Best Products I’ve Been to All 7 Continents, and These 15 Genius Amazon Finds Changed the Way I Travel And they start at just $10. By Katie Jackson Katie Jackson Facebook Instagram Twitter Website Katie Jackson is a New York City-based writer who covers travel, food, and more. Her work has appeared in USA Today, The Sunday Times, Esquire, Outside, New York Post, and Travel + Leisure, among others. Travel + Leisure Editorial Guidelines Published on March 4, 2023 06:00AM EST Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland Experts say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. By that metric, I’m definitely an expert in travel. In fact, In the last 10 months alone I’ve been to all seven continents (some even thrice). Of course, I can’t take sole credit for the success of all these trips, because behind every great travel writer is an arsenal of amazing products. They’re our tools of the trade, and I’m always happy to share the gear I love with other travelers because I, too, have relied on reviews of others, especially when I’m shopping sight unseen. While I love to support local businesses, I’m also a big fan of Amazon because of its reviews and rating system. I get the bulk of my travel gear there, and so far, I have no regrets (the free returns help). The only problem is that there are literally tens of thousands of products to choose from. So, to save you time and money, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite finds. From a best-selling water-resistant backpack that packs into its own pocket to a doctor-recommended dual density memory foam travel pillow, here are 15 of my Amazon go-tos for travel starting at just $10. I'm a Travel Writer, and These Are the 7 Things I Take on Every Trip Cabeau Evolution S3 Airplane Travel Neck Pillow Amazon With seven continents under my belt, you could say I’m a frequent flier — so I know how to get comfortable on planes. I’ve recently started flying United’s new nonstop flight from Atlanta to Cape Town, and this dual-density memory foam pillow with more than 3,500 five-star ratings is a lifesaver on the 14-hour flight. Even stars like Lizzo have been spotted using it. Unlike neck pillows I’ve had in the past, the Cabeau Evolution S3 has straps, so I can secure it to my seat’s headrest. There’s also a chin strap, so the pillow stays around my neck and doesn’t slide to one side. I also love the washable cover and how it packs down to be about half its size. To buy: amazon.com and cabeau.com, $40 Venture Pal Backpack Amazon When it comes to sightseeing, never underestimate the power of a comfortable, packable daypack. I don’t go anywhere these days without my Venture Pal Backpack, even if it’s just stashed in my purse. That’s right. This 40L backpack folds up into its own pocket, taking up about as much space as a CD (remember those?). The lightweight bag comes in 11 colors and has nearly 24,000 perfect five-star ratings left by travelers like me who appreciate the fact it’s made of a water-resistant, tear-resistant nylon. Despite being super lightweight, the bottom is reinforced, and inside, there’s a separate pocket for wet or dirty gear. I also love the water bottle holders on the sides and the secure external pockets that allow for easy access. Plus, you can score it for up to 21 percent off right now at Amazon.To buy: amazon.com, $27 (originally $34) GoPro Hero11 Amazon This waterproof camera will be the first thing I pack for an upcoming trip to Hawaii. While it’s not an entry-level camera, it’s intuitive to use (I’m not great with technology), and it’s packed with features that make it best in class. In addition to amazing image quality — 91 percent higher resolution than 4K — it has an Emmy Award-winning stablization that means even my shakiest videos turn out clear. Despite only being released last fall, the GoPro Hero11 already has nearly 450 perfect five-star ratings and is ranked on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Best Sports & Action Video Cameras. Oh, and it’s on sale right now, too! To buy: amazon.com, $435 (originally $500) 12-Pack Space-saver Bags Amazon Of all the travel packing hacks I’ve learned over the years, space-saver bags have to be my favorite. They allow me to pack all of my favorite clothes in half the space, freeing up my suitcase, so I can shop on my trips and bring souvenirs back. This 12-pack, which has nearly 15,000 five-star ratings, is great because it comes with five different sizes of bags and a hand pump that I use to suck the air out when I don’t have a Dyson vacuum at my disposal. Of course, the travel size bags roll up, so you can just compress them that way, too. To buy: amazon.com, $16 for a 12-pack (originally $22) Etekcity Luggage Scale Amazon Amazon’s best-selling luggage scale (it has nearly — wait for it — 42,000 five-star ratings), the Etekcity Luggage Scale is a lifesaver if you’re prone to overpacking like me or you just like having peace of mind knowing you won’t get to the airport and have to pay a hefty overweight baggage fee. One shopper who took theirs on a two-week international trip called it a “godsend” while another wrote that it “takes the guesswork out of packing.” I travel a lot in Europe, which is on the metric system, so I love that it can show weight in kilograms, too. I’m also a big fan of how compact it is. Despite the fact that it can weigh up to 110 pounds, or 50 kilograms, it takes up less space than a banana!To buy: amazon.com, $11 Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Luggage Amazon Because it comes with a lifetime worry-free warranty, the Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Luggage is one of my favorite pieces to recommend to other travelers. It’s easy to wheel around, thanks to a precision glide system, and it can expand by two inches if you need more space. It also features a TSA-approved lock, interior accessory pockets, and high-quality zippers. (I hate when a suitcase is still in great shape, but the zipper breaks.) Currently, it has more than 2,700 perfect five-star ratings and is available in six colors and several sizes. The 19-inch carry-on is 15 percent off right now!To buy: amazon.com, $323 (originally $370) Klean Kanteen Water Bottle Amazon Of all the water bottles I own (and I have at least 20,) my most well-traveled bottle is this 20-ounce Klean Kanteen. Its stainless steel design is not only sleek, but it’s also durable. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dropped this bottle, and it has yet to dent or show signs of wear and tear. And thanks to its climate Lock double-wall vacuum insulation, it keeps drinks cold for up to 63 hours and hot drinks hot for up to 24 hours. It’s not just me who takes this on their travels. At Amazon, it has more than 1,600 five-star ratings and a very impressive 4.8-star average rating. “Bought this to take to New Zealand and carry in a backpack,” wrote one shopper. ”It was perfect for filling for airport waits and taking along on day trips. Kept the cold cold and the hot hot. No leaks, no condensation.” To buy: amazon.com, $31 (originally $33) Darn Tough Merino Wool Socks Amazon I first discovered Darn Tough’s Merino Wool Socks while on a trip to Vermont, where they’re made. I love that these all-season, high-quality socks come with a lifetime guarantee; I’ve had mine for years, and I’ve yet to wear out the heel or get holes in the toe. That said, if it happens, Darn Tough will replace them, for free. They’re so warm I recently wore them on a trip to Antarctica. At the same time, they’re breathable and ultra moisture-wicking, two properties I appreciate when hiking in hot and humid climates like Southeast Asia. Currently, they’re available in four colors and sizes small through XXL, and they have more than 7,200 five-star ratings and a very impressive 4.8-star average rating.To buy: amazon.com, $28 Olukai Ohana Flip-Flops Amazon Comfy shoes are an absolutely essential travel staple. I used to buy a new pair of flip-flops every year, but then I discovered these best-selling, ones that last multiple seasons. In fact, I’ve worn my Olukai Ohana Flip-Flops in more than 50 countries over the course of five years, and they’re still going strong. They’re available in 30 colors and of the 5,500 Amazon shoppers who left reviews, 85 percent give these flip-flops a perfect five-star rating. I love that they’re water-resistant and have a cushioned footbed. I even wore them on a hike in Costa Rica where there were several creek crossings! But the best part? They don’t make a flip or flop sound. To buy: amazon.com, $75 Columbia Freezer III Dress Amazon If I was a cartoon character and I could only wear one look for the rest of my life, it would definitely be this travel-friendly dress I get compliments on wherever I go. Not only is it cute — hence the kind words from total strangers — but it’s also rated UPF30. And not only does it block harmful UVA and UVB rays, but the aptly-named Columbia Freezer III Dress boasts “advanced cooling technology.” I don’t know the exact science behind the fabric. All I know is I feel cooler wearing it than I would feel wearing nothing at all. The fabric is also moisture-wicking, so even if I do break a sweat, I know it will dry fast. Currently, it has more than 2,100 five-star ratings and is available in classic black.To buy: amazon.com, $55 Viori Shampoo Bar Amazon I will forever feel indebted to whoever invented shampoo bars. Because they can’t leak and they’re TSA-friendly, they’re convenient to travel with, and of course they’re also more sustainable since they don’t come in plastic bottles. I love the Viori Shampoo Bar, which has more than 4,175 five-star ratings, because it’s all natural (no sulfates, just essential oils), and it’s designed for all types of hair, so I can share it with my travel partners. Plus, five percent of profits go back to the Red Yao communities from which the company sources the rice for their products. I can attest that this shampoo also lasts a long time, and Amazon shoppers agree. “I used this bar when traveling for a month overseas,” wrote one Amazon shopper. “The bar lasted me my whole trip and afterward — a total of about 45 days as I wash my hair every three days.” To buy: amazon.com, $17 4-in-1 TSA-approved Travel Dispenser Amazon Although I’m a fan of shampoo bars, I do travel with liquids and lotions, which is why I’m obsessed with this 4-in-1 TSA-approved Travel Dispenser. It holds four different liquids in 1.4-ounce refillable containers that come with labels, so I always know what I’m using. To dispense the product, all I have to do is rotate the top to the container I want and then use the pump. When not in use, there’s a lid that locks. In fact, I’ve traveled with these dispensers for nearly two years on dozens of trips, and I’ve never once experienced a leak!To buy: amazon.com, $16 (originally $19) Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Portable Soft Cooler Amazon Yeti is the Apple of coolers. Yes, its coolers are expensive, but as someone who tests camping gear for a living, I can say they’re 100 percent worth it. For stateside road trips, I love the Yeti Hopper Flip 8 (currently 20 percent off at Amazon) because it’s just big enough to hold all the drinks and snacks I need until my next fill-up at the gas station. I also love it for paddle-boarding, because it’s waterproof and floats! The Hopper 8 comes in eight colors and has more than 1,360 five-star ratings. “It keeps everything cold and the ice doesn't melt for days, even in 100-degree [Fahrenheit] weather,” wrote one satisfied Amazon shopper. To buy: amazon.com, $160 (originally $200) Fjallraven Pocket Crossbody Bag Amazon If you’re not a fan of fanny packs, but you still want a small, easy-to-access bag for travel essentials, I can’t recommend the Fjallraven Pocket Crossbody Bag enough. I never leave home without mine —it’s been to all seven continents — and I love how the size is perfect for fitting just what I need and nothing more. Right now, it’s holding my iPhone 12, my wallet, my passport, my lip balm, and my keys. This crossbody is also durable, something other Amazon shoppers have found too. “I took it all over the place and it was in the dirt and on rocks,” wrote one shopper who got their bag for a trip to Iceland, who said it “held up like a champ.” It’s currently available in nine colors and has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 500 ratings. To buy: amazon.com, $40 Facetory Sun Bae Aloe Vera Soothing Sheet Mask Amazon In the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of surfing in South Africa, Portugal, and Australia. Still, my face pays a price for being in the sun so much. That’s why I stock up on these 15-minute facials packed with natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil. They’re also incredibly hydrating, which comes in handy on long-haul flights or when I’m traveling to places with low humidity. The Facetory Sun Bae Aloe Vera Soothing Sheet Mask has more than 3,350 perfect five-star ratings, and there are 14 different masks to choose from depending on your skin’s needs. To buy: amazon.com, $10 Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! 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