Uncommonly Coastal

Little Known Travel Essentials to Enhance Your Journey Right Now

In the world of travel, preparation is key. We all know the basics: passport, tickets, and a well-packed suitcase. But, our most recent list (based on our readers’ recommendations after our first few posts herehere and here) includes little-known travel essentials that can elevate your journey to new heights. These hidden gems might change the way you embark on your adventures. So, fasten your seatbelts, fellow travelers, because we’re unveiling a curated selection of travel essentials you never knew you needed, each designed to make your journey smoother, more enjoyable, and memorable. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or planning your first big trip, these items are here to ensure that every moment of your travel adventure counts.

Travel essentials

Wine Bags

During our travels, we’ve seen many leaking suitcases, which create a major mess in airports. Internationally, we enjoy bringing home some of the local wines and prefer that they stay intact while we travel. These wine bags have been fabulous – and not just for wine. We’ve used them to carry local olive oil back from Croatia, glass bottles from France, and the best balsamic vinegar back from Italy. Anything breakable will make you appreciate these bags big time!

Travel essentials

Laundry Detergent Strips

I absolutely love these!  I tend to handwash items when we travel and the Breezeo sheets make it so easy. They dissolve quickly in water and are the perfect size for travel.  A stack of these fit perfectly in a Ziplock bag, if you don’t need the entire pack.  Washing small items has never been more convenient.

Travel Essentials

Travel Shoe Bags

Dirty shoes and clean clothes don’t mix well in your suitcase. These protective bags safeguard your clothes from contamination, extend your shoes’ lifespan, and keep your packing organized and hassle-free. Shoes really do need their own “cases.”


Disposable Raincoats 

How many times have you been caught in the rain while traveling? On a recent trip, we explored a new city with plastic bags over our heads.  Since then, I carry these disposable raincoats in my backpack, just in case.  They are tiny, yet keep us dry in unexpected downpours.  They pull out to a full sized poncho and are so convenient!  

Bra and Fanny Packs 

These are handy, hidden compartments which attach to your bra or around your waist – perfectly suited for your credit cards and cash. The packs are comfortable with RFID protection and waterproof liners, making them a secure choice for your travels. 


Dual Cases for Contacts/Glasses 

This was actually a game changer for me.  I was thrilled to find a dual case to hold contacts AND glasses in the same compact space. No more scrambling around for saline, glasses, contacts and tweezers – wahoo!  For the times I don’t need my glasses, using this rose-colored fashionable case keeps things easy. 

Add-A-Bag Luggage Straps

This simple little gadget allows you to attach your bags together, making it easy to go through the airport or into a hotel. It conveniently fastens to virtually any suitcase. It’s the simple things that make a world of difference!  

Waterproof Phone Cases 

This waterproof phone protection is ideal for boat trips, beach vacations, and any place where the phone might come in contact with water.  The pouch also comes with a lanyard for easy hands-free access.

Phone Mount 

We tend to rent a car locally when we travel by plane. This portable phone mount is perfect for rental cars. It is inexpensive, easy to attach, and has great reviews online.  

Travel Essentials

Power Strip

Between my cell phone, camera, Apple Watch, iPods, iPads, and my husband’s electronics, we are always searching for extra outlets in hotel rooms. The power strip makes it so much easier when we travel domestically. The Anker product is truly a powerhouse with 6 AC outlets, 2 USB ports and one super-fast USB-C port. In addition, it offers surge protection, overload protection, and fire-resistance. I may order a second one to use at home, too. 

First Aid Kit

For those unexpected “ouches,” it might be nice to have the essentials. On our last trip, my mom cut her leg accidentally getting out of the car at the airport.  The bleeding was significant – and we had exactly one small Band-Aid with us. The airport had gauze, but no tape and no antibiotic cream. It would have been so much easier to have had a first aid kit with us – and we will certainly bring one in the future.

Spacesaver Vacuum Storage Bags

Many of our friends won’t  travel without these!! It’s a personal preference, but I still prefer the packing cubes. However, these vacuum bags do save a LOT of space, which is especially helpful with bulky clothing. I would definitely consider these for trips in the wintertime! 

Personal Alarm

The ‘panic alarm’ is another item that we typically don’t think about packing. Traveling in unfamiliar locations and in areas where it may be questionable to walk at night, it is best to be prepared.  This high-powered, multi-functioned device is compact and durable. The 6-pack allows your entire group to feel safe as you explore. 

Dual-Voltage Travel Steamer

My daughter-in-law travels with a steamer and made this recommendation. For international travel, it’s always best to bring dual-voltage products rather than larger converters. Steamers work much better and quicker than an iron, so it makes sense to travel with a good one. She likes the Conair brand (pictured), which has a retro vibe.


Sun Hat & Clip

I travel with a collapsible sun hat on every summer trip.  However, it’s hard to keep up with the hat at times, when I don’t want to wear it. Some readers have recommended this easy hat clip to keep it attached to backpacks or totes.  Who knew? I think this is brilliant!  

Travel Pill Organizer

Pill organizers are a wonderful way to keep medicines and supplements organized when you travel.  I have both of these, but prefer the small bags due to the compact size, especially for longer trips. However, for short trips less than 7 days, the containers are a great option.   

Bonine Non-Drowsy Chewable Motion Sickness Relief

I always travel with Bonine for those unplanned winding roads and unexpected opportunities to get out into the water. The chewable option is the most convenient, and I can’t tell you how many times that these have come in handy! 

Laptop/iPad Protective Travel Case

Technology on-the-go requires special protection – both for my laptop and for my ipad. Potential damage due to bumps, jolts, or accidental impacts during your journey can be detrimental. These cases fit perfectly in most backpacks and briefcases, keeping everything secure, neat, and accessible. Having a good, protective case makes a world of difference! 

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

The electrolyte powder packet drink mixes are perfect to have in hot climates or extremely active vacations for a boost of hydration. They are also nice to have if someone on the trip comes down with an upset stomach, adding valuable minerals as needed.


Travel Jewelry Box

These little boxes are an optimal way to keep necklaces free from tangles and other jewelry easily accessible and orderly. It is an ideal way to travel with your accessories.  

Travel Journal

I use a travel journal to take notes on tours, to remember the highlights for each day, and to keep my hotels/reservations, etc. in an easy fashion.  Journals also help us capture the many cherished memories that we tend to forget when we arrive home.  It’s much easier to write a little each day than to catch up when you return.


Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

We usually pack the Deep Woods OFF individual packets and use them at some point, especially in the summer.  However, the repellent bracelets are a good option for the entire family and the children tend to prefer these over the sprays and pads.


Carabiner clips are amazing little additions for attaching your hat, keys, and your water bottle to your backpack or purse. You can’t have too many of these! 


Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Skin protection is easy to remember at the beach, but it really should be used all throughout the year. Our snow-skiing friends remind us that the sun glare at high altitudes can surprise you.  Pictured above are my favorite choices of sunscreen. The Sunbum is preferred for the kiddos, and my dermatologist recommended the Elta and the La Roche-Posay.  The Neutrogena works so well and I love the sheer coverage. Don’t forget your sunscreen, no matter when or where you travel.

Tide To-Go Pens

The stain-remover pens work wonders. They go with us on every trip, in our backpacks and luggage since we seem to need them often. It’s amazing how something gets on my clothing at the very beginning of a travel day, so these have been invaluable.

Downey Wrinkle Release Spray

I don’t like to iron, especially on vacation.  Some items still require it, but the Downey Spray has saved me lots of time and effort as we travel.  It’s truly amazing how well this works and minimizes wrinkles immediately!

Laptop security cable

These cables are invaluable security deterrents for your electronics.  Attach them to the desk in a hotel room or use in airports and other public places where thefts might occur. 

As you embark on your next adventure, remember that these unique travel essentials can enhance your journey in unexpected ways. From convenience to comfort and even safety, these items are worth considering for a more memorable and enjoyable travel experience.


To have all the travel essential lists at your fingertips, click below. 

Elevate Your Travel Game with Technology

Travel Like A Pro – Fashionable and Chic 

Beyond the Basics: Travel Essentials That You Never Knew You Needed

2 Responses

  1. I am getting ready to go on a cruise this summer. Your article was full of great essentials that I hadn’t thought of. I will definitely purchase the hat clip, powerstrip with all of the outlets, and the wrinkle release spray. Thank you for all of your travel tips.

    1. Such little purchases that make a BIG difference! The wrinkle release spray saved me LOTS of time on my last trip and the power strip is always a winner. Hope you have an amazing cruise!

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