15 Genius Essentials to Shop if You’re Constantly Losing Things When You Travel

They'll help you keep track of your keys, sunglasses, electronics, passport, and even your pet.

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TK Things You Need If You’re Constantly Losing Stuff When You Travel tout
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Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

Losing your personal belongings is a stomach-sinking feeling — and a surprisingly common one for travelers. In fact, one study shows that up to 10 percent of people lose important items like their smartphones, credit cards, and passports when they’re on the go. And then there’s me: a one-woman cautionary tale.

To date, I’ve misplaced everything from a handcrafted ring I picked up in Lisbon to my entire DSLR camera (it’s making someone in Prague very happy right now). I’ve also left my phone in the back of a taxi in Mexico City and had my wallet stolen twice — once in Turin and once in Belgrade — and both times, it was lifted right from my purse without me feeling a thing. I guess you could say that becoming a world traveler has been trial by fire for sure.

But you don’t have to be scatterbrained to lose things, lose track of them, or even fall prey to thieves. You just have to be human. And the more you travel, the more opportunities you have for human error (or just plain bad luck). What you can control, however, is how and what you pack. Clever organizers, wearable attachments, and items with anti-theft and GPS features should all make the cut.

Keep scrolling to explore 15 of the most genius travel accessories that help you keep track of your keys, sunglasses, electronics, passport — even your pet. They'll help you start your trip off on the right foot and give you peace of mind that everything you need is safe and secure. 

Apple AirTag 

Apple AirTag

Amazon

Amazon’s best-selling “item finder,” the famous Apple AirTag lets you keep track of practically anything. Despite its small stature — it’s about the size of a silver dollar — the AirTag has some powerful tracking abilities. Just attach it to your luggage or backpack, for instance with one of these colorful silicone cases and sync it to the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad with a single tap. Then, if your bag goes missing, put the AirTag into Lost mode, and it’ll send an accurate location to your mobile device in real time.

“I am one of those people that is unable to utilize carry-on luggage due to physical limitations, so this was terrific [for]keeping track of my checked luggage,” one of its 75,000-plus five-star reviewers wrote. “I also used it to find my way back to my hotel room while in Europe. Find your luggage, find your hotel room!”

 To buy: amazon.com, $29

Tile Slim Wallet Tracker

tile slim 2022

Amazon

This popular tracker is the size of a credit card for good reason: It’s meant to live inside your wallet so you’re never far from your cash, credit cards, and ID. Unlike the AirTag, the Tile can be tracked only within Bluetooth range — or 200 feet of the mobile device you’re tracking it with. So if your pickpocket has gotten away, you can only view where the wallet was last located when it was trackable. But if, say, you have a penchant for putting your wallet down and forgetting it — or you plan to enjoy some cocktails on your vacation (no judgments!) — the Tile Slim is a perfect wingman. 

One fan said: “After losing my keys… [and] then my wallet, I turned to Tile, and Tile didn't disappoint. Tile's Slim tracker fits into most wallets and you really forget it's there. It's so unobtrusive and just hangs out until you need it."

To buy: amazon.com, $36

Ukes Sunglass Strap

Ukes Sunglass Strap

Amazon

Putting your sunglasses on your head is so very 2022. I’m declaring 2023 the year of wearing your sunnies like a necklace, and this vibrant Ukes sunglass strap is just the accessory to complete your look. It comes in 26 travel-themed patterns, each drawing inspiration from popular locations and outdoor hobbies, and is made with a rugged, adventure-proof neoprene material that  floats in case your glasses come loose at sea. The strap is stretchy, so it slips right onto your frames and is adjustable.

"The first thing I did was attach these snugly to my new prescription sunglasses," an Amazon reviewer commented. "I can now paddle my SUP without risk of losing my glasses." 

 To buy: amazon.com, $14

Travel Sunglasses Holder 

Travel Sunglasses Holder

Uncommon Goods

Rather carry your sunglasses instead of wearing them around your neck? Resist the temptation to toss them in your bag, where they’ll get scuffed up beyond repair. This wearable vegan-leather hook clips to your bag, pants, shirt, belt — anything it can grab onto — and is magnetized to keep your sunglasses snug. Fun fact: this accessory was invented by someone whose husband kept his designer sunglasses hooked to his shirt pocket and lost them while leaning over on a boat.  With a sturdy carabiner clip, you can also use it to keep track of your keys, earbud case, and more. 

This travel sunglass holder is currently backordered at Uncommon Goods, but if you're trying to find a substitution before your next trip, the handy Kiwen Magnetic Sunglasses Holder from Amazon might do the trick, and will come in clutch if you're always losing things in your car.  

 To buy: uncommongoods.com, $25

Whistle GPS Dog Tag

Whistle GO Explore GPS + Health + Fitness Dog Tracker

Amazon

I thought I’d seen it all until I met a couple that had lost the most valuable possible thing while on holiday in the Riviera Maya: their dog. Luckily, the wandering pup was located by alert tourists, but the scenario begs the question: What if she wasn’t? That’s where the Whistle GPS Dog Tag comes into play. This top-rated tracker lets you use your smartphone to keep tabs on your pet’s whereabouts from up to 3,000 miles away. Just attach it to her collar and, in the event she makes her great escape, you’ll get 15-second updates of her hiding spot until you manage to catch up. And the rest of the time, the Whistle tag is like a fitness tracker, monitoring your pet’s health, nutrition and activity and delivering a monthly report.

“I got it as I'm boarding my dog for the first time and wanted to really know where she was and how much activity she was getting,” one traveler explained in their review. “I just left her for eight days and I couldn't be more pleased.”

To buy: amazon.com, from $88 (originally $150) 

Herschel Supply Co. Hank RFID Bifold Wallet

Hank RFID Bifold Wallet

Nordstrom

Worried about losing your wallet to a pickpocket? Nowadays, thieves can steal your information without even laying a hand on you. All they need is a device called an RFID skimmer, which they can use to scan the electronic chips on your credit cards through your pants or wallet when they're in close proximity. But this retro-style wallet from heritage brand Herschel Supply Co. has built-in RFID blocking technology to keep all your contents safe, so you won’t lose your identity — or your mind — while on the road.

“This style wallet has been in my pocket for as long as I can remember; it’s perfect," one Nordstrom shopper. [There's] enough room for all your cards, and RFID protection to boot!"

To buy: nordstrom.com, $38

Mymazn Key Ring Bracelet

Mymazn Key Ring Bracelet Wristlet

Amazon

What is it about being handed an Airbnb key that prompts other random and unrelated keys to pop up in your purse? Just me? Whether the bottom of your bag is a Bermuda Triangle of lost objects or you seem to have “holes in your pockets,” the key to not losing your keys is to wear them. And in the case of this Mymazn Key Ring Bracelet, you can wear it fashionably on your wrist. 

"This product is so convenient for forgetful folks like myself," one fashionable fan raved. "It also makes me feel so much safer as a single woman knowing exactly where my keys are at all times." They also noted, "Having the key on a bracelet makes it that much easier when I walk in in the morning with my arms full." 

To buy: amazon.com, $15

Everlane The ReNew Tote

The ReNew Tote

Everlane

The age-old secret to never losing anything applies perfectly to travel: a place for everything and everything in its place. If Everlane’s ReNew Tote had a motto, that would probably be it. I love this bag because it combines the slim, stylish silhouette of a tote bag with the compartmentalized versatility of a backpack. It has two exterior pockets for keeping smaller items handy, two interior pockets — one zippered for valuables — and enough space inside for a 15-inch laptop (and perhaps an outfit or two in case your luggage is lost — pro tip). And it’s made of 100 percent recycled materials.

To buy: everlane.com, $48 (originally $95)

ScotteVest Pack Windbreaker

SCOTTeVEST Pack Windbreaker Travel Jacket for Men

Amazon

If carrying a bag isn’t your style, invest in this windbreaker with enough hidden pockets to make  Inspector Gadget jealous. Imagine ditching your fanny pack, emptying your pockets and just strolling down the promenade in this lightweight layer while knowing that your carefree look is actually concealing your smartphone, money, credit cards, passports, e-readers, keys, glasses, external battery packs — heck, go ahead and stick your birth certificate in there, too. After all, you have a whopping 19 internal pockets to fill. And when you go through TSA security, simply disrobe and send the entire jacket through the scanner.

“I no longer need a carry-on bag,” wrote one shopper. “I don't have to hold anything going through the airports. I even managed to get an 8-inch sandwich in my pocket. TSA was a little confused.”

To buy: amazon.com, $149

Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

Peak Design - Capture Camera Clip for V3 Camera

Amazon

Traveling with a heavy camera can be so cumbersome, I’ve known plenty of DLSR owners to leave their equipment at home just to avoid a hassle. But what's the point of owning a great camera if you don’t bring it with you? The Capture Camera Clip is a brilliant solution for the annoying conundrum of whether to hold your camera in your hand all day or hang it from your neck. This one lets you choose neither — just clip it to your belt or backpack strap instead. The genius gadget can withstand forces up to 200 pounds, has a compact and point-and-shoot camera securely, and comes equipped with a convenient quick-release button.

"I hiked 7 miles yesterday with my Nikon D750 and Sogma 150-600mm lens clipped into this capture," explained one Amazon shopper, who dubbed it their "best purchase ever" in their review. "Not once did I fear losing my rig. Not once did I fumble to disengage the rig for a photo… The position was perfect. The comfort was spot on, especially not having the camera suspended from my neck." 

To buy: amazon.com, $75

Oscaurt Anti-Theft Travel Backpack

oscaurt Laptop Backpack Theftproof Travel Backpack

Amazon

Oh, the almighty travel backpack. Such a classic solution for carrying all of your belongings on your person, yet such a prime opportunity to have your most valuable possessions stolen by thieves behind your back. That’s why this unisex backpack is my pick for making sure you and your cargo arrive in one piece. It’s made of waterproof fabric that can’t be cut open or even scratched, and its zipper is concealed beneath fabric at the part of the bag closest to your back. The front compartment zipper is hidden too; you have to really dig in to open it. There’s even a secret pocket in the back. And inside? Compartments galore! Plus, it has a built-in charging cord for your electronics (power bank not included).

One fan pointed out, “A key highlight with this bag that I love is the ability for it to open up wide so you don't have to dig through to get to the bottom of the bag. Everything is just about within hands reach when you zip open any of the zippers.”

To buy: amazon.com, from $40 (originally $50)

Topnice Crossbody Sling Bag

TOPNICE Sling Bag Crossbody Chest Shoulder

Amazon

Looking for something lightweight and secure to carry the daily necessities? This anti-theft sling bag fits the bill. It’s neutral enough for men and women and has pockets for your smartphone, keys, and passport. There are also clips just for your earphones, a main compartment big enough for an iPad mini and, it even has a zippered, RFID-protected compartment just for credit cards and cash. And because it fits snugly against your midsection, everything stays safe and close at hand.

One traveler said was happy to report that it "kept all [my] important items close to me without fear of pickpockets." Their review was followed by a shopper that dubbed it the "best travel bag" and added, "This has become my go-to handbag… The size is perfect and it weighs next to nothing. I forget I’m wearing it because it’s so light." 

To buy: amazon.com, from $24 (originally  $31)

Thule Subterra PowerShuttle Electronics Organizer

Thule Subterra PowerShuttle Electronics Carrying Case

Amazon

If you’re throwing all of your power cords, chargers, and small gadgets into your bag willy-nilly, let this be the day you cut lost and tangled wires from your life forever. An electronics organizer is a travel game-changer, and this one from Thule is just the type I love because it’s big enough to hold all of my  cords as well as bulkier things like wall chargers, universal adapters, external power banks, and even over-the-ear headphones. Plus, it has straps and zippered mesh compartments for holding everything in place. 

 "This is very sturdy and keeps my charging cords, mouse, and charger organized and safe from being in my backpack," one shopper said. "I like the look of it and how rigid it is, which adds to the protection." 

 To buy: amazon.com, $30

ProCase Travel Jewelry Box 

ProCase Small Jewelry Organizer Box Travel

Amazon

Jewelry doesn’t generally fall off when you’re out and about, but it can get misplaced easily inside your rental apartment or hotel when your routine is switched up. Maybe you take off your earrings to sleep or remove your rings to shower. Without a dedicated spot, it’s easy for your baubles to wander away to the land of the lost. This travel jewelry box is compact and stocked with lots of little compartments where you can store practically your entire collection. Plus, it’s waterproof, so you can keep it right next to the bathroom or kitchen sink.

One reviewer shared, "The zip is sturdy and the box itself is well made. I love the little section for necklaces, it keeps them safe and tucked away." Another shopper added, "I love all the separate compartments which will prevent chains and earrings from getting lost or tangled." 

 To buy: amazon.com, $14 (originally $15)

Master Lock TSA-Approved Luggage Lock

Master Lock 4680DBLK TSA-Approved Luggage Lock

Amazon

Confession time: I don’t generally use a luggage lock, but I always have this low-key fear that my bags will be tampered with before I arrive at my destination. It’s never happened, but I stash all my valuables in my carry-on and hand luggage just in case. For those who are more cautious than me, this TSA-compliant combination lock is a smart purchase. Some accommodations don’t come with safe deposit boxes, so the lock comes in handy for keeping valuables secure in your hotel room, too. 

"These locks kept our luggage safe on our recent vacation," one Amazon buyer recalled. "I also felt safer leaving my stuff in the hotel room knowing that my luggage was locked up." 

 To buy: amazon.com, $11 (originally $13) 

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