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15 Travel Accessories to Solve Every On-the-Go Emergency

The smart traveler leaves nothing up to chance. Packing these travel accessories will prepare you for potential misadventures.

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Black flashlight with wide beam in male's hand isolated from left side of the frame on black background

Pack for the unexpected

Even if you carefully plan every single detail of your itinerary, travel can be a bit unpredictable. That’s why it’s best to be as prepared as possible, armed with a few helpful travel accessories to draw upon as needed. While packing light is an impressive skill to master, packing smart means you won’t panic when faced with circumstances beyond your control. Start gathering ideas with these 30 brilliant buys travel pros never travel without, and then make your way through this list of must-haves for any travel mishap.

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Belkin Boost Charge Power Bank 5K with Lightning Connector


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There are few things worse than being trapped on a long flight only to witness your iPad take its last breath as the last skosh of battery drains from its lifeless, plastic body. Or how about landing at your foreign destination and finding that your iPhone doesn’t have enough oomph left to use your translator app or request a ride to your hotel? And then there’s the horror of your AirPods running on empty while you’re in the middle of an important phone call.

It’s not enough to simply charge your electronic devices right before traveling, although this is one of the 14 things smart travelers always do before a flight. You should also pack a magnetic iPhone charger that simply snaps to your phone to give it an extra power boost or a portable charger, like the Belkin Boost Charge Power Bank 5K with Lightning Connector. It charges all your Apple devices with the same Lightning cable you use at home, eliminating the need for an extra one. With 35 extra hours of battery life for your phone and nine hours for your iPad, we guarantee you’ll run out of energy long before your devices do.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

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Coolibar Sodalis Travel Umbrella


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If you’ve traveled outside the United States, especially to Asia, you’re probably accustomed to seeing other cultures rely on umbrellas (or parasols) for more than just protection from raindrops. They are used to block harmful UV rays from the sun, too! The Coolibar Sodalis travel umbrella offers an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50 and 42 inches of shade. Plus, it collapses to just 11 inches! Rarely do travel accessories pull double duty, so revel in the fact that you’re now prepared rain or shine. Speaking of SPF protection, did you know this is the only sunscreen the FDA wants you to use?

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disaster cards
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Terra Frma Disaster Deck


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Natural disasters—such as an earthquake, wildfire, hurricane, tornado, landslide, winter storm, or volcano eruption—can strike at any time, and they can be even more dangerous when you’re in an unfamiliar location. The waterproof Disaster Deck by Terra Frma, a pocket-sized set of emergency survival instructions, fits into any purse or backpack and offers easy-to-follow instructions to handle any disaster a traveler could encounter. And just so you know, you should never, ever do these 5 things in an emergency.

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body wipes
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Busy Beauty Gigantic Body Wipes


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Uh-oh. Your big meeting got moved up to 8 a.m., which means that instead of freshening up at your hotel after your red-eye flight lands, you’ll have to hit the ground running. Not exactly the impression you wanted to make with a client you haven’t even met yet. Good thing you brought Busy Beauty’s Gigantic Body Wipes, which are three times bigger and twice as thick as the average baby wipe. Each bag contains eight individually wrapped wipes that are TSA-approved, as well as free of phthalates and parabens. With scents like Peppermint Pomelo and Dandelion Dragon, nobody will guess you never had time for an actual shower.

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Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector


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When was the last time you checked into a hotel room and thought to yourself, “Yes, the one impossible-to-reach outlet behind the nightstand and the other outlet in the bathroom are totally sufficient for all my needs?” Yeah, never. And consider yourself lucky if the room has even one USB port. Anyone who travels with hair tools, a camera, tablet, computer, phone, and other electronics need access to more plugs to keep everything charged up. The Belkin 3-outlet USB surge protector offers two USB ports and three outlets with a 360-degree rotating AC plug, which allows it to fit into tight spaces.

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collapsable bowl
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Nite Ize RadDog Collapsible Dog Bowl


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Can’t bear to leave your beloved pooch at home when you head out of town? You’re not alone—and it’s the reason these best pet-friendly hotels in America are so popular. But while it’s easy to grab yourself a refreshing beverage on the road, man’s best friend hasn’t yet mastered the use of a straw or bottle. So, when you pack up Fido’s food, treats, and toys, don’t forget to include a portable, folding bowl from Nite Ize to help keep him hydrated. It’s completely leakproof, holds up to 16 ounces (yet weighs less than an ounce empty), and packs down to the size of a pack of gum. It even comes with a plastic clip for convenient, hands-free carrying.

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inflatable travel bag
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VinniBag Inflatable Travel Bag


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Let’s say you’re headed off to a weekend in Napa and plan to bring back a bottle of Cabernet from one of the 14 most gorgeous wineries everyone should visit at least once. Rather than packing it between a couple of sweaters and hoping you won’t arrive home only to find that red wine and shattered glass have ruined all of your belongings, store it safely in a VinniBag. This bag suspends items—from wine, spirits, and olive oil to perfume and fragile souvenirs—in a liquid-tight air cushion. It’s even great for stashing your cell phone and keys while boating (it floats) or for using as lumbar support on a long road trip.

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Palette by Pak Original High Fiver


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There’s no need to sacrifice your morning and bedtime beauty rituals just because you’re on the road. And no, you don’t have to schlep numerous bottles of moisturizers, serums, and oils that could easily leak or break in transit. The Palette by Pak Original High Fiver is one of those travel accessories you’ll wish you’d thought of: It’s a washable, reusable patent-pending tool that holds .17 ounces of your five favorite individual liquids, creams, and powders—all on one handy strip. And the bottom of each container is squishy, so you can get to every last drop of your pricey potions.

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flash light
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Monoprice Pure Outdoor Tactical Adventure Flashlight


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Roadtrippers, campers, hikers, and anglers should never leave home without a trusty flashlight. After all, you never know when the power or campfire might go out, when you could get a flat tire or need to check something under the hood, or when you’ll need to enhance visibility while taking a nighttime walk. This tactical adventure flashlight by Monoprice has five light settings (a powerful high beam, a medium beam, an energy-saving low beam, a high visibility strobe, and an emergency SOS signaler). It only weighs 2.2 ounces and is waterproof to 1 meter of depth for 30 minutes. Here are 17 more items you should always keep in your car.

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Welly Human Repair First Aid Travel Kit


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From painful blisters after a long day of sightseeing to itchy bug bites while hiking to an Instagram-worthy waterfall, minor medical issues can be a real drag while on vacation. Instead of taking time out of your jam-packed itinerary to search for a pharmacy, travel with your own pre-assembled Human Repair Kit. It includes 30 bandages in three colors and a few sizes, three single-use triple antibiotic ointments, three 1 percent hydrocortisone anti-itch ointments, and six hand sanitizers. If you have more specific medical needs, consider these 10 first aid essentials you absolutely need to bring with you on vacation.

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LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle


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Whether you’re backpacking through a remote part of the world or traveling anywhere with questionable water sources, come prepared with the LifeStraw Go. This 23-ounce BPA-free water bottle protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, pesticides, and herbicides while also improving the taste of your water. The replaceable activated carbon straw filters water as you sip, removing 99.99 percent of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites, so feel free to fill up in a beautiful river, should the need or desire arise. Now that we have you dreaming about getting away from it all, check out these 15 under-the-radar places to visit this year.

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multi tool
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Nite Ize DoohicKey 6X Key Chain Multi Tool


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What’s the first rule of travel? Always be prepared. OK, maybe that’s the Boy Scouts’ motto, but nonetheless, it’s applicable. And one of the best Amazon travel accessories for checking “be prepared” off your travel to-do list is the stainless steel DoohicKey 6x Key Chain Multi Tool. Designed with a carabiner clip for easy attachment to almost any key ring, one end is engineered to work as a scraper, tape cutter, and scorer; the other end serves as a flat-head screwdriver and pry tool. The outer edge is marked as a ruler in both inches and centimeters, the opposite edge features a bottle opener, and the interior is ridged to provide three wrench sizes. Best of all, it’s TSA-friendly. Another great pick? The Geekey multi tool that’s packed with more than 16 gadgets for all sorts of tricky situations.

Here are another 10 carry-on items that could save your life.

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flash drive
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SecureData Encrypted Flash Drive


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You’re hopping on a plane for the biggest presentation of your career—and the files you’re bringing are filled with financial data about your company and a few trade secrets, too. The flimsy USB drive you got as swag at a recent conference just won’t do. Upgrade to a 64 GB hardware-encrypted flash drive that can only be accessed through an app on a mobile device. The device itself is water- and dust-resistant and has space for a key ring on the bottom, making it portable and durable for travel. And what if it’s stolen or lost? You can wipe it remotely and pray your boss never finds out.

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location marker
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Breadcrumb Mini Portable Bluetooth Location Marker


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If you’ve ever worried about losing track of your child at an amusement park, your dog on a camping trip, or your way on a hiking trail that’s not marked well, then Breadcrumb is the answer to preventing your worst nightmares. The two-inch-by-two-inch tracking device communicates via Bluetooth (which means no cell service is required) to alert users and loved ones of your location. Just download the free app, install the batteries, clip it to whatever you want to keep track of—yourself, your kids, pets, keys, or a trailhead—and Breadcrumb will lead you back to safety. Oh, and if you’ve focused so closely on these awesome travel accessories that you’ve lost sight of other things you’ll need for your trip, check out this ultimate travel checklist to tie up any loose ends.

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travel wallet
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Calpak Faux Leather RFID Travel Wallet


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Outsmarting would-be hackers from gaining electronic access to your personal information is a wise move when traveling abroad, but sadly, most of the RFID wallets on the market aren’t exactly fashion-forward. Calpak resolved this issue and then some with its adorable faux leather RFID travel wallet. The faux fur handle and slim crossbody straps are stylish, yet removable, carrying options. The zip-around closure keeps everything secure inside, which is a relief since it can also hold your passport, travel documents, and keys. Now, if you’re more apt to misplace your wallet while traveling or you’re worried about pickpockets, consider one of these 11 smart wallets for people who always seem to lose theirs.

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Jill Schildhouse
As an editor-at-large for Reader's Digest, Jill Schildhouse regularly covers travel, wellness, food, beauty, consumer products and product reviews. She has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor, and she frequently contributes to Travel + Leisure, Bride’s, Southern Living, Taste of Home and Insider. Jill has traveled to 36 countries and is always planning her next domestic or overseas adventure.