Travel is finally starting to come back to life—hallelujah! Although we’re far from the days of footloose and fancy-free pre-pandemic travel, it is getting easier to explore outside of our backyards safely!
If you’re like me, that’s a welcome relief!
But, also, if you’re like me, you probably think what essential and vegan travel accessories do I need? Do I still have a passport holder? Is my travel bag up to snuff? Hell, do I even know how to pack anymore!? (If you need to brush up on the best packing tips, I’ve got you).
If any of those questions are rumbling through your mind, you’ve come to the right place! I still have most of my favorite travel accessories hanging around here (somewhere), but I am doing my very best to choose vegan products that are better for the animals and the Earth for things that I need or need to replace.
If you’re in the same boat or starting from zero, you will want to check out this lineup of the 10 must have essential and vegan travel accessories that every savvy traveler needs!
10 Vegan Travel Accessories Every Traveler Needs
One note, a few of the links in this guide might be affiliate links. The small commission helps me keep producing awesome, free content for you!
#1 Practical travel bag/handbag
Friends, if you take one piece of advice away from reading this, please stop traveling with bags that don’t zip and are wide open to the world! I can’t count how many people I have seen out and about with a super cute but super impractical bag—you’re inviting thieves to stick their hands right in there. (Honestly, even if you’re not traveling, I would advise against wandering around with a bag like this, but I digress).
Instead, grab yourself a stylish vegan bag that is practical for being stuffed into your suitcase, smooshed on the subway, and can still carry everything that you need. The two most important things you need to consider are whether it zips up and will work for the amount of stuff you want to carry around. Matt & Nat have many chic vegan leather crossbody bags that range in size; if you aren’t carrying around a lot of stuff, I would check them out.
Another really great option is Pacsafe’s lineup of anti-theft crossbody bags. These bags are not only practical for traveling, but they also are made with RFIDsafe blocking pockets so super sneaky thieves can’t brush by and steal your personal information without even trying to get into your bag! If I were in the market for a new bag, I would check these out. The majority of them are made with nylon that has been recycled from fishing nets and ocean plastic—cool, right? One note, the Coyote color of Pacsafe’s Vibe collection is not vegan, everything else is.
Want something even smaller? Check out Madewell’s (Re)sourced Convertible Belt Bag. The bag can be worn as a belt bag (a fancy way of saying fanny pack) or as a high crossbody bag. Their lineup of (Re)sourced bags is made from recycled plastic.
#2 A vegan wallet that protects your identity
Remember that RFID blocking stuff I mentioned with the bags? Well, it’s something you should really consider with your wallet, especially if your bag doesn’t have it. RFID blocking is a type of technology that reduces the ability for someone to scan your credit card (or passport) information wirelessly, enabling them to create a new card with your information. They can do it by standing next to you!
Finding a vegan RFID wallet was a little trickier, but there are a few options! Pacsafe has a few options, like my personal favorite, the compact travel organizer—it’s large enough to store your passport, credit cards, and some cash and is made with recycled polyester.
A smaller option is Corkor’s RFID cardholder sleeve—this is perfect if you only want to carry the essentials with you. It’s large enough for three cards and has a compartment for cash. The cool part of this minimalist wallet is that it is made from cork!
One last option is from a San Francisco-based company called SlimFold. It is slightly larger than Corkor but also perfect if you don’t plan to carry every card under the sun with you (which you shouldn’t). There are a couple of large enough options to fit between 8 – 20 cards, plus cash. The wallets are also stain and water-resistant.
#3 vegan & zero-waste toiletries
The days of lugging around your entire lineup of liquid beauty products encased in plastic are so passe! Not only are those items not the best for the environment, but they also slow your ability to easily sashay through security lines, or worse, you get stuck in back check purgatory—those lines look like torture!
You might be thinking, but I have to have my age-defying, antioxidant magic potion—I get it, but you’ve got tons of options to slim down your toiletry bag and make it a little eco-friendlier.
The options for vegan and zero-waste beauty products have grown exponentially over the years; you could very easily switch almost everything to a zero-waste option, but here are the heavy hitters you must have in your travel bag.
Shampoo and conditioner bars—so long to shampoo bottles, there isn’t even a reason to have travel-sized ones with all the great bar options out there. My favorite brand is Ethique—they have an option for everything, whether you need to soothe a dry scalp, wrangle frizz, or just have regular ole hair.
Toothpaste tabs—adios tubes of paste and hello easy to carry toothpaste tabs that work perfectly and are so much better for Mother Nature.
Face wash and scrub—keep that mug looking super chic with loads of simple options. Whether you need to detoxify or control the oil monsters in balance, there’s an option! A few great places to start are Ethique and Lush.
Makeup—swap out your mascara and the rest of your beauty-perfecting essentials for non-toxic options that are vegan and zero or minimal waste! The best place to start is with Zao; they have just about everything you could possibly need, and they offer refill options to cut down on packaging and waste.
Lotion—keep even the driest hands and elbows hydrated with Meow Meow Tweet’s repair balm! Not only is it easy to travel with, but the compostable tube can be thrown into your backyard compost when you’re done.
Bodywash—lather up with luxuriously scented bars from Lush, Ethique, or even your local drug store (just skip the bars wrapped in plastic).
#4 Vegan leather passport holder
Instead of just sticking it into some random pocket in your bag, you need to grab an oh-so-chic vegan leather passport holder.
Both Matt & Nat and Lark & Ives have simple options that are large enough to slip your passport and boarding pass in and sail through security! The café rose color from Lark & Ives is gorgeous; I’ve got my eye on it!
#5 Cruelty-free kicks
Whether you’re exploring in the heat of summer or dead of winter, there are so many great options for vegan sandals, shoes, and boots to add to your vegan travel accessories!
Hands down, my favorite sandals for exploring are Birkenstock (I know, surprise, surprise)—they are seriously so comfortable! I have walked a half marathon in them, and my feet didn’t hate me; that says something! Birkenstock has a line of vegan sandals that includes their iconic Arizona style to other chic options that will protect your feet and the animals!
#6 A vegan jacket for all seasons
No matter the season, it’s always good to be prepared with the perfect vegan coat for all of your sightseeing needs. Even if it’s the middle of the summer, don’t leave home without a raincoat—you never know when the sky will open up, leaving you drenched. Trust me!
There are two great spots for your vegan coat needs. First, check out NOIZE. They have a fantastic lineup of practical raincoats perfect for sightseeing to gorgeous vegan furs and wools—you’ll look like a movie star! But if you’re going somewhere that will require something heftier than a raincoat, check out the ultra-warm puffer jackets and faux fur at Save the Duck or Wuxly—winter doesn’t stand a chance against these two brands!
#7 The perfect roller bag
Want to stand out AND help the animals? Then you need to check out the roller bags at Tote&Carry! This Black-owned company has kicked basic nylon bags to the curb in favor of super-sophisticated bags made with vegan leather, and they come in a rainbow of colors from lilac to shocking yellow; you’ll never miss your bag on the carousel again!
If those are too fancy for you and you’re looking for something a little more traditional, check out Samsonite’s eco-friendly collection. All of the bags are made with Recyclex®, which is made from 100% recycled rPET bottles, and they come in a variety of sizes, whether you’re looking for a carry-on size roller bag or a large bag to fit your whole closet!
This is more than a scarf—it can be a wrap, a light travel blanket, a cover-up, and more! But that’s not even the best part! There is a sneaky little compartment inside the fabric that is large enough for you to hide your passport, credit cards, or some cash—perfect when you’re out on the town and need to keep your valuables safe but don’t want to lug around a bag.
This is definitely a must-have travel essential!
#9 Space-saving bags
If you tend to pack a little more than you should, then you need this! These vacuum-sealed bags come with a handy pump, perfect for travel —they allow you to save up to 80% more space than just folding your clothes alone. You now can pack every shirt you own in your carry-on with these bad boys!
What’s even better, the bags are reusable!
#10 Travel adapter set
Although you can purchase an all-in-one travel adapter, they don’t always work correctly everywhere, and some are only able to charge things like your phone or laptop (please note these do not convert voltage, so the item you’re plugging in must support 220V).
I have individual adapter plugs for whatever country I am visiting to play it safe. The Ceptics 5-pack set is probably sufficient for most people; it comes with plug types E/F, G, B, C, and I. They also have a 13-piece set that comes with a wall plug with two USA outlets and two USB outlets.
One More Vegan Travel Tip
One last, super important vegan travel accessory note—you can’t leave home without a snack bag! I feel like this one goes without saying for all my vegan travel friends out there, but you never know if your meal will get messed up on the plane or if you will be delayed—you don’t want to get hangry! A few of my favorite things to pack include dark chocolate and almond Go Macro Bars (there are other flavors too), an assortment of nuts or trail mix, and I usually always bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (just in case!).