My Favorite Travel Accessories

I know a few things about traveling and packing and it is all through trial and error. It didn’t come naturally, I promise. Every time I forgot something on a trip, I learned a lesson or two and I got better every time. I most recently packed for a trip to Amsterdam in less than an hour in a carry on. Here are a few of my favorite travel accessories that I can’t live without. I hope this post helps when you plan your next trip.

If there is something you can’t live without or have a great travel/packing trip, comment below.

This post does include affiliate links which I make a small commission on if something is purchased. Merci in advance!

Packing Cubes

These make packing so much easier! I like having everything in one spot so I know exactly where it is. If you need to grab socks, tanks, underwear in a pinch. Some of the hotels I have stayed in recently have had very little drawer space. Packing cubes keep things organized.

I typically pack in a carry on, unless I am going on a longer trip. I really LOVE my Away suitcase. I didn’t think it would live up to the hype but it really does.

Travel Wallet

I prefer to carry a small wallet when traveling for safety. This Cuyana wallet holds a few cards including my credit card and license along with coins for coffee and euros. I keep one card in my wallet and the rest of my cards in the safe at the hotel or back at the apartment. If for some reason, I loose my wallet or get pickpockets, I will always have a backup card for emergencies. You can read more about my safety tips for traveling in this post here.

Back up Battery

I have a collection of adapters that I have used for years. I have one that fits my Mac and one that goes on my iPhone charger. It is second nature to switch over once I land and set up my mini office in Paris. This adapter for $10 from Target is an easy solution to charge multiple devices. I would keep this in my suitcase because it is small and inexpensive.

Camera

I still love my SLR Canon don’t get me wrong. I can operate it with my eyes closed. But carrying around 4 lenses ( I prefer fixed lenses) can really take a toll on my back. I purchased this FUJI camera last year and I am so happy I did. It is more powerful than my SLR just because the technology is more recent and the files are huge (if you shoot RAW). I love the color and quality of the prints. I have brought it everywhere with me this year from Italy, France, and Australia. I even let Emma (age 6) shoot with it this Summer.

SIM Card

My phone provider in the US is Verizon which offers an International plan of $10 a day. I prefer to switch my SIM to Orange which is $50 for 2 weeks. You can get 10 GB or 20 GB. I honestly have never used the full 10 GB in two weeks and I am always on Google Maps, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It seems to be the most cost effective option if you are staying a week or more. My whole family got them this Summer and it made communication so much easier.

Just switch out your SIM from your iPhone with the SIM from Orange. I used to wait in line at Orange in Paris and you have to bring your passport and it takes forever. Plus, they are closed on Sundays. This is way easier and it takes less than 2 minutes. I always leave a little masking tape on the inside of the envelope for my SIM card so it doesn’t get lost.

Bags (Cuyana)

My zippered tote from Cuyana is one of my favorite things I own. I use it everyday. I think it is perfect for travel especially if you have the insert which allows me to keep my laptop separate and my wallet, iPhone, passport, and camera all in one spot. The zip top makes it great for safety too.

Beauty

When it comes to arriving looking like you haven’t flown overnight, I always like to use this Eye Contour Mask from Sisley. I put it under my eyes before flying and it lasts the whole trip. I keep it in my Cuyana bag along with their Sisley Black Rose Mask and my Bioderma face wipes for when I land. I like to freshen up when I land with one of these wipes.

Toiletry Bags

I have had these Cuyana Travel Bags for years and use them on every trip small or big. It comes with two bags and I use the small one for makeup and the larger one for my skincare. You can see where my priorities are ;) These also make the best gift for someone that travels a bunch. They have a men’s and women’s version.

Oversized Cashmere Scarf

A few years ago, my aunt sent me an oversized cashmere scarf. I always asked to borrow one of hers when we were together. She loves bright colors but she sent me a black one ( my preferred color choice) that I use on almost all international flights. I can’t find the brand she purchase for me but this one is similar.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss My Favorite Apps for Paris and What I Pack in My Carry On

Stay Connected with INSIDR Paris

When I first arrive in Paris I stop for a coffee and croissant and set out to find a SIM card for my phone so I can stay connected during my stay. I have tested a few different SIM services over the years and I will be including them in an upcoming post. But I actually found something way easier than searching for a SIM card in Paris and that would be INSIDR Paris. With INSIDR Paris you are given a phone to use for the length of your stay. The phone includes maps, unlimited 4 G data service, all the apps that would ever need including WhatsApp and Instagram to stay connected, wifi hotspot, and unlimited calls and call forwarding. 

insidr paris

There is so much I love about the service so I am going to break it down in bullet points on my favorite features:

  • on demand concierge service: Imagine you arrive in Paris and there is a restaurant you are dying to try and you need to make reservations and you are staying in an apartment and you don't speak French. Message the concierge and they will make the reservation for you. I also personally loved this for times where I was starving and in a part of Paris I didn't know and needed a place for lunch, I messaged the team and got suggestions back within a few minutes. I tested this out a few times at different parts of the day and they were always quick to respond with great suggestions. 
  • INSIDR Community Each morning I would receive a special message on my phone with the weather, any metro or museum closings and a suggestion or two on what to see or do in Paris for that day. 
  • INSIDR Maps One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to get lost in a different arrondissement and discover the city by foot. The Insidr Maps breaks down different areas in Paris by food, activities, and sights that are non-touristy and local suggestions. 
  • Travel Apps Galore - The phone already comes with apps that are downloaded to make your time in Paris easy and convenient. You can connect to the city mapper to take you around Paris via Public transportation, currency converter, or for those who aren't fluent in French google translate which can really help when navigating a menu. 
insidr paris phone

Picking up the Phone is Very Convenient

You can pick it up right at CDG before you leave for the city, The Louvre or Les Halles, or you can even arrange to have it delivered to a location around the city (hotel or apartment) Sending it back is just as easy too. 

Navigating the Phone 

I will say the phone is an Android which I have only used an iPhone for the last 8 years so there was a bit of a learning curve but I figured it out pretty quickly. If you are having trouble you can always connect your phone to the WIFI and use your iPhone when you need it. They were very smart to include a phone booster in the box so you don't risk running out of battery while you are out and about in Paris. 

insidr paris

INSIDR Perks - Skip the line. 

One of the best views in Paris is at Le Perchoir at BHV in Le Marais. The line can be long especially on a beautiful Summer night. You can message the concierge to make a reservation and you can skip the line. I did this during my visit and loved the convenience. I also loved that the prices for food/wine were extremely reasonable. In the States, you would have to pay extra for a view like this. 

le perchoir paris

The price is from as little as 7 euros per day depending on the length of your stay. 

paris photography by rebecca plotnick

Note: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.