We completely understand that spending money on something you're just going to use while traveling can be a bit of a deterrent, but having the right travel accessories for trips can make a huge difference in your comfort level, which us Who What Wear editors can confirm. Collectively, we took 80 trips last year and acquired many wonderfully useful travel accessories along the way. And because we also don't want to spend an arm and a leg on travel accessories, the accessories we're recommending below are all under $50.
From the coziest socks to wear on your journey to the most space-saving makeup bag on the market (and everything you could need in between), these are the 18 under-$50 accessories us jet-setting editors swear by. They're guaranteed to make that tedious trip to the airport significantly more enjoyable. Trust us.
"I find it really difficult to fall asleep on flights, but one of the few things that actually helps is my trusty pair of noise canceling headphones. You don't even realize how loud flights are until you start using them. My pair is super old from Bose, but this affordable Amazon find seems to have the reviews to back it up."
"Given that we're in flu season, my favorite travel companions are undoubtedly my antibacterial hand wipes. They're perfect for cleaning your hands if you can't get to a bathroom or cleaning your phone every so often (because, yes, it gets dirty). Keep a pack in your bag at all times and you won't regret it."
"Packing cubes are life. Raise your hand if you're someone whose suitcase becomes a jumbled mess within 24 hours of landing at your destination. I know I am, and now I know packing cubes help tremendously with this. I'd say my suitcase stays about 50% more organized for the duration of a trip with them. Our editors had been urging me to get them for years, and I'm not sure what took me so long, because now I won't travel without them!"
Reusable Water Bottle
"Last year, I got into the habit of trying to bring a reusable water bottle to the airport but found many terminals still don't offer a filtered water station. Lame. Also, maybe I'm overthinking, but I do wonder how often they change the filter on those and if people are touching the lips of their water bottles to the filter. Now I sidestep all that with a water bottle that comes with its own filtration system. Sink water tastes just as good as bottled water with this handy bottle by my side."
"I like to store all of the essentials I'll use on the plane (AirPods, sleep mask, etc.) in a pouch. That way I can just take the pouch out of my tote and put in the sleeve on the seat to keep it all in one place and organized."
"Comfy socks are a must for me—especially for those long hauls. I typically wear styles from Hanes or Stance to keep cozy."
"I'm always freezing on planes, so I'll never travel without a cozy scarf that I can wrap around my neck or head when the cold air is blasting."
"I'll always try and take my makeup off when on long or overnight flights. I swear by Koh Gen Do cleansing face wipes. They're gentle, easy to use, and leave the skin super soft and hydrated."
"I'm very into New Balance sneakers at the moment, and they happen to be the perfect comfortable airport shoes. I'm wearing mine with a full sweatpants look right now."
"Tube socks have pretty much eclipsed my no-show socks and they're absolutely a travel essential."
"Sleep masks are a must for me. This way, your seatmate will never accidentally start talking to you thinking you're awake."
"I love traveling with cute socks so that when I take off my shoes either on the plane or while going through security, I look fun."
"I always carry a blanket scarf with me on the plane. I wear it as a wrap over my outfit but I love that it doubles as an actual blanket if you need it to because, really, who wants to use the scratchy one the airline provides?"
"When flying, I fill up a big tote bag as my carry-on and pouches like this one are essential for making sure all my smaller things are easily accessible so I'm not digging through everything to find my boarding pass at the last minute (a true nightmare, if you ask me)."
Wet Brush brushes are amazing (and what I use at home), so I was thrilled to discover that it comes in a travel version that won't snag your clothes.
I've been using this bag for my makeup for years and I don't think I'll ever go back. I'm able to fit so many products in it and it takes up so much less room than a more structured bag.
I don't think portable phone charges get smaller than this. I use it on the plane then throw it in my handbag when I get to my destination and it always fits, no matter how mini my bag is.
I have long hair and hate wearing it down when I'm on a plane (germaphobe alert). I'm never without a cute scrunchie or at least a hair rubber band. I love Ganni scrunchies—they're so chic and actually stay in your hair.