10 last-minute life savers for summer travel

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Last minute packing is not for the faint of heart. That’s why I was especially proud of how efficiently I packed my only carry-on for a two-week trip to Europe a few years ago. Sometimes I pack in a panic because the trip itself isn’t set until the 11th hour. Other times, well, life just gets in the way, right?

Packing in a hurry can mean leaving out things that can make or break a trip. You may already own a pair of comfy sandals or packing cubes—but what about a spare pair of prescription sunglasses? Or a self-cleaning water bottle? These 10 last-minute summer travel lifesavers might not be on your radar, but they’re worth serious consideration. Even if you’re leaving in a few days, everything on this list can be ordered and delivered before you open the door.

A versatile and practical packable parka

If you don’t have a rain park packed, get one. Rain protection is essential when traveling because you don’t want a little rain to ruin your trip. Parkas in particular are quite versatile for all kinds of clothing choices that can be worn underneath. Stylish yet versatile, this lightweight parka is ideal for days when you want to continue breaking down the activities on your itinerary, but the weather looks cloudy. Pro tip: a parka in your bag is much less likely to get lost — or broken — than an umbrella, and it’s lighter, too. So forget the umbrella and just put a parka in your suitcase forever – that way, you’ll never forget it when you’re packing in a hurry.

A folding hair dryer that really works

We can probably agree that hotel room hair dryers are lame most of the time. It may take you forever to dry your hair with that decades-old appliance, and you may burn your scalp in the process. Be kinder to your strands and avoid the frustration of blow drying by packing a great blow dryer. This foldable number is equipped with Afar’s IonAir technology that protects hair and dries it quickly, eliminating frizz during movement. Afar’s extremely versatile travel dryer is highly rated for all hair types and the dual automatic voltage automatically adjusts for overseas travel.

A logical storage solution for small things

You probably have some vitamins and/or creams you want to take with you. It would be a shame to forget them if you’re packing under the wire, so make sure you’re ready with a travel organizer that you can keep in your toiletry bag forever. Organize your supplements and creams neatly and beautifully with this cute, modern-looking organizer with labels for each day of the week and a size that fits comfortably in any purse or handbag. Magnetic plate covers are interchangeable with blanks and other sets and colors are available.

A spare pair (or two) of prescription sunglasses

A neat and fashionable toiletry bag

For a quick and easy way to carry your toothbrush and other essential toiletries, try this highly packable bag from Quip. Their Instagram-famous toothbrushes and new refillable floss fit nicely in this space-saving toiletry-friendly case. Additional compartments and zippered compartments can store a slimmed-down collection of self-care essentials. It’s made of silicone, which means it’s foldable, durable and able to fit comfortably in a suitcase (and yes, you might be squeezing, especially if you don’t have time for any zero-hour editing). . Plus, the color options are adorable.

An old school waterproof map

Google Maps is always useful when you’re driving or walking, but what happens when your battery dies or the reception is gone? This is when an old-school map proves to be oh-so convenient. You might not think much about real maps these days, but it’s actually a very clever item to carry around and can easily be thrown into a bag if you’re packing quickly. This one depicting London is waterproof—meaning you can use it even on one of those rainy days in The Big Smoke. That said, Michelin waterproof maps are available for almost any location imaginable, and throwing one in your bag is a valuable safety net.

An unfailing supply of extra juice

There’s nothing worse than a dead cell phone when you’re traveling. No more iPhone photos or calling local restaurants for you! Cover your bases before your trip with a portable battery charger, slim enough to fit in your bag for peace of mind. Just remember to charge it before you leave.

TSA approved toilet space savers

If trying to meet the TSA’s carry-on liquid requirements sends you into a frustrated tailspin as you rush to pack, keep it easy with this kit from Kitsch. The company has created refillable, collapsible flat pouch bottles, spray bottles and mini jars that will hold all your essential products. You can also refill them on the go as needed, which is handy if you haven’t had time to stock up on enough product before your trip.

A self-cleaning water bottle suitable for travel

Whether you’re running through an airport or going for a long hike in the mountains, a refillable water bottle is a must. After a day of continuous use and no soap bottle brush in the eye, Larq will come to the rescue. This is particularly important because it is the first self-cleaning water bottle in the world, thanks to an integrated cleaning system. The technology removes up to 99% of bio-pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, dust and pollen. One less thing to think about on your travels, right?

A cult favorite shampoo bar

Go green (and save space, something that can be challenging if you don’t have a lot of time to organize your things) by choosing a shampoo bottle instead of a shampoo bottle. Lush has the best around, like Seanik, a seaweed-infused volumizing bar that devotees swear by.

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