Uncommonly Coastal

Beyond the Basics: Uncommon Travel Essentials That You Need

Recently, we published two posts reviewing travel essentials, which were centered around technology and packing. I asked many of you what we were missing from our lists, and the results were impressive.  Some of these items, I also use when traveling, but some were totally new to me, and great to discover.  We thought it would be fun to share these “uncommon” items with you, way beyond the basics. We received so many recommendations, that we have divided them into two posts. This article covers unusual items that you might use in an airport or hotel/rental. The next post includes additional packing items (not covered earlier) along with some clever miscellaneous essentials.Travel Essentials

No Jet-Lag Homeopathic Pills

These REALLY do work!  It’s hard to believe, but I’ve used these successfully for the past few years of travel when I go international.  It doesn’t eliminate jet lag completely (and I really suffer from it!), but my head is clearer and my transition into new time zones is much easier. You start the first chewable tablet right before you leave, and then every two hours in flight, and again when you land.  I simply set an alarm and chew them on schedule.  For me, it has been well worth the effort. 

Travel Essentials

Twelve South AirFly Pro

This was a new item to me, but I love the thought.  It allows you to link your wireless earbuds or headphones directly to the in-flight entertainment system – eliminating the need for cords during your journey.  No more dealing with wires as you exit your seat or get tangled up in your blanket.  Freedom!


Travel Blanket

I’ve always used the blankets the airline provides, but many of you explained (graphically) why it is better to bring your own blanket.  Based on the recommendations of others, I plan to order this one.  It looks cozier and much nicer than any of the ones I’ve experienced on any airline.   

Airplane Footrest

Honestly, I have never used this – but apparently, it’s a thing!  It wraps easily around the food tray in front of you and packs into a small drawstring bag. A friend told me that it helps with swelling, allows her to sleep, and that her legs feel less tired upon arrival.

Inflatable Travel Foot Pillow

This was an amazing recommendation from a family who travels with young children. They live internationally as expats, so they are frequent travelers on very long flights. These travel foot pillows serve an ingenious purpose. You can easily inflate the pillows into the gap between seats, where your legs normally rest. As the pillows rise to the same level as the seats, they transform into a flat-bed sleeping area for the children, ensuring a more comfortable journey for the little ones. This is an absolutely genius “mom-hack.” 

Travel Essentials


I love this tip from a very smart mom. On their last trip with three small children, she simply put small Velcro circles on the backs of each of their crayons and then stuck them right onto the airplane for their trip overseas.  This would also be a great idea for long car trips, so crayons don’t end up everywhere. The little circles come off easily when it is time to change locations, with no residue or damage.  Honestly, some moms are just brilliant. 

Luggage Cup Holder

So many times I have struggled with my purse, suitcase, carry-on, etc. and needed an extra hand for my much-needed coffee or soft drink.  As much as I have traveled, I have never seen these until someone recommended it – and now I see them often. 

Travel Essentials

Phone Holder Mount for Airplane

For those that watch movies on their phone, this might be a valuable addition to your carryon/backpack.  This small attachment mounts easily to tables/trays, luggage handles, gym equipment, and more.  The dual joints allow for a 360-degree rotation to find the best viewing angle – and holds your phone either vertically or horizontally.  It is compatible with most phones and offers hands-free convenience while you travel.  This seems like a win/win!

Travel Tube Pillow

Honestly, I am not sure about this one. It does make sense, but just not sure that I would do it. This pillow holds 3 days worth of clothing.  You stuff your belongings in, zip it up and use it as an airline pillow.  It serves multiple purposes and can help with COO (carry-on-only) by serving as extra luggage too.  I’m not sure if it is “crazy-smart” or just “crazy.”  What do you think? As a side note, I just asked my husband about it and he says he would definitely use it – and called it amazing!

Clorox Wipes

These are great to keep in your purse, your carry-on, and your suitcase.  The package is ideal for the airplane and to use in your rental or hotel.  BTW – Do you know the dirtiest part of a hotel room?  The TV Remote.  These are perfect to wipe that thing down!  Door knobs are heavily used and almost never cleaned. You may need two packs.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

After the news broke of a tragedy involving a family staying in an Airbnb with carbon monoxide, the demand for these detectors surged– especially among travelers.  Until now, I have never considered carrying one of these with me, but it may be a wise precaution for the future. This one has a smoke detector along with it, which seems like a very smart purchase.

Portable Travel Door Locks/Alarms

Yes, yes, and yes.  These are items that you may never have considered…but should.  It gives extra security as well as the peace of mind needed in strange hotel rooms, far away from home. Pictured above are three different types of security devices which were recommended to us – and all are easy to pack.

Travel Accessories

Sleeping Bag Liner

Several friends (and my mother-in-law) travel with this sleep liner on every trip to use in hotel beds and Airbnbs.  The fabric is silky and it folds up into a tiny bag, making it easy to pack. 

Travel Accessories

Wireless Travel Router with WIFI

This pocket-sized router is perfect for easy travel accessibility. It creates a secure Wi-Fi hotspot to share with family and friends. The small router offers streaming and gaming options, and is good to have when Wi-Fi isn’t secure or available. 

Hand Sanitizer

It’s the little things, like running water and clean bathrooms, that can be hard to find on some trips. But with this sanitizer, you will at least have hygienic hands! 

Travel Essentials

Laundry Bags

These fun bags make it easy to keep your clean and dirty clothes separate. If you happen to be the type of traveler that visits a laundromat – then this is definitely a travel essential item for you. 

Travel Essentials

Aquatabs Purification Tablets

We’ve lived in 3rd world countries, and purifying our produce was an essential part of our everyday life.  Now, we pack these tablets when we travel to wash fruit or vegetables from local markets. The packets are small and lightweight, individually sealed in foil strips, and designed to last for years.

Travel Essentials

Bungee Clothesline

If you wash clothes by hand while traveling, this clothesline is ideal for cruise trips, hotel rooms, and even outdoor settings. It’s lightweight, simple to use, and can be packed into a compact space.  There is no need for clothespins, since your small clothing can tuck between the cords to hang-dry.

Travel Essentials

3-in-1 Portable Charging Station

When traveling, I want convenience – especially with my electronics.  This charging station allows you to charge your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch all at the same time, with only one plug.  It rolls up into a compact bag, making it super easy. It is certainly an important travel essential for me.  

Solid Shampoo/Conditioner BAR SET

If you are conserving luggage space, these take the place of bottles filled with shampoo and conditioner.  My friends who do COO (Carry-on-only) love these!  They tell me that the bars lather up well and clean just like the bottles, in an easy-to-transport form.

As we travel, it’s the little things that can have a big impact. From small gadgets that streamline your airport experience to thoughtful accessories that enhance your comfort in hotel rooms, these often-overlooked travel essentials make things easier as we explore the world. 

Just for your reference, here are additional posts regarding some don’t-miss travel essential basics – right at your fingertips. Enjoy! 

Travel Like A Pro-Fashionable & Chic

Elevate Your Travel Game with Technology

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