I Tried 5 Popular TikTok Travel Hacks and Here Are the Ones That Are Actually Worth It

published Jul 21, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Be honest: How many products have you bought that you saw on TikTok? I’ve certainly purchased my fair share. There are so many amazing gadgets on the market, but what better reviews to trust than those given by everyday people? I’ve snagged amazing ingredients for recipes I wouldn’t have considered trying before seeing them in action, and novelty gifts like a cloud-shaped bath bomb that releases a rainbow pattern in the water. TikTok is an ideal place for all sorts of recommendations, from food to workouts and everything in between. But with summer in full swing and trips on the horizon, travel content has been booming on the app. One of the first things I noticed was that some travel products were more favored than others, and I wondered what made them so special. To get to the bottom of it, I tried five of the most recommended travel must-haves on TikTok during a recent trip and found one that was a total game-changer regarding how I pack from now on. Check out my reviews below!

1 / 5

I’ve seen the KISEER paper soap in almost every TikTok travel video that's come across my feed. It comes in an adorable animal-shaped case with 50 sheets inside, and it's compact enough to toss into your bag or slip into your pocket when you’re on the go. They’re extremely affordable — a 4-pack is under $10 — so you can stock up for yourself or share them with your travel buddies. Though they’re listed as having a bath-inspired fragrance, the scent is so light that it’s pretty much undetectable, unless your nose is in your soapy hands. If you’re sensitive to smells, these could be the hand soap sheets to pick up.

The KISEER paper soap is really easy to use: Wet your palm with one of the sheets, then rub your hands together to create a lather. They don’t create a lather that's as thick, moisturizing, and fragrant as the hand soap sheets from Grove Co., but they get the job done. Just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any leftover paper soap residue on your hands, and remember to keep the hand soap sheets away from moisture to avoid activating them too soon.

2 / 5

It’s understandable why collapsible cups are a TikTok hit. The collapsible drinkware is colorful, visually appealing, and overall, just fun to use. STOJO's silicone On-the-Go Coffee Cup is often featured on the app, frequently alongside the collapsible bottle, so I had to try it out on my trip to see if I could break up with plastic water bottles at the airport for good. My carry-on didn’t have a place to hold a drink, but that wasn’t a problem with the STOJO cup in tow. I kept it collapsed in my bag until I was ready to have a drink, and from there it was simply a matter of opening it up and adding my beverage of choice. What I love about the coffee cup is that it's lightweight, comes with its own heat-resistant sleeve, and inside the cup, there are measurements that show 8, 10, and 12 ounces. When collapsed, the sleeve fits directly into the base so you can keep the cup all together until you’re ready to use it again.

3 / 5
was $37.99

As someone who loves outdoor concerts, the first solar phone charger I saw on TikTok piqued my interest immediately. What I liked about the FEELLE solar charger was that it’s compact and affordable for a power bank (others tend to be pretty expensive). The charger features panels that you unfold to expose to sunlight in order to recharge the power bank. Once fully charged, it has enough juice to charge up your phone and other devices with its two USB charging ports. Direct sunlight charges it the fastest, but even indirect sunlight worked, albeit more slowly.

On the back, it’s equipped with a bright flashlight for use outdoors while camping, hiking, or any other activities in which you’d be cloaked in darkness. I’ll be the first to admit that this charger is heavy-duty for hopping on a plane to visit family, but it came in handy when I needed it the most (like when we spent a day at Six Flags and multiple phones in my party needed recharging). The solar charger weighs one pound, but it’s still small enough to fit into a bag without being in the way. It was incredibly useful to have, whether I was using it for my own phone or lending it out. The option to recharge it with sunlight rather than hunting for an outlet to plug it into was a perk that couldn't be ignored.

4 / 5

TikTok travelers love the Perilogics flight phone mount for its size, capabilities, and convenience. It rotates a complete 360 degrees for a wide variety of viewing angles, and clamps easily onto the back of an upright tray table in-flight and on luggage in case you find yourself sitting through a lengthy layover. The first time I used this pocket-sized phone mount, it wasn’t on a plane. It was actually in my hotel room where I worked remotely for a few days. The spring-loaded clamp on the mount works like a slider and adjusts to fit a width of up to 1.5”, which made it suitable for the edge of the desk where I was sitting. It can also be positioned to be free-standing for any flat surface.

I’d scrolled past this product on TikTok a few times, so I was already interested in its durability and strength. It doesn’t feel like it'll break at the slightest turn of the holder, though I personally thought that the clicking sound it makes when you reposition it was loud enough to draw attention. Pushing my self-consciousness aside, I propped it up on the plane during my trip home and slowly twisted and turned it to clip on my tray. Lo and behold, there was no staring at all; installing the mount wasn't as loud in public as I initially perceived.

After attaching the phone mount to the tray in front of me, I settled into my seat, adjusted the angle of the screen for optimal viewing, and enjoyed my pre-downloaded Netflix movies hands-free. If I needed to lower the tray to eat or drink, it was simply a matter of reconfiguring the mount to sit up on its own. This $13 item was an absolute game-changer for my travel accessories, and I don’t think I’ll go on a trip without it again.

5 / 5

I was looking forward to checking out what bags TikTok users loved for carry-ons. I’m a longtime fan of cute and durable backpacks, and it was time to replace mine after years of wear and tear. Anti-theft backpacks are a fave for TikTok travelers, and I’ve never owned one. After some research, I wanted to see what the Bobby Hero by XD Design was all about. All pockets and zippers of anti-theft bags are against your back when you wear them, so there’s no access from the outside, which is great, but I nearly ran away from the price alone. As a former student, I know how pricey backpacks can be, but I’d never spent that much on the travel variety. However, once I actually received the Bobby Hero, I could see its many benefits.

The Bobby Hero Regular can hold SO much! There are two sleeves inside for devices: I kept my 13” laptop in one and a 12.9” iPad in the other. They’re held in place by a Velcro strap to keep them from jostling around. There are mesh pockets in front of the devices and room for a notebook too. In front of that, there’s another zippered area that leads to a larger section with even more mesh pockets, including a USB port to plug in a power bank that can charge your phone from the port that’s on the outside of the bag. There are also elastic bands to hold additional items that may roll around the bag if not secured. All in all, I was able to hold my two electronic devices, FEELLE power bank, STOJO cup, all my tech chargers, an instant camera, workbooks, a pencil pouch, small gifts for my family, and a few snacks for the flight. On the outside of the bag, there are a few more zippered areas where I kept my pouch of face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

With so much stuffed into the backpack, I thought for sure I'd have to stow it in the overhead bin. As a result, I made a small in-flight care package for myself using one of my ban.do carryall pouches that I also kept in the backpack until I boarded. Even with all of those items in the bag, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a strain to carry, since it's also super padded for comfort. The biggest selling point for me was that once I got on the plane, I found that the Bobby Hero could fit under the seat and I didn’t have to store it in the overhead compartment whatsoever. I raved about it for the rest of the trip, and will be holding onto it for as long as I can.