Must-Have Travel Accessories For Europe That Will Fit in Your Hand Luggage
Updated: 4 days ago
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Packing for a trip to Europe can be a daunting task. Even seasoned travellers often struggle with the limited packing space that hand luggage offers, and if you’re travelling for more than a week without checking in a bag then you need to make sure you pack efficiently.
What you choose to pack will depend on a number of factors such as personal needs, what time of the year you’re travelling to Europe at, which country you’re going to, if the trip is for business or pleasure, and what activities you intend to do there. That being said, there are definitely a few must-have travel accessories for Europe that will fit in your hand luggage that will definitely make your time abroad easier.
If you’re only travelling with hand luggage then it’s important to pack smart. You’re probably not going to need several pairs of shoes or multiple pairs of jeans that look similar to one another. Instead, focus on packing the bare minimum so that you have some extra space in your hand luggage or backpack for those all important unique travel accessories that will make your journey that much easier. Here’s a look at my essentials for travelling to Europe which include a few things you may not have considered before.
Brian Tripod 2.0 by 3 Legged Thing
I’m the type of traveller that’s always taking photos and when I’m at home I rely heavily on a tripod setup to capture the perfect shots. Tripods aren’t the easiest accessory to fit inside a backpack or small carry-on suitcase, due to their size, and weight unless you’re predominantly using a smaller tripod for your phone rather than a professional camera. Luckily 3 Legged Thing is here to save the day with the PUNKS Brian Tripod 2.0 which is designed with travel in mind.
If you’re packing for one week in Europe, you’re going to want to have this tripod on hand for all of your photoshoots. The Brian Tripod 2.0 reaches a maximum height of 1.86m and can be folded down to just 42cm. The legs are extremely durable and will hold up even on a windy day (trust me, I’ve tried this out). Two of the features I like the most about this tripod are the twist-lock system on the legs and the fact that the 3 legs can be detached to make it less bulky to pack. The tripod also comes inside a handy case with a shoulder strap for protection and storage.
The PUNKS Brian Tripod 2.0 is available globally and you can find a list of places to purchase their tripods on Three Legged Thing’s official website. All of their tripods are British designed and engineered and come with a 5 year warranty. The UK retail price of this tripod is £269.99 and there are additional attachments available for it as well.
Reusable Tumblers by Pirani Life
One of the worst things to see while travelling is the amount of litter strewn around what should be beautiful natural spaces, like beaches and hiking trails. Solo cups used for parties or large get-togethers are a big problem since they’re designed for single use and are often thrown on the ground or find their way into the oceans, rivers, and lakes. The team at Pirani Life have recognized this and come up with the perfect solution - the Reusable Insulated Tumbler.
Their tumblers come in 16oz or 26oz sizes with several colours to choose from. They work much the same way a reusable water bottle does, with an insulated wall that helps keep drinks cold for 12 hours and hot for 6 hours. Plus if you purchase multiple tumblers you can stack them for easy storage! And unlike most reusable water bottles these insulated tumblers are dishwasher safe. I bring my tumbler and my handy Adventure Handle with me whenever I travel to destinations where I know I’ll be visiting the beach so I can enjoy my drinks in a sustainable way. It really is one of the best travel accessories for Europe you never knew you needed!
Pirani Life is based out of North Carolina and ships to most countries around the world. Their 16oz tumblers cost $25.95 and their 26oz tumblers cost $32.95. You can also add the Adventure Handle to your collection for $9.95.
Ditch the Disposables Travel Kit by Elephant Box
Are you the type of person who likes to bring their own food and drinks with them while they’re on the go? Or maybe you’re trying to cut down on single use packaging and cutlery even when you’re travelling. Not all reusable cups, bottles, and containers are durably built which can be a problem if you’re throwing your bags around a lot (or are a little clumsy). I’ve recently come across Elephant Box who have created a fantastic range of stainless steel containers, drinkware, and other accessories that are perfect for travelling to Europe with.
I created my own bundle with items that I know I’ll use regularly but there are more options on their website that may appeal to you more. The Clip & Seal Lunch Box No.4 is made of brushed stainless steel and is both leakproof and rust resistant so you can enjoy whatever food you desire while on the go. The Stainless Steel Spork is the perfect companion to the lunch box. It comes in its own cork case that can be attached to a keyring or backpack and is smaller than a ballpoint pen so it takes up minimal space.
If you enjoy hot drinks then the 350ml To-Go Cup is a great option too. The stainless steel cup is easy to clean and is covered by a cork sleeve. It also includes a silicone lid to minimize spills. And let’s not forget about the reusable water bottle! Elephant Box’s 500ml Single-Wall Water Bottle is a nice size for day trips and won’t take up a lot of space in your bag.
Elephant Box is based in the UK and is able to ship to many destinations worldwide. The Clip & Seal Lunch Box No.4 retails at £31.00, the Stainless Steel Spork at £8.50, the To-Go Cup at £18.50, and the 500ml Single-Wall Water Bottle at £15.00. These must-have travel accessories for Europe will definitely make your life a lot easier - and cheaper in the long run too!
Grab 15% off your order using the code EXPLORE10 at checkout.
Recycled Sunglasses by Waterhaul
Is it really a trip to Europe without a good pair of sunglasses? Not really. Even if I travel to Europe in the off season I make sure that I pack my sunglasses with me because chances are there’ll be a few sunny days - even in the coldest of countries. I always love coming across travel accessories that are made from recycled materials and have a positive impact on the environment, which is why Waterhaul appealed to me. They create beautiful sunglasses using abandoned fishing gear and nets that are found in the ocean and along the coastlines.
The Fitzroy Navy Sunglasses are one of their most popular products with a unisex frame designed to suit different face shapes. They’re made from 100% recycled polypropylene fishing nets and lines with a navy frame and grey lens tint. The lenses are made from mineral glass rather than plastic and like all of their sunglasses they’re engineered and hand-finished in Italy. The sunglasses also include a sustainable cork case that can be folded down when not in use and all eyewear frames come with a lifetime warranty! If they're too damaged to be repaired they'll be recycled and made into something new.
Based in the south of England, along the Cornish coast, Waterhaul are really doing their part to eliminate ghost gear from the waters and beaches. They offer free shipping worldwide for any sunglasses or eyewear orders and each purchase goes towards helping Waterhaul remove more ghost gear from the ocean. The Fitzroy Navy Sunglasses retail for £95.00 and they’ll be the best sunglasses purchase you ever make - both for yourself and the environment.
2-in-1 Airplane Travel Pillow & Blanket by EverSnug
Travelling by plane isn’t always the most comfortable, especially if you’re on a long haul flight with average legroom and an uncomfortable seat. Some airlines will provide you with a pillow and blanket to use if it’s an overnight flight but they’re usually fairly basic. EverSnug have come up with a solution to this problem though, with their 2-in-1 Airplane Travel Pillow & Blanket. It’s very compact and easy to attach to the outside of your backpack or over the handle of your suitcase thanks to the sleeve at the back. You can even pack it inside of your hand luggage if you have the space and it comes in 6 different colours.
This is definitely a great thing to take to Europe, especially if you’re travelling for more than 6 hours on the plane. The blanket itself is made of a microplush material that’s very soft and when you’re done using the blanket you simply roll it up and fit it inside the equally soft pillow case! But don’t limit its use to just the plane. This unique travel accessory can easily be used at home, your accommodation while abroad, or wherever you need to feel more comfortable.
EverSnug is based in California and ships to many locations worldwide. You can either purchase their products directly through their website or through Amazon. The 2-in-1 Airplane Travel Pillow & Blanket retails for $39.95. If you’re based in the USA you can purchase their Premium Travel Pillow & Blanket which also costs $39.95 and has an upgraded design.
Contoured Sleep Mask by SMUG.
Next on my list of must have travel items for Europe is this beautiful Contoured Sleep Mask from SMUG. It can often be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you’re not sleeping in your own bed, and it’s even more difficult to sleep on a plane or train when the lights are on or its broad daylight. This sleep mask is designed to fix those problems. It completely blocks out any light once it’s set comfortably on your face which will allow the body to relax quicker - providing you with a great night’s sleep regardless of where you are!
What I like most about the sleep mask is that the dome design leaves space around the eyes so that your eyelashes don't touch the mask. This is one of the biggest reasons I normally don’t use a sleep mask so it’s a fantastic feature to incorporate into it. The strap is also fully adjustable for ultimate comfort and there are multiple designs available, including the wink print.
SMUG. is based in the UK but they offer reasonably priced shipping worldwide. You can also add a luxury gift box to your order at checkout which is a nice touch if you’re purchasing the sleep mask as a gift. The Contoured Sleep Mask retails for only £15.00 and its slim design makes it one of the top must-have travel accessories for Europe to pack in your hand luggage.
Customizable Stainless Steel Water Bottle by OriginalPeople
The amount of stainless steel water bottles out there is immense. It’s one of the things not to forget when travelling to Europe, but have you ever purchased a fully customizable one before? OriginalPeople have a Designed By You concept where everything on their website, from water bottles to stickers, can be designed by the customer. You have the option to add your own photos to the products or you can choose from hundreds of their figures, which you can customize to look more like you, as well as symbols.
This is my second time designing a stainless steel water bottle with OriginalPeople, and this time I chose to add my website’s logo to it which looks fantastic mixed in with the travel-themed figures! With the water bottles you have the option of a pearl white coating or the classic stainless steel look and you can pick which size you prefer as well. If you want to really go all out you can change the colour of the lid which comes with a carabiner (perfect for backpacking).
OriginalPeople are based in Spain but offer worldwide shipping. The 500ml bottle costs €28.90 and the 750ml bottle costs €32.90. I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun designing a water bottle to suit your personality and interests!
You can get 20% off your order using the code KRISTA20 at checkout.
TripClip Travel Pro by TripClip
Whether you’re on a short flight or a long haul flight, chances are you’ll be using your smartphone or tablet to watch something to make the time go faster. Yes, you can balance your phone on the table or hold it but after a while that becomes uncomfortable and it’s often the neck that suffers the most. That’s why the TripClip Travel Pro was invented.
This is one travel accessory that I never leave home without. The TripClip Travel Pro is a universal phone and tablet holder that’s designed to fit onto the seat in front of you without causing any disturbance to the other passenger. Your device attaches to it using a metal disc so there’s no sticky residue left over when you remove it. There are two different discs to choose from depending on the size of your device as well as three clips that can be used in different situations - not just the plane. This must-have travel accessory for Europe enables you to comfortably enjoy your content at eye level and when you’re done with it you simply pop it into its handy travel case until next time.
TripClip is based in Ireland and ships worldwide. The TripClip Travel Pro retails for €48.00 and there are often discount codes available on their official website. It’s very easy to assemble since no tools are needed and you’ll be the talk of the plane with your swanky new travel accessory.
Origin Jacket by Mac in a Sac
Packing a coat or jacket in your hand luggage isn’t always practical, and in many cases they need to be either worn or carried by hand which can be uncomfortable. If you’re travelling to a warm destination then a lighter jacket will do the job, just in case of a cool evening or if it happens to rain. And if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors then you’ll definitely want a jacket on hand. Mac in a Sac have designed a range of jackets that are both lightweight, space-saving, and extremely portable making them a must-have travel accessory for Europe.
Their Origin Jacket is specifically designed to protect you in the outdoors and comes in a wide range of colours for both men and women. This unisex waterproof jacket has a lot of features such as a concealed adjustable hood, back venting, front pockets, and reflective detailing. Once you’re done using the jacket you can easily fold it down into its handy carrier bag and store it for later use. The carrier bag is very small and compact so it takes up minimal space in backpacks or a suitcase.
Mac in a Sac is based out of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has been creating high quality waterproof clothing since 1997. Their macs are designed for life on the go so you’re always ready for that next adventure. The Origin Jacket retails at £37.50 and Mac in a Sac offer worldwide shipping, though delivery times will vary depending on your location. Now all that’s left is for you to pick your favourite colour and pack your mac for your trip!
Lava Bead Aromatherapy Relaxation Bracelet by LEVEL
If you’re the type of traveller that easily gets stressed or suffers from anxiety then this aromatherapy relaxation bracelet may be just the thing you need. LEVEL have just launched two of these bracelets, each with their own different fragrance. Both bracelets are made with pink zebra natural gemstones and black lava stone which will help to absorb the essential oil of your choice and release the scent throughout the day, making them ideal for travelling on a plane or wearing throughout your travels.
The Balance Relaxation Bracelet essential oil incorporates lavender, citrus, menthol, and ylang-ylang into it which all have soothing properties in them. The Happiness Relaxation Bracelet, on the other hand, comes with an essential oil that includes Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Jasmine which together help to control negative emotions and promote calmness. Both scents are equally as calming so I would recommend choosing the one that sounds like it would most benefit you while you’re travelling.
LEVEL is based in the UK and ships worldwide, though shipping times vary depending on your location. The bracelets cost just £18.00 each and include a small vial of the essential oil that you’ve chosen. The aromatherapy bracelet is one of the best travel must-haves for women, especially if you struggle to remain calm while you’re travelling.
Double Pack Hammock by Husk Hammocks
Have you ever thought about travelling with a hammock? Unless you’re travelling with a large suitcase or going on a camping trip then chances are you haven’t since a lot of hammocks take up a significant amount of space and can be quite heavy. Husk Hammocks have come up with a solution to this though by creating a hammock that weighs less than 1kg and can be compressed down into a handy pouch. Plus, you won’t need to bring two hammocks along since this compact hammock can hold 1 or 2 people up to a total weight of 300kg!
The compact hammock is the perfect travel accessory for Europe that will fit in your hand luggage. Designed with portability in mind, it takes up minimal space in your bag and can easily be set up just about anywhere thanks to the tree saver straps and heavy duty but lightweight carabiners. I’ve used the ocean blue coloured hammock a couple of times in Spain to relax in the shade near the beach and so far I’ve been very impressed with how durable the double nylon parachute material is. The compact hammock is a unique travel accessory that will add a touch of relaxation to your adventures without weighing you down.
Husk Hammocks is based in the UK and offers a one-year warranty on all of their hammocks. The price of their double pack hammock is £49.99 and shipping prices are calculated at checkout based on your location. You’re going to love the easy setup of this travel hammock and the comfort it can provide while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
Travel Wallet by Allett
One of the best travel accessories to have on hand is a travel wallet. I’ve gone through a number of travel wallets over the past few years but they either start to fall apart or don’t have enough compartments for what I need. However, the ultra slim travel wallet by Allett is a game changer. It’s not a huge wallet so it’s easy to transport and tuck away in your bag while you’re on the go and since it’s made of a water resistant material it can withstand use in any environment. It also features RFID-blocking technology which helps to keep all of your personal information safe.
The travel wallet can comfortably fit not one but two passports, up to 10 cards, various travel documents that you can put away in secret compartments, and different sizes of paper currencies in the cash pocket. If you have a small pen you can squeeze that in too!
Allett has been designing and manufacturing slim wallets in San Diego, California since 1995. Their small batch manufacturing concept means that they can provide customers with better quality products that will last longer which is perfect for any regular traveller. Their travel wallet retails at $52.00 and they’re able to ship internationally too. It’s time to ditch that old travel wallet and get a new one that’s better suited to your travel needs!
G3 Camera Harness System by Cotton Carrier
This one is for the active travellers out there. The G3 Camera Harness System by Cotton Carrier is a fantastic accessory to own if you want a secure and comfortable place to keep your camera. This handsfree harness allows for even weight distribution thanks to the ergonomic vest that can be adjusted around the torso and on the shoulders for a snug fit. The back and shoulder padding with a vented back panel also makes the G3 Camera Harness System incredibly comfortable to wear throughout the day - even with a large camera lens attached.
Once the camera has securely slid into the front of the harness you have the option of attaching a safety tether for additional security in the unlikely event that the camera loosens itself from the harness. The system also includes a weather bag to protect the camera from the outside elements. When I’m using one of my bigger lenses for more than a few hours my neck starts to hurt from my camera strap so I’m very excited to use this harness for my outdoor excursions.
Cotton Carrier is based out of Vancouver, Canada and offers worldwide shipping so everyone can get their hands on this useful travel accessory. The G3 Camera Harness System retails at $129.99 CAD or €149.00 and its size makes it ideal for packing away in your carry-on while you’re travelling around the world.
Classic Portable Espresso Machine by STARESSO
If you’re travelling to remote areas, heading out on a road trip, or enjoy having your favourite coffee on hand whenever you want it then you’ll love the idea of travelling with an espresso machine. No, not a giant kitchen espresso machine - the Classic Portable Espresso Machine from STARESSO! It’s designed with portability in mind and can be used while travelling, at home, or even at the office. Its compact nature makes it incredibly easy to pack in whatever bag you’re using and the parts can be separated too..
The Classic Portable Espresso Machine is compatible with both coffee powder and capsules and it can hold up to 80ml of boiling or ice water. You don’t need to worry about charging it either since it works by manual operation and will produce an espresso in less than 2 minutes. It’s definitely a unique travel accessory for your hand luggage and if you’re a coffee lover then this will be ideal for you on your travels.
STARESSO operates internationally and is particularly popular in the USA, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. They’ve won several awards for their designs over the years, including the German Red Dot Design Award, and have even collaborated with Starbucks back in 2016. The Classic Portable Espresso Machine sells for $69.99 and shipping is available worldwide. Don't forget to use the code KRISTA10 for $10.00 off your order!
Travel Pack by f.e.t.e (from earth to earth)
If you’re on the hunt for a more natural option when it comes to your all important travel toothbrush then I’ve found just the thing for you. The team at f.e.t.e (from earth to earth) have come up with natural alternatives to everyday essentials such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, cotton buds, hairbrushes, and lots more - all made from bamboo! Their products are recyclable and biodegradable where possible so while you’re brightening up your day you’re also doing your part to help the planet which isn’t always possible when you’re travelling.
I got my hands on their new Travel Pack which includes a medium bristle bamboo toothbrush, a 15ml charcoal truthpaste that will help to naturally whiten your teeth and is 100% Vegan, and a bamboo toothbrush travel case which is very useful for keeping your toothbrush safe and clean while on the go. They also have soft and firm bristle toothbrushes available in a variety of colours and options for children too!
The Travel Pack is a new addition to their website and retails at £15.49. f.e.t.e is based in the UK but if you live abroad then you’re in luck because they also offer international shipping for a flat rate. Now all that’s left is to say goodbye to your old plastic toothbrush and toothpaste tube and turn your attention to more natural products while you travel that are sure to brighten your day.
Deluxe Hangable Kit by Briggs & Riley
Travelling with only hand luggage and a small personal bag severely limits what you can pack, and oftentimes toiletries are thrown into a plastic bag or wherever they can fit to save space. On some trips I’ve arrived at my destination only to find that some of my toiletries have become damaged along the way. It’s taken me a while to find a toiletry bag that’s both lightweight and durable but the Deluxe Hangable Kit by Briggs & Riley fits all my criteria and has some bonus features too.
This unique travel toiletry bag has ample storage space and compartments so you can easily separate specific toiletries from one another which makes them easier to find as well. The toiletry bag can be stood up, laid flat, or hung up using the hanging hook. It also has a handle on the back so it’s easy to grab. When purchasing the toiletry bag online you’ll even have the option of adding monogrammed initials to the leather tag on the front. The Deluxe Hangable Kit lets you pack all of your small travel necessities for Europe in one place and makes you look very stylish at the same time.
Briggs & Riley are based in the US but have an office in the UK. The offer a range of other luxury travel accessories as well as luggage. They ship throughout the UK and to many international destinations (visit their FAQ’s page for more details). The Deluxe Hangable Kit retails at £99.00 and there is no additional fee to add any initials to it. After you’ve used it you’ll wonder how you ever travelled without it.
QuietOn 3.1 Sleep Earbuds + Sleep Mask by QuietOn
Although most of us would prefer a quiet and relaxing place to stay, that’s not always the case. Having noisy neighbours, being close to a club or bar, or being situated along a busy street can all cause havoc if you’re a light sleeper. Unfortunately the majority of standard earbuds will let in a small amount of noise, which is noticeable if you’re trying to sleep, and they can easily fall out of your ear as well. That’s why QuietOn have created the ultimate premium sleep earbuds.
The QuietOn 3.1 Sleep Earbuds use an active noise cancelling technology that helps to reduce low frequency sounds without the use of Bluetooth connectivity or EMF radiation. The earbuds come in a sleek charging case and can last up to 28 hours on a full charge. They’re designed for sleeping so the small fit means that even side sleepers will benefit from using them, and a set of different sizes of eartips is included so you can choose the best one for your ears. Even if you’re short on space or near your weight limit, the small case can easily fit in your pocket and you won’t even notice it’s there which makes it one of the top must-haves for long haul flights (and any travel experience really).
QuietOn is based in Finland and currently offers free shipping worldwide which is fantastic! At the time of writing this article I was based in the UK so the prices were in GBP. The QuietOn 3.1 Sleep Earbuds retail at £249.00 or you can purchase the earbuds and a sleeping mask for £319.00. If you need additional foam tips for your earbuds, those can be purchased separately. Get ready for the best sleep you’ve ever had while travelling!
Weighted Blanket by Baloo Living
A lot of people like to travel with a blanket, especially if they’re going on a long train journey or a flight. Blankets are a great way to stay warm and add a touch of comfort to a trip, but did you know there are weighted blankets light enough to travel with too? I own a couple of weighted blankets for use at home but the weight and size makes it impossible to travel with them. Sleep can be difficult to come by if you’re travelling to a foreign country but there’s now a solution to this that every weighted blanket user is going to love.
Baloo Living have produced a lighter and thinner weighted blanket complete with a useful shoulder bag that can be used as your personal item onboard a flight. Their Throw Weighted Blanket weighs just 5.4kg (or 12lbs) making it easy to carry while you’re on the go. It’s designed to mould comfortably to your body and doesn’t trap in heat so it can be used all year round. Plus it’s made of 100% cotton to ensure you have a cool and deep sleep!
Baloo Living is based in New York but they also have a UK website and offer worldwide shipping. As well as weighted blankets you can purchase weighted comforters, linen duvet covers, therapy speakers, and other products designed to help you sleep better. The Throw Weighted Blanket retails at £179.00 on their UK website. A weighted blanket is probably something you never thought of packing in your hand luggage but it’s now a very real option.
Zipped Travel Jewellery Box by Stackers
Anyone who travels with jewellery will know the struggles of trying to pack everything in a way where pieces won’t get tangled with one another and you don’t lose an earring or a ring while you’re in transit. I usually end up putting my jewellery in my toiletry bag, which sometimes doesn’t end well, or I simply don’t take anything with me in case they get lost. I was really happy when I stumbled upon Stackers who specialize in jewellery and makeup boxes and bags that have an elegant design to them.
On a recent trip I took the Zipped Travel Jewellery Box for a test run and I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it is to use and travel with. It’s made of a faux leather material with several colours to choose from and you can even add your initials to the front of it. The inside consists of two small compartments for bracelets or necklaces and there is plenty of space for multiple sets of earrings and rings too. The travel jewellery box is small enough to fit inside a tote bag or backpack without taking up much space and all of your jewellery will remain safe and accounted for.
Stackers is based in the UK and they’re able to ship to many countries worldwide. If you’re located in Europe they don’t ship directly from their website but you may be able to find a stockist nearby. The Zipped Travel Jewellery Box costs £28.00 and for an additional £15.00 you can personalize it with up to three initials. Once you buy one of their boxes you’ll wonder how you ever organized your jewellery without one.
This collection of must-have travel accessories for Europe that will fit in your hand luggage is probably a little different than what you’re used to reading about. I wanted to think outside the box and focus on unique accessories that you may not have thought about but that will make your travel experience that much easier and relaxing. It can be stressful trying to decide what to take when travelling to Europe, especially if you aren’t a frequent traveller or have never been before. Hopefully something on my list catches your eye and will benefit you on your next adventure!
If you have any questions about the above travel accessories please feel free to reach out via email or by filling in the contact form. Some of these items would make great gifts for travel lovers! Or if you’re a brand that would like to be considered for this blog post I’d be happy to chat with you as well. You can also follow all of my travels on Instagram and reach out there if it’s more convenient for you.