10 Useful Travel Helpers

10 useful travel helpers I’m glad I packed in my luggage

Nikki ParkinsonTravel 11 Comments

YES! When I pack for any destination, I’m very much about the looks and theme dressing but I’m also a sucker for organisation. Here are 10 useful travel helpers I’m glad I packed in my luggage for our recent trip to Japan.

10 Useful Travel Helpers


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10 useful travel helpers

1. Bon Maxie toiletry bag (use code STYLINGYOU10)

I’ve spent SO much money on different toiletry bags over the years, trying to find my holy grail. I’m going to be honest – I didn’t hold out much hope for the Bon Maxie bags despite the hype from others. Why? Because toiletry bags and what you want them to accommodate is such a personal thing. I bought two of these bags ahead of this trip, thinking I’d need two because they seemed small. Turns out they are small. Small but mighty – mighty genius in their design. I fit all my skincare routine in there standing up. I decanted shampoo and conditioner into these squeezy containers for an easier fit. I could see everything. My beauty products weren’t rambling around and the bag didn’t take up precious space in a very small bathroom or in my suitcase. The second bag did not go to waste – I used it for our medical kit.

2. Bon Maxie reusable shopping bags (use code STYLINGYOU10)

I bought these specifically with this trip in mind but will use on a day-to-day basis. The big size is perfect for grocery shopping while on holidays and, being able to have them folded up in my bag, meant I had them at all times.

3. Bon Maxie jewellery case (use code STYLINGYOU10)

Something else that’s been a bit of a first world struggle is finding a jewellery case that fits my choice of jewellery. Lots cater for earrings, rings and necklaces but without the depth for cuffs – something I wear a lot of. This one does. It doesn’t have a specific section for them but there was depth enough for two.

4. Tu & Kit makeup bag

I was so skeptical as to whether this makeup bag would fit more than a couple of lippies and mascara in but it also is a genius, compact design. My makeup wasn’t rambling around in an open case. Everything had its place and I “practised” using it before leaving home by having it on my counter for applying makeup each day. It takes up next to no space on a bathroom shelf or in your suitcase.

5. AirTags

This was only our second overseas trip since COVID and Apple’s release of AirTags. I invested because we were transporting ski and snowboarding equipment and using Japan’s incredible luggage delivery service. My husband gets anxious about luggage when travelling so tracking our luggage was comforting and soothing for all of us. 

6. Compression packing cubes

We’ve long been packing-cube evangelists but the advent of zip fastening compression packing cubes is a game-changer, particularly when packing bulky winter items. You zip up the cube once as you would a normal cube and then close the second zip for compression.

7. Clear travel toiletry bag

I’ve had so many flimsy airline liquids bags over the years that you end up having to throw out when you get home. These are cheap as chips and will be in our travel kit for years to come. I was able to fit all the mini liquid products I needed for two nights in Tokyo with just our carry-on.

8. The Aergo cloud pillow

I’ve struggled for years with my neck and finding a pillow that supports it and doesn’t cause me to wake up and need to book a physio appointment, STAT. I bought this pillow last year and despite it not fitting with my bedding aesthetic HAH, I’ve slept on it every night. It’s been a game changer for my neck health. It squishes down to nothing so I was able to squish it between the two openings of my suitcase. I may have come home with a wrist injury but my neck is thankful for my taking this pillow and not gambling on what kind of pillow I might find at our accommodation.

9. Snap Wireless Powerpack Universal (save with code STYLINGYOU)

We each had one of these powerpacks, so no fighting for chargers or multiple powerpoints. For Japan, we didn’t need any of the included adaptor attachments as the inbuilt plug is for Japan/US. You can charge up the unit in the wall then take it out to charge products anywhere. The only slight problem with the design is that if you have the unit plugged in to the wall and want to charge your phone while it’s plugged in using the attached cable, you’ll need to prop up your phone on something under the charger depending on the height of the powerpoint. Without a prop, the weight of your phone will pull the unit out of the wall. We found work arounds including plugging in a longer cable. Despite this, they were very handy and compact to include in our carry-on.

10. Turtl Travel pillow 

This is one of the silliest but most useful inventions if you’re on an economy flight, want to sleep and are a notorious forward head nodder. On our overnight flight home I slept the most I’ve ever slept on a plane thanks to this device. And again, my physio will be happy with the state of my neck as a result of it being propped up!

What I’m NOT happy I packed

I always take my hair styling tools with me when travelling. It might not be for everyone but, for me, I like to be able to control my bouff. Yes, In Japan, I could use my beanie to disguise the fact that I really needed to wash my hair but when you do face up to the levels of manky-ness that your hair has reached, you have to wash. And dry! Because no-one wants to step outside in sub-zero temps with wet hair.

I was kidding myself that I thought my Dyson AirWrap would work in Japan. I’d done the searching online but still stupidly thought I’d have a work around. There’s a wattage conflict between Australian Dyson products (and most Australian hair drying products) and US and Japan wattage. Even trying a work around of plugging it into an Australian powerboard that was connected to a Japanese three prong to two-prong adapter didn’t work.

RIP my thick hair and the tiny hairdryer in the accommodation that smoked up every time I sat down to spend 30 minutes getting it dry.

I could straighten my hair, however. I took my True Me True.Wide styling irons. They worked but were a little slower to heat up than they are here in Australia. 

What technically I didn’t pack but was extremely useful

Instead of paying ridiculous overseas roaming fees with our Australian telco provider, we all bought e-sims for trip via Airalo.

(use code NIKKI7591 to get US$3 off your first Airalo eSIM purchase)

It was so straight forward to set up and value for money when on the go. There was an offer at the time of $9US for 10GB of data over 30 days. I was able to top up at the same price too. As a comparison, our telco is $10/day for 1GB.

I’m a heavy social media (data) user and used 20GB while away over the 2.5 weeks.

Yes, we had wi-fi in our accommodation, but being able to keep in contact with each other while on the slopes via WhatsApp was super convenient. 

All items purchased by me. This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on those links and buy a product I’ve featured, I may receive a small commission. You don’t pay any more.

Comments 11

  1. Thanks for the tips! I am a huge bon maxi fan!! I have been looking at the pillow you recommended for a while. Do you find it very soft? I am still not sure if I should get it.

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  2. Which hotel did you stay in while in Tokyo? I saw you recommend one in your Insta post but can’t find the details in your blog.

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  3. Hi Nikki,

    Wondering where you purchased your black puffer coat for your recent Japan trip. Does it squash down considerably to pack?

    Many thanks,


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  4. How many of those fabulous compression bags do you recommend per person for a trip like the one you’ve just been on? Thank you for sharing this list – we’ve been wondering about trtl and so good to hear from a bona fide human that it works.

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      You’re welcome – there are more comments on the social media posts from people who didn’t find the Turtl great for them. I can only speak to my husband and I.

      Re compression packing cubes, we had a set each and also included our existing packing cubes. It really depend on where you’re going (ie winter clothes are more bulky) and how long. Even if you start with one set each person, you’ll find out if that’s not enough.

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  5. I’m obsessed with my Bon Maxie toiletries bags. I took one when I went away last year and immediately went on the waitlist for another. I loved that I didn’t have to rummage! Everything was so easy to find and keep tidy.

    Ah, the Tu & Kit bags are great too! I’ve got the two flat ones for all my smaller makeup palettes, compacts and pots, and I bought the mini makeup bag for travel. Haven’t used it yet so I’m glad to hear you loved it!

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