space. It is compact and the light is great for putting on makeup and doing your hair. I’m never going to travel without it!"

How we chose the best travel accessories

For award winners, we sorted through hundreds of new launches, editor recommendations, trending products flooding our social media pages and tried and true products to curate a list of travel items worth reviewing. We then tried the products in our studios, putting them through practical experiments to see if they meet requirements when it comes to durability, function and quality for travel gear. Finally, our panel of experts reviewed some of our winners and gave feedback based on their expertise.

We also looked to TikTok travel influencers, bloggers and other frequent jetsetting online review for other must-have picks. In addition, we chatted with Misty Belles, Vice President of Global PR at Virtuoso, a travel network, to get her take on what to look for in travel accessories.

Has your product been featured?

Shop TODAY is editorially independent and our team of editors and writers work hard to pick the best products to share with our readers and viewers. We may license our logo to brands or products that have been featured on Shop TODAY. Click here if you’re interested in licensing your inclusion in Shop TODAY content or to learn more from our licensing partner, Wrights Media.