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These 5 Travel Buys Made My Vacation Better — Plus I Got 5% Cash Back

by Staff

Have you ever taken a really excellent vacation? As I write this, I’ve been home from mine for less than a week, and while I’m happy to be back in my little routine, it was wonderful to get away and enjoy a tropical breeze, ocean waves, and delicious cuisine.

In the six months between booking my plane tickets and actually leaving, I spent some time tracking down travel gear to ensure my trip was the best it could be. I took to Amazon — here’s what I found.

1. A purse-sized portable phone charger

I knew I’d be taking a ton of photos on my vacation, and running out of battery when you’re far from a wall outlet is not ideal. So I went looking for a portable charger that was robust enough to stand up to potentially charging two smartphones, but also small enough not to take up too much space in a purse.

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The INIU portable charger offers a 10,000 mAh capacity, and can charge three devices at the same time. Plus, it comes in several fun colors and a mesh storage bag. You can get the orange one for $21.99 as of this writing.

2. A convenient carry-on backpack

While I knew I’d be checking a suitcase for my flights, I wanted to have the best possible carry-on bag to have easy access to my e-reader, laptop, water bottle, and anything else I’d need in-flight. Backpacks are conveniently hands-free, so I settled on a small Kavu model with a padded section that was perfect for my laptop.

This is easily the most comfortable backpack I’ve ever owned, and while it is on the smaller side, it has convenient pockets, and the size kept me from stuffing too many things I wouldn’t need into it. Different colors have different price tags, but the colorful Summer Stripe I got is going for $33.50 as of this writing.

3. A luggage tracker for checked bags

I’m a terrible overpacker whenever I go on vacation, and flying several thousand miles makes me even more anxious about forgetting things. So it was a given that I was going to be checking a suitcase. I’ve heard the horror stories about lost luggage, though, and wanted to buy myself some extra protection.

So I got two Apple AirTags, one for my suitcase and one for my traveling companion’s. Using the Find My app on my iPhone, I was able to check up on our suitcases and see when they made it onto the planes with us. These go for $29 if you buy from Apple, but as of this writing, you can get them for $24 apiece from Amazon.

4. A sound machine that ensures a good night’s sleep

The older I get, the worse I seem to sleep. I rely on a white-noise machine at home to help me fall asleep and stay asleep, and my results are backed by science. A study reported in Frontiers in Neurology found that “broadband noise” (another term for white noise) helped participants fall asleep 38% faster.

Thankfully, I found the excellent Yogasleep rechargeable white noise machine. It fits in the palm of my hand and offers six different sounds — plus it even has a soft night light. The vacation condo I rented for my trip was right near the building’s elevator, and it was loud — thanks to this machine, it didn’t wake me up (and I got the best sleep I’ve had in years on this trip!). As of this writing, the white model can be yours for just $27.99.

5. A jewelry organizer that keeps small things safe

Jewelry is one of the more difficult things to pack, as it can be hard to keep tiny items like earrings organized and not spilled all over the bottom of your suitcase. Picking up a dedicated jewelry organizer was a good way to give me peace of mind that I wasn’t going to lose track of earrings, rings, and necklaces.

This BAGSMART model comes in two different sizes and a slew of colors. I found the Small size to be sufficient for my needs, and it can be yours in a lovely shade of teal for $13.59 as of this writing.

Great buys to be sure — but also 5% back

There’s good news for you if you shop on Amazon often and have a Prime membership. The Prime Visa has a $0 annual fee (Prime membership is required, though) and offers 5% cash back on Amazon, AmazonFresh, and Whole Foods, and Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership.

And unlike a lot of cash back credit cards, you can redeem what you earn as soon as the next day — no waiting until the end of your statement period! Using this credit card, I got 5% back on all these purchases, helping me stretch my vacation fund even further.

Got a dream vacation coming up? I recommend all of these buys — they definitely made my trip even better.

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