10 Items Under $15 That You Should Always Remember to Pack
Before you head out on your next adventure, you'll want to stock your suitcase with these small, inexpensive accessories that can have a big impact on how much you enjoy your trip.
Asking a stranger to take a photo of you and your traveling companions rarely results in a print-worthy picture. If you want to be in total control of how your vacation photos are framed, focused, and exposed, grab a flexible smartphone tripod like this GorillaPod from Joby, which can wrap around railings, hang from tree branches, and contort every which way to line up a picture exactly how you want it.
If you ever watch movies or TV shows on your phone while on a plane, Spigen's stick-on magnetic kickstand is a great way to prop it up on your tray table. Sure, a phone stand built into the back of every seat would be preferable, but this still beats holding your phone in your hand for the duration of a movie.
While I prefer keeping all of my cables in a Grid-It organizer, Nite Ize's reusable twist ties can keep your cords organized and untangled if you toss them into a pocket of your bag. Plus, you can wrap them around the end of the cable at your hotel to make them less likely to fall behind your nightstand.
Spills and stains are inevitable, but you probably won't have easy access to a washing machine while you're away from home. Shout Wipes are easy to toss into your suitcase, personal item, or day bag, and unlike the more ubiquitous Tide Pens, won't release an uncontrollable flood of detergent on a tiny, easily treatable stain.
Most bad breath is caused not by dirty teeth, but by bacteria on your tongue. Tongue cleaners like this one will hardly take up any room in your toiletry bag, and a few quick scrapes before you leave your hotel room will do wonders for your breath.
These smartphone dry bags are so small, I think it's worth keeping them in your suitcase at all times, so you don't forget to pack them when you're headed to the beach. True, most phones these days are water resistant, but I still throw my phone in one of these bags any time I head to the coast to keep my scratch-prone screen protected from sand.
Your body produces melatonin naturally to help you get to sleep, but if you're trying to doze off in a plane, get to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel room, or need help adjusting to a new time zone, a supplement tablet can really help. They cost less than $.05 per capsule, and I keep a small handful in an old contact lens container inside my toiletry bag, so I'm sure to never travel without them.
Balancing your suitcase on a bathroom scale before heading to the airport is just asking for an inaccurate measurement, and even if you're under the weight limit on your way to your destination, you might not be on the way back after you've added all of your souvenirs. This scale is small enough to toss into your suitcase, and its hanging design is better suited to measuring a weighing suitcase than a floor scale.
If you ever rent a car while you travel, it's worth tossing a spare USB car charger in your bag. Not only does this one include an extra port so your passenger can charge their phone at the same time, it'll also charge your phone much more quickly than most cars' built-in USB ports.
Even if your shoes are spotless when you pack them, there's a good chance they'll get dirty during your trip, and you won't want them loose in your suitcase. This shoe sack from Eagle Creek can fit a full sized pair of shoes or two pairs of sandals, and can double as a wet clothes bag if your swimwear doesn't dry out before you have to head to the airport.
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