20 unexpected but essential items to travel with this summer

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Hangover vitamins and stain remover might not be on your list of things to take with you on holiday, but they definitely should be

Whether you’re an organised packer or tend to leave things to the very last minute, this list will have something for you. From bug repellent and hangover helpers to tracking devices and waterproof cameras, here are 20 items you’ll want to make sure you leave space for in your suitcase

1. Hangover cure

There’s nothing quite like the joy of sipping on a frozen cocktail by the sea while on holiday. It’s one of life’s great pleasures. However, all joy is quickly diminished when you wake up with a pounding headache in 30C weather. This clever supplement from Biocol Labs will soon become your go-to saviour; the herbal blend, crafted with milk thistle, artichoke and choline, contributes to the maintenance of normal liver function, and can help break down harmful alcohol-induced toxins, while restoring lost vitamins and minerals. Simply take two capsules before drinking to alleviate any troublesome hangover symptoms. £16.32 from Dandy.

2. Headphones

Ever been stuck on a plane with ‘that’ bickering couple? If you have, you’ll know that the headphones provided by the airline you’re flying with just won’t cut it. Drown out background noise with these Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones, which deliver high-quality audio and have a 40-hour battery life. Plus, the cushioned ear cups provide optimum comfort. The headphones even come with a handy carry case. £199.95 from John Lewis.

3. Sleep mask

Get a good night’s sleep with this Slip Silk Sleep Mask. Made from soft, thick and durable material, the sleep mask has been crafted with luxurious mulberry silk, and has a pure silk filler and internal liner that works to reduce distractions caused by light and movement. Perfect for use during your flight or for getting your sleep back on track after a long-haul journey, this trusty mask will soon become your favourite travel companion. £50 from Space NK.

4. Compression socks

Although a pair of compression socks might not be at the top of your packing list, they probably should be. Especially beneficial on long-haul flights, compression socks can help regulate blood flow, preventing blood clots and conditions like DVT, which can occur when you sit in the same position for long periods (such as during a flight). This pair from Foot Reviver are designed to provide soothing compression to help stimulate blood flow and provide targeted support for restless legs and feet. £8.99 from Nuova Health.

5. Travel pillow

Maintain good sleeping habits while on holiday with this innovative design from Nurse Jamie. The pillow has been specifically designed to help improve the quality of your rest and reduce sleep lines, meaning your beauty sleep will be exactly that — beauty sleep. It features a unique shape designed to cradle the face and neck, while comfortably conforming to the contours of your face and head. The memory foam support will help you drift off peacefully wherever you are, while the satin finish is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types. £74 from Revolve.

6. Passport holder

Your passport is one of the most important documents you’ll ever own. Keep it safe and easily accessible with this colourful passport holder from Kate Spade and Alexander Girard. Designed to speak to our love of adventure, travel and joy, each design features Girad’s iconic sun motif, and comes complete with an interior passport pocket, vaccine card pocket and four card slots, so you can ensure all your valuables are kept safe in one place. £115 from Kate Spade.

7. Tanning aid

If you’re naturally pale, you might return from holiday only for everyone to ask: “Where’s your tan?” These Natural Glow capsules by Wild Nutrition have been designed to nourish your skin from within with Melaline, a melanin-rich keratin; tests showed that, after 30 days, 81% of users found their skin looked more tanned, firmer and brighter. Make the most of your time in the sun and return home glowing — simply take two tablets each day for supported melanin production. Remember, though, to always apply sun cream. £59 from Wild Nutrition.

8. Mini nail polish

Don’t tie yourself down to one nail colour while you’re on holiday — instead, pack your favourite shades of these adorable mini nail varnishes from Mavala. The vegan formulas are perfect for popping in your suitcase and are both long-lasting and breathable. Choose from a wide range of colours, including deep purples and bright reds, to match your holiday outfits. They’re easy to use, too — simply apply two thin coats to the nail, after a protective base coat, and finish with a fixator for a manicure that will look great throughout your holiday. £6.60 each from Fenwick.

9. SPF

You don’t need us to tell you that sun cream should be at the top of your list of things to take on holiday. Save space with this high-protection SPF 50 formula that’s suitable for both the face and body. Offering broad spectrum protection for all skin types, this silky cream is lightweight and undetectable on any skin tone, so you can avoid the dreaded white cast. It’s deeply moisturising, too, infused with vitamin E to reduce skin stress and sunspots, and jojoba oil to maintain elasticity and nourish the skin. £32 from Cult Beauty.

10. Reading tablet

If your idea of a dream holiday involves stretching out on the beach with a good book, you’ll want to invest in a Kindle. The Signature Paperwhite Edition not only puts millions of books, newspapers and magazines at your fingertips, but also provides 32GB of storage, more reading time (a single charge with compatible charger lasts up to 10 weeks) and an adjustable screen for easier reading. So, whether you’re a true crime fanatic or more into your romances, this gadget is a must for bookworms. £179.99 from Amazon.

11. Toiletry bag

There are two types of packers — those who have everything organised weeks before their departure date, and those who cram pretty much everything in their bathroom into their toiletry bag moments before leaving to catch their flight. If you fall into the latter category, make the whole process easier with this Large Toiletry Bag from Away. Carefully designed to hold all of your travel essentials (and then some), the toiletry case has multiple compartments to ensure your products stay organised, while the exterior zip pocket is ideal for storing those items you need regular access to during the day of travel itself. £65 from Away Travel.

12. Tracking device

Prone to losing your luggage or valuables? Apple’s AirTag is an easy way to keep track of your belongings — particularly handy when travelling — or if you’ve ever fallen victim to a lost suitcase. Simply attach to your suitcase, bag or wallet, and utilise the one-tap set-up to pair with your iPhone or iPad. Lost Mode will send you a notification if your item is no longer detected near you, and you can also set it up so that someone can see your contact information when tapping the AirTag with their smartphone, so you can be reunited with your items faster. From £35 from Apple.

13. Portable charger

Probably one of the most important things you can take with you while travelling is a portable charger or power bank. In the digital age, tickets, maps, directions and recommendations are almost always stored on our phones. It can be pretty distressing when our devices run out of charge and it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. This three-port power bank, in a stylish rose gold colour, will ensure you’re never without charge. It comes complete with a compatible USB wire, provides an additional 40 hours of battery power for your devices and has a built-in LED light that lets you know when it needs recharging. £19.99 from John Lewis.

14. Handbag

It can be difficult to decide which bag to take with you on holiday, especially if you’re limited on packing space. This shoulder bag from Abbott Lyon is the perfect choice — it’s both stylish and spacious enough to contain all your essentials (power bank included), without taking up too much space in your suitcase. Available in four eye-catching colours, you can choose to personalise it in the form of adding your name or initials, in your choice of font, material and style. It’s the perfect bag for everything from beach vacations to city breaks. £89 from Abbott Lyon.

15. Stain remover

Nothing ruins a holiday snap like a stain on your favourite outfit. And because you don’t want to spend your getaway running back and forth to the hotel’s (often rather pricey) dry-cleaning service, you’ll want to thank Pinch Provisions for the creation of its Stain Removing Towelettes. The clever wipes are available in packs of eight and are perfect for on-the-go spills, working to break up stains so they’re easier to lift and remove. £8 from Revolve.

16. Bug repellent

Travelling to the tropics? Protect yourself from painful bug bites with this Anti Bug Bite Moisturiser from Alfresco. Most anti-insect formulas can dry out the skin, but this clever blend works to moisturise and condition, without the need for toxic chemicals. The sweet yet spicy fragrance is designed to smell lovely to humans and repugnant to insects, keeping those pesky biters at bay (especially mosquitoes). Recommended for use by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, it’s suitable for use on babies and toddlers, too. Reapply every three hours for maximum protection. £11.50 from Cult Beauty.

17. Travel mirror

Trying to do your make-up in the darkness of a night flight can be a struggle. Treat yourself to consistent lighting with this rechargeable LED travel mirror from Vanity Planet. It boasts dimmable lights, so you can choose the level of brightness you need, as well as an LED ring light and USB charging capability. Get golden hour ready with the help of this handy tool that deserves a spot in your hand luggage. £55 from Beauty Bay.

18. Adaptor

Say hello to the only travel adaptor you’ll ever need. With three USB charging ports and one USB-C port, as well as one universal AC socket, this is the perfect piece of kit for charging your phone or using your styling tools. Compatible for use in more than 150 countries, the clever design boasts a built-in smart IC chip, which works to intelligently identify your device, automatically adjust the correct current output and increase the overall charging speed. It also complies with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) safety systems for ultimate peace of mind. £69.48 from Fruugo.

19.  Sleeping bag

If your idea of the perfect getaway is more sleeping under the stars instead of checking into a hotel,  you’ll want to make sure you have a sleeping bag that keeps you warm at night. The Forte Endless Promise Sleeping Bag from NEMO Equipment is perfect for off-the-beaten-track holidays, boasting plenty of premium features.  The classic spoon shape allows for versatile side-sleeping comfort, and the Thermo Gills™ technology allows for fine-tuned heat regulation. It’s the perfect choice for a restful outdoor sleep, plus, the men’s and women’s versions can be zipped together to create a cosy double sleeping bag. From £159.95 at Wild Bounds.

20. First aid kit

Holidays are great fun, but they can also lead to unexpected accidents and illnesses. Don’t be caught off guard — instead, pack this Traveller First Aid Kit, which has been designed with travel in mind. The kit includes everything you need to deal with minor to moderate illnesses and injuries, including paracetamol and loperamide (for treating diarrhoea), an open wound bandage, crepe bandage, gauze swabs, alcohol cleaning wipes, wound closure kits and more. Of course, do your best to stay safe, but if the unexpected does happen, you’ll be very glad you packed this kit. £37.99 from Life Systems.

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