There’s nothing worse than being on the road (or on the plane) only to discover that you left one of your must-have travel accessories at home. From cell phones that die in the middle of an interview to being stuck on the tarmac with no headphones, to arriving at the airport gate after realizing you lost your beloved sweatshirt at security, these travel mishaps happen to people almost every day.
As a travel writer, I’ve taken many long-haul flights and experienced plenty of mishaps throughout the years — some of which could have even been prevented if I had planned or packed accordingly Here are my recommendations for the best travel accessories of 2020 that I just can’t leave home without — especially if I’m about to embark on a grueling long-haul flight.
1. A Compact Portable Phone Charger
When I’m on a press trip, the days can be long. Hosts want us to experience as much as we can each day. I’ll head out some mornings and not get back to my room until late at night. I’m taking pictures all day long and voice recording some interviews, so I can’t afford to have my phone’s battery die mid-day. One of my best travel tools is a small lipstick-sized charger, which gets me through two full battery cycles. It’s easily one of the best portable chargers of 2020.
2. A Blanket Scarf For On and Off the Plane
Hot flashes aside, I’ve always tended to get chilly on planes — especially on long-haul flights. Mer-Sea & Co. recently won me over with this fabulous travel wrap, one of my must-have accessories for long-haul flights. Unlike those icky airline-issued blankets, it’s cozy and stylish (and clean), and one of the best travel essentials for women. It’s also a great all-around wrap that I can keep in my tote for chilly restaurants or breezy days.
3. A Travel-Friendly Water Bottle
Like journals, I’m a sucker for beautiful water bottles. Personally, I believe that Swell makes one of the best water bottles on the market since it keeps beverages both hot and cold for an entire day. Whether it’s having hot tea on my long flight or cool water on my bedside, I’m never without my Swell.
Read more: The Best Water Bottles for Travel
4. Earplugs and a Sleep Mask
Whenever someone asks me, “What’s the one thing you’d take to a deserted island?” The answer for me is always earplugs. I’m a light sleeper, so noise-canceling earbuds are a must, as are sleep masks. (Hotels can be very noisy and bright, especially if I’m a few time zones behind and suffering from jet lag.)
5. The Pocket App
This might be my all-time favorite and one of the best travel tools around. I spend a lot of time reading and doing research – on totally random stuff — so I save all of these articles to Pocket, an app that lets you read articles offline. I use my time on airplanes to catch up on reading, and it’s definitely one of the best apps you need on your phone.
Read more: 16 Pocket Tips
6. iPhone Camera Accessories
I was on a recent press trip and discovered I’ve been SO out of touch with my iPhone camera! I’m always taking photos in low light — food, night shots, quick snaps from tour buses — so I was thrilled to learn about these iPhone camera accessories from a fellow travel writer. This portable Universal Clip-On Mini LED Light will instantly brighten up any photo. There are also clip-on lenses (including a wide-angle, macro, and fisheye lens), which will transform your ordinary snaps into professional photographs.