The under-$30 travel essentials that should be on everyone’s wish list
Frequent flyer gifting 101.
I know, the holidays are when I’m supposed to roll out a list of outrageously expensive travel accessories that I want (and, by extension, everyone else should want).
And let’s be real: There are certainly a handful of items that have been name-checked by enough in-the-know frequent flyers that I really could write an entire story about splurging. (Think: The Bose QuietComforts, the FujiFilm XT2.)
But I grew up in a family where gifts never, ever topped out over $40, and so the thought of passing along a wink-wink, nudge-nudge list to anyone that requires them to blow a paycheck on me gives me the same sort of anxiety I get when I walk into a party and realize I don’t know a single person there other than the host.
I’m convinced you can give good gift for less than the cost of a dinner out—and do it with the types of make-your-life-easier travel essentials that would get anyone to do that, “OMG!!!!” thing that makes the holidays so freaking exciting.
Here are the five under-$30 options are so good, you can skip the gift wrap.
There’s this weird cult-like following around travel cubes, which makes it easy to roll your eyes if you’re not using them. But kind of like how once you try oat milk, you can’t imagine drinking your matcha without it, travel cubes will change the way you pack. There are tons of cheap options on Amazon, but Eagle Creek makes ones that won’t bust at the seams if you try to squeeze in another pair of sneakers.
Everyone thinks they don’t need an external power charger…until you’re six hours into your day, are nowhere near the hotel (or an available outlet), and are down to 5% battery because damn it’s vacation and of course you’re going to take photos of everything. I swear by this bad boy because it’s super small and ridiculously lightweight.
Ignore the “for baby” description and focus instead on the fact that this white-noise machine is meant to be portable—so if your hotel room is above the bar, or above the street, or above the bar that’s above the street, you’ll be keeping up your sleep hygiene like a champ.
If 2018 was the year of the Ostrichpillow, 2019’s gonna be the year of the Trtl. (To The Glassy’s credit, we’ve been into the Trtl neck pillow since we launched.) It’s way more portable and way less cringe-worthy.
Asking for an eye mask is weird, I know, but this one’s so good that it’s definitely stocking stuffer-worthy. (Just ask Love Yoga’s Sian Gordon.) If you absolutely can’t sleep unless it’s dark…and need to sleep on an airplane anytime soon, this is your new BFF.