Here at ShermansTravel, we jump at the chance to make traveling less stressful -- even fun. From a tool to de-clutter electronics to a simple water hack, here are five surprising accessories that create a better away-from-home experience.
1. Collapsible backpack: Add an extra carry-on to your travels by stuffing your backpack into a pocket and unfolding only when needed. This model from ChicoBag sells for less than $25 and folds into a compact, pocket-sized pouch.
2. Water bottles: Empty, portable water bottles -- or, really, whatever container you have in your kitchen cabinet -- can be lifesavers in a carry-on. These can later be used for carrying potable water in countries that may not otherwise readily sell it. You can even use them for hand weights for a quick in-room workout.
3. Portable speaker: This takes up a decent amount of space in your carry-on, and is steep in price, but completely worth it for those who love their music. The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker ($199.95, pictured above) is perfect for setting the mood on a day at the winery, a night on the balcony of your hotel room, or just about anywhere you’re craving a pop-up party.
4. Individual detergents: Traveling can get dirty, and having your clothes laundered at a hotel can be pricey. Enter: individual detergents. These pint-sized packets, from brands like Woolite, slip easily into your cosmetic bag and help to extend the life of your traveling wardrobe with a simple wash in the sink. ($4.99 for 10)
5. Grid-It organizer: Somehow traveling brings out the unorganized monster in the best of us. With the handy, compact Grit-It ($24), you’ll never have to dig for your iPhone or find your headphones and charging cords balled-up at the bottom of your carry-on again. Bonus: It’s completely flat, so it's a space-saver to boot.