12 Cool Travel Items for Your Summer Vacation


Winter is finally over, and the summer vacation you've been counting down to has arrived. But before you head out for your trip, you need to pack the right clothing and the right gear. Beyond the basic necessities, you can make your summer vacation more enjoyable by packing these 12 cool travel items. (See also: 8 Credit Card Perks That'll Make Your Summer Travels Easier)

1. Portable power bank

Tech devices have become an essential part of travel gear for most of us. We often use them even more while we're away from home — whether it's following a GPS map on a phone, watching movies on tablets, or reading books on e-readers. Don't run the risk of your devices running out of juice while you're on vacation. Get yourself a portable power bank so you can charge your gadgets on the go. You charge it up before you head out the door, then when you need it you can plug your device in.

2. Filtered water bottle

Often on vacation, and particularly in foreign countries, tap water doesn't meet the same quality standards you're used to. This can mean you end up buying a lot of bottled water. Filtered water bottles are great from both an environmental perspective as they reduce the amount of plastic you use, and also because they save you a significant amount of money. You can fill up from virtually any water source and drink with confidence, knowing that the water you’re drinking is safe. (See also: 5 Low-Cost Travel Items That Can Save You Big On Your Next Trip)

3. Selfie stick

A selfie stick is a must-have accessory for any vacationer these days. They're inexpensive and extremely useful for conveniently snapping great vacation photos. No more pictures with one of the family members missing or having to trust strangers with your camera or smartphone. (See also: The 5 Best Selfie Sticks)

4. Electronic accessories organizer

Why is it that whenever you put a bunch of wires in a bag, they always come out intertwined in an impossibly tangled mess? There's no need to worry about that happening with an electronic organizer. There are separate compartments for all of your cables, chargers, headphones, memory cards and whatever other accessories you have. The organizer will keep all of the wires untangled and give you one easy place to find everything electronics-related.

5. Multitool

A multitool is an unquestionably handy item to take on vacation, as there will always come a time when you need to open a bottle, tighten some sunglasses, or fix something else in a pinch. There are many that are now TSA-approved if you're heading somewhere by plane, and most are small enough to fit in your pocket. (See Also: 13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have)

6. Portable espresso machine

If you're a coffee enthusiast whose brain doesn't function until you've had your morning cup of joe, this one's for you. You'll never need to worry about finding a decent cup of coffee again. Portable espresso machines are compact, lightweight, and hand-powered so all you need to add is ground coffee beans for the perfect brew. I personally use the Handpresso and it works very well.

7. Flexible tripod

Unlike a traditional, bulky, extendible tripod, a flexible tripod can be configured on pretty much any surface, and they're so small they'll fit in your carry-on bag. Wrap it around a pole, secure it to a tree, or set it up on an uneven surface. They're the best way to achieve a stable base for your smartphone or camera, and can be used with a self timer for when the selfie stick just won't do.

I personally use the JOBY Gorillapod, and it seems to last longer than other similar products on the market. In my experience, many cheaper brands break down with use.

8. Portable backrest chair

Folding seats with backs are ingenious inventions that are little more than a padded mat with two straps attached to keep the seat at a 90-degree angle to the back. But they provide a great backrest for when you're relaxing at the beach, having a picnic in the park, or out camping in the wild. They're also extremely lightweight, and you can carry them anywhere in your backpack or suitcase.

9. Inflatable lounger

These inflatable loungers can be blown up in minutes without an air pump. The compartments are designed to catch the air, so all it takes is a few waves and they fill up, then you fold down the end and secure it in place. These loungers can be used on the beach, in the park, or even in the pool or sea. They pack down to the size of a very small backpack, so it's like being able to carry your sofa with you wherever you go.

10. Sand-free beach mat

If you've ever spent a day at the beach, only to get home with what seems like half of it folded into your beach blanket, then you'll appreciate a sand-free beach mat. These mats have a one-way mesh design, allowing sand to filter out through the microscopic holes rather than staying on top. It's not just for the beach, either. Dirt and water also pass through the mesh, so the mat is great for camping or picnics. It's easy to clean and can be used anywhere outdoors.

11. Camera drone

If you want to snap some super cool shots of your vacation and have a bit of fun while getting them, then a camera drone is the way to do it. The thrill of flying your own mini, unmanned quadcopter is endlessly entertaining.

For ultimate portability, I use the DJI Spark, which takes beautiful cinematic videos and photos that put the iPhone to shame. And you may even be able to make a few dollars from the amazing aerial footage that you capture from it as well. (See also: How to Earn Extra Income With a Drone)

12. Clip-on phone camera lenses

Smartphone cameras are so advanced these days that it's often unnecessary to take a separate camera with you on vacation. But you may still want a bit more from your holiday snaps than your phone alone can provide. Clip-on camera lenses are great for producing different results like wide angle, fisheye, and macro, and can take your smartphone photography to the next level.

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