Travel / March 8, 2024

9 Must Have Travel Items Under $40*contains affiliate links

I firmly believe that keeping things organized while traveling leads to a better overall trip. We’ve all been there – in an Airbnb, bags open as we look for that one thing we need, and then comes the mess as we shuffle through our luggage trying to find it only to wind up a hot mess. So my must have travel items all have to do with staying organized and packing light.

Of course, the key to organized travel are travel organizers — containers, bags, pouches, sleeves, bottles that make it so everything has its own place. These must have travel items will save you time, money, and energy by keeping your belongings accessible and organized. Even just one or two will make a huge difference! 

Happy travels – wherever you are

This portable hanging travel shelf is at the top of my must have travel items list. You pack your clothes in it and then you compress it down and put it in your suitcase and hang it when you arrive at your location. So packing and unpacking are effortless! When I’m not traveling, I even use it as an extra shelf and storage space in my home.

compression packing cubes

There is a difference between packing cubes and compression cubes for packing. Packing cubes keep all of your things organized within your bag while compression cubes keep things organized while also compressing them down into. They each have a role but if you’re looking to save space then compression cubes for packing are a must have travel item.

If you want your luggage to stay organized, you need to use packing cubes. These are my favorite packing cubes and they come with a toiletry bag which I love because you can hang it. The adjustable straps in the packing cubes are so convenient to keep clothes compact and the mesh top makes it easy to identify clothes inside. This set even has bags for shoes and other miscellaneous small items. 

My phone charger is the first thing to get lost when I travel but not with this must have travel essential. It’s the perfect way to keep all of my cords, earbuds, chargers, storage banks, and so on all in one place.

This is a 4 in 1 hanging toiletry bag with detachable compartments. The velcro design allows you to take the bags that you would like to put in your purse or other areas of your luggage. The roll design and hanging feature make this a compact must have travel item. 

These travel bottles are perfect for holding all of your shampoo/conditioner, lotion, and other skin care necessities without having to bring the full bottles. They’re a must have travel item because they make a big difference in the weight and free space in my luggage. I love the silicone material because it lets me squeeze out every last bit and they’re, of course, TSA-approved.

A pill organizer is the perfect way to not have to take a ton of pill bottles with you while you travel. It saves a ton of space and is so convenient! It’s a must have travel item for me because I like to stay in my vitamin regime while I travel.

This travel jewelry organizer displays all of your necklaces, rings, and earrings to keep them from getting tangled up and even has a watch pouch. It folds up to be super thin and compact. Honestly, I don’t know how I traveled and kept my jewelry organized without it. 

I prefer not to have little items floating around my bag in a side pocket so for me these small item organizers are a must have travel item. For example, I use them for all of the miscellaneous little things that would normally get stuffed into a side pocket like hair ties, hair clips, Q tips and so on. They’re compact and hold a lot!

I don’t go anywhere without my computer, and I’m always worried that my laptop is going to get damaged when I travel, which is why this buttersoft laptop sleeve is a must have travel item. It is small and compact with a fleece padded lining to protect your laptop.

There you have it – must have travel items for staying organized and packing light. I have a whole other post on items that are perfect for Travel Cosmetic Bag Essentials for Packing Light