Ready to travel but want to avoid forgetting your travel essentials? We’ve all been there, realizing too late that a must-have item got left behind.

Luckily, packing pro-style is easier than you think with this checklist of underrated travel necessities that most travelers tend to overlook.

Read on to discover the top products every savvy jetsetter should consider bringing. Spoiler – they take up little space but solve some of the most annoying problems travelers face.

Power Strip- Don't Fight for Outlets

Let’s be real – keeping devices juiced is tricky with limited hotel outlets. It’s the worst realizing your phone’s at 2% and there are no open plugs. But compact power strips save the day by turning one outlet into many. Some even include USB ports to directly power smaller electronics like headphones and e-books too.

Reusable Bottle- For Health and Planet

Dehydration is no joke, but buying piles of plastic water bottles is wasteful. The solution? Toting an eco-friendly reusable bottle alone provides clean H20 whenever you’re parched while reducing trash. Plus if you snag one with a handy carry loop or carabiner, it easily clips onto bags during nonstop sightseeing.

Ziplock Bags- Organize Messiness

Basic zipper baggies revolutionize packing. Stash loose odds and ends like makeup, chargers, snacks, or first aid supplies together inside. Clear plastic makes contents visible while keeping things tidy, dry, and easy to grab in a flash. And they weigh nothing, so tossing in a few to organize your stuff is a no-brainer.

Microfiber Towel- Compact and Ultra Absorbent

Standard towels hog precious luggage space, but their quick-dry microfiber cousins pack way smaller while soaking up tons of water. After beach or pool days, just give them a few shakes and they’re ready to use again. Some even stash inside their carrying pouches, protecting other items from dampness. The bottom line, these space-saving heroes scrub sand away and dry fast with barely any bulk.

First Aid Essentials- Prepare for Anything

No one plans on getting hurt but let’s get real, anything can happen. Rather than panic in unfamiliar locations, be ready for minor medical mishaps with a compact first aid kit. We’re talking bandages, meds, ointment, etc. Having these on hand eases headaches, blisters, or sudden allergic reactions. Tossing it in luggage brings big comfort for just an ounce or two of space.

Mini Sewing Kit- Zero Wardrobe Malfunction

Your zipper splitting mid-trip or buttons popping off is definitely possible when you’re always moving around. But hauling a chunky sewing machine everywhere ain’t plausible. Tiny emergency kits save you instead. They stash thread, needles, buttons, and fabric scissors inside conveniently tiny pouches. Just whip out this pint-sized lifesaver for speedy stitches and clothing repairs on the fly as needed, whether you’re exploring cities or beaches.

Foldable Tote Bags - Extra Carrying Capacity

Want to go on a shopping spree but luggage space is limited? Solve such dilemmas with slim foldable tote bags that can be folded flat until it’s time to haul goodies. Then voila, they become instantly cavernous for overflow shopping scores, souvenirs, or even poolside reads. The best part is that it’s made of durable ripstop fabric so you won’t have to worry about sudden tears.

Travel-sized Stain Remover- Keep Clothes Clean

Portable stain sticks mean wine spills, grease drips or mud splatters won’t ruin your day. Whether you’re dressed up for a romantic getaway dinner or a travel business deal, these magical little wipes and sprays blast spots away lickety-split with a dab, helping extend wear between washes.

Also, who has time for laundry while traveling? Exactly. Just stash one of these convenient cleaners and bid stains adieu.

Dry Shampoo- Look presentable

Exploring nonstop is thrilling, but for most of us, our hair has a mind of its own. All that running around can leave locks lackluster and limp. Greasy hair happens, but dry shampoo saves the day by absorbing grime and oils without water. Even after red-eyes or camping trips, a quick spray revives strands, restoring a neat look instantly.

Travel-sized Hand Sanitizer- Essential Hand Hygiene

Washing hands regularly prevents sickness but soap isn’t always handy while you’re bouncing between planes, trains, and taxis. Mini sanitizing sprays save the day by killing bacteria and viruses sans water, fitting nicely into pockets or purses too. A quick spray after touching random surfaces helps block the possibility of getting sick on vacation.

Travel Essentials Recap

  • Power Strip
  • Reusable Bottle
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Microfiber Towel
  • First Aid
  • Mini Sewing Kit
  • Foldable Tote Bags
  • Travel-sized Stain Remover
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Travel-sized Hand Sanitizer

By packing these underrated travel essentials, you’re ready for just about any situation that could pop up– washed, charged, repaired, and healthy the whole trip through.

But say you do happen to forget something, no worries.

Our friendly Hotel Chicago West Loop staff are always glad to assist with any forgotten item or need during your Chicago stay. And with our artsy digs located perfectly downtown near awesome attractions, we make an amazing home base for exploring the Windy City. Happy traveling!