Top 12 Must-Have Travel Essentials on Amazon

Top 12 Must-Have Travel Essentials on Amazon

There are beloved products, and then there are holy grails. As a shopping editor, I come across the term constantly, and when I do, I think, “Here it is. This is the one.” Amazon reviewers, in particular, lean on this terminology, but only for stuff that has truly earned the title. You could say “holy grail” is the holy grail of compliments. But once you see more than one customer christening a product with this nickname, you can stop your search, because you’ve found a tried-and-true option fellow shoppers love.

Such is the case with plenty of travel items that have been deemed holy grails by shoppers for your packing list. They include everything from a sunscreen that’s made the cut after all the other brands were road-tested, a lesser-known stain remover wipe that’s become an Amazon no. 1 best-seller, and a reusable water bottle that’s managed to outrank its brand-name competitors because it’s more “elegant to carry around.” There’s even a brilliant pair of airport shoes that will have you kicking your sneakers to the curb.

The Amazon reviewers have spoken, and these are their 12 popular, coveted-yet-quite-attainable holy grail products for travel.

EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen
Dermatologists recommend it, beauty gurus on TikTok tout it, and Amazon shoppers are being recruited to the EltaMD skincare fan club. The brand’s SPF 46 UV Clear Face Sunscreen has more than 34,000 five-star reviews, with one customer declaring, “I try a lot of new skin/makeup products and very few make it into my list of holy grail skin products, but this product has done just that.” Another wrote, “I have tanned skin and it doesn’t have a white cast on me and doesn’t feel sticky. I have tried so [many] sunblocks and this is my favorite!! Holy grail!”

In addition to how well the EltaMD sunscreen applies, it also makes the grade when it comes to its skin-nourishing qualities, as this fan attested: “I have used many [and] this by far is my new holy grail. I have sensitive skin and rosacea. I apply this under my makeup. I have not had any sensitivity or skin breakouts.”

The EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen has science to back it up, too. It’s a mineral sunscreen, so it doesn’t absorb into your skin, and it uses zinc oxide, one of only two FDA-approved active ingredients for sunscreens. This one comes in a TSA-friendly 1.7-ounce non-aerosol pump bottle.

Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Straw
I see your trendy, reusable 40-ounce tumbler, and I raise you an Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with a built-in, collapsible straw. “This is the holy grail of water bottles,” one reviewer wrote. “Not even kidding. For years I tried water bottle after water bottle to try to stay hydrated and I could never find one that worked enough to motivate me to drink water. And then TikTok told me about this one, and holy wow, I’m actually consistently hydrated now.”

“It is my holy grail water bottle,” another chimed in. “I adore it, truly… I work from home most days and I sit here with my Owala in front of my keyboard and will sip away. I am not the best at keeping myself hydrated and I just think due to the fun colors and design of the bottle itself, it makes me actually excited to drink my water!”

The Owala bottle has all the best features you should be looking for: BPA- and phthalate-free, leak-proof top and it keeps your water ice cold for 24 hours.

Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask
Sleep masks have come a long way, and the best on the market have comfort features that will have you not only falling asleep but staying asleep. The Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask is one such product that will have you confidently booking a red-eye or an overnight train. And yes, it’s the “holy grail for a good night’s rest,” according to one shopper. The same shopper said that this mask is “absolutely the best sleeping mask [they’ve] ever owned,” and “so soft.”

“It blocks out 100 percent of the light, stays in place all night long, is adjustable, and is washable,” wrote another reviewer who called this, you guessed it, the “holy grail eye mask.” “I’ve tried at least 10 brands of eye masks and they always have issues with them — not blocking out enough light, applying too much pressure on my eyes, slipping off during the night, etc. This eye mask is truly perfect. It doesn’t have any of these issues, and to top it all off, it’s the softest one I’ve ever had.”

The Mavogel sleep mask has a black-out sensation thanks to five layers of fabric and a special piece of “bending cartilage” that conforms to the bridge of your nose. The mask even comes with its travel pouch.

Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Stain Treater Spray & Wipes
That stain-removing to-go pen you’ve been toting around has a formidable opponent in the form of Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Stain Treating Spray, which comes in a pack with travel-friendly stain wipes for all of life’s unexpected messes. This brand has not-so-quietly climbed to the top of Amazon’s best-sellers list, and it’s making a splash (that it’ll clean up later of course).

“I’m so amazed by this product!!! I used to spend hours trying to remove stains, which with other products, I had to throw away the clothes, but I found this stuff and it’s [the] holy grail of removing stains!” wrote one of more than 40,000 five-star reviewers.

The water-based stain remover — which is clean, non-toxic, and chemical-free — is recommended for parents, but fans say to forget that marketing: It’s great for literally anyone, and it works on clothes, linens, upholstery, and carpets. “This stuff is not just for parents. This is the HOLY GRAIL! Every laundry room needs another bottle of this. It gets every little stain out,” another shopper wrote.

Colorfulkoala High Waisted Leggings
Drop those $100 leggings because this pair is just as buttery soft, lightweight, and stretchy for a fraction of the price. Your workouts will be forever changed with the Colorfulkoala High Waisted Leggings, one of Amazon’s most popular products.

“I have bought just about every brand of leggings on here,” one shopper declared, adding that that’s resulted in “so many returns.” But, they wrote, they “finally found [their] holy grail of leggings,” calling them “perfect in every way.” Two other holy grail reviews highlighted what the Colorfulkoala leggings are known best for: their fit and softness. One wrote that “they stay in place, fit true to size, and [are] very comfortable,” while another said, “they’re so soft, they aren’t see-through, and they fit perfectly.”

The leggings have four-way stretch and are sweat-wicking. Let the hikes commence!

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
Dehydration while you’re out and about is a legitimate concern in any kind of weather, especially if you’re the kind of person who forgets to drink water. Enter, the Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier, the customer-anointed holy grail of hydration. Mix the flavored powder into your water for a citrusy taste and a beverage that’s suddenly two times more hydrating than water alone and three times the electrolyte of a sports drink — and without all the added sugar.

“Holy grail in my house. Pedialyte who? Gatorade who? This stuff actually works,” one of its more than 7,200 reviewers wrote.

But do you want to know what it’s really a holy grail for? Hangovers. “I load up on these on the weekends I will be drinking and I haven’t gotten a hangover in so long. I always drink one before I start and right before bed, then the next morning. I’m telling ya… Just try it. This is my holy grail,” said one shopper.

Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent Lotion
One of the most popular insect repellents in the game uses DEET to keep mosquitoes from snacking on you, but Sawyer Products’ Premium Insect Repellent Lotion uses picaridin, which is considered safer and doesn’t smell as pungent. Some say picaridin may repel insects even better than DEET.

And Amazon shoppers say Sawyer Products’ repellent is legit. “What can I say about this product but ‘holy grail’. I purchased this originally for a cruise to Jamaica and have purchased 200 times since; I would not use anything else,” one reviewer wrote. “I rave about this at BBQs” they continued, writing that they smell like a “tropical oasis” with “no bites” while “everyone else is spraying DEET products” that smell terribly.

Another wrote, “used this in Maui while hiking through a really humid and mosquito-infested rainforest. This lotion really works. I was wearing a T-shirt and capri pants so my neck, arms, and legs were exposed, and not a single bite! This is my forever holy grail for mosquito repellent!”

Bronax Pillow Slippers
At my Pilates class today, someone showed up wearing the Bronax Pillow Slippers. Why? Because they’re super squishy and comfortable to walk in, and they slide off and on easily. And that’s exactly why they’re such a popular airport shoe. I constantly see people rocking them with socks to breeze through TSA checkpoints.

For travelers, homebodies, and people with foot pain, these are a holy grail. “I have found the holy grail of all house shoes. They have not gone flat and it feels like you’re walking on a cloud,” one shopper wrote.

“I bought these after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis with a serious love for wearing flip-flops. These have been my holy grail,” added another. “I’ve barely noticed any symptoms since buying these shoes. I do a lot of walking and standing for 10-plus hours a day, so these are perfect when I’m not working.”

Hotel Sheets Direct Bamboo Sheets
Who among us would not gladly embrace the otherworldly comfort of a five-star hotel bed in our own home? These Hotel Sheets Direct sheets made of viscose derived from bamboo are an excellent place to start. Bamboo fiber is famous for being super soft, so sheets made from it don’t need a high thread count to feel like Egyptian cotton — nor do they need the price tag.

Plus, bamboo is a renewable resource, and these sheets are Oeko-TexStandard 100 certified to be free of toxins. Needless to say, it’s no surprise shoppers call them “the holy grail of sheets.” As one wrote: “Holy. Cow. Y’all, don’t walk… run. [These are] the best sheets money can buy.” They added that the sheets are “so soft right out of the box” and “feel like silk.” “I am never leaving my bed again,” they exclaimed.

And, a tired parent in the reviews wrote, “These are my holy grail for sleep — and I am hoarding them in my master bedroom so my teenage sons do not steal.”

Boka Travel Size Toothpaste
Move over, drugstore brands. There’s a new toothpaste in town and it’s all natural. Boka toothpaste uses Nano Hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring form of calcium, to make your teeth sparkly and strengthen their enamel sans fluoride. It’s also free of parabens and sulfates. The two-pack of travel-sized toothpaste comes in some pretty interesting flavors, too, like Coco Ginger and Lemon Lavender.

“I feel like I’ve found the holy grail with this. It’s like brushing my teeth with light fresh lemonade,” wrote one fan of Amazon’s no. 1 best-selling toothpaste. “My favorite toothpaste ever,” another wrote. “As someone sensitive to mint, the coconut ginger flavor is my holy grail. I no longer dread brushing my teeth.”

Another shopper wrote: “I was recommended this by my dentist to help with the surface of my teeth, and I was skeptical at first because of the flavor, but let me say the coco ginger is to die for. I’ll forever buy this.”

Halo Headband Bandit
Active travelers, take note: The Halo Headband Bandit has been anointed the holy grail of headgear. It’s lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking, and it’s actually designed to easily release sweat stains in the wash without fading. It’s also designed to stay in place and not get all stretched out and misshapen.

“The holy grail of sweat headbands,” one shopper wrote. “It is simply unnatural how much I sweat during an intense workout. Especially if I go for a run outside when it’s hot and humid,” they continued, writing that sweat headbands are
“essential” in their life. Despite trying “many different brands over the years,” they shared that the Halo Headband Bandit is “the only headband” they’ve tried that doesn’t need to be swapped out for a fresh one in the middle of a workout.

Another commented: “I have a small head and thin hair, so finding a headband that will stay and is comfortable is like hunting for the holy freakin’ grail. If you’re daunted by the price, just know you are getting your value’s worth.”

Trtl Travel and Airplane Pillow
Airplane pillows should provide a comfy napping place for your head but also make sure you wake up without pain in your neck or shoulders. The Trtl Travel and Airplane Pillow accomplishes all of that, weighs just a quarter of a pound, and is machine-washable (just take out the plastic support first). Plus, you can attach it to your carry-on without worrying about a bulky memory foam pillow bumping into everything.

A shopper in the U.K. called it the “holy grail for neck support,” continuing, “I tested the Trtl out on a seven-hour night flight and was so impressed — the wrap and plastic interior held my neck firmly (but not uncomfortably) in place, and allowed me the best possible sleep in an environment that is not very conducive to it. The material itself is really soft, and has the bonus of keeping my neck warm.”

“The one and only holy grail,” another wrote. “I’m a tough cookie when it comes to these devices because they never, ever are comfortable enough for me to rest. Either your head falls forward, or to the side, or you’re propped in such an unnatural way that sleep is just not going to happen. But this thing? This magical device? It does the trick.”

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