Camera, water, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. It can be hard to travel light without sacrificing the essentials that keep you comfortable and healthy on the road. But hauling around a backpack or purse all day can be a (literal) pain in your back and shoulders, too. So maybe it's time to think beyond the bag. This gear will help you carry your stuff in unconventional hands-free ways.

ExOfficio FlyQ Lite Jacket

This summer-weight jacket is perfect for protecting you from rain showers or chilly night temperatures. Leave the bag behind when you're wearing this, as the FlyQ has an "Interior Ten Pocket Travel System" with spots for everything from your passport to your water bottle. It's available for women and men.


Hide your valuables in plain sight with SHOLDIT, a scarf that can hold everything that a purse can, via a secret zippered pocket. If you do decide to travel with a (small) bag, it can also fold down into a zippered clutch.

Pick-Pocket Proof Pants

One downside of traveling with a backpack or purse is it makes you more vulnerable to pickpockets. Instead, rock the Pick-Pocket Proof Pants from Clothing Arts, which have double-secured pockets with a zipper and button flap for extra protection.

Girly Go Garter

The Girly Go Garter is the sexiest alternative to a money belt we've ever seen. It's an adjustable garter belt with built-in pockets that hold your phone, cash, passport, ID, credit card … or even your flask. It can hold up to three pounds of stuff without falling down—even through strenuous activities like running or dancing. Find it on Amazon or

Scottevest Featherweight Vest

The whole Scottevest line is designed to help you travel without a bag, and we love the new Featherweight Vest because it only weighs 0.6 lbs. This means you can load up the vest's 14 hidden pockets without feeling too bulky or dragged down.

Hips Sister

The Hips Sister is basically a less obtrusive alternative to a fanny pack. This belt blends in with your clothing, but has three pockets to stash all of your stuff.

Speakeasy Travel Scarves

Coming in all kinds of cool colors and fabrics, Speakeasy travel scarves look exactly like a normal infinity scarf. But they have a secret: a hidden zippered pocket that can hold your phone, camera, passport, keys, cash, etc. Your stuff is hidden to pickpockets, but easily accessible to you. Perfect.

Bandi Pocketed Headband

Want to go for a run in a new city, but don't have any pockets to keep your cash and hotel key in? Toss on the BANDI Pocketed Headband, an athletic headband with a built-in pocket that can hold a few small essentials.

Clever Travel Companion Shirt

Keep your belongings close with the Clever Travel Companion T-shirt. This T-shirt is fitted, so you can wear it as a base layer, hiding whatever you've stashed in the two built-in zippered pockets. We love that the pockets are on the side of the shirt, so it's more inconspicuous than front money belts.

How do you get around without a bag while traveling? Tell us in the comments.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

You Might Also Like:

Read the original story: How to Travel Without a Bag by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

(Photo:  Thinkstock/iStock

All products and services mentioned on Airfarewatchdog are independently selected by our team of expert travelers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

More Stories You'll Love