The Best Travel Accessories: Work Edition

The Best Travel Accessories: Work Edition

If you travel frequently for work, finding the right tools is important. Like a good team member, you count on them to help solve problems and if you're going to be spending time with them, it's always better when they're fun to have along. 

These are my top twenty travel gear picks, every single one I can vouch and do so here without any affiliation or compensation. These have certainly upgraded my travel experience and share them in the hope that they might do the same for you.


1. 6-Foot Charging Cable

After a marathon day of meetings you get to your room only to face an inconvenient truth: the power outlets are absurdly out of nightstand reach. Or worse, you get to your gate and you're relegated to one of those crowded charging posts because you forgot your backup battery. I'm always thankful for the difference those extra three feet make. The Amazon Basics ones are pretty good.

2. Charging Station

I've recently discovered a great way to network at events. A charging station is like an extension cord with different combinations of power ports. Especially when wall outlets are in limited supply, you can be the saving grace that helps bring the power to the people. I recently got this one from Anker and I love it. 


3. Universal Travel Adapter

The moment you spend 15 quid on a power adapter (me twice) that probably cost 50 cents to make is the moment I realized the value of always carrying a universal travel adapter. While no specific brand has proven superior in my experience, investing in a decent quality one is one of my better decisions. 


4. Portable Backup Battery

A bit of extra weight is a small price to pay for the assurance of always being connected. I usually err on the side of the biggest one I'm willing to carry so I can help someone out if needed. There are now versions that show the remaining battery percentage and double as a stand which makes them even more useful. I love this Anker one. 


5. Laptop Bag

There's nothing worse than getting halfway to the presentation (or pool) to realize you forgot 'the thing.' Like a good dress, I needed something with pockets. Porter's Tanker laptop bag has a section for your laptop and two large pockets to hold all the things. This one costs a bit more than might expect to pay for a laptop bag but it's amazing quality and should last a lifetime. 

Tip: For frequent travellers, consider getting two of the most essential items like charging cables and dongles so you can avoid the stress (and unexpected costs) of having to find a replacement on the road.


6. Rydir Band

How familiar are we with the frustrating ‘swivel and spill’ of our bags while perched atop our rolling luggage? The Rydir band acts much like a secure tube top for your bag and suitcase handle, ensuring everything stays firmly in place. And while I accept that some dirt and germs are part of travel, I love that I can leave it on my bag until I get to the hotel to keep my bag as germ free as possible. Once home, you can just throw it in the wash for fresh start. It’s a simple and effective solution for a smoother, cleaner travel experience.


7. Snow Peak bottle

I used to love the Nalgene but have recently discovered Snow Peak's Milk Bottle. It's vacuum-insulated and amazing ability to maintain a drink's temperature for hours, hot or cold. While it is slightly heaver than the Nalgene, it's fits so comfortable in your hand and feels almost luxurious to drink from that I don't even notice. 


8. Tote Bag

I used to have a sizeable bag collection until I discovered the Longchamp Le Pliage large tote. This bag is the closest thing to perfection for travel. It's lightweight, durable and surprisingly spacious. The full zip top comes in very handy when you need it. The Le Pliage has made me somewhat of an evangelist so perhaps I'll take some credit for the multitude of colorways and material options that exist today.  Next on my list is this vibrant orange iteration

Tip: a spin in the wash followed by a hang to air dry makes it as good as new. 

9. SHOOFIE shoe bag

When travelling for work I always struggled with footwear. The shoes that work for the events aren't usually ones that help you get there and there needed to be a better way to navigate these changes. Whether you're going to meetings or finishing up to get in some sightseeing before heading home, SHOOFIE helps to make these transitions intentional and easy.  See all SHOOFIE styles here


10. Slipper Slides

The idea of walking barefoot anywhere but the beach is unsettling to me, prompting my search for versatile slippers that serve multiple purposes: in-room comfort, quick coffee runs, and even as shower shoes. Adidas Adilette slides are lightweight, affordably priced for keeping a dedicated pair in my suitcase, and adaptable enough to wear with socks in colder months—a trifecta of practicality, comfort, and readiness.


11. Silk Scarf

Accessories are the secret to elevating any outfit and are even more worth it when serving a dual purpose. A silk scarf can add some interest to a look and be a lifesaver for chilly meeting rooms or covering up unexpected spills. While some scarves like Hermes come with a higher price tag, if you consider the endless versatility, quality and assume you'll use it for life, it's kind of a no-brainer.

Tip: If you need some or some styling inspiration, check out this video for 25 innovative ways to wear a scarf.


12. Convertible Purse/Belt Bag

My quest for the perfect purse ended with the Lotuff Mini-Luna: a versatile, durable gem that fits all essentials and seamlessly transitions from casual to semi-formal. It comes with two strap lengths so it can serve as a crossbody or belt bag making it a travel staple and truly works with any outfit in any climate.  Discovered through my friend Kirsten, I now have it in three colors and counting. 

13. Travel Pants

Dubiously relying on glowing reviews, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Outdoor Voices Rectrek Pants lived up to the hype. These pants are a rare find: stylish enough for the office, yet rugged enough for outdoor adventures. They feature a comfortable pull-on design, maintain their shape with the perfect stretch, don't wrinkle and adeptly repel water. Equipped with two side zip pockets and a back welt-pocket, they’re as practical as they are fashionable. At last count I'm at six pairs.


14. Packing cubes

Packing cubes have several benefits and the two biggest benefits are to keep like items together (like underwear or socks) and organize items that need to go together (like an outfit) in one place together. There are so many types of packing cubes to choose from these days but I personally prefer ones that are not rigid, washable and have a clear or mesh top so I can see what's in them like these ones from Amazon. Packing cubes also make it super unpack and repack quickly at the hotel, just plop them into drawers as is keeping your things clean and easy to see and access.


15. Hair Wrap

For those with thick hair, a hair wrap is a god-send, drastically reducing drying time and liberating you from the burden of trying to balance the hotel towel. I've tried so many kinds and the Aquis Wrap is top-notch and has them in an array of colors, ensuring yours won't accidentally get swept up by housekeeping with the rest of the towels.  

Tip: It's unique shape also makes it an ideal wrapper for safeguarding any delicate or sharp items in your suitcase, preventing them from getting damaged or rattling about.


16. Bra

After a long search, I discovered the ideal work travel bra: the Bra-llelujah! Lightly Lined Full Coverage Bra from Spanx. It eliminates the discomfort of typical underwire and straps without sacrificing support or shape, ensuring nothing shows through. Its hosiery back smooths out lumps, and the front clasp eliminates the digging into your back on flights. Plus, it's easily washable and remains invisible under any top, even silk blouses.

17. Antibacterial Hand Wipes

While liquid hand sanitizers were the go-to during the pandemic I've come to prefer these Wet Ones singles so I can clean my hands and also wipe down surfaces like tray tables and hotel channel changers if needed. Individual packs keep them ready to use longer and I've found they're less drying than the traditional liquid sanitizers. They're also small enough to keep in a bunch of places.


18. Flattenable Tray

A flattenable tray is the unsung hero of hotel room organization, providing a dedicated spot for day jewelry, watches, key cards, and other small essentials often left scattered. Its collapsible design means it can effortlessly accompany you on every trip, always ready to snap into service. Keeping one in your suitcase ensures you're prepared to stay organized wherever you go. You can find an endless array of shapes and sizes on Etsy like these felt ones.

Tip: opting for a lighter color can enhance visibility, making it easier to spot your items at a glance.


19. Ziploc Bags

Clear ziploc bags in various sizes are endlessly useful and affordability. Ideal for organizing everything from toiletries to snacks, they help contain spills and make finding things easy. Stashing a few in your suitcase ensures you're always prepared. 


20. TSA Pre-Check / Nexus 

In my view, anything that will make a trip through an airport less painful is worth it. Nexus or TSA PreCheck memberships streamlining security procedures allowing you to bypass long lines (or join a shorter one at least), keep your shoes on, and avoid the hassle of removing laptops and liquids from your carry-on. Membership also comes with the potential for shorter wait times at customs. 



21. Sleep Sack

While I haven't purchased on just yet, after seeing this article I've been intrigued by the idea of a "sleep sack", a luxurious liner offering a clean barrier against hotel sheets. Its lightweight and compact design is certainly appealing, even more so after a horrible allergic reaction to one hotel's laundry detergent. If you've every tried one or do use one I'd love to hear what you think. 


The perfect travel gear does more than just serve a purpose; it can provide comfort and the feeling that we're home even when we're not. Now, I'm eager to hear from you. What travel essentials can't you live without? I'd love to hear about your discoveries! 


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