Your ticket is booked. Your passport is renewed, and your 2024 travels are underway. Now, it’s time for your trip’s most essential and tedious part – packing.
TSA restrictions, minimal overhead space, and unpredictable airport events can definitely leave you with pre-flight jitters, and packing shouldn’t add to that stress.
Whether you’re a light carry-on-only flyer or a maximalist who requires full-size toiletries, I’ve found some of the best packing essentials to upgrade your travel experience and ensure you are fully prepared to take flight.
Over the last few years, packing cubes have become all the rage. Cubes are the easiest way to keep your clothing and other items organized during your trip and make use of space. Nothing makes you feel like the MVP of packing more than fitting ten outfit changes into your carry-on due to working out the perfect packing cube puzzle. Since their boom, several types of packing cubes have hit the market to fit the needs of any traveler. My favorite is the Gonex Compression Packing Cubes. These cubes organize and compress your clothes, allowing you to fit as much as possible into your suitcase. The Gonex cubes are waterproof and come in sets of 3-6 in various colors and prints.
A set of six packing cubes starts at $34.49. Catch them now while they are having a sale!
Overpackers rejoice! The Solgaard Check-In Closet is the ultimate packing solution for long-trip hauls or those who need more than three options for dinner (I feel seen.)
The key to the Solgaard Check-In Closet is it’s patent detachable “closet” that allows travelers to have traditional luggage’s folding and packing space and a removable hanging shelving system option!
The Solgaard’s attention to detail is also evident in its exterior. The suitcase features an “unbreakable polycarbonate shell, frictionless 360-degree wheels, a USB port, a TSA-approved lock, and more. Sologaard offers seven colors for the check-in closet and a lifetime warranty.
The Solgaard Check-In Closet comes in medium ( 24″, 8-10 outfits) or large (28″, 9-12 outfits. Solgaard also offers the closet system in two carry-on sizes (20″-22″.) Prices range from $325 to $405.
Samsonite has been a trusted name in luggage for years, and their Freeform Carry-On Spinner is tried and true. The newest edition of the Freeform has a more streamlined look, increased packing space and integrated zipper compartments.
The Freeform offers a 1” expansion space, a TSA 3-dial combination recessed lock, and a built-in ID tag.
The lightweight roller has a polycarbonate (high-strength thermoplastic) hard shell covered by a 10-year warranty. Samsonite is currently offering 15% off of the regular $159.99 price tag.
Carry-On Duffle Bag
A duffle bag is a sure way to make it through TSA with no issues. These stylish but practical choices are great alternatives to carry-on suitcases and offer something easier to lug around if you’re going on a quick overnight trip. My favorite is the XL Duffle Bag from Tote & Carry. This minority-owned company has brought the fun back into the duffle bags with endless color choices and fabric varieties. The bags have a classic, roomy interior, six interior compartments for extra storage, a removable shoulder strap, and protective feet at the base. Tote & Carry offers great multiple-piece sets that include bookbags, smaller duffle bags, and toiletry bags. Prices start at $140, and Tote & Carry is having a sale offering up to 50% off on select items.
All toiletry bags are not created equal. Some prioritize style, durability, practicality, and packability. While the goal is to keep your facial toner from leaking onto your silk blouse, there is a science to a great toiletry bag.
WANDF carries a line of toiletry bags that will fit any need. Their large hanging cosmetic bags include separate brush slots and secret compartments for full-glam travelers. The Dopp Kit handheld toiletry bag comes in various colors, is water resistant, and boasts three internal mesh pockets and two large inside pockets. The divided design allows for ample room to separate items, and for a $10 price tag, you can’t beat it!
It’s common knowledge that your purse or carry-on bag will transform into a bottomless pit when looking for your phone charger or AirPods. Tech organization bags are the ideal way to store your tech gadgets and gear to get you through that 5-hour flight. The Tech Organizer from Calpak is a great way to keep everything at your fingertips. The bags are water-resistant, padded for extra protection and provide multiple interior and exterior pockets for storage. The Tech Organizer comes with a 1-year warranty and in 12 fun designs that are easily visible from the bottom of any purse or book bag. Pricing starts at $38.
These items may only be necessary for some, but they will undoubtedly be useful during your travels.
Heat Resistant Silicone Mat & Travel Pouch for Curling/Flat Iron – $6.98 (Amazon)
Medium Peri Folding Jewelry Organizer – $22.99 (Bagsmart)
18-Pack Leak Proof TSA Approved Travel Toiletry Bottles – $9.59 (Tocelffe)
Metal Travel Pill Organizer – $19.99 (Zannaki)
Large Travel Cosmetic and Makeup Bag – $9.99 (Boacay)
Travel Toothbrush/Travel Case – $9.99 (Radius)
First Aid Loaded Minikit *TSA Approved* – $24.99 (Keep Going First Aid)