Travel Essentials Under $20

by Vanessa Ullman

photography courtesy of Amanda Willis

Traveling is expensive. Studying abroad might cost more than driving up to Vermont, but at the end of the day, taking time out of your daily routine to go to a new place requires some extra cash.

Why not make your travel essentials the most cost efficient possible? From a $12 portable phone charger to an $8 eye mask, these budget-friendly items can help your vacation—without maxing out your savings.

Portable Phone Charger

This is probably the most useful item when going on a trip. While a regular wall charger is great, you never know if there will be a wall plug exactly when you need it. This portable charger easily fits inside your backpack or purse, and will definitely come in handy when you need to look up directions to the Airbnb.

Passport Holder

Instead of rummaging through your bag when you’re next in line at airport security, get a passport holder so all of your important documents can be in one place. Spend a little on one now, and you will not have to worry about losing your passport, or having to pay for a new one, ever again.

Eye Mask

If you have had an overnight flight, you know how difficult it is to try to sleep. Eye masks are a great solution, and typically less than $10. While it won’t guarantee a perfect night’s sleep, it might be able to ease some of the stress that comes with restless nights in the air.

Granola Bars

When it comes to vacations, sometimes you can’t plan out every meal. Bring along some granola bars so you can avoid that mid-afternoon slump. While it is a simple gesture, sometimes even just one bar can improve your day after a long car ride, hike or museum tour.

Water Bottle

It might seem obvious, but remembering to stay hydrated doesn’t stop once you leave the house. Drinking water on air travel is extremely important, because the air pressure can make you more prone to dehydration. A reusable water bottle is an easy solution to this problem, and by drinking water you can avoid any potential dehydration effects.

Neck Pillow

While it is not an essential, neck pillows can help on long drives or flights. Try it out and see if you like it—you can find them for around $12. There are a variety of neck pillows to choose from, so if this style does not work for you, there’s a bunch of others to try.

Head Phones

These are not only great for blocking out noise on Commonwealth Ave. They can be a lifesaver on vacation. Tune out on your train ride to New York or listen to your favorite podcast in the air. With wireless, air pods and Bluetooth, the choices are endless.

Face Wipes

These are extremely useful when you have a long journey. If you don’t have time to take off makeup or wash your face while on the go, use a face wipe. A face wipe can make you feel like you completed your daily skincare regimen, without leaving your seat. This is especially useful on long flights, where your sleep schedule might be turned around due to time zone changes.