20+ travel essentials for the perfect summer getaway

August 10, 2022

Photo by S’well on Unsplash

Taking a summer vacation is a perfect opportunity to rest and recharge, or explore new adventures. And according to a survey by The Vacationer, 81 percent of Americans plan to travel this summer – 51 percent by plane, while 80 percent plan to take a road trip. Whether you’re taking a voyage to another city or another country, we’ve put together a list of essential items to make any type of summer getaway a breeze.

All of these products have been hand-selected by Team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing.

Luggage, bags, containers 

This lightweight bag, made of water-resistant, recycled woven fabrics, has plenty of pockets. The top zip opening can fold out and down to provide easy access. There’s a padded 13-inch laptop sleeve and lots of space for other essentials. The bag has pockets for tech and toiletries, as well as mesh zip pockets for shoes, and pop pockets for water bottles. The bag’s leather handles, grab loops, and the detachable shoulder strap makes the bag easy to carry. It’s available in black, charcoal, and lunar.
Bellroy Weekender Plus, $299 at Amazon
Here’s another lightweight travel bag, with a padded pocket big enough to hold a 16-inch laptop. It also has a trolley sleeve to slide over your suitcase handles. The spacious bag is made of waterproof fabric and has a main zippered compartment as well as a zipped external pocket. It has plenty of space for a change of clothes and a pair of shoes, in addition to toiletry items. The bag has a detachable, no-slip shoulder strap, and vegan leather handles. It’s available in black, and navy.
Troubadour Weekender, $525 at Troubadour
For longer trips, this 28-inch hard side suitcase expands 1.5 inches for those items you picked up while on vacation. The multidirectional spinner wheels make it easy to roll the luggage, which has a side-mounted TSA lock. The brushed pattern on both the back and front shells is designed to hide scuff marks and scratches so the suitcase always looks new. You can also choose from over a dozen colors, including navy, charcoal, arctic pink, rose gold, charcoal, and teal.
Samsonite Winfield  2 28-inch Hardside Luggage, $210 at Amazon
If you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, this water-resistant, ballistic nylon bag is part-backpack, part-sling. It has plenty of cushy (removable) dividers to keep your camera and various lenses safe, in addition to a separate section for a tripod and other tech gear and a fur-lined phone pocket. There’s also a separate padded compartment for a 13-inch laptop. It comes in four color choices: camo, glacier camo, blackout camo, and solid black.
HEX Ranger DSLR XL Camera Sling, $149.95 at Amazon

Entertainment essentials

If you’re on the plane – or when those singalongs in the car become a bit much – these active noise-canceling wireless over-ear headphones can help drown out the noise. They have both ANC and transparency modes, so you can choose to hear outside noises when you need to. The battery lasts 38 hours before the headphones need to be recharged, and the physical controls on the earcup let you play music, control the volume, use Siri/Google voice assistant, and answer phone calls. The headphones are available in blue, black, and beige.
Soul Motion Max ANC Headphones, $119/ sale $89.99 at Amazon
If you prefer earbuds, these are designed to fit your ears perfectly. They come with five pairs of ear tips, and three sets of memory foam ear tips, so they’re even great for running and exercising. The wireless earbuds provide active noise canceling and also have a transparency mode. They use Bluetooth 5.2, Alexa is built-in, and they work with Google Fast Pair. A single charge provides 11 hours of use, and the IPS4 water resistance rating means the earbuds are protected against splashing water. The earbuds are also available in gray.
Beyerdynamic Free Byrd Earbuds, $249 at Amazon
If you’re looking for a less expensive earbuds option, these headphones are great while you’re on the move or enjoying movies and other forms of entertainment. They have a normal mode, audio transparency mode, and entertainment mode. The earbuds provide seven hours of playtime (28 with the charging case), and the earbuds come in Beta blue, Omega black, Psi purple, and Zeta white.
Soul S-Play Earbuds, $69.99 at Amazon
When you want to hear your music out loud, this waterproof speaker can go wherever you do. It provides 360-degree surround sound and you can pair it with another speaker. Also, the speaker, which has dual bass technology, can last up to 20 hours before it needs to be charged. It has an IPX6 water resistance rating (protection from powerful water jets) and a shockproof body. The speaker also includes a carabiner and strap for easy transport. It’s available in blue, black, and gray.
Treblab Portable Speaker, $119.97/Sale $89.97 at Amazon
For entertaining the kiddos or yourself during long car rides, or when you don’t care for the in-air entertainment selection, this portable monitor connects to your smartphone to provide a generous 15.6-inch screen for watching movies and TV programs, playing video games, or even reading emails (for those of you working on vacation). The portable monitor can connect to your laptop, game console, digital camera – basically anything that uses a mini-HDMI or USB C port. It’s slim and weighs only 1.6 pounds, so it fits conveniently in your backpack, tote bag, or suitcase, and has dual speakers. The monitor can also be used in both portrait and vertical modes.
Innocn 15.6″OLED Portable Monitor, $349.99 at Amazon

Comfort & convenience

After a full day of sightseeing (or several hours sitting in a vehicle or on a plane), your muscles will probably start to ache. This handheld, battery-powered percussion massage gun can provide up to three hours of relief to those sore and stiff muscles before it needs to be recharged. It’s lightweight and compact enough to put in your bag. The quiet massage gun also has a brushless 40W motor, three speeds, and two head attachments.
Hypervolt Go 2 Percussive Massage Gun, $199/Sale $169 at Amazon
While in a new location, you may wake up with dry sinuses. However, this little device hydrates your airway to clean and filter contaminants. Simply spray the mist and slowly inhale to increase your body’s ability to both strengthen and cleanse the mucous lining, helping you inhale and exhale cleaner air. (Note: this is not a nasal spray and does not contain any drugs.)
FEND Airway Hydration 2-pack, $55 at Amazon
Photo courtesy of Kencko While on the go, you may not have time to sit down for three meals a day. However, Kencko makes packets of smoothies (each containing 2.5 cups of fruit and vegetables) that you simply pour into the Kencko bottle, add water, shake, and drink. The smoothies come in a variety of flavors, and the company also makes gum drops and bowls for quick nutrition on the go.
Kencko Smoothie Packets, $2.49 each at Kencko
Depending on your destination, espresso coffee drinks may not be available, or they may cost an arm and a leg. However, this mini espresso coffee maker, which weighs a little over four pounds, and fits in your backpack or luggage, lets you easily use ground coffee, coffee capsules, or tea leaves to make your favorite drink anytime. The machine, which has a 19-bar pump, can heat up in three seconds and produce a cup of coffee or tea within a minute – and has a heated channel that can maintain a temperature of 201 degrees F.
Cyetus Mini Espresso Coffee Maker, $199 at Cyetus

Traveling must-haves

For camping and other outdoor adventures, you’ll need to see clearly in the dark. This smart lantern, which produces 350 lumens, can shed plenty of light and has a 300-hour run time before it needs to be recharged. The waterproof lantern also has three lighting modes: variable dimming, strobe, and color, and it can also wirelessly charge your phone or other Qi wireless-enabled device.
Boulder Smart Lantern + Charging Hub, $120 at Lander
When staying in a strange place, you’re really not sure how clean your room is. However, this sanitizing device/charger provides several functions. In one eight-minute cycle, it can clean your smartphone, keys, sunglasses, jewelry, and other items, killing viruses and bacteria. The device also provides a place to keep your items together in one place so you won’t lose them. In addition, it has two Qi-certified fast wireless charging ports and one USB-A quick charge port.
Mundus Pro Sanitizing Device and Charger, $129.99 at Einova
It’s important to maintain your hygienic health when on vacation, and this electric toothbrush makes it easier than ever. First of all, it’s waterproof so you can brush your teeth in the shower. The toothbrush also has a color-coded interface that will highlight areas of your mouth that are not fully cleaned. It has three modes and 32 intensities, so you can find the perfect setting. The smart toothbrush has a 30-day battery life and a 2-in-1 magnetic USB charge base and holder.
Oclean X Pro Electric Toothbrush, $99.99 at Amazon
If traveling by car, you can avoid spending outrageous amounts of money on the road by bringing your own food and beverages. This portable appliance can serve as either a refrigerator or freezer for drinks, ice cream, meat, veggies, and other food items. You can actually charge it using your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or a portable generator, and also use the USB charging port for your phone. The digital panel lets you see and switch modes, and also view and adjust the temperature.
AstroAI 12 Volt Car Refrigerator, $229.99/ sale $199.99 at Amazon
Another option for keeping beverages cold is this cooler, which is lighter and thinner than it looks but is still durable enough to be carried anywhere. The permafrost insulation keeps ice frozen for days, and the internal height (13 inches) is tall enough to keep wine bottles upright. The cooler can hold 24 pounds of ice, and 18 cans, and has nonslip feet so it won’t slide out of place. In addition, the handle is designed to make it comfortable to carry the cooler. There are almost a dozen colors to choose from, including navy, aquifer blue, Nordic purple, and tan.
Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler, $250 at Amazon
Don’t lose your precious vacation memories. This portable solid-state drive can be used to back up all of your pictures and videos – and it can also back up your music libraries, etc. The device only weighs 1.62 ounces, so it’s easy to transport, but has a 500GB memory storage capacity, as well as password protection. It’s also shock and vibration resistant with hardware encryption.
WD My Passport SSD Portable External Drive, $119.99/ sale $99.99 at Amazon
Whether you’re camping or just eating meals on the go, this collapsible, insulated, one-quart camp bowl is perfect for both hot and cold meals. It has an insulation sleeve on the sides and bottom to keep food warm while protecting your hands. The bowl has a stainless-steel rim and spill-resistant resealable lid. When not in use, the bowl collapses to 1.25 inches high, and it’s available in several colors.
Hydaway Collapsible Insulated Bowl, $29.95 at Amazon
If your vehicle doesn’t have a GPS, and you’d rather not fumble with your phone, this 6-inch GPS navigator has a high-resolution touchscreen that lets you easily see both map details and other pertinent information. It also provides alerts for school zones, changes in speed, railroad crossings, and sharp curves ahead to provide situational awareness. The GPS navigator also lets you sync your smartphone so you can make hands-free calls, and the Garmin voice assist lets you issue spoken requests.
Garmin Drivesmart GPS Navigator, $224 at Amazon
Mount this camera on the top of your vehicle’s rear license plate, connect it to your vehicle’s reverse lights, and it can let you clearly see what’s behind you when you put the vehicle in reverse – even providing a 160-degree wide field of view in 720p. And at night, the camera also uses NightGlo technology to illuminate the area behind you. The backup camera is rugged and has an IPX7 rating, so it also works in the rain. It comes with a license plate mount and bracket mount. (Note: it’s only compatible with Garmin devices)
Garmin BC 50 Vehicle Backup Camera with Night Vision, $299 at Amazon
Good luck finding gas stations with free – and working – air pumps. However, with your own air compressor, you can conveniently put air in your own tires. Just connect the air compressor to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter (or portable generator) and it will quickly inflate your vehicle’s tire. The lightweight tire pump, which only weighs 2.2 pounds, also has an LCD display screen, and an emergency LED light to provide safety when using it at night. In addition, it has different nozzles to use with bicycles, balls, and other items.
Astro AI Air Compressor, $32.99 at Amazon
This power bank can be used in an airport, vehicle, at a coffee house, picnic, or wherever you are when you need to recharge your tech devices. It can charge up to three devices at the same time, including a laptop, camera, tablet, and anything else you have that can be charged via USB-C and USB-A Quick Charge.
Ultra Fast Power Bank, $69.99 at Einova
If you want to go off the grid, this portable power station can go with you and provide several hours of power for all of your needs. It has an 882Wh capacity and a 1400W AC output. With 12 total outlets, it can charge a portable air conditioner, TV, air fryer, hair dryer, drone, coffee maker, electric grill, etc., and also recharge smartphones, laptops, etc. The fast-charging power station can recharge from 0 to 80 percent in just one hour using a wall outlet and can be recharged with solar panels or your car’s cigarette lighter as well. You can also use the app on your smartphone to control and monitor the power station.
ECOFLOW Delta Mini Portable Power Station, $999/sale $749 at Amazon
In case your car’s battery stops – or you encounter someone else with a dead battery – having a jump starter can be a lifesaver. And this one actually has several different functions. In addition to being a jump starter, it has a portable power bank, compass, flashlight, strobe light, SOS light, and red warning light. The two-inch LCD actually provides instructions on the screen every step of the way, as well as displays the jump start ready status in percentages.
Astro AI Car Jump Starter, $99.59/ sale $59.99 at Amazon

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