Whether you’re rambling through the Scottish highlands or road-tripping in midcoast Maine, a reliable packing list is essential. Compiled from years of research into the best luggage and other travel gear, here’s ours. The products below have been obsessively vetted by Strategist staffers, as well as flight attendants, touring musicians, and stylish globetrotters who’ve let us steal their vacation itineraries. We stand by them for all sorts of trips, from family weekends away to destination weddings to sneaky interstate remote-work stints.
When first pulling together this list, we identified the best versions of obvious travel staples: blackout eye masks, earplugs, and airplane pillows for both side- and back-sleepers. Luggage-wise, we looked for carry-on bags with enough space for multiple outfits and suitcases with spinner wheels capable of conquering cobblestones. Most of what you’ll find here, though, are small and cleverly designed products that help mitigate stress in-transit and encourage relaxation once you reach your final destination. Look out for a collapsible valet tray that makes hotel rooms feel like home, an under-the-radar gizmo that syncs Bluetooth headphones to in-flight entertainment systems, and a rockstar-approved collapsible kettle. For those traveling with kids, there’s a lightweight baby bed that folds down like a tent, as well as a spill-proof snack-storage system. We’ve even found the easiest ways to do laundry on the road. When making our final cuts, we kept those travel products that were most affordable and compact.
Scroll through and figure out which ones will fit in your packing cubes. (And if you don’t have packing cubes yet, we’ve included some expert-recommended ones.) Enjoy the trip.