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Being a nice person is fun, satisfying and an easy way to make friends. If you’re travelling abroad, (especially solo) and staying in hostels or going on group tours consider throwing these small travel accessories under $10 in your bag for your 2018 adventures.

You won’t use them everyday, but they don’t take up lots of space so there’s no harm done in carrying a few.

In regards to pricing, if you click on a link you’ll be sent to Amazon. There’s a small chance you’ll be redirected to a product that is now more than $10. That doesn’t mean with a quick search you can find a similar travel product for less than $10.

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1. Multi USB Hub: With phone batteries seemingly dying multiple times a day and minimal plug outlets, be everyone’s friend and create the ultimate charging device from one USB port.

2. Headache Pills: Luckily I don’t get headaches, pretty much ever. Unfortunately they can’t be helped so grab a few panadol from home before you head off to travel. There’s the rule, don’t accept pills from strangers, but come on. People know you’re just trying to help if they’re not feeling well! You can make there day a little less painful.

3. Audio Splitter: How many times have you shared one ear bud each with friends? While it’s okay, it gets annoying. An audio slitter allows you both to listen/watch the same jams at the same time with both of your ears entertained.

4. Duct Tape: Oh duct tape. You’are so useful, fixing everything. Attach a roll to your bag, you’ll be surprised what you use it for! I always struggle to buy cheap sunglasses in Southeast Asia that fit will. With a bit of duct tape on the part that goes over your ear however, they fit like a charm.

cheap travel accessories for under $10

5. Mini Sewing Kit For Travel: Travel isn’t always sunshine and lollipops, especially for your favourite pair of shorts who have travelled multiple continents with you. But, with a bit of cotton and DIY patch work they’ll last another 6 months easy. When others see you sewing away, they’ll suddenly feel inspired to join you and make a sewing party out of it. The clothing you’re fixing will bring out many a story.

6. Small Bottle of Sunscreen: We all like to follow the sun, but it isn’t always nice back to us. Having sunscreen on you at all times won’t be a waste of space, there’s always a shortage of it in groups! Probably because it’s relatively expensive for what it is.

7. Portable Hanging Luggage Scale: Do you find yourself packing as much stuff into your bag as possible? It’s always good to know exactly what your bag weights before heading to the airport in this case the scales are perfect. If someone in the hostel looks to be in the same predicament, offering your scales can save them from a nasty surprise at the airport.

8. USB Stick: While the travel life may be all fun and ga3mes, sometimes you will find yourself needing to print documents or transfer documents around. Usually related to your ‘home’ life. Having a USB on hand for someone to borrow can make life much easier for them.

what to buy before travelling

9. A Hangover Cure: We promise everyone we won’t get too drunk on the road, but it’s inevitable. Most people will experience at least one severe hangover. If you’re dorm mate is suffering from a few too many, give them a helping hand. Unless of course they were horrible as a drunk and ruined your night, then think twice.

10. Mosquito Spray (DEET): Mosquitoes, frustratingly are found pretty much all over the world (yay, Zika). You may get bitten too shreds where as your friend next to you may not get bitten at all. The other new acquanitce on the other side of the table will be deeply grateful (and itch free) if they can coat themselves in DEET.

11. Pack Of Cards: Your starting to run out of conversation with someone you’ve just met, you know both parties are straining to not pick up their phone. Busting out your pack of cards will ease the tension and keep everyone happy for an hour as you get to know each other more, Awkwardness alleviated!

12. Mini Power Bank: Not everyone likes smart phones, but pretty much every does and the amount we use them drains their batteries fast! A mini power bank doesn’t take so much space, but can be a ‘life saver’ in so many situations when one needs just a few more % on their battery to make an important call, Google something or even take a few more photos.

5000 mAH is enough to give you a full charge for most phones.

i like to be a nice person

13. Extension Cord With Six Outlets: There’s nothing worse than getting to a hostel and seeing few power outlets available. If you can be the one to provide the solution, everyone will instantly appreciate you. A cheap Amazon brand branded one is all you need.

14. Mini Coleman First Aid Kit: You may think you’re being a dork, but minor injuries are always happening on the road. Most of the time you can brush them off, but having a plaster would be better off. Why not have ready access to them in your wizardry first aid kit?

15. 50 Disposable Ear Plugs: There always seems to be one. A snorer in the hostel. Sometimes the snoring will be light, other times you’re waiting for the glass to smash from the sound. When times get tough, you can make peace for all by handing out ear plugs and hostel etiquette will be kept in check.

16. Mini Flash Light: This one always surprises me with how useful they are. You don’t have to tell everyone about the flashlight, but people will appreciate you letting them know they can use the mini flash light next to your bed.

Yeap, not everyone likes the idea of smart phones.

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17. Water Purification Tablets: Unfortunately not everywhere has drinkable water available. Sometimes you may think it’s safe but to put everyone’s peace at mind, having a few tablets on hand will put the mind of all at ease. And ensure the porcelain doesn’t take a hammering.

18. Wrinkle Spray: This will depend a lot on the region you’re travelling, but most people will carry a nice shirt in their bag. There’s nothing worse than finally getting a chance to wear that shirt.

19. Gear Ties: Gear ties are the string version of duct tape. They’re really useful, can be used in hundreds of way and are just handy at the most random of times. Help someone out with a creative solution using gear ties.

20. Tea Bags: Instant coffee and black tea can be found in many hostels, often free to use as you please. Black tea is yucky (imo), so buy a packet for the backpack of your favourite so it’s always on hand. Thankfully tea can be purchased everywhere. Offer a cuppa to someone then you’re ready for a deep and meaningful with essentially a stranger. Success.

A Few More Useful Travel Accessories

As I was working on this post, a few more came to mind.

21. Plastic Bags: Personally, I try to use as few plastic bags as possible (say No to plastic bags) but do always keep a couple in my day pack as they’re always useful – when reused. Same deal with ziploc bags.

22. Door Stop: A couple people I’ve met use a door stop for various reasons depending on the atmosphere of a hostel, safety levels etc.

23. Shoe Laces: I have a couple tied to my day pack, it’s surprising how often they get used for temporary solutions.


There you go, 23 travel accessories that can help you make friends while travelling. Don’t bring all 24 of course, not all will be applicable and there’s always the space vs. usefulness debate.

Have you come across any affordable (or new) travel accessories in 2018 that aren’t listed here? Let us know in the comments!


Disclaimer: There are Amazon affiliate links in this article. If you click on the links and proceed to buy something through the links, I may receive a commission. It will not effect the price you pay.