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Fun fact about me: I avoid checking a bag like it’s a competitive sport. No matter the destination, or the length of my trip, I make it my mission to pack everything that I need into a carry-on bag or suitcase. Personally, I like having everything with me throughout my journey; it mitigates any stress around lost luggage, and also means that I can hop on a different flight at a moment’s notice. But more importantly, traveling light makes my entire experience much more breezy — if you’ve ever schlepped a massive suitcase onto an international train or dragged it over a cobblestone street, you can probably concur.
Still, keeping all of my travel essentials in a compact bag can certainly be challenging, especially for multi-week or even month-long trips (yup, 30 days with just one carry-on). That’s why I turn to some incredibly useful travel accessories, including luggage organizers and other space-saving packing aids. Here, I’ve pulled together my list of Amazon must-haves in order to avoid checking a bag — and, did I mention they’re all on sale right now thanks to the Prime Big Deal Days event?
Admittedly, it took me a very long time to come around to the idea of a Kindle. As a diehard, old-school book person (take my many, many shelves of hardcovers as proof), I used to stubbornly shove a physical copy of my latest read into my carry-on. While I still love them, there’s no denying that books aren’t the most travel-friendly. When I finally caved and invested in the Kindle Paperwhite, I immediately understood the hype. This sleek device takes up virtually no room in my bag, and it allows me to take multiple different titles on any trip. I also love that this model is waterproof and features a warm light that doesn’t hurt my eyes. Plus, it syncs with the Libby app, which allows me to borrow virtual copies from my local library. And, right now, you can grab this cute bundle — which includes the Kindle Paperwhite and a cover — for 25 percent off.
I truly don’t depart for any trip without a pair of reliable sneakers. In order to save space in my luggage, I try to opt for a comfy, multifunctional pair that I can not only wear at the airport, but also on various occasions during my travels (like these Puma Carinas). If I plan to be active on a trip (running, hiking, etc.), I try to choose a pair of versatile-yet-sporty shoes like the Adidas Ultraboosts, which can double as lifestyle and performance sneakers and are currently up to $100 off.
Any savvy traveler will tell you that packing cubes are a must. These simple, zippered pouches can help keep all of your clothes organized, compact, and conveniently ready to grab during your trip. I personally like to roll my clothes before placing them into their designated cube to really maximize every inch of room. This budget-friendly set from Amazon-favorite travel brand Vallilan comes equipped with six various-sized packing cubes, and it’s on sale for $20.
Apple AirPods Pro
While I do love a good pair of over-ear headphones during travel (like these on-sale Skullcrushers), if I’m really trying to conserve space, I’ll reach for my trusty Apple AirPods. I love that these petite earpods take up virtually zero luggage real estate, and that their noise-canceling abilities are wildly impressive. Now is a great time to snag a new pair, too, because the latest model is currently available for 20 percent off.
Audio Transmitter Adapter
To really maximize what your AirPods can do (and to avoid packing multiple pairs of headphones), I highly recommend a Bluetooth wireless audio transmitter adapter. This tiny device plugs into the aux jack on your in-flight entertainment console and allows you to use your wireless headphones. There are a few brands at Amazon that make a similar gadget (including the original Twelve South Airfly), but you can get this top-rated one from Mee for 25 percent off right now.
Petite Makeup Bag
I’m pretty minimalist with my everyday skincare and makeup routines, but during my travels, I take it one step further and really try to pare down to the absolute essentials. Once my travel beauty roster has been carefully curated, I find that it’s helpful to have a small container to keep me in check. That’s why I love bringing a lightweight-yet-durable toiletry bag like this one from Omewigra, which is on sale for $7, available in 12 fun prints, and securely keeps everything in place without taking up precious luggage space.
It’s no secret that the carry-on-only travel lifestyle means that you can’t travel with large liquids. That’s why I always use small, TSA-approved containers to hold my shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, and more. I’m personally a huge fan of the Cadence Capsules, but if you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, consider this discounted, alternative set from Cosywell; it comes with nine leakproof containers and is on sale for $10.
In addition to keeping all my toiletries organized and streamlined, I also find that it’s helpful to have a designated space for any jewelry that I’m packing for my trip. I love bringing a small-yet-sturdy case like this Oprah-approved travel jewelry box from Benevolence (which is currently 20 percent off). While I try to keep bracelets, earrings, and necklaces to a minimum, I also love to use an organizer like this to hold hair clips, scrunchies, and any other miscellaneous accessories.
Foldable Water Bottle
Hydration is always crucial, and it’s especially important during a long flight. While I love my insulated water bottles, when I’m trying to be extra minimal with my packing, I’ll opt for a foldable option like my Platypus SoftBottle that’s only $9 during October Prime Day. When it’s full, this bottle holds up to 1 liter of water, and when it’s empty, it rolls up or lays flat in my bag, taking up no room at all.
Foldable Day Pack
No matter where my travels take me, I find that it’s always helpful to have a small belt bag or foldable pack on hand for daily excursions. I love lightweight options like this Hershel Supply Co. waist pack since it seamlessly fits in any piece of luggage. What’s more, the pouch can double as bonus storage during travel; use it to hold your cords, chargers, and other accessories that never seem to have a functional spot in your bag.
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